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Rich Ukrainians head to Vienna

The head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Serge Kluijev has been in Austria for a week, staying in his family villa near the Vienna Woods following the overthrow of the government in Ukraine.

He is thought to be one of many people associated with the now ousted Prime Minister Yanukovych, who has built connections in Austria.

According to Krone Zeitung, the motto of the Ukrainian elite is "Rich in Austria" and refers to the fact that many allies of Yanukovych and Yanukovych himself have built property in Lower Austria and generally through the Federal Capital.

Recently, the former premier minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov flew to Vienna after he gave up his position to visit his son and daughter-in-law in one of the most prestigious areas in Vienna.

The news that Kluijev is in Austria follows the suggestion made last week by Austria's secretary state for finance that Austrian bank accounts owned by Ukrainian oligarchs who support those authorising the violence in Kiev could be frozen.

"That would be a political signal to support Ukraine's democratic movement," said Sonja Stessl (SPOe).

Earlier in February German MEP Rebecca Harms (Greens) said that journalists investigating the issue of Austrian passports presume that some Ukrainian politicians, or members of their families, could have Austrian passports or longer term residence permits.

The Ukrainian leaders named by Rebecca Harms included  Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Serhiv Arbuzov, former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and the man who was expected to be named as the next Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev.

An official request has been placed with the Austrian government to investigate if some of the Ukrainian leaders do have Austrian passports.

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