Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has denied the illegality of placing assets owned by the firm Roshen in an offshore account. On his Facebook page on Monday, April 4, he wrote that he "may be the first head of the state in Ukraine who is very serious about the disclosure of information of property, tax payments and issues in this area in the event of a conflict of interest." According to the President, he was acting "in full accordance with Ukrainian and international civil law."
Nevertheless, Poroshenko did not dispute the existence of the offshore accounts. He explained that he, "as a president, ceased to participate in the management of the property and entrusted this responsibility to consulting and law firms."
In turn, the law firm Avellumc, that represents interests of Poroshenko, said that the companies created by the President of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictions did not open bank accounts and did not make any financial transactions. "Therefore, any allegations of tax evasion are groundless," the press release of the organization says.
On Sunday, April 3, a massive leak of documents referred to as the “Panama Papers” revealed information about 214,000 offshore companies that belong to the heads of states, politicians and functionaries from various countries around the world. In August 2014, Poroshenko opened his company in the British Virgin Islands and became its sole owner. The leaked documents say that neither of the three accounts of the Ukrainian President had more than $2,000, but they could have been used by Poroshenko for tax evasion. According to the published data, "Poroshenko’s activities could be illegal on two counts: as a president he founded a new company and failed to disclose information about it."