Tue, 20 Aug 2019

BRUSSELS -- The European Union is set next week to remove Andriy Klyuyev, the head of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovychs presidential administration, from its sanctions list, but the assets freeze on Yanukovych and 11 of his associates are likely to be prolonged by another year, according to several EU diplomats familiar with issue.

EU ambassadors are expected to make the decision when they meet in Brussels on February 27.

The move comes after a ruling by the EUs general court in July which said that the blocs restrictive measures against Klyuyev for 2017-18 should be annulled.

He did, however, remain on the sanctions list as the asset freeze was prolonged by one year in March 2018, with a separate ruling for the new sanctions period necessary to be delisted.

In the July ruling, the court concluded that since Klyuyev informed the European Council that Ukrainian criminal proceedings against him had been suspended before the renewal of the bloc's restrictive measures, the council should have sought clarification on the issue from Ukrainian authorities.

Diplomats from several EU member states who are familiar with the talks but not authorized to speak on the record told RFE/RL that the lack of compelling evidence from Ukraine has forced the EU to consider removing Klyuyev from the list.

Andriys brother, Serhiy Klyuyev, was removed from the same sanctions list last year. Serhiy, who was a businessman and lawmaker from Yanukovych's Party of Regions, was the nominal owner of Mezhyhirya, the lavish Yanukovych residence outside Kyiv that is now a museum.

The EU imposed asset freezes against Yanukovych and his inner circle shortly after the collapse of his government in February 2014.

The bloc accused Yanukovych and his collaborators of misappropriation of Ukraine's state funds.

Apart from the former president, the restrictive measures still include his son, Oleksandr Yanukovych, and the former Prime Ministers Mykola Azarov and Serhiy Arbuzov.

Rikard Jozwiak

Rikard Jozwiak covers the European Union and NATO for RFE/RL from his base in Brussels.

rikard.jozwiak@gmail.com FOLLOW Subscribe via RSS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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