Ukrainian Tycoon’s Lawyer Says Allegations Against His Client Are ‘Wrong’
June 21, 2021 18:17 GMT – By RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service
Ukraine’s controversial tycoon Dmytro Firtash has denied the allegations behind Kyiv’s move to impose sanctions on him for selling titanium products that the Ukrainian government believes end up being used by Russian military enterprises.
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which coordinates security policy, last week announced the sanctions against Firtash, who is currently living in Vienna while fighting extradition to the United States.
Firtash’s lawyer in the United States, Lanny Davis, said on June 21 that his client had not been officially notified of the decision to impose sanctions against him.
Nonetheless, “Mr. Firtash categorically denies the allegations, which he says are wrong,” Davis said, refusing to comment further.
Ukraine has been fighting Russia-backed separatists in its eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk since 2014, following Moscow’s illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
Kyiv accuses Moscow of sending troops and arms to support the separatists, whom it calls terrorists.
Firtash, one of Ukraine’s richest men and a one-time ally of ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych, is wanted for bribery and racketeering charges in the United States.
Firtash denies those charges as well, calling them politically motivated. He is currently seeking a new trial after Austria’s Supreme Court upheld his extradition in 2019.
If extradited, the oligarch may faces many years in prison in the United States.