Ukrainian ex-MP Shkil to ask for political asylum in Czech Republic
Member of the Ukrainian parliament of the 4th – 6th convocations Andriy Shkil intends to seek political asylum in the Czech Republic, where he is currently staying.
In an interview with the Segodnya Newspaper, when asked whether he has already requested political asylum, Shkil said: "No. The holidays have just ended. This is not the best time to make decisions. January 22 is the Day of Unification in Ukraine. It will be symbolic to take a decision on that day."
Shkil explained his choice of the country by the fact that the Czech Republic is a democratic, open country, and it will be easier to learn the Czech language than other languages.
"I had an opportunity to seek asylum in other countries, but for me the main factor was proximity to my motherland," the former MP said.
When asked, what he was going to do in Prague, Shkil said that he would work in NGOs or write for the media.
"I believe that I will be able to earn a living. But most importantly, I still will be able to influence the process of democratization in Ukraine. We need to ensure that the change of government should not affect the level of democracy in the country," he said.
As reported, Shkil was No. 87 on the list of parliamentary candidates of the Batkivschyna United Opposition, which received 62 seats on party lists at the 2012 parliamentary elections in Ukraine. In 2001, Shkil was the leader of the UNA-UNSO nationalist organization, and headed the action "Ukraine without Kuchma". In March, he was arrested and spent a year in a detention facility, but was released due to his being elected to parliament
Shkil said that political persecutions against him never stopped and a case on the events on March 9, 2001 outside the presidential administration during the "Ukraine without Kuchma" action has not been closed.
He also confirmed reports that a part of his property was arrested in Ukraine and said that he did not know the reason for this.
"I never was engaged in any other activities, except for politics," he said.
At the same time, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry said there are no grounds for the prosecution of Shkil. The police said the arrest of the former lawmaker's property might be related to a civil suit by the victims in a traffic accident involving the ex-MP.