Ukraine Lawmaker Calls On U.S. To Target China, India Energy Purchases From Russia


Brokers from Ukraine’s Safety Service (SBU) and the Bureau of Financial Safety have carried out searches on the houses of billionaire tycoon Ihor Kolomoyskiy and ex-Inside Minister Arsen Avakov in an alleged embezzlement case value over $1 billion in what seems to be a part of an effort to root out corruption amid the battle to repel invading Russian forces.

The SBU stated in a put up on Telegram that the searches on February 1 have been carried out as a part of an investigation into potential monetary crimes involving two oil corporations — Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta — which till late final yr have been partly owned by Kolomoyskiy, one in all Ukraine’s richest males.

“It was established that unlawful mechanisms have been mixed with tax evasion and the legalization of funds obtained by way of legal means,” the SBU stated.

Neither Kolomoyskiy nor Avakov have commented on the developments.

The raids, first reported by the Ukrainian media, come after Zelenskiy final month pledged to eradicate corruption amid a high-profile graft scandal.

David Arakhamia, the chief of the Servant of the Folks faction in parliament, confirmed on Telegram that raids have been carried out on the 2 males, in addition to on the premises of the Tax Workplace, .

He added that the administration workforce of the Customs Service could be dismissed and that Ukraine, which was affected by deep-seated corruption earlier than Russian troops invaded nearly a yr in the past, would bear a change.

“The nation will change in the course of the struggle. If somebody just isn’t prepared for change, then the state itself will come and assist them change,” Arakhamia wrote on Telegram.

Kolomoyskiy, one in all Ukraine’s richest males, is a former ally of Zelenskiy and proprietor of one of many nation’s most influential tv channels. He backed Zelenskiy’s election marketing campaign in 2019.

Kolomoyskiy was indicted in america in 2020 on expenses associated to large-scale financial institution fraud. U.S. authorities have additionally alleged that Kolomoyskiy and a enterprise companion laundered stolen funds by way of america.

The billionaire has denied any wrongdoing. Final yr he was disadvantaged of Ukrainian citizenship by Zelenskiy.

Avakov stated his house was searched by safety officers on February 1 in an investigation related to a purchase order of French-made Airbus helicopters, native media reported.

On January 18, an Airbus helicopter crashed, killing 14 folks together with Inside Minister Denys Monastyrskiy and different prime ministry officers.

Avakov, one in all Ukraine’s most influential officers, resigned in July 2021 after serving as inside minister for greater than seven years.

Zelenskiy on January 23 stated he would make personnel adjustments at senior and decrease ranges, following probably the most high-profile corruption allegations since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

“There are already personnel choices — some at this time, some tomorrow — relating to officers at numerous ranges in ministries and different central authorities constructions, in addition to within the areas and in regulation enforcement,” Zelenskiy stated.

Zelenskiy’s announcement got here after the deputy infrastructure minister was detained by anti-graft authorities on suspicion of receiving a $400,000 bribe over the import of mills in September, an allegation the minister denies.

Individually, the Protection Ministry was accused by an investigative newspaper of overpaying suppliers for troops’ meals. The provider has stated a technical mistake was accountable and no extra cash had been paid.

Following Zelenskiy’s pledge to wash out corruption, the deputy head of the presidential administration, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, introduced on January 24 that he had tendered his resignation to the top of state.

“I thank the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the belief and the chance to do good deeds day-after-day and each minute,” Tymoshenko wrote on Telegram.

On January 25, prosecutors in 5 areas — Zaporizhzhya, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Sumy, and Chernihiv –were faraway from their posts.

Ukraine has lengthy been marred by widespread corruption that has weakened the effectiveness of state establishments, even because the nation confronted an more and more aggressive Russia since 2014, culminating with Moscow’s full-scale invasion.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was a stark reminder of the menace that corruption and the absence of presidency accountability pose for international peace and safety,” Transparency Worldwide stated in its annual report on graft printed earlier this week.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

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