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At the Davos summit, a conversation with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Your critics also speak of selective prosecutions, and they claim that the current investigations [against politicians] are politically motivated. Why is your government only investigating the opposition?

I would strongly disagree with that suggestion. It is just not true.

The U.S. government says it is true.

In reality, one perhaps should pay less attention to what is said by whom. One has to use the facts. I can give you some of these facts. The country has started a broad campaign against corruption and violation of the law. It is not a selective approach based on political reasons. This campaign affects representatives [regardless of] political party.

Has anyone in your party been investigated?

Yes, by all means.

But the famous names are former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the former minister of the economy, Bohdan Danylyshyn, who fled to the Czech Republic and was given asylum under NATO rules.

Let me answer that. As examples, a member of my party, the former chairman of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea - and his position today is an adviser to me - he has been detained on charges of corruption. His last name is Hrytsenko.

Getting back to the former minister of the economy - Mr. Danylyshyn - he had never been involved in politics. He was a minister in the previous government. He is accused of committing some acts of corruption against Ukrainian law. I believe the Czech decision to grant him political asylum was not based on any specific facts that they received from Ukraine's law enforcement agencies.

What Mr. Danylyshyn should be doing is trying to use his own legal experts to prove that he is innocent instead of hiding and trying to avoid responsibility.

But the U.S. government said that, with few exceptions, the only senior officials being targeted have connections with the previous government. Do you plan to put Yulia Tymoshenko on trial?

It is a controversial issue. With regards to the opinion of the U.S. government, it is an issue to be discussed. We believe that position is not really based on facts. I am sure that if everybody just tried to use the facts and the information that has already been provided by the prosecutor general's office - the information shows that we are in the midst of a major fight against corruption. Those people that you have referred to have really violated Ukrainian laws. As an example, the member of my party, Mr. [Anatoliy] Hrytsenko, he made those illegal actions back in 2007. So this is also a past deed. Only in 2010, quite a large number of people have been brought to criminal responsibility for acts of corruption. Many of them are either members of my own party or are members of other parties that are members of the governing coalition. This very fact proves that it is not a one-way road in terms of criminal persecution.


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