On September 24, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) lifted the sanctions that had been on former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2018-2019, his press secretary Yuri Kirasir announced on Tuesday.
“The decision of the European Court of Justice from 24.09.2019 to lift the sanctions against ex-President of Ukraine V.F. Yanukovych for 2018-2019 is confirmation of the illegitimacy and groundlessness of their imposition by the EU organs and a significant reason to lift them as soon as possible and rehabilitate V.F. Yanukovych as an undeserving victim of political persecution both in Ukraine and in the European Union,” Yanukovych’s press service said in a statement.
The ECJ’s press service told the Ukrinform news agency in a statement that the current restrictions that were imposed in spring 2019 against Yanukovych remain in force, although they are currently being appealed.
However, he confirmed that on September 24 the court had ruled to revoke the Council of Europe’s decision from 2018 to impose restrictions on Yanukovych.
In March 2014, the EU froze the assets of nearly two dozen former Ukrainian officials who may have been involved in embezzling Ukrainian government funds.
The sanctions are extended on an annual basis, but by 2019 the list had been reduced to 12 people. The former officials still on the list are Viktor Yanukovych, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, Viktor Pshonka, Viktor Ratushniak, Oleksandr Yanukovych, Artem Pshonka, Mykola Azarov, Serhiy Kurchenko, Dmytro Tabachnyk, Serhiy Arbuzov, Oleksandr Klymenko and Eduard Stavytskyi. Andriy Klyuyev, who won a court case against the EU last year, has been taken off the list.
In summer 2019, the ECJ lifted sanctions that had been extended for Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleskandr in 2016-2017 and in 2018 for a number of his associates.