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The three airplanes, whose offshore owners had been sanctioned over the activities of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest ally in Ukraine, MP with the Opposition Platform - For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk, had been moved to the Swiss town of St. Galle ahead of the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine (on February 10-21)..
It is in St. Gallen where International Trading Partners is legally registered – the co-owner of the Ukrainian Prykarpatzahidtrans company, which actually became the reason for sanctions being imposed on ownership rights of a section of the Samara-Western Direction pipeline designed to pump fuel from Russia and Belarus to Ukraine and Europe, as reported by Bihus.Info.
This Swiss company and its owner, Anatoliy Scheffer, are reportedly affiliated with Viktor Medvedchuk and his allies who had allegedly been profiting off the pipe. However, the Opposition Platform - For Life Party has previously denied reports about Medvedchuk having to do anything with the pipeline.
The NSDC decision refers to sanctions imposed on five offshore companies that appear to be the owners of private jets.
Two of them are directly related to MPs Viktor Medvedchuk and Taras Kozak who used these planes multiple times.
The third company is registered to the wife of Ihor Kushnir, president of the Kyivmiskbud construction holding.
Read also Ukraine NSDC hits sanctions on Putin's ally Medvedchuk The fourth company is affiliated with former MP and businessman Vitaliy Khomutynnyk, the report says.
And the fifth company, WHPA AVIA LTD, is registered in the Virgin Islands. Journalists suggest the firm is related to a company named WHPA LIMITED, which is affiliated with Russian businessman Sergey Sudarikov.
The latter is referred to by the media as someone close to the chief of Rosneft oil giant and an old friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Igor Sechin.
The Region group of companies, which is controlled by Sudarikov, as per the Skhemy (Schemes) investigative project, may also be linked with Medvedchuk's allies.
Read also Medvedchuk, Surkov talk power supplies to occupied Crimea, prisoner swap – leaked call from 2014 Sanctions on Viktor Medvedchuk
On February 19, 2021, the NSDC made a decision to impose sanctions against 19 legal entities and eight individuals. In particular, sanctions shall be applied to Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko. Sanctions are imposed on all their property and assets.
According to NSDC secretary Oleksiy Danilov, the SBU is investigating a case under the article "financing of terrorism," and the latest sanctions were applied to Medvedchuk, Marchenko, and other persons precisely in connection with the said probe.
The NSDC also made a decision to nationalize part of the Samara - Western Direction fuel pipeline, now owned by Prykarpatzahidtrans.
Reporting by UNIAN