Interfax-Ukrainehttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/last.htmlInformation about recent political developments in Ukraine, key Ukrainian economic news and major current events in the CIS and the rest of the world.http://static.interfax.com.ua/images/rss_logo_180x180.jpghttp://static.interfax.com.ua/images/rss_logo_180x180.jpgenoffice@interfax.kiev.uaThu, 25 May 2017 12:31:33 GMT5Ukraine's forex reserves grow to $17.6 blnhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424052.html<p>Ukraine's foreign currency reserves are estimated at $17.6 billion at the moment, Deputy Govenor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Oleh Churiy has said.</p> <p>"The NBU's international forex reserves have constantly been growing due to forex purchases and are now $17.6 billion," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.</p> Ukraine's foreign currency reserves are estimated at $17.6 billion at the moment, Deputy Govenor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Oleh Churiy has said.Economyhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424052.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 12:22:06 GMTDonetsk region's appeals court dismisses lawyers' appeal re seizure of Yanukovych's $1.5 blnhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424050.html<p>A court has dismissed an appeal against the special confiscation of $1.5-billion assets of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his allies, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said on Facebook on Thursday.</p> <p>"The Appeals Court of Donetsk Region has declined to open a proceeding on the impoundment of $1.5 billion at the request of lawyers representing non-resident entities of Yanukovych's criminal enterprise," the office said.</p> <p>It said it had not received a copy of the court ruling so far.</p> <p>The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) said on April 28 that Oschadbank (the State Savings Bank of Ukraine) started to impound $1.5 billion belonging to former Ukrainian President Yanukovych and his associates. The impoundment order had been issued by the Kramatorsk court in Donetsk region, and the appeal window already closed by then.</p> <p>Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said later on that day that the Kramatorsk court had decided to impound money of Yanukovych and his associates on the basis of testimony provided by one associate, who received a suspended sentence in exchange.</p> <p>"The Prosecutor General's Office in Ukraine has long been investigating this case under Article 255 (creation of a criminal group), in which suspects are citizens Yanukovych, [Ukrainian businessman Serhiy] Kurchenko, [former minister of taxes and income Oleksandr] Klymenko, [former First Vice Prime Minister Serhiy] Arbuzov, as well as a number of other influential personalities of that time ... While investigating the case [embezzlement of budget funds] [the investigators have] identified a member of the gang who has given full incriminating testimony against the high-ranking officials, [elaborating on] the methods and ways of the crime, naming exact companies and bank accounts in the world, as well as their further use in Ukraine This was taken into account by the court of Kramatorsk," Lutsenko said.</p> <p>According to Lutsenko, the identified member was given a suspended sentence. He and the judge of the case are "under protection," he added.</p> <p>The prosecutor general said Oschadbank completed the impoundment of $1.5 billion the same day.</p> <p>Lutsenko informed about the secrecy of the trial and the ruling by the Kramatorsk court in the Yanukovych special confiscation case "in order to ensure the safety of the key witness, or rather, the person who has signed the agreement." "There are still people who will follow the same path [signing an agreement with the investigation] regarding other assets," he added.</p> A court has dismissed an appeal against the special confiscation of $1.5-billion assets of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his allies, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said on Facebook on Thursday.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424050.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 12:16:40 GMTNo alternative to pension system in Ukraine, but it should not impoverish pensioners – Mingarellihttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424049.html<p>The Ukrainian authorities have held consultations, including with European institutions, on the pension reform project in Ukraine, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said.</p> <p>"There have been many consultations. We are not on the frontline in this area because there are other international players such as IMF, World Bank that are far more engaged than we are in this process, but we were also asked and we are informed of those discussions," he said.</p> <p>The diplomat also said that the EU also shares the view that the Ukrainian pension system is not self-sufficient, and there is no other way but to reform it.</p> <p>"It is important to reform it first of all to get sound funding and it should be reformed as well to protect the most vulnerable population group because we know that many pensioners live in poverty and the reform of the pension system should not lead to even more poverty," Mingarelli said.</p> The Ukrainian authorities have held consultations, including with European institutions, on the pension reform project in Ukraine, Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424049.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 12:15:59 GMTEU wants as many people from eastern Ukraine as possible to visit Europehttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424041.html<p>The European Union would like to see as many people from the eastern region of Ukraine as possible to to visit the EU countries, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said.</p> <p>"My wish is as many Ukrainian people as possible, especially from the eastern part of the country, could visit the EU, so that they could assess themselves and see the way how people live there. Visa regime is the best way to counter fake news as people can see themselves what the realities are," he told in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.</p> <p>The ambassador also noted that according to the data available to him, only 4-5% of the inhabitants of eastern Ukraine were in the EU countries, while in the western regions this figure was 20-25%.</p> <p>Mingarelli said that all citizens of Ukraine who have biometric passports can use the visa-free regime.</p> <p>"All Ukrainian citizens who hold biometric passports, will benefit from this new visa-free regime. All of them, regardless of where they are: in Donbas, Crimea or Luhansk regions or in the territories under control of the Ukrainian authorities can visit the EU countries," he said.</p> <p>As reported, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that residents of territories that are beyond the control of the Ukrainian authorities can get use of the visa-free regime after the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over these territories.</p> The European Union would like to see as many people from the eastern region of Ukraine as possible to to visit the EU countries, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424041.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:54:24 GMTKyiv to submit prisoner lists to OSCE, to demand info about themhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424040.html<p>Kyiv is set to submit a list of 128 Ukrainian citizens held in Donbas to the OSCE on Thursday in order to obtain information about them, Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairperson and Ukrainian representative in the Trilateral Contact Group's humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko said.</p> <p>"We demand that 128 Ukrainian citizens held on occupied territory be released. We will again submit this list to the OSCE today and will demand that information about the whereabouts of these people and their fate be provided and that they be included in the prisoner swap list," Gerashchenko said in parliament on Thursday.</p> <p>The Ukrainian side also wants civilians held in occupied Donbas to be included in those lists, she said.</p> <p>In Gerashchenko's words, Valeria Lutkovska, Ukraine's human rights commissioner, was not permitted at the negotiations in Minsk on Wednesday to visit prisons in the territories uncontrolled by Kyiv.</p> <p>"They have said that a certain ombudsman from the so-called DPR [the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic] has already given mandate to a certain member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. We can only guess what it is about," she said.</p> Kyiv is set to submit a list of 128 Ukrainian citizens held in Donbas to the OSCE on Thursday in order to obtain information about them, Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairperson and Ukrainian representative in the Trilateral Contact Group's humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko said.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424040.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:53:44 GMTEx-chief of Dnipropetrovsk region's tax office remanded to 60 days with bail set at UAH 100 mlnhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424039.html<p>Kyiv's Pechersky District Court has remanded former head of Dnipropetrovsk region's tax authority Serhiy Shynkarenko to 60 days in pretrial confinement, setting bail at UAH 100 million.</p> <p>The ruling was made by judge Katerina Moskalenko.</p> <p>Yevhen Yatsyno, a representative of the Military Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine, said investigators have grounds to suspect Shynkarenko used his authority for personal gain and participated in an organization functioning in the so-called 'tax centers' scheme connected with ex-head of Ukraine's income and taxes authority Oleksandr Klymenko [who fled to Russia following the Revolution of Dignity in early 2014].</p> <p>Investigators believe Shynkarenko's actions led to state losses amounting to UAH 2.341 billion.</p> <p>Prosecutors say the suspect often travels abroad and visits occupied Crimea, where he has an apartment and can hide from Ukrainian law-enforcement officials.</p> <p>According to prosecutors, Shynkarenko has assets exceeding UAH 320 million, which he obtained when he headed Dnipropetrovsk region's tax administration.</p> <p>Shynkarenko said he did not expect such a large bail to be set and would appeal the court decision.</p> Kyiv's Pechersky District Court has remanded former head of Dnipropetrovsk region's tax authority Serhiy Shynkarenko to 60 days in pretrial confinement, setting bail at UAH 100 million.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424039.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:52:56 GMTUkraine's central bank lowers refinancing ratehttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424021.html<p>The board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has decided to lower the refinancing rate to 12.5% as of May 26, 2017, from 13% per annum.</p> <p>The decision was sealed in NBU resolution No. 318-rsh on May 25, 2017, the NBU said in a statement.</p> The board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has decided to lower the refinancing rate to 12.5% as of May 26, 2017, from 13% per annum.Economyhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424021.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:31:46 GMTAvdiyivka coke plant works at full capacity - first time in three years of Donbas hostilitieshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424020.html<p>Metinvest Group's Avdiyivka coking and chemical plant, Europe's largest enterprise in its sector, has started to work at full capacity for the first time in three years of Donbas hostilities after new high voltage power lines have been built.</p> <p>Avdiyivka coke plant's eighth coke-oven battery delivered produce on May 24, Metinvest said in a statement.</p> <p>Intensive shelling in August 2014 cut the plant off the power grids and it had to suspend production. Due to a sharp temperature drop, the refractory masonry of coke-oven battery No. 8 was damaged. The plant's workers managed to repair it on their own, however, irregular power supply did not allow the unit to be put into operation for a long time.</p> <p>Thanks to the construction of new high-voltage lines "Tsentralna - Avdiyivka coke plant" and "Kotliarevsky - Avdiyivka coke plant," the enterprise was able to cease the idle state and restart equipment of all structural divisions.</p> <p>The re-launch of the eighth coke-oven battery will let the plant boost output to 8,500 tonnes of furnace coke per day.</p> <p>As was reported, Avdiyivka coke plant in January-April 2017 reduced output of 6%-humidity gross coke by 27.7% year-over-year, to 716,000 tonnes.</p> <p>In 2016, its output was 2.397 million tonnes of furnace coke and in 2015 it was 1.996 million tonnes.</p> <p>The plant is in the zone of active military operations since 2014. Since then it has been hit by over 320 shells, 12 plant workers have been killed, over 50 workers have been wounded. The plant has suspended its work 15 times, it has been cut off the power grids over 200 times.</p> <p>It is part of Metinvest Group whose major shareholders are PrJSC System Capital Management with 71.24% and Smart-Holding with 23.76%.</p> <p>LLC Metinvest Holding is Metinvest Group's managing company.</p> Metinvest Group's Avdiyivka coking and chemical plant, Europe's largest enterprise in its sector, has started to work at full capacity for the first time in three years of Donbas hostilities after new high voltage power lines have been built.Economyhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424020.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:31:11 GMTCourt frees former Crimean tax chief Tsyrkun on personal recognizancehttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424014.html<p>Kyiv's Pechersky district court has ruled to free former Crimean tax chief Kostiantyn Tsyrkun on personal recognizance.</p> <p>He was released in the court room.</p> <p>Yet, the suspect should visit investigators at their request and turn in his travel documents.</p> <p>Prosecutors requested two-month detention or UAH 31 million bail for Tsyrkun.</p> Kyiv's Pechersky district court has ruled to free former Crimean tax chief Kostiantyn Tsyrkun on personal recognizance.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424014.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:26:14 GMTMany Ukrainians trying to prevent NABU's activitieshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424010.html<p>Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli believes that there are many people in Ukraine who interfere with the work of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), including representatives of the Ukrainian authorities.</p> <p>"There are many people in Ukraine, which as you know, present group and material interests who are trying to prevent the work of NABU for known reasons," Mingarelli said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.</p> <p>Answering the question whether there are people in the Ukrainian government who oppose the work of NABU, the ambassador said: "They are everywhere, they are in the Rada, the government, they are present in the civil society and their presentation is very strong in the Ukrainian media."</p> <p>The diplomat said that such resistance to NABU's work is related to its professional activities.</p> <p>"NABU is investigating a high level corruption cases. If I had been a very rich Ukrainian citizen, who had been stealing money for years since Independence, I would not like the NABU to be efficient and independent and I would have done everything to hinder its activities," Mingarelli said.</p> Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli believes that there are many people in Ukraine who interfere with the work of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), including representatives of the Ukrainian authorities.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424010.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:17:43 GMTAvakov hopes for harsher court rulings on key arrested tax officialshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424007.html<p>Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said he hopes courts will make less lenient rulings on pretrial confinement for key suspects among tax officials arrested on May 24 during a massive anti-corruption special operation. Several of those arrested have already been released on bail.</p> <p>"I hope today's court sessions dealing with key suspects in the case will be much more objective. If not, then we will have to sit down with the head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) and come up with different plans," Avakov told journalists in Kyiv on Thursday.</p> <p>"We will appeal to ordinary Ukrainians for support," the minister said, adding that bail amounts set for several of the suspects was too low.</p> <p>As earlier reported, on Wednesday morning law-enforcement officials arrested former tax officials in 15 Ukrainian regions. The former officials worked under ex-minister of income and taxes Oleksandr Klymenko [who fled Ukraine to Russia following the Revolution of Dignity in 2013/14].</p> <p>Kyiv's Pechersky court on Wednesday selected pretrial restrictions in the form of bail for five former heads of Ukrainian tax agencies who were detained as part of the crackdown: former head of Luhansk region's tax service Oleksandr Antipov, former head of Poltava region's tax service Volodymyr Zadorozhniy, former head of Kyiv's Sviatoshynsky district tax office Yuriy Mostipan, former head of the tax office in Kyiv's Podilsky district Oleksiy Yaroshenko, and former head of the tax office in Kyiv's Darnytsky district Yuriy Kravchenko. The rulings on Antipov and Zadorozhniy have been appealed.</p> Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said he hopes courts will make less lenient rulings on pretrial confinement for key suspects among tax officials arrested on May 24 during a massive anti-corruption special operation. Several of those arrested have already been released on bail.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/424007.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 11:13:06 GMTBusinessman Yaroslavsky says he may sell his stake in Ukrtatnaftahttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424003.html<p>Businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavsky admits he may sell his stake in PJSC Ukrtatnafta, which runs Kremenchuk oil refinery in Poltava region.</p> <p>"I am a portfolio investor of Ukrtatnafta and I'm not engaged in its business activity. I have a stake that belongs to me. If it turns out they offer a good price for this package, I will sell it," he said in an interview with the Internet portal censor.net.</p> <p>As reported, Ukrtatnafta in 2016 reduced net loss by 52.4%, or UAH 215.133 million, from 2015, to UAH 202.544 million. Net revenue over the period under review decreased by 7%, to UAH 23.840 billion, gross profit fell by 47.4%, to UAH 1.270 billion.</p> <p>Ukrtatnafta in 2016 increased crude oil refining by 8.9%, or 179,000 tonnes, from 2015, to 2.195 million tonnes. Last year, the company did not process customer-supplied raw materials, whereas in 2015, it provided tolling services, having processed of 424,500 tonnes of raw materials.</p> <p>Ukrtatnafta in 2017 plans to boost crude oil refining by 35-50% from 2016, to 3-3.3 million tonnes in 2017.</p> <p>Kremenchuk oil refinery's processing capacity is 18.6 million tonnes of crude oil per year, the nominal capacity is about 7.3 million tonnes per year.</p> <p>NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine owns 43.05% of Ukrtatnafta's shares, while 28% is controlled by the Privat Group's structures and businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, each.</p> Businessman Oleksandr Yaroslavsky admits he may sell his stake in PJSC Ukrtatnafta, which runs Kremenchuk oil refinery in Poltava region.Economyhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/424003.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 10:59:55 GMTAdvisor to former acting head of Ukraine's Geology Service says unknown persons raiding officehttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423991.html<p>Nataliya Melen, the advisor and press secretary of Mykola Boyakin, who, according to a government order, was acting head of Ukraine's State Geology and Mineral Resources Service from January 23, 2015, through May 18, 2017, has said unknown persons have raided the office of Boyakin.</p> <p>"Today, on May 25, unknown persons have seized the office of the chairman of Ukraine's State Geology and Mineral Resources Service. Employees are alarmed. They are not being allowed to work. Verkhovna Rada members have arrived on the scene. The service has been surrounded by activists and law-enforcement authorities …. There is information these unknown persons have attempted to receive access to documents, stamps and the safe," Melen said.</p> <p>As earlier reported, Boyakin was named acting head of the service pursuant to Cabinet order No. 43-r on January 23, 2015. Cabinet order No. 320-r issued on May 18, 2017, abrogated his tenure as acting head, and order No. 321-r appointed Oleh Kyryliuk as acting head of the service.</p> <p>According to information from the non-governmental organization Geology Ukraine, Kyiv's district court on May 19 voided Cabinet order No. 316-317-r and order No. 320-321-r, dated May 18, 2017.</p> <p>NGO activists, who petitioned for the court order, said the court also forbade Ukraine's Justice Ministry and other authorized organs to make changes to the state register based on the Cabinet's instructions.</p> Nataliya Melen, the advisor and press secretary of Mykola Boyakin, who, according to a government order, was acting head of Ukraine's State Geology and Mineral Resources Service from January 23, 2015, through May 18, 2017, has said unknown persons have raided the office of Boyakin.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423991.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 10:27:22 GMTKyiv court decides on pretrial restrictions for three ex-taxmen detained amid anti-corruption crackdownhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423977.html<p>Kyiv's Pechersky court has selected pretrial restrictions for three former heads of Ukrainian tax agencies who were detained as part of a massive anti-corruption crackdown on May 24, the Ukrainian news portal 112.ua has reported.</p> <p>Former head of Kyiv's Sviatoshynsky district tax office Yuriy Mostypan was released on condition of posting UAH 1 million bail. He will also have to wear an ankle monitor.</p> <p>Former head of Poltava region's tax service Volodymyr Zadorozhniy was also obliged to wear an ankle monitor. He should post UAH 12 million bail to be released pending court hearings.</p> <p>Former head of the tax office in Kyiv's Podilsky district Oleksiy Yaroshenko was freed on personal recognizance.</p> Kyiv's Pechersky court has selected pretrial restrictions for three former heads of Ukrainian tax agencies who were detained as part of a massive anti-corruption crackdown on May 24, the Ukrainian news portal 112.ua has reported.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423977.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:58:16 GMTStockholm arbitration may issue head-note ruling by end of May, provide details laterhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/423974.html<p>The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce may issue a head-note ruling on the gas supply contract between Naftogaz Ukrainy and Russia's Gazprom before the end of May 2017, and then it can provide a detailed decision, Naftogaz Chief Commercial Officer Yuriy Vitrenko told reporters.</p> <p>"We expect the decision from Stockholm before the end of May so far, which will be a formal legally binding decision," he said.</p> <p>"Perhaps the settlement of some other issues will be postponed to a later date, perhaps June, and perhaps not June, it's still being discussed, there are no other indications," Vitrenko added.</p> <p>Gazprom earlier said in its report that the decision by the Stockholm arbitration on the gas supply contract with Naftogaz was expected on June 30.</p> <p>As of the beginning of April 2017, the mutual claims of Gazprom and Naftogaz under a contract for the purchase and sale of natural gas were about $45.7 billion and $17.9 billion, respectively.</p> The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce may issue a head-note ruling on the gas supply contract between Naftogaz Ukrainy and Russia's Gazprom before the end of May 2017, and then it can provide a detailed decision, Naftogaz Chief Commercial Officer Yuriy Vitrenko told reporters.Economyhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/423974.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:53:44 GMTThin line between fighting propaganda and limiting freedom of expression - Mingarelli on Russian websites banhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423969.html<p>The Ukrainian authorities should be careful with fighting propaganda, as the line between this kind of fight and limitations on free speech is very thin, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said.</p> <p>The ambassador told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency in an interview the line was very thin and he was not qualified to say what this line should look like. This is a highly sensitive question, and one needs to be very careful, the ambassador said when Interfax asked him to draw a line between the fight against propaganda and limitations on the ability of media outlets to express their point of view.</p> <p>The European Union understands that Ukraine is deterring a disinformation campaign, which is part of hybrid warfare, but at the same time the Ukrainian authorities' decision to block a number of Russian online resources, including the VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social media, should not limit free speech, he said.</p> <p>This measure should not limit free speech and communication in Ukraine; its possible impact on free speech should be analyzed, and the EU would ask Kyiv to revise it in case such limitations occur, Mingarelli said.</p> The Ukrainian authorities should be careful with fighting propaganda, as the line between this kind of fight and limitations on free speech is very thin, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli has said.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423969.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:39:40 GMTNasirov assists investigation into 'tax centers' criminal schemehttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423968.html<p>Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoliy Matios has said that suspended State Fiscal Services of Ukraine chief Roman Nasirov has assisted in the investigation of the so-called illegal 'tax scheme' used by former tax officials throughout Ukraine.</p> <p>"It took longer to investigate the case because it was impossible [for investigators] to immerse themselves in the debris of such a complicated organization that for a long time morphed into various ministries of revenues, state fiscal services and so on," Matios said in an interview with the Kyiv-based 112.ua on Wednesday evening.</p> <p>He said a meeting was held after head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Yuriy Lutsenko had sent the 'tax centers' case to the military prosecutor's office.</p> <p>"The chairman from the State Fiscal Service was Roman Nasirov. We wouldn't have been able to crack the case without his knowledge of all the various components of the scheme," Matios said.</p> <p>Asked whether Nasirov's contribution to cracking the case would mitigate charges against him, Matios responded: "I don't have an opinion, but only lay out the facts. Whether [Nasirov's help] could mitigate the charges against him – I do not know," Matios said.</p> <p>As earlier reported, Nasirov is suspected of committing crimes pursuant to Part 2 of Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misuse of public office leading to serious consequences).</p> <p>The National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine suspects Nasirov of taking a number of unfounded and illegal decisions on repayment terms for rental payments on exploitation of natural energy reserves from May 2015 through March 2016 as part of the so-called "Onyshchenko's gas scheme." [Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine deputy Oleksandr] Onyshchenko has fled Ukraine. The scheme allegedly led to more than UAH 2.019 billion in losses to the state.</p> <p>On March 2, 2017, NABU agents served a notice of suspicion to Nasirov, who was subsequently hospitalized at the Feofania clinic outside Kyiv.</p> <p>Kyiv's Solomyansky District Court on March 7 remanded Nasirov in custody for 60 days and set bail at UAH 100 million. The Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO), meanwhile, requested the court set bail at UAH 2 billion.</p> <p>Kyiv's appeals court on March 13, 2017, ruled to set bail at UAH 100 million, which was paid by Nasirov's wife on March 16. SAPO agents next filed a motion to arrest Nasirov's property.</p> Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoliy Matios has said that suspended State Fiscal Services of Ukraine chief Roman Nasirov has assisted in the investigation of the so-called illegal 'tax scheme' used by former tax officials throughout Ukraine.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423968.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:38:40 GMTUkrainians killed in road accident in Russia's Novgorod regionhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423964.html<p>Citizens of Ukraine have been killed in an accident that occurred in Novgorod (Russia), the consular service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said.</p> <p>"As a result of the accident in Novgorod on May 25, Ukrainian citizens were killed. The details are being clarified. The consul is leaving for the Novgorod region," the ministry said on Twitter on Thursday.</p> Citizens of Ukraine have been killed in an accident that occurred in Novgorod (Russia), the consular service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423964.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:33:46 GMTFive Ukrainians killed in road accident in Russia's Novgorod regionhttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423963.html<p>Five Ukrainian citizens have been killed in an accident in the Novgorod region, a representative of the Department of Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Kyrylych has said.</p> <p>"Five Ukrainian citizens were killed in a road accident in the Novgorod region. The data on one more citizen is being clarified," Kyrylych said in a comment to Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.</p> <p>Earlier, the consular service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that as a result of a road accident in Novgorod, on May 25, Ukrainians were killed, details were being specified.</p> <p>In turn, the Novgorod office of the traffic police agency reported Interfax that six people were killed in a frontal collision of a minivan and a truck on the Novgorod part of the Moscow-St. Petersburg highway (M10).</p> <p>"Information on the road accident near the village of Pervomayskoye was received by the police officers around 5:40. Preliminary, the driver of the Renault minivan drove to a oncoming traffic lane and crashed into a Renault truck for not established reasons. As a result of the accident, the driver and five passengers died in the minivan. No one was hurt in the lorry," a source said.</p> Five Ukrainian citizens have been killed in an accident in the Novgorod region, a representative of the Department of Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Kyrylych has said.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423963.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:33:07 GMTRussian websites blocking mechanism not developed yethttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423962.html<p>Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak has said that the mechanism for blocking Russian Internet resources has not been developed yet, but the process is underway.</p> <p>"The mechanism has not been developed yet, but it will be introduced," Hrytsak told journalists in Kyiv on Thursday, answering an Interfax-Ukraine's question.</p> <p>At the same time, he said that such a mechanism is being developed.</p> Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Vasyl Hrytsak has said that the mechanism for blocking Russian Internet resources has not been developed yet, but the process is underway.Factshttp://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/423962.htmlThu, 25 May 2017 09:32:30 GMT