Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pressure on Yanukovych will not abate

Ukraine continues to be perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in the world and criticism of the authorities' political persecution of former members of the is becoming ever more shrill. E.g. today the European Parliament today called on the Ukrainian authorities to release "figures imprisoned on political grounds."

The U.S. Department of State, in its recently published annual 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 - Ukraine', states: "The most serious human rights development during the year was the politically motivated detention, trial, and conviction of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, along with selective prosecutions of other senior members of her government."

Your blogger believes that Yanukovych and his associates thought from the start that if they stand firm, the pressure on them will eventually abate. They have been wrong on this right down the line; and today's E.P. resolution means Europe's politicians can continue to maintain a tough line.

There has been talk both there and in the European media, about freezing the assets and ill-gotten gains of president Yanukovych and his close circle of allies.

The Financial Action Task Force on money laundering, [FATF]  set up many years ago by what was the G-7, is currently investigating oil-rig scams organised by Ukraine's fuel and energy minster, Yuriy Boyko. [I have written about these previously]. They could be "one step away from seizing Boyko's assets."

The possibility of such actions occurring has now increased.

Ukrainian tycoon and Party of Regions' deputy Rinat Akhmetov is normally 'ahead of the game' on such matters. There are credible reports his wife Liliya is interested in becoming a UK citizen. And eagle-eyed journalist photographed a copy of an email which Party of Regions' deputy Yuriy Voropayev was reading in parliament on this topic. [Source - the excellent Gorshenin Institute newletter - one of the best weekly roundups of news from Ukraine]  Both the billionaire's sons study in the UK...

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