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EU To Renew Asset Freeze Against Ukraine's Ex-President

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych talks to journalists after testifying at a hearing in a Moscow court in December.

BRUSSELS -- EU ambassadors are expected to agree to extend asset freezes imposed against former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and 15 of his associates for another year according to EU sources.

The sources told RFE/RL on February 21 that the decision was expected on March 1. It would then be approved by EU ministers at a meeting on March 3.

The asset freezes were first imposed by the EU after the fall of the Yanukovych regime in February 2014 and targeted people that Brussels believed had misappropriated Ukrainian state funds and assets. They have been prolonged annually ever since.

Viktor Yanukovych's son Oleksandr is included on the list, as are former Prime Ministers Mykola Azarov and Serhiy Arbuzov, former Justice Minister Olena Lukash, and former head of the Ukrainian presidential administration Andriy Klyuyev.

Several people on the list, including Viktor Yanukovych, challenged their inclusion at the European Court of Justice in 2016, but the court struck down the complaints and maintained that the reason for their listings were lawful.

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