Exiled Ukrainian President Loses Bid to Thaw Assets
(Courthouse News) – Wanted in his home country to face charges of high treason, the exiled former president of Ukraine lost his challenge Thursday to an asset freeze imposed by the EU government.
The European Council levied the sanctions in question against Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych in March 2014, a month after Ukraine’s parliament voted to remove the billionaire from the presidency he had held for four years.
In the months leading up to that ouster, which Yanukovych has described as an “armed coup,” Ukraine was on the brink of civil war brought on by his November 2013 abandonment of a deal two decades in the making that would have established closer ties between Ukraine and the EU.
Yanukovych instead pursued a deal that would have strengthened Ukraine’s ties to Russia, where the 67-year-old has been living in exile fleeing Ukraine’s capital.
Corruption claims dogged Yanukovych during his time in office, which coincided with his only son, Oleksandr, becoming one of the wealthiest men in the country.
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych was prime minister when Russian President Vladimir Putin sat with him in the 2006 visit pictured above.
(Photo via Kremlin.ru)