The EU has suffered a blow over its decision to impose sanctions on five Ukrainians.
If Ukraine continues to investigate the cases of those suspected in such a way, sooner or later all sanctions will be lifted
The General Court of the EU says the men, including ex prime minister Mykola Azarov and other former officials, should not have been on a list imposed in 2014 and the sanctions should be overturned.
Why? The court says not enough evidence was provided against them.
“During the last year we have sent more than 70 letters with the information about the investigation process to European institutions,” said Serhiy Horbatyuk, from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.
“We provided them with all the necessary information, in order for them to make a decision to extend sanctions.”
The sanctions came after probes into the alleged misuse and embezzlement of public funds, launched by the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office.
“This is another signal for Ukraine. If Ukraine continues to investigate the cases of those suspected in such a way, sooner or later all sanctions will be lifted,” said Mykhailo Ilyashev, a Ukrainian legal expert.
Back in 2014, the EU targeted several people with links to the former Ukrainian administration, freezing assets and restricting travel.
It came after mass protests which eventually brought about the ousting of then President Viktor Yanukovych.