EU Expected to Freeze Assets of Ousted Ukraine President Yanukovych, Others

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 09:24 AM


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The European Union is set to freeze assets held in the 28-nation bloc of 18 Ukrainians involved in violence against protesters in Ukraine last month, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

The sanctions will take effect when the names of the 18 are listed in Thursday's EU Official Journal, said a source speaking on condition of anonymity.

"I cannot disclose their names now to ensure they do not proceed to withdraw their assets," the source said.

The sanctions follow a decision by EU foreign ministers at emergency talks February to take punitive measures against Ukrainians with "blood on their hands."

"The EU has decided as a matter of urgency to introduce targeted sanctions including an asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human rights violations, violence and use of excessive force," ministers said at the time.

The list may include ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, one source said.

Swiss authorities have ordered a freeze on the assets of both Yanukovych and his multi-millionaire son, Oleksandr, who are on a list of 20 Ukranian officials including former ministers being targeted by the authorities in Switzerland.

Liechtenstein has also frozen the bank accounts of the same officials while Austria has announced moves against 18 Ukrainian officials suspected of violating human rights and involvement in corruption.

Ukrainians, grappling with an economy on the brink of default, were shocked by the breathtaking opulence of Yanukovych's vast country estate which was flung open for all to see when he went into hiding.

© AFP 2014

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