KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko landed in Kyiv on Monday to face treason expenses in a case he says was trumped up by allies of his successor, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In a short stand-off at border management after arriving on a flight from Warsaw, he accused the border guards of taking away his passport. He later emerged to a crowd of flag-waving supporters exterior the airport.
Poroshenko’s return units up a showdown with Zelenskiy’s authorities in what critics say is an ill-judged distraction at a time when Ukraine is bracing for a doable Russian army offensive and interesting to Western allies for help.
Western diplomats known as for political unity in Ukraine forward of Poroshenko’s arrival.
Poroshenko is being investigated for alleged treason linked to the financing of Russian-backed separatist fighters by way of unlawful coal gross sales whereas in workplace in 2014-15. His get together accused Zelenskiy of a reckless try to silence political opposition.
Zelenskiy’s administration says the prosecutors and judiciary are unbiased and accuses Poroshenko of pondering he’s above the regulation.
“We will not be right here to defend Poroshenko, however to unite and defend Ukraine,” Poroshenko informed the group.
At a briefing, Tetiana Sapyan, a spokeswoman for the State Bureau of Investigations (DBR), stated Poroshenko had been handed a summons to seem in courtroom afterward Monday.
“However, Petro Poroshenko refused to obtain procedural paperwork, ignored the authorized necessities of the investigator, and on the identical time, the individuals who had been with him carried out bodily resistance, which was recorded on video recordings.”
Ukraine and its allies have sounded the alarm about tens of hundreds of Russian troops massed close to its borders.
After days of diplomacy final week achieved no breakthrough, the United States stated on Friday Russia was making ready a pretext for an assault, one thing the Kremlin dismissed as “unfounded”.
(Reporting by Sergiy Karazy, Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson)