Impose sanctions on Ukrainian oligarchs and government officials involved in crime
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Mr. Frans Timmermans, The Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Ms. Anouchka van Miltenburg, The Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives
Mr. Ivo Opstelten, The Minister of Justice and Security
Mr. Henk Kamp, The Minister of Economic Affairs
Mr. Eric Wiebes, State Secretary for Finance
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM)
Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD)
The violent crackdown of Ukrainian police and government-sanctioned thugs on protesters at Maidan square in Kyiv has an apparent conclusion: the president of Ukraine mr. Yanukovych and the government are responsible for civilian deaths and appalling violence. Months of hypocrisy and attempts of Ukrainian government to distort the truth are over.
The authoritarian regime of Yanukovych has acquired clear traits of a dictatorship: no responsibility whatsoever for the police violence on November 30, 2013, false terrorism allegations of civilians, blocked highways and independent TV stations, torturing, kidnapping and organized terror of civilian protesters. As of the morning of February 20, civilians are being killed by firearms at Maidan sq. despite the declared truce by Yanukovych. The Rule of Law, human rights and democracy standards in Ukraine have deteriorated at an unprecedented pace since November 2013.
The diplomatic efforts undertaken by European Member States, the soft power and the expressions of concern have proven to be ineffective means of addressing a dictator. Ukrainian president’s reputation of being unpredictable and untrustworthy has only been reaffirmed since the Vilnius Summit negotiations in November 2013.
The single most effective leverage point is targeting the assets Ukrainian oligarchs that are both beneficiaries of the current Ukrainian establishment, financers and supporters of the government. Ukrainian oligarchs are the ones who orchestrate pro-government puppet MPs, and prevent peaceful resolution by their silent consent to the escalation of outrageous violence. Ukrainian oligarchs appear to understand no language but the language of economic pressure.
As long as the Kingdom of the Netherlands declares dedication to the principles of Rule of Law and Human Rights, we demand that the Dutch government impose personal and economic sanctions on the concerned Ukrainian oligarchs including Mr. Akhmetov, Mr. Novinsky, as well as on Ukrainian President and his family members, members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, members of the Party of Regions of Ukraine and Ukrainian Communist Party, all employees of security and law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices and courts of Ukraine.
We urge you to recognize the two apparent and legitimate reasons for freezing any assets associated with the abovementioned persons:
1. These individuals are financing, sanctioning or otherwise involved in crime including terror and violence.
2. There are reasons to believe that businesses structured through trust companies are involved in illegal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion, abuse of public procurement or privatization which is detrimental to people of Ukraine.
We urge you to initiate investigation of the money laundering practices of the legal entities established and/or operating in the Netherlands and associated with the aforementioned individuals. The enclosed document lists some of the entities resulting from previous public investigation.
Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the following points:
• The European Union has called on its member states to impose sanctions
• The sanctions are demanded against individuals and not against Ukrainian State
• There is no apparent reason that targeting the entities of Ukrainian oligarchs involved in crime would affect the investment climate of trust companies in the Netherlands
• The government of Austria, another favorite domicile of Ukrainian oligarchs has already announced the introduction of sanctions. We urge you to put pressure on your European colleagues to follow suit.
• In 2011, the freezing of Ghadaffi assets was carried out instantaneously and contributed significantly to the democracy building in Libya.
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