Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has urged the European Council to impose sanctions against the current Ukrainian leadership for systematically violating basic human rights.
On Thursday, the European Court of Justice recognized the sanctions from March 2014 to March 2015 against Ex-President Yanukovich, his elder son Alexander, and the ex-head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration Andrey Klyuev, as illegal. However, they did confirm the restrictive measures in force from March 2015 to March 2016 as legitimate, the court’s decision reads.
In an interview with RIA News correspondent Zakhar Vinogradov, Viktor Yanukovych called such a decision a confirmation of the lack of evidence of the crimes that he was accused of.
Viktor Fedorovich Yanukovych, good day. How do you comment on today’s decision of the EU court which recognized the EU sanctions imposed on you in 2014 as illegal?
As you remember, the EU Council introduced sanctions against me in March 2014. Then, they were guided not by legal, but by political motives with the aim of legitimizing the new Ukrainian government.
The EU court’s decision only confirmed that there is no evidence of the crimes which I was charged with. As for allegedly receiving money and property from abroad, I see no point in discussing this, as I have none of such and never did.
Unfortunately, Ukrainian courts today are often controlled by the current government and seeking the truth in them is more difficult than in an EU court.
But time has shown that we are right.
Why do you think the EU imposed sanctions on you if the Ukrainian government has not presented any evidence that you are guilty?
By introducing sanctions, the EU effectively cut me off from the possibility of a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine. They justified the sanctions with support for the rule of law and the protection of human rights in Ukraine. But since then, the situation in Ukraine has consistently deteriorated. The current Ukrainian government violates basic human rights and the rule of law has been completely forgotten in Ukraine. And much of the blame for this is borne by EU politicians.
Now that the EU court has lifted the sanctions, what do you expect from the EU towards you?
You know, the EU Council once again prolonged the sanctions in 2016. Following the court’s decision, the EU Council should now admit its mistakes and cancel the sanctions.
And if the EU Council really seeks to support to rule of law in Ukraine, then it would impose sanctions against the high-ranking criminals in the current Ukrainian government. EU sanctions against them would work well, much of the stolen money could be returned to Ukraine, and IMF loans wouldn’t be needed.