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4 April, 2014 17:25   ▪  

Ukraine’s ex-PM Asarov trying to get his EU money back

Diplomats have revealed that the former Ukrainian regime members trying to get off an EU visa ban and asset freeze are ex-PM Mykola Azarov and his son Oleksii. The EUobserver reports.

Three diplomatic sources told The EUobserver on Thursday (3 April) the so-called Coest working group in the EU Council is considering their request.

It was previously reported that a German law firm, Alber & Geiger, is working for at least two people on the sanctions register. It declines to say who they are.

But the diplomatic contacts said the firm sent a letter on the Azarovs’ behalf to the Council on 5 March, the same day the EU sanctions entered into force. The letter refers to Mykola and his “family members,” with 32-year-old Oleksii, also a politician, the only other Azarov on the blacklist.

"The 5 March letter was just the beginning," The EUobserver says. The firm sent a second note to the Council on 25 March with “points for consideration” by Coest. It sent similar letters to all 28 EU countries’ embassies in Brussels on 26 March. It also approached at least one MEP, British Conservative Charles Tannock, for a meeting.

The Azarovs’ current whereabouts are unknown.

In terms of procedure, all 28 EU countries must agree to delist the men. The EU foreign service and the European Commission then draft a legal text to formalise the decision.

If they say No, Alber & Geiger can take the case to the EU courts in Luxembourg.

One EU diplomat said it is “very rare” for the Council to back down without a courtroom scrap. But Alber & Geiger believes a court ruling this week plays in his favour.


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