Navalny’s associate Oleg Stepanov intends to achieve the opening of an electoral account through the court. Earlier, he was refused, citing the law prohibiting extremists from being elected. This was the first application of the law
The team of the former head of the Moscow headquarters of Navalny (recognized as a foreign agent and an extremist organization) Oleg Stepanov appealed to the Moscow City Court against the refusal of the election commission to open a special election account and appoint a financial commissioner, Stepanov’s chief of staff Alexander Psarev told RBC.
The district commission referred to the fact that citizens in respect of whom the decision on their cooperation with extremist organizations has entered into force (Part 8.1-8.4 of Article 4 of the law On the Elections of Deputies of the State Duma) cannot participate in the elections. Without an electoral account, a candidate cannot start collecting signatures for nomination to the State Duma.
The refusal of the election commission violates Stepanov’s right to free elections, pre-election campaigning and is “unfounded and illegal,” according to an administrative lawsuit published in the oppositionist’s Telegram channel.
The lawsuit notes that the decision to recognize Navalny’s headquarters as extremist organizations has not yet entered into legal force, so it cannot be the basis for a ban. Earlier, the Moscow City Court recognized the FBK and the headquarters of Alexey Navalny as extremist (both organizations were recognized as foreign agents). In addition, the opposition leader’s team believes that, in accordance with the electoral legislation, the district commission does not have the authority to refuse to open an account, i.e., the commission is obliged to issue it within three days, the lawsuit says.
Refusal at the nomination stage is a precedent, usually candidates are refused at the moment of registration, when the commission is already studying the documents, says Roman Smirnov, president of the Association of Political Lawyers. He adds that there is no practice under the law banning extremists from being elected yet, so it is unclear at what stage the information from other candidates will be checked. According to Smirnov, it is worth going to court to challenge procedural violations, but the motivation for refusing to open an account is likely to become the motivation for refusing registration later.
In early June, Vladimir Putin signed a law banning those involved in extremist and terrorist organizations from being elected. According to the new law, the leaders of such organizations cannot apply for any elected positions within five years from the date of the court’s decision on the recognition of the association as extremist into legal force, and ordinary employees and those involved-for three years.
Oleg Stepanov announced his intention to run for the State Duma in May. The former chief of staff in Moscow has been under house arrest since January 2021. He became a defendant in the “sanitary case” along with nine other defendants, including ” Lyubov Sobol, Oleg Navalny, Konstantin Yankauskas. According to investigators, Stepanov called for participation in illegal protests, people with coronavirus came there, which created a threat of mass infection.
Pat least 13% of all Belarusian exports to the European Union were affected by the EU for the first time introduced sectoral sanctions against Belarus, banning the import of petroleum products and potash fertilizers. This is at least 13% of the country’s total exports to Europe, RBC estimated. In response, Lukashenka allowed the introduction of martial law
The first sectoral sanctions
On Thursday, June 24, the EU Council of Ministers announced the introduction of sectoral sanctions against Belarus. They are being introduced in relation to this country for the first time and include:
restrictions on trade in petroleum products, potash fertilizers and raw materials for the tobacco industry;
a ban on the supply of dual-use products, technologies, equipment and software for intercepting communications to the country;
financial restrictions, including the closure of access to European capital markets, the ban on insurance of the Belarusian government and state agencies. The European Investment Bank (EIB) stops financing projects in the public sector. The EU countries should also limit the participation of their banks in Belarusian state projects.
The sanctions are a response to “worsening human rights violations, brutal repression against civil society, the democratic opposition and journalists, as well as the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk on May 23, followed by the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapieha,” the European Council said in a statement.
The new EU sanctions package was the fifth in a row. The fourth one was introduced a few days ago, on June 21, against 78 individuals, including Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev, and eight companies, including automakers MAZ and BelAZ and the New Oil Company-the only private structure that has the right to export petroleum products from Belarus and import oil into the country. All sanctions are now imposed against 166 people and 15 companies of the republic.
Minsk reacted emotionally to the introduction of sectoral sanctions. “We must show these scoundrels on the other side of the border that their sanctions are their impotence. And we will do it, ” said Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, who was on a trip around the country at the time of the announcement of the introduction of EU sectoral sanctions. The President of Belarus also allowed the introduction of martial law in the country. « There should be no subsidence» & mdash; so he motivated this possible measure.
On June 22, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Yevgeny Lukyanov told RBC that if sectoral sanctions are imposed, Moscow will provide assistance to Minsk, but did not specify what kind. According to him, Russia will support Minsk “up to the most critical circumstances”: “We are allies, allies do not betray each other”.
13% of Belarusian exports
Restrictions on the export of products from Belarus to the EU cover at least 13% of the total Belarusian exports to the European Union, according to trade data analyzed by RBC. In total, Belarus exported more than $4.2 billion worth of goods to the EU in 2020.
According to the Comtrade international database, in 2020, the EU countries imported potash fertilizers from Belarus for$206 million, including Poland for $77.6 million, Belgium for $49 million.
It is not completely clear whether the supply of Belarusian complex fertilizers (NPK), one of the elements of which is potassium, will be included in the ban.The import of such fertilizers to the EU from Belarus amounted to another $116 million, follows from the Comtrade database. In this segment, Belarus could try to avoid sanctions by re-exporting through Russia, a source familiar with the preparation of sanctions told RBC. This is possible if & laquo;Russian potassium goes to Europe, and Belarusian & mdash; to Russia». « But even so, & laquo;Belaruskali» (the country’s main producer of potash fertilizers.& mdash; RBC) will suffer, its products will have to be given cheaper. Because it should be physical deliveries, and not the gluing of tags. Potassium from different deposits is different— it has a certificate of origin,— he explained.
The share of “Belaruskali” in the world potash market is about 20%. Last year, the export of potash fertilizers brought Belarus $2.4 billion, and in January-April 2021, Minsk received up to $834 million from the export of potash, according to the data of the National Statistical Committee of Belarus.
The import of petroleum products from Belarus to the EU countries in 2020 amounted to $289.5 million, including $85 million to Poland and $142 million to the Baltic states
According to the EU statistical agency, last year the European Union imported from Belarus all chemicals worth about $ 1.5 billion, including potassium, as well as crude oil and related products, such as fuels and lubricants, worth more than $ 1.2 billion, Reuters cited data.
The export of tobacco products from Belarus has been classified since 2016 (as well as the supply of weapons, radioactive elements, and precious metals). But, according to Eurostat, in 2020, the import of tobacco and beverages from Belarus amounted to only & euro;19 million.
The most painful sanctions are the ban on the supply of petroleum products, according to Maria Shagina, an expert on sanctions at the University of Zurich. “The main sales markets were the EU and Ukraine, and this sector was the most profitable for the Belarusian economy (in 2020, export revenues amounted to more than $1 billion). Bans on the supply of potassium will add problems, but this market was initially more diversified than the market of petroleum products. Belarus can redirect supplies to China and Brazil, ” she explains.
According to Shagina, the effectiveness of sanctions will depend on three factors: whether Ukraine will join them, what sanctions the United States will impose and how much Russia is ready to financially support Minsk. “In the long term, the financial burden will be significant, especially if the US imposes coordinated sanctions,” she notes.
Ban on lending
Belarus has government Eurobonds in circulation in the amount of about $3.3 billion with maturities in 2023 & ndash;2031 (about 18% of the country’s total external public debt). Some Western investors have already sold off these bonds, citing reputational costs and incompatibility with the principles of ESG (environmental, social and corporate responsibility), Reuters reported in June 2021. However, according to Reuters, Belarusian sovereign notes are still in the portfolios of such European holders as UBS (Switzerland), NN IP (the Netherlands), Aberdeen Standard Investments (Great Britain).
The opposition “People’s Anti-Crisis Management” of Belarus also stated that the country’s Eurobonds placed in the summer of 2020 were bought by Raiffeisen Bank International (Austria), Deutsche Bank (Germany) and two dozen more funds from Europe and the United States.
Federico Caune, portfolio manager at UBS Asset Management, told Reuters that the preservation or termination of investments in Belarusian state securities will depend on the EU sanctions wording. If the European leaders prohibit only the purchase of new securities, you will not have to sell the already purchased ones. If the ban turns out to be more stringent and extends to trading these securities on the secondary market, European funds are likely to withdraw from them.
Until recently, the European development institutions also continued to allocate small loan funds to Minsk. As of March 31, 2020, Belarus ‘ debt to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Northern Investment Bank of the Scandinavian and Baltic Countries amounted to $110 million, according to last year’s prospectus of Belarusian Eurobonds. In addition, last year the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved the provision of a loan to Belarus for €15 million to support the healthcare system. After the new EU sanctions, such future loans are likely to become impossible.
He said that he is ready to work with Moscow to establish stable and predictable relations. Sullivan noted that he expects to cooperate with the Russian government on the issue of strategic stability
US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has returned to Moscow after more than two months of absence. This was announced on Twitter by the official representative of the American diplomatic mission, Jason Rebholz.
John Joseph Sullivan (Photo: @USEmbRuPress/Twitter)
“I returned to Moscow today. I am ready to work with the team of the US Embassy in Russia to make progress on the priorities of US foreign policy, as well as with Russia to establish stable and predictable relations between our countries, ” Rebholz quoted Sullivan.
In a conversation with Interfax, Sullivan also noted that the United States and Russia should cooperate where it meets the mutual interests of the two countries. But the ambassador stressed that Moscow and Washington have significant differences and it is important to conduct an “open and frank dialogue” on these issues.
“The meetings in Geneva were of a positive nature. Now that I have returned to Moscow and Ambassador Antonov has returned to Washington, I will work tirelessly to take the practical steps necessary to achieve the goals set at the summit, ” Sullivan explained.”Among other things, I look forward to working with colleagues in the government of the Russian Federation to develop a bilateral dialogue on strategic stability.”
Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov left Washington in mid-March, Sullivan left Moscow at the end of April. The diplomatic missions were temporarily left without heads amid the cooling of relations between Russia and the United States after US President Joe Biden answered in the affirmative during an interview to the question of whether he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin a murderer. In addition, relations between the countries deteriorated after Washington imposed new sanctions against Russia, including new sectoral sanctions against Russian federal loan bonds (OFZ) issued after June 14, 2021.
Ambassador Antonov was invited to Moscow for consultations. Moscow also recommended Sullivan to go to Washington and hold “detailed, serious consultations” there.
This situation was discussed by Putin and Biden at the summit in Geneva on June 16 and agreed on the mutual return of the ambassadors. Antonov returned to the United States on June 20.
55 financial organizations are under Ukrainian sanctions, which imply a ban on any operations. Kiev intends to ask the EU and the US to support the sanctions list
President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on the application of sanctions against Russian banks, including Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank and others, the decree was published on the website of the head of state. Together with Russian banks, restrictions were imposed against the Central Republican Bank of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the State Bank of the Luhansk People’s Republic. The relevant information was published on the website of the office of the head of state on Thursday.
The sanctions list, in particular, includes the Bank of Moscow, Gazprombank, the bank “Russia”, VTB, the state corporation “VEB”.The Russian Federation,Sberbank of Russia, as well as the payment systems MoneyTo, BLIZKO, ANELIK, & laquo;Hummingbird».
The sanctions involve various measures, including: blocking of assets; prohibition of capital withdrawal outside Ukraine; prohibition of participation in privatization, leasing of state property; refusal to grant and cancel visas; stopping financial transactions, and so on. In total, there are 55 financial organizations in the list of legal entities against which restrictions are applied. In addition, three individuals were also sanctioned by the same decree, two of whom are listed as the founders of the Sevastopol Marine Bank.
Kiev intends to appeal to the European Union and the United States with a request to support the imposed sanctions. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine should inform the competent authorities of the European Union, the United States of America and other states about the application of sanctions and put before them the question of introducing similar restrictive measures,” the decree says.
In addition to the decree on sanctions against financial structures, Zelensky also signed decrees on sanctions against:
Russian mass media («Russia 24», NTV, & laquo;Channel One. World Wide Web», & laquo;RTR-planet & raquo;);
entrepreneurs and officials (the head of Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, the head of the management Board of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, Oleg Deripaska, Andrey Constin, as well as Igor, Arkady and Roman Rotenberg).
In 2017, Ukraine imposed sanctions against five structures of Russian state banks operating in the country: Sberbank and VTB, BM-Bank (part of VTB), Prominvestbank (“daughter” of VEB) and VS Bank (“granddaughter” of Sberbank). In 2018, VTB Group banks stopped working in Ukraine, and Sberbank sold VS Bank.
The State Executive Service (GIS) of Ukraine tried to sell the seized shares of Prominvestbank. VEB.The Russian Federation considered the transaction illegal and challenged it in the Stockholm Arbitration.
Inthe shots could have been made by a Coast guard ship, but the Defender destroyer was out of reach of Russian guns and was going faster, its captain said. Earlier, the British Ministry of Defense denied firing at the course of its ship
Destroyer Defender of the British Navy in the area of Cape Fiolent
During the incident with the British destroyer Defender in the Black Sea, Russian ships fired shots, but the destroyer was out of reach of Russian guns, said the ship’s captain Vincent Owen, reports the Daily Mail.
“This is the first time I have come so close to a Russian ship in my 21-year career. I suspect that the shooting was conducted from one of the Coast Guard ships, ” Owen said.
According to him, Defender was inaccessible to Russian guns. “We felt confident, did not engage in confrontation and used our right to peaceful passage of ships through international waters along a recognized sea route. We were out of reach of their guns, as we were going at a speed of 30 knots against their 21, ” he explained.
The incident also involved Russian planes and a drone, the captain said.
Owen stressed that the approach is at 100 & ndash;200 yards (90 & ndash;180 meters. & mdash; RBC) is unsafe and contrary to the rules of navigation.
The rapprochement of the British and Russian ships took place on June 23 in the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the destroyer violated the Russian border. The vessel did not respond to the warnings, and the Russian patrol ship opened a warning fire on its course. The Su-24M plane dropped bombs on the course of its movement.
The British Ministry of Defense previously denied firing at the course of its ship and assumed that the Russian military was conducting exercises in the Black Sea at that time.
“The ship of the British Navy made a peaceful passage through the territorial waters of Ukraine in accordance with international law,” the department added.
The BBC correspondent Sijonatan Beal, who was on board the destroyer, reported that the ship “deliberately” entered the zone of the territorial waters of the Crimea, as the captain considered this the safest way.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called these statements of the British side “lies in the face”. “When the British Ministry of Defense and the British Embassy in Moscow said that there were no incidents during their supposedly peaceful approach, no warning salvo from the Russian aviation, apparently they also did not see the coast guard boat, and the British journalist saw and heard all this,respectively, the answer is obvious: there are lies in the face,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
BIznesmen came under EU sanctions because of charitable activities, said the Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova. In her opinion, this also affects “ordinary people”. The EU stated that they included Gutseriev because of Lukashenka’s support
The Commissioner for Human Rights, Tatyana Moskalkova, called his charitable activities the grounds for EU sanctions against Mikhail Gutseriev. The Russian businessman, according to Brussels, came under restrictions because of the support of the regime of the Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
“One of the last turns is connected with sanctions against our citizens working on the territory of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. And the grounds for these sanctions were charitable activities, for example, Mikhail Gutseriev’s construction of schools and churches. This, of course, affects the interests of an ordinary person, and it is absolutely unclear what is the motive and reason for punishing people for the charity of our citizens, ” Moskalkova told reporters before the fifth meeting of the Eurasian Alliance of Ombudsmen.
The Ombudsman added that the expansion of sanctions “inevitably” affects the rights and interests of the “ordinary population, the common person”. This will also be one of the topics that will be discussed at the meeting of the alliance, she noted.
On June 21, the EU expanded sanctions against Belarus. The list includes eight legal entities and 78 individuals, including a Russian businessman, the owner of “Safmar” and “RussNeft” Gutseriev and relatives of Lukashenka. They were blocked from European assets and accounts, as well as banned from entering the EU.
The restrictions are related to the “escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus and the violent suppression of civil society,” the EU Council said in a statement. Getting into the sanctions list of Gutseriev was explained by the fact that he is a long-time friend of Alexander Lukashenko, who has influence among the political elite of Belarus.
In addition, the EU Council stressed that Safmar was the only supplier of raw materials to Belarusian oil refineries during the energy crisis in early 2020. Among other claims against the businessman, which were voiced by the EU authorities in support of sanctions,is the delivery of Russian journalists instead of striking employees of the Belarusian state media on a plane belonging to Gutseriev.
Another reason for the imposition of sanctions was the “forced and illegal”, according to the EU, landing of a Ryanair passenger plane in Minsk on May 23. The airliner landed due to a message about a bomb, after which Roman Protasevich, the co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, which the Belarusian authorities recognized as extremist, was detained right at the airport.
Mark Rutte said that he is not against the idea of a meeting of the leaders of the European Union with the Russian president. However, he himself does not intend to participate in such a summit
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that he will not participate in the Russia-EU summit if it takes place in the format of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and the heads of the 27 EU members. This is reported by the publication De Telegraaf.
Rutte added that he has nothing against Putin’s meeting with the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “But I myself will not take part in this meeting,” he added.
According to the NOS TV channel, Rutte clarified that his unwillingness to participate in the summit is connected with the case of the crash of a Malaysian Airlines plane in the Donbass in 2014. As a result of the disaster, 192 Dutch citizens were killed. According to the international investigation team, several people who are currently in Russia are involved in this case. In Moscow, the conclusions of the investigation are considered premature.
In addition to the Netherlands, the leaders of Lithuania and Latvia also spoke out against the summit with Putin’s participation. For example, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called a possible summit “an attempt to secure a jar of honey by coming into contact with a bear”.
On the eve of the British newspaper Financial Times reported that the idea of the first Russia-EU summit in seven years was proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She considered that the European Union should make contact with Russia after Putin held talks with American President Joe Biden in Geneva.
Merkel’s initiative was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron. On Thursday, the proposal to hold the summit was also welcomed by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
EThe European Union has agreed on the introduction of sectoral sanctions against Belarus. They affect the oil sector, the production of potassium chloride, and also restrict access to European capital markets.
The European Union has imposed sectoral sanctions against certain sectors of the Belarusian economy, organizations and individuals. This is stated in the statement of the EU Council, published on June 24.
The sanctions affect the oil sector, the production of potassium chloride, and also restrict access to European capital markets.
“The Council today introduced new restrictive measures against the Belarusian regime in response to the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus, brutal repression against civil society, the democratic opposition and journalists, as well as the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk on May 23 and the related detention of journalists Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapieha,” the report says.
Sectoral sanctions against Belarus suggest:
Prohibition on the sale, supply or transfer of equipment, software and technologies for monitoring, as well as interception of telephone communications and the Internet.
A ban on the sale, supply or transfer of dual-use goods that can be used by Minsk for military purposes.
Prohibition of trade with Belarusian producers of petroleum products and potash fertilizers, as well as goods for the production of tobacco products.
Restriction of access to the EU capital markets, insurance and reinsurance of the Belarusian government, state bodies.
A ban on financing projects of the Belarusian public sector by the European Investment Bank. EU member states should limit the participation of their banks in Belarusian state projects.
European organizations are prohibited from using financial instruments, investment services and transferable securities of Belarusbank, Belinvestbank and Belagroprombank.
In 2020, Belarus ‘ exports to the EU countries amounted to $5.5 billion, according to the data of the National Statistical Committee of Belarus (Belstat). This is 19% of the total export of goods of the republic and 49% of its exports to countries outside the CIS. The volume of accumulated foreign direct investment (FDI) of the EU in Belarus as of 2019 amounted to 3.2 billion euros, according to the data of the European Commission.
Belarus has government Eurobonds in circulation in the amount of about $3.3 billion with maturities in 2023 & ndash;2031 (about 18% of the country’s total external public debt). Some Western investors have already sold off these bonds, citing reputational costs and incompatibility with the principles of ESG (environmental, social and corporate Responsibility), Reuters reported in June. However, according to Reuters, Belarusian sovereign notes are still in the portfolios of such European holders as UBS (Switzerland), NN IP (the Netherlands), Aberdeen Standard Investments (Great Britain).
Until recently, European multilateral institutions also continued to allocate small loan funds to Minsk. As of March 31, 2020, Belarus ‘ debt to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Northern Investment Bank of the Scandinavian and Baltic Countries amounted to $110 million, according to last year’s prospectus of Belarusian Eurobonds. In addition, last year the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved the provision of a loan to Belarus for €15 million to support the healthcare system.
According to the Comtrade international database, in 2020, the EU countries imported potash fertilizers from Belarus for $206 million. Including Poland & mdash; for $77.6 million, Belgium & mdash; for $49 million. Potassium is also part of the Belarusian complex fertilizers (NPK), one of the elements of which is potassium, the import of such fertilizers to the EU from Belarus amounted to another $116 million, it follows from the Comtrade database.
The export of tobacco products from Belarus has been classified since 2016 (as well as the supply of weapons, radioactive elements, and precious metals). But, according to Eurostat, in 2020, the import of tobacco and beverages from Belarus amounted to only 19 million euros.The import of petroleum products from Belarus to the EU countries in 2020 amounted to $289.5 million (including $85 million to Poland, $142 million to the Baltic states).
Peskov said that Russia would not like to repeat such incidents, but if necessary, it is ready to respond harshly to provocations if foreign partners go too far
Destroyer HMS Defender
The violation of the Russian borders off the Crimean coast by the British destroyer Defender is a deliberate provocation. This was stated by the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov.
“We believe that the destroyer committed a provocation. We are sorry, because it was a deliberate and prepared provocation. We are concerned about such actions of the British ship, ” he said.
Such actions in the Kremlin are considered unacceptable and do not comply with international law. Peskov noted that the border service and the armed forces will continue to respond to such provocations harshly, but in strict accordance with the norms of international law.
“We do not want to deduce a trend from this and do not want to assume that such actions can enter the system,” Peskov stressed.
When asked if the Russian authorities would include the UK in the list of unfriendly countries in connection with the incident with the destroyer, the press secretary said that he “does not know anything about this”.
To the words of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who promised, if necessary, to “bomb at the target” in case of new violations of Russian borders and international law, Peskov said that Russia will take measures if the actions of foreign partners go “too far”.
“We can appeal to common sense, demand respect for international law. If this does not help, we can bomb not just on the course, but also on the target, if colleagues do not understand, ” Ryabkov said earlier on Thursday.
On June 23, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the destroyer of the Royal Navy Defender violated the maritime borders of Russia near Cape Fiolent in the Crimea. The ship went deep into 3km territorial waters, did not respond to warnings and left Russian waters only after firing and dropping bombs on its course.
In London, they denied the violation of the borders by the ship, saying that Defender, in compliance with the norms of international law, carried out a peaceful passage in the territorial waters of Ukraine. The British Ministry of Defense denied the bombing of the course and reported that the shooting from Russian patrol ships was mistaken for an exercise.
However, the BBC correspondent Sijonatan Beal, who was on the destroyer at the time, said that the ship’s captain deliberately entered the territorial waters of Russia, before putting the crew and weapons on alert.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called the official statements of the United Kingdom false, the British ambassador to Russia was summoned to Smolenskaya Square.
Viktor Medvedchuk, who is under house arrest in Ukraine, is being searched, as is his party colleague Taras Kozak
People’s Deputy of the Opposition Platform For the Life of the Ukrainian Rada, Renat Kuzmin, said that the security forces are again conducting searches at one of the leaders of the faction, entrepreneur and opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
The SBU confirmed that both Medvedchuk and his colleague Taras Kozak were conducting investigative actions. “The investigators of the SBU and the State Security Bureau are conducting operational investigative actions within the framework of criminal proceedings, in which People’s Deputies Medvedchuk and Kozak are notified of suspicion,” Interfax reports the statement of the department.
“Today, since the very morning, prosecutors and investigators have again descended on Medvedchuk with regular searches. This time they are searching not only the party office, offices and homes of the closest associates… This time they also came to the mother of Medvedchuk’s wife with searches and are seriously trying to find evidence of the son-in-law’s high treason,— Kuzmin claims.
On May 13, the Pechersk Court of Kiev sent Medvedchuk under house arrest. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called this the first step towards reducing the number of oligarchs in the country.
Viktor Medvedchuk is Vladimir Putin’s godfather (the Russian president is the godfather of his daughter), one of the richest businessmen in Ukraine (12th place in the Forbes list, his fortune is estimated at $620 million). He is charged with treason and violation of the rules of warfare. There are three episodes in the case: the transfer of material anda documentary database of a gas field in the Black Sea; the transfer of data on the location of a “secret military unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” to a fellow party member Taras Kozak, who was in Russia at that time; the creation of an organization that, according to investigators, collected data from Ukrainians, recruited them and distributed propaganda.