The Swiss government plans to seize more than 100 million Swiss francs ($104 million) worth of assets from an associate of Ukraine's former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was deposed in 2014, it said on Wednesday.
The proceedings concern assets of Yuriy Ivanyushchenko and his family that were frozen after Ukraine's 2014 revolution, the Swiss government said in a statement, stressing the move was “unrelated to sanctions” that Switzerland imposed against Russians this year.
The finance ministry will now ask the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland to approve confiscating the assets so that they can be returned to Ukraine, the government said.
A few days after Yanukovych's ouster, the Swiss cabinet had ordered the freezing of any assets in Switzerland of the deposed president and his entourage, including Ivanyushchenko, a former member of parliament whom it described as a close confidant of the former leader.
However, Ukrainian authorities have not been able to issue judgements ordering the confiscation of those assets, according to the Swiss government.
The Swiss government said since the war in Ukraine “severely compounded” criminal proceedings against Ivanyushchenko, it now considers confiscation proceedings in Switzerland “both possible and appropriate.”