Seven former officials are named on all four lists of sanctions: Viktor Yanukovych Sr., Oleksandr Yanukovych, ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, former presidential chief of staff Andriy Klyuyev, ex-Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, ex-Justice Minister Olena Lukash and ex-General Prosecutor Viktor Pshonka.
Nine who appear on the financial sanctions lists are also wanted for their alleged involvement in the mass murders of 74 people on Feb. 18-20, when anti-government protesters were gunned down by snipers working behind police lines or police officers.
The EU froze the assets of 18 individuals who are “subject to investigation in Ukraine for involvement in crimes in connection with the embezzlement of Ukrainian state funds and their illegal transfer outside Ukraine.”
Separately, EU member Austria froze the assets of 18 people, while Lichtenstein and Switzerland each named an identical list of 20 former officials whose assets were frozen.
New Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has accused the former president and his inner circle of absconding with nearly $70 billion while leaving the state treasury “empty.” The nation’s largest association of employers, led by billionaire chemicals tycoon Dmytro Firtash, on Feb. 26 stated that each year businesses nationally have had to pay some $20 billion in bribes to officials.
“Every type of business in every economic sector and segment has encountered the problem of corruption in Ukraine,” read the Federation of Employers of Ukraine statement. “Depending on the type and area of activity, each business has in the past years been forced to give up to 50 percent of its turnover in the form of bribes.”
On March 6, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered assets frozen and U.S. visas blocked for all persons who have “impeded democracy, contributed to violence or engaged in corruption in Ukraine.” It doesn’t specify who is included in the order but it applies to both Russians and Ukrainians, the Washington Post reported.
Russians were also included after the country invaded Crimea on Feb. 27 in contravention of international and bilateral treaties. On March 6, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists that he couldn’t reach a peace agreement over the peninsula with his American counterpart John Kerry.
In February Canada also imposed visa-travel bans for individuals deemed responsible for the violence in Kyiv. Due to privacy laws in the countries, the identities of those who face travel bans are unknown.
Ministers of the previous government Yuriy Kolobov (finance), Eduard Stavitsky (energy), Mykola Prysiazhniuk (agriculture) and former Kyiv city manager Oleksandr Popov have denied having accounts or assets in Switzerland, Lichtenstein or Austria, reported Interfax Ukraine.
The following are the names and former titles of those who face financial sanctions, criminal charges:
Kyiv Post editor Mark Rachkevych can be reached at [email protected].
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