Oleksandr Klymenko: “Nowadays, anyone can be called “Klymenko’s entourage” and deprived of the business
Assault the editorial offices of the “Vesti” newspaper, “Radio Vesti”, vesti-ukr.com and ubr.ua websites, which occurred this Friday, were associated with investigation of the cases against Oleksandr Klymenko, former Minister of Revenues and Duties of Ukraine, by the power. According to the leaders of the law enforcement agencies, the politician is funding the “Vesti Ukraine” media holding by receiving profit from the logistics business, namely, one thousand railway carriages
We got in touch with Klymenko and sent him a letter by e-mail (specified on his website). Former official answered our questions in terms of his business, criminal cases, relations with the power and its accusations against him. In addition, he commented on the massive detentions of former employees of tax services, attack on our edition office and his connection with the media holding company.
– Oleksandr, you commented on the searches in Kyiv, including the «Vesti» editorial office, in your Facebook. In particular, you called such course of events “banal banditry” and noted that “you have no searches”. Could you explain the last phrase? You claim that you have nothing in common with the business, which was specified by Matios and Avakov?
– I was watching for the operation carried out by the Prosecutor General’s Office. By the way, I was using live online stream on the “Vesti” website. I believe that it is just a raider seizure of your company by the state. It is banal banditry and intimidation. Nowadays, anyone can be called “Klymenko’s entourage” and deprived of the business. I am considered to be more odious politician than Yanukovych thanks to efforts of Matios and Co.
– Anatolii Matios – Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine – claims that you have withdrawn about USD 12 billion from the budget. It comes about USD 300 from each Ukrainian citizen. Could you comment on the relevant figures?
– During the last three years, I was accused of plethora nonsense and rubbish. Frankly speaking, I have already lost count. I was even accused of funding the separatism and involvement in tragic events in Odesa on May 2, 2014. All the accusations were removed and the court ordered to refute it.
Regarding to embezzlement from the budget. If I am not mistaken, earlier it came about 600 million. Nowadays, it comes about 12 billion. Each year bets are going up as well as in card game. The power is trying to juggle more cases and trump up more charges. However, despite their control over the courts, they cannot succeed in it. It means that in fact, all the accusations are not worth a damn.
Regarding to allegedly stolen USD 300 from each Ukrainian citizen… When I listen to representatives of the current authorities, it seems to me that they have a random number generator in their minds. Let’s just count. In 2013, revenues of the entire state budget were amounted to UAH 339 billion. It comes about USD 42 billion (exchange rate was about UAH 8 per USD 1). At the same time, I have allegedly withdrawn USD 12 billion (for instance), Yanukovych has withdrawn trillion, as far as I am concerned (according to the same prosecutor’s office). Here is a question: how did our government manage to maintain the exchange rate of UAH 8 per USD 1, not to raise tariffs, prices, taxes and save all social payments?
However, in 2016, for instance, budget revenues amounted to UAH 616 billion (exchange rate was about UAH 26 per USD 1). It comes about USD 23 billion. All the taxes were raised, majority of social payments was cancelled and tariffs for the population became draconian. Thus, how much money do Matios, Lutsenko, Turchinov and Poroshenko owe to each Ukrainian in such case?
– Could you comment on the prosecutor’s statement that a part of the allegedly stolen funds amounted to USD 787 million during the Euromaidan events was “laundered” in European banks and brought to Ukraine again. The business and property, where the search took place, allegedly were purchased with these funds.
– Here is the random number generator again. However, let’s have a logical look at it: Poroshenko withdrew billions to Panama, meanwhile Klymenko allegedly brought almost a billion hryvnia to the country in the midst of the Maidan events. Moreover, he did not just bring it. He invested it into business. Thus, nowadays, this money is working for Ukrainian economy. Taxes are paid, workplaces are created. Do you feel the difference? However, once again, I have nothing in common with this business.
– Avakov and Matios claimed that they would apply to Europe in order to block your accounts. What are they talking about?
I have already stated. I would repeat: I have no accounts in Europe. Those accounts, which I had before, have been blocked a long time ago. If we think logically, I have a question: “Which European accounts should be blocked, if according to absolutely unproven scrawls of the Prosecutor General’s Office, all hypothetically existing accounts should have been already frozen in 2014, right? By the way, that time my lawyers applied to European banks themselves and got the response. There are no accounts. In addition, sanctions were annulled and we were able to prove inconsistency of the charges of the Prosecutor General’s Office. In addition, I was removed from the list of wanted persons of Interpol. Nobody believes the Ukrainian authorities in Europe anymore. This is a fundamental moment of difference between Ukrainian and European justice. During the last three years in European instances, I was able to prove the absurdity of the charges, which were brought by Ukrainian authorities against me. Despite this fact, they keep on making new criminal cases.
– The “Vesti Ukraine” media holding is associated with you. People believe that you are funding its operation …
– Any state body can find out, who and how does he fund your editorial office. It will take about three minutes. They will dwell into accounts and reports and there will be no Klymenko’s name. And you know this. I cannot be responsible for the assets of other entrepreneurs. However, let’s apply to logic again.
Just have a look, during the last three years, the so-called “activists” and representatives of the power stated that the “Vesti” holding has been funded by the Kremlin. They claimed that it was a separatist edition. That is why, according to them, it should have been closed. If I’m not mistaken, your radio was deprived of the license for this reason.
Nowadays, the government claims that the holding company is funded by one thousand railway carriages. So, where is the Kremlin then? Do these carriages have Putin’s portraits?
– During all the searches that took place at the “Vesti” editorial office, you advocated for us. You supported us. The public may have doubts…
-Let them have doubts with regard to all other journalists I support. For instance, Ihor Guzhva, the editor-in-chief of the Strana.ua website, who is intimidated due to his critical publications. I advocated for dec. Oles Buzina and Pavlo Sheremet, who were killed in open daylight. As you know, their cases have not been investigated.
I believe that journalism and freedom of speech – are not empty words. It does not matter, whether I like the words of journalist or not. It is not the most important thing. Each representative of media should have the right to his point of view. Violation of freedom of speech – it is an indicator of the democratic nature of the state. Nowadays, it is being violated more than ever before. If we talk about the “Vesti” holding, I believe that you were attacked solely because of your journalistic activities. By the way, I watched your investigation about Matios – the headliner of the Friday’s searches. If his reaction is so painful, it is possible that you came to the right conclusions during your investigation.
–Why did they attach the «Vesti» and you at the same time? Why was it tied together?
– You offer an agenda, which, among other things, criticizes the actions of the current authorities. In its turn, I do the same via my investigations and operation of the “Uspishna Kraina” party that I head. They try to override nonconformity as a whole by all means. In such case, it comes about armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and guns. Earlier there were helicopters.
– Could you comment on the so-called “tax inspectors case”, when 23 former employees of tax authorities were detained under the leadership of Matios and Avakov and delivered to Kyiv by helicopters on May 24?
– It comes about the same PR show as APCs in front of the “Gulliver”. People were living in the country during the last three years, going to interrogations. They did not hide anywhere. However, this show was carried out on the eve of the report of the Prosecutor General in the parliament in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of Lutsenko, which is equal zero (according to facts). People were caught, including a young mother, elderly and sick people. They made absolutely false accusations and forced them to sign an agreement, to slander themselves and me. Moreover, some people even did not work during the times, when I headed the tax service. Other people were working in tax authorities or in a system of the state power until the moment of detention.
It was created inhuman conditions for people. They are kept in investigatory isolator (not even in pre-trial detention centres) and deprived of medical care. If they do not sign confessions (required by Matios and Lutsenko), they are get beaten (by the way, not all the media illuminates this information, although each can be in their shoes under the current regime).
If Lutsenko, Matios and investigators were imprisoned under such conditions, they would confess not only to their crimes, but also to Kennedy’s murder.
Thus, I would like to turn to all the detainees: I really respect your stout-heartedness. Nowadays, lawyers unite their efforts to provide the necessary legal assistance to everyone.
– Why did you become so undesirable for the authorities? Are there any other high-profile cases against former officials of Yanukovych? By the way, plethora of them live and work in Ukraine.
– Well, if we talk about former officials of Yanukovych, one of them occupies the highest position in the state system. His name is Poroshenko Petro Oleksiyovych. Moreover, Matios himself was working in the Presidential Administration with Yanukovych under the leadership of Levochkin. I think you wrote about it earlier. Here is an interesting fact: in October-December 2013, the Presidential Administration conducted an audit of the Ministry of Revenues and Duties, which I headed that time. Guess who was included to the Control Directorate? – Anatolii Matios. This commission confirmed that there were no violations in operation of the Ministry. However, verification act itself was falsified and replaced with a new one, which was signed only in April 2014. After that there was a nonsense related to envelopes and platforms. Thus, if you want to know more about the operation of converting centres, I will highly recommend you apply to Mr. Matios himself. He knows about it first-hand.
When I headed the Ministry of Revenues and Duties, Matios repeatedly turned to me through my subordinates and attempted to lobby the interests of several affiliated business structures. However, all his offers were denied. This is the answer to the second part of your question, namely: “Why you?”. Although, Matios – is just a little cog in the wheel of current regime.
The power attempts to destroy me in order to demonstrate: “Look at Klymenko. He was fighting for ideas during the last three years, but we destroyed him. It will happen to each of you if you publicly oppose the dictatorship of Poroshenko. It is not accidental that current leadership of the country turned me into the main monster in the media. The reason for this is the fact that I should become a sacred victim of their bloody regime. They are barking up the wrong tree. They will break their teeth.
– What do you think about fighting against corruption in Ukraine? Recently there were scandalous detentions of MPs. They started to remove immunity of MPs.
-Well, it’s a rubbish. There is no permission for detention of the pro-government MPs, even if there is a clear evidence of guilt. In fact, the only goal of this PR campaign is Dobkin. People have different attitudes towards him. We were working together, when Mihaylo was a governmental curator in Kharkiv region. He is rather expressive. However, he is a true professional of his craft. Moreover, he is another vivid instance of the fact that there is no justice in Ukraine today.
– What should Ukraine expect for in the coming years?
– I believe that Ukrainian society begins to see clearly. However, this process is extremely slow. Poroshenko’s power is building its dictatorship on the basis of fear, war and massive propaganda. Moreover, it is on TVs that are watched by 86% of the population.
Poroshenko and Co. (if not personally, but with the help of radicals, bots and domestic state authorities) want to take control over a few media that provide an alternative point of view in Ukraine. Such sources should keep on operating. It is extremely important. Nowadays, it seems to be David’s battle with Goliath. However, we all know the end of this story.
Link to source: Vesti