The Ukrainian security service says it has opened a criminal investigation into the activities of an energy company once headed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, is already on trial on charges she abused her office in signing a natural gas import deal with Russia in 2009. Tymoshenko denies the accusations and says the trial is an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovych to bar her from politics.
The new probe focuses on whether former Cabinet officials and employees of United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a firm managed by Tymoshenko in the mid 1990s, embezzled $405 million.
The agency said Tuesday it opened the probe after Russia had asked Ukraine to pay off that company's debt. Tymoshenko denies the debt exists.
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