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KIEV, October 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The investigation of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Timoshenko’s role in signing gas agreements with Russia in January 2009 was initiated the "by the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, hot on the heels," sources at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
On the basis of the results of negotiations with the Russian side and the conclusion of contracts between Gazprom and Naftogaz the president called a meeting of the Security Council on February 10, 2009 to declare that "the risks for the Ukrainian side were due to Timoshenko’s single-handedly issued directives to sign the contracts."
"The significant appreciation of the price of gas embedded in the contracts did not comply with the directives of the president," the Security Council said. At the February meeting the government's job “to ensure national energy security was found unsatisfactory." In this regard, the National Security Council instructed the prosecutor-general and the Security Service of Ukraine to conduct a check within one month into "Ukrainian officials’ compliance with Ukrainian legislation in negotiating and concluding contracts with the Russian side, including the preparation and adoption of directives on the negotiations" in Moscow. As the Security Council’s staff said, "the decision on the matter was unanimously approved, but before the vote Timoshenko left the meeting and two other Security Council members were absent that day."
President Viktor Yanukovich on Tuesday said that the current authorities had inherited the criminal case against Timoshenko from the previous government. "The criminal case was initiated on behalf of the Security Council of Ukraine in February 2009. It was investigated by law enforcement agencies and logically ended with the ruling of the court," said the president. Yanukovich replaced Yushchenko after his victory in the presidential elections in February 2010.
A court in Kiev on October 11 sentenced Timoshenko to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of about 200 million dollars for exceeding her authority in signing gas contracts.