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Austria releases list of Ukrainians to have assets frozen

The government has released the list of Ukrainians who will have any of their bank accounts and assets held in Austria frozen.

The published list of eighteen names follows the news on Friday that Austria would block the bank accounts until more definitive measures from the European Union will take effect. Some of the names on the list include ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, his son Oleksander, and his Chief of Staff Andriy Klyuev.

Families of those accused of having money stored away in foreign countries have reacted to the news angrily with the Klyuev family releasing a statement saying that Andriy has "always stated that he has no property or bank accounts in Austria, which can be proven".

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein similar freezing measures have been used and in Switzerland they also included Andriy's brother Serhiy Klyuev although he was not on the list released by Austria.

Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has been accused of putting billions of state Euros into offshore accounts although he has also denied having any foreign bank accounts, describing the accusations as "empty chatter". However the prosecutor’s office in Geneva has launched a money laundering investigation into Yanukovych and his son Aleksander.

The move to freeze assets follows a statement made last month by German MEP Rebecca Harms where she said Austrian media believe Ukrainians oligarchs and politicians held Austrian passports or long-term residency permits, which has also been denied on the Ukrainian side. An official request has been placed with the Austrian government to investigate this.

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