Ukraine was reminded that the fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych’s funds, frozen in 2014 in Switzerland, was possible only if the Ukrainian judicial system was reformed. Ignazio Cassis, the Head of FDFA of Switzerland, stated this during a briefing following the negotiations with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
"Indeed, we are talking about the amount of 70 million euros and these funds belong to the people of Ukraine... We talked about this today. Indeed, 7 years have passed, and we have signaled to Ukraine that there are 3 years left. But we have got positive assurances that the necessary procedures are in process. As soon as the situation in the judicial sphere changes, the funds must be returned," Cassis explained.
Context. Switzerland froze Yanukovych's assets in 2014. Thereafter, the country's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs extended this decision several times.
Federal Law of Switzerland regulates the issues of freezing and restitution of illegal assets belonging to foreign politically exposed persons. It establishes whether a continuation of the asset freeze is possible if cooperation in mutual legal assistance is fruitful. The maximum duration of such freezing is limited to 10 years.