Ukrainian opposition slams US sanctions
Ukraine’s second-largest political party, Opposition Platform – For Life, has come out against the decision by officials in Washington to sanction two of its members for allegedly seeking to take over the government.
In a statement published on the party’s website on Thursday, it slammed the economic measures the US had imposed earlier that day on its MPs Taras Kozak and Oleg Voloshyn. According to the Americans, the two politicians had “played various roles in Russia’s global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin’s political objectives,” along with Vladimir Oliynyk, a former official, and Vladimir Sivkovich, the former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. The new measures mean that all US-based property and interests owned by the four must be declared and blocked.
Opposition Platform – For Life slammed the sanctions as “aimed at obstructing parliamentary activity” and an “act of international political terror carried out at the behest of the criminal Ukrainian authorities.” Kiev had already previously placed restrictions on Kozak and the three TV channels he owns: NewsOne, ZiK, and 112 Ukraine.
“There is no doubt that the imposition of these sanctions was the result of close communication and personal agreements between Volodymyr Zelensky and representatives of the United States,” the statement reads, accusing the authorities in Kiev of trying to censure political opposition. It also accuses Zelensky of cowardice, alleging he was turning to the US for support, thereby putting Ukraine under foreign control.
Viktor Medvedchuk, the chair of the party’s political council, has already had sanctions imposed on him, and is under house arrest having been accused of treason. Opposition Platform – For Life is currently the second-largest party in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.