18:00 10.12.2016

Azarov can't confirm or deny valuables found in Kyiv belong to him, says Tropinin's painting definitely not his

Azarov can't confirm or deny valuables found in Kyiv belong to him, says Tropinin's painting definitely not his

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said that based on photographs alone he can neither confirm nor deny that valuables found by police in a Kyiv apartment belong to him.

"I do not consider myself guilty and I am not going to I justify myself before anybody. I have stolen nothing. No court has found me guilty of committing any crime," Azarov wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

He wondered on what basis "things, which may or may not belong to me" have been removed from his flat.

"There is no reason why I should give up the things which rightfully belong to me. I will seek their return in court. However, at the moment after having seen the photos, I can neither confirm nor deny that those things which were shown belong to me. For instance, it is the first time I see "The Portrait of a Girl" attributed to Vasily Tropinin, which was demonstrated with such panache on Facebook by [Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen], I have never had such a painting," Azarov said.

With regard to information about early printed books, the former prime minister said he did collect books, but could not say if the covers presented on the photos where those of his belongings.

Azarov says the discovery of these valuables in an apartment in Kyiv is "another provocation" against him by "the Kyiv regime." In his opinion, the aim of this incident is to distract attention from the deadly shootout among law-enforcers outside Kyiv, the corruption schemes disclosed by MP Oleksandr Onyschenko and multi-million dollar income declarations by Ukrainian officials.

As earlier reported, on December 8 Kyiv police investigators found an apartment in Kyiv's Darnytsky district with items belonging to disgraced ex-PM Azarov. The items found are estimated to be worth at least $5 million.

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