EU imposes sanctions on former Ukrainian leader Yanukovych – EURACTIV.com

EU member states on Thursday (4 August) imposed sanctions on ousted pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr for their alleged role in threatening Ukraine’s security.

In a statement, the European Council said the pair had been added to an EU sanctions list drawn up “in response to unprovoked and unprovoked Russian military aggression against Ukraine”.

Yanukovych served as Ukraine’s president between February 2010 and February 2014, when he was overthrown in a popular uprising against his government’s diversion from the West to Moscow.

He lives in Russia, where the Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution of February 2014, is considered a coup.

President Vladimir Putin’s Russia responded to its ally’s defeat by seizing the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and an enclave in the eastern region of Donbass. In February this year, Moscow launched an all-out invasion.

Several European Union and NATO member states have begun supplying Kyiv with advanced weapons to help it defend against Russia, and Brussels has passed a growing series of sanctions packages.

The EU says Yanukovych, now 72 and based in Russia, still plays “a role in undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as stability and security of the state.

The sanctions document published in the EU’s Official Journal on Thursday accuses Yanukovych of plotting to return to power in Ukraine if the Russian invasion succeeds in toppling President Volodomyr Zelenskyy.

“According to different sources, Mr. Viktor Yanukovych was part of a special Russian operation, aimed at replacing the Ukrainian president with him, during the first stages of the unprovoked illegal military aggression against Ukraine,” the newspaper said.

His son, Oleksandr, was placed under sanctions for the same reason and for “conducting transactions with the separatist groups in the Donbass region of Ukraine”, i.e. Russian proxy forces in the enclave. .

The 49-year-old is accused of becoming wealthy through connections in his father’s former regime and maintaining energy and real estate businesses in the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk republics, territories controlled by Russia in the Donbass.

“The separatist OPLOT Battalion (listed since February 2015) protected its real estate development projects in the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’,” the sanctions post reads.

As sanctioned individuals, Yanukovych Senior and Junior will be subject to an EU visa ban and a freeze on all assets held inside the bloc.

(Editing by Georgi Gotev)