MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. Deputy head of Russia’s presidential staff, Dmitry Kozak, sees as illogical the high treason charges brought against Ukrainian politician, head of the political council of the Oppositional Platform - For Life party, Viktor Medvedchuk, against the backdrop of remaining trading relations between Moscow and Kiev. Interviewed on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock television news channel on Wednesday, Kozak described this stance as "duplicity."
He said that "today’s trade turnover, despite the restrictions and mutual sanctions that Ukraine’s previous president, Pyotr Poroshenko, had imposed and the incumbent president, Vladimir Zelensky, is adding, stands at $11 billion."
In 2020 alone, Ukraine and its businesses close to the Ukrainian authorities imported $6.7 billion worth of goods.
"These incomes go to Russia, which in accordance with the Ukrainian parliament’s 2018 law is an aggressor country," Kozak said.
"We derive incomes from this. Our economy gets stronger. We collect taxes. These taxes are used to maintain our state and address the social and economic issues. It is an open secret that with this money we provide humanitarian assistance to Donbass," he went on to say. "If this logic is to be followed, everybody who has purchased goods and services from Russia, must take a seat next to Medvedchuk."
Kozak pointed out that decisions in favor of import from Russia were taken by Ukraine’s current authorities, which "disburse budget money for the purchase of the corresponding goods," and "allow big business tycoons close to them to purchase these goods in Russia and to pay money here."
In the first quarter of 2021 this trade turnover, he said, grew in many respects - import from Russia in value terms was up 1.5% and in real terms, 20%.
"Where is the logic? From the formal standpoint, Ukraine’s imports from Russia and payments for them in Russia are precisely the kind of activity that Medvedchuk was involved in himself. It is impossible to explain," Kozak said.
A court in Kiev on May 13 put Medvedchuk under house arrest till July 9. He was charged with high treason and violation of the laws and customs of war. The Prosecutor-General’s Office made public several recordings of what it said were telephone conversations between Medvedchuk and Russian officials, who were discussing energy supplies. Medvedchuk said the audios were fakes and dismissed all charges against him as groundless and unproven.
He described the authorities’ actions as an "attempt to muzzle me personally, the Opposition Platform - For Life and the opposition in general.".