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EU Sanctions Against Ukrainian Ex-President Prolonged

Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, speaks at a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, speaks at a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

BRUSSELS -- EU ministers have prolonged sanctions against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and 12 of his associates by another year, but lifted restrictive measures against former Justice Minister Olena Lukash and businessman Serhiy Klyuyev.

The pair was removed from the sanctions list after EU officials decided that there wasn't enough evidence against them.

Lukash served as justice minister for less than a year.

Serhiy Klyuyev, a businessman and lawmaker from Yanukovych's Party of Regions, was the nominal owner of Mezhyhirya, the lavish Yanukovych residence outside Kyiv which 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 list includes his son, Oleksandr Yanukovych, former Prime Ministers Mykola Azarov and Serhiy Arbuzov, and Serhiy Klyuyev's brother Andriy Klyuyev, who was Yanukovych's chief of staff.

Several people who are on the EU sanctions list have appealed their inclusion over the past couple of years at the European Court of Justice. A ruling on Andriy Klyuyev's appeal is expected to be reached later this year.

EU diplomats who are not authorized to speak on the record told RFE/RL that more names might be withdrawn from the list next year unless Kyiv provides additional evidence against them.

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    Rikard Jozwiak

    Rikard Jozwiak is the Europe editor for RFE/RL in Prague, focusing on coverage of the European Union and NATO. He previously worked as RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent, covering numerous international summits, European elections, and international court rulings. He has reported from most European capitals, as well as Central Asia.

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