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U.S. Treasury Imposes Sanctions On Former Ukrainian Government Official

December 10, 2021

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on former Ukrainian government official Andriy Portnov, accusing him of buying influence in Ukraine's judiciary.

The Treasury Department named Portnov on a list of 15 individuals and entities in several countries in Central America, Africa, and Europe designated for alleged corruption and serious human rights abuse.

Portnov, a former lawmaker and deputy head of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych's administration, has cultivated extensive connections to Ukraine's judicial and law enforcement apparatus through bribery, the Treasury Department said.

"Widely known as a court fixer, Portnov was credibly accused of using his influence to buy access and decisions in Ukraine's courts and undermining reform efforts," the department said in a statement. "As of 2019, Portnov took steps to control the Ukrainian judiciary, influence associated legislation, sought to place loyal officials in senior judiciary positions, and purchase court decisions."

Portnov colluded in 2019 with a high-ranking Ukrainian government official to shape the country's higher legal institutions to their advantage and influence Ukraine's Constitutional Court, the Treasury Department said. Portnov also has been involved in an attempt to influence the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General, it said.

The sanctions block any assets that Portnov may have in the United States, bar Americans from conducting business transactions with them, and subject people and firms that do business with them to potential penalties.

There was no immediate reaction from Portnov on Telegram or Twitter.

Based on reporting by Reuters

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-portnov- sanctions-judiciary/31602838.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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