BRUSSELS -- The European Union is set next week to remove Andriy Klyuyev, the head of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s 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 the 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 EU’s general court in July which said that the bloc’s 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.
Several diplomats from 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 had forced EU to consider removing Klyuyev from the list.
Andriy’s 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.