International

US sanctions powerful Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky

New Europe - Zoe Didili

The US has imposed sanctions on one of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs, Igor Kolomoisky over corruption allegations, the US Secretary of state, Antony Blinken said in a statement on Friday.

Blinken stated that Kolomoisky, in his capacity as a Governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk Oblast from 2014 to 2015, was “involved in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes,” by using his political influence and official power for his personal benefit.

While the restrictive measures refer to Kolomoisky’s acts during his time in office, the US Secretary of state also warned against Kolomoisky’s current efforts “to undermine Ukraine’s democratic processes and institutions”, citing that his acts pose “a serious threat” to the country’s future.

Along with Kolomoisky, the State Department decided to also sanction his wife, daughter and son, owing to the oligarch’s “involvement in significant corruption”, rendering them ineligible for entry into the US. The Ukrainian tycoon is believed to have stolen billions of dollars from a Ukrainian bank, namely the PrivatBank he once owned.

“This designation reaffirms the U.S. commitment to supporting political, economic, and justice sector reforms that are key to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic path,” Blinken’s statement further reads.

Without mentioning Kolomoisky, the office of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement saying that the country needs to overcome has to fight against its oligarchs.

“The battle with the oligarchs lies not only in the realm of criminal responsibility. It is also about creating the conditions in Ukraine, in which business can grow in a transparent and competitive environment, and large financial groups will not be able to dominate the market or influence the media and political decisions.”

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