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Timoshenko: Ukrainian authorities in collusion with oligarchs

September 26, 2015, 14:29 UTC+3

"Until their monopoly is destroyed, Ukraine will have no free market economy", said ex-Ukrainian prime minister, the leader of the Batkivshchina party, Yuliya Timoshenko

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Yulia Timoshenko

Yulia Timoshenko

© Zurab Dzhavahazhze/TASS

BERLIN, September 26. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko and the country's government are not actively fighting oligarchic clans, ex-Ukrainian prime minister, the leader of the Batkivshchina party, Yuliya Timoshenko, said in an interview published in the German magazine Der Spiegel.

"There’s no war with oligarchs, all work jointly with them. But until their monopoly is destroyed, Ukraine will have no free market economy. Reforms are implemented unwillingly, and people feel it. A total of 72% of Ukrainians say the country is following a wrong path," Timoshenko said.

She said the "new leadership is under the influence of [oligarchic] clans formed over the past 24 years."

"They own nearly all TV channels and most part of the Ukrainian economy, they keep managing the country," Timoshenko said.

She called inclusion of journalists into Ukraine’s sanctions list "a step to the past."

"A free state needs free media," Timoshenko said.

On September 16, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko approved Ukraine's sanctions list, which also comprised head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko and Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) leader Igor Plotnitsky, as well as ministers and senior lawmakers of the self-proclaimed republics.

Overall, Kiev's restrictive measures embrace 105 legal entities and 388 individuals, including high-ranking officials and a number of media employees from Russia and other countries.

In particular, employees of TASS, RIA Novosti, Izvestiya and Rossiyskaya Gazeta publications, RUPTLY news agency,, NTV, Channel 1, director general of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency Dmitry Kiselyov found themselves under sanctions.

The punitive measures against blacklisted persons include visa bans and asset freezes.

The blacklist comprised also the names of two Spanish correspondents, three BBC journalists and one reporter from Germany.

On September 17, Ukrainian Information Policy Minister Yury Stets admitted that the list of media representatives that came under Ukrainian sanctions is questionable and needs to be amended. After that, President Pyotr Poroshenko instructed the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council to exclude the names of Western journalists from the blacklist.

After a coup occurred in Ukraine in February 2014, mass protests soon erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents, mostly Russian speakers, did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

In response, Kiev in April 2014 announced the start of "an antiterrorism operation" in east Ukraine, which involved the Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry’s National Guard and volunteer battalions made up of Euromaidan activists, many of whom hold far-right and neo-Nazi views.

Ukrainian troops have been engaged in fierce fighting with local militias during Kiev’s punitive operation, underway since mid-April 2014, against the breakaway territories - the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics constituting parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.

Massive shelling of residential neighborhoods, including with the use of aviation, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian disaster in the area.

Kiev has regularly violated the ceasefire regime imposed as part of the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk Agreements.

The Package (Minsk-2) was signed on February 12, 2015 in the Belarusian capital Minsk by participants of the Contact Group on settlement in Donbass.

The Package, earlier agreed with the leaders of the Normandy Four (Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine) envisioned an overwhelming cessation of fire and withdrawal of heavy armaments to create a security area in the region at least 50 kilometers wide.

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