Friday, February 28, 2014

Switzerland: Government Prepared to Freeze Financial Assets of Ukraine's Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych

According to http://www.thelocal.ch, the Swiss government said on Thursday (February 27) it was prepared to freeze any funds Ukraine's ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, 63, might have in Swiss banks.

The Swiss government has decided "in principle to freeze any possible funds Mr. Yanukovych may have in Switzerland," foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP in an email.

The full decision, which would be published on Friday (February 28), obliged Swiss banks to show increased vigilance when it comes to Ukrainian funds, he added. 

COMMENT: Asked whether Yanukovych or his entourage would be blocked from receiving visas to the country if they were to make such an application, the foreign ministry spokesman would only say that "Switzerland is following very closely the situation in Ukraine." 

It is unclear whether Yanukovych himself has funds in the wealthy Alpine nation, but his son, Alexander, reportedly opened a branch of his Management Assets Company (MAKO) in Geneva in late 2011. 

Unfortunately, Yanukovych's conglomerate reportedly controls nearly half of the Ukrainian coal production and an estimated one-third of its electricity production and distribution.