Former President Poroshenko goes to Ukraine to face charges

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is returning to Ukraine to fight the treason charges even though he considers them politically motivated

Mr. Poroshenko spoke Sunday at a news conference in Warsaw hours before flying from the Polish capital to Kyiv, Ukraine on Monday, where he will face the charges in court.

A prosecutor has alleged that Poroshenko, one of Ukraine’s richest businessmen, was involved in the sale of large quantities of coal to financially support Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014– 15. He is the owner of the Roshen confectionery empire. A Kyiv court has frozen Poroshenko’s assets as part of an investigation into allegations of high treason.

Poroshenko insists that he is innocent. He accused his successor, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, of seeking to discredit him politically to distract from Ukraine’s pervasive problems, including economic and digital disasters. increased deaths from COVID-19.

“I will return to Ukraine to fight for Ukraine,” Poroshenko said, adding that he considers fighting the “politically motivated” accusations part of his patriotic fight for the country.

Despite the gravity of the allegations, Poroshenko sounded upbeat on Sunday. When asked by a reporter if he expected to be arrested when he returned home, he replied, “Definitely not.”

The charges are the latest in a series of accusations against Poroshenko since he was defeated by Zelenskyy in 2019. The charges have raised concerns about undemocratic match-fixing in Ukraine and It also worries Ukraine’s allies. They come as Russia has bolstered its military along Ukraine’s border and the United States has voiced concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be planning an invasion of Ukraine.

Poroshenko said he saw the charges he faced as harmful to the country at the time. He said the Ukrainian leadership is responsible for national unity, and what “Russia is really looking for is disintegration and conflict within the country”.

“I think this is a very irresponsible act by the current leadership to disintegrate the country and destroy the unity,” he said.

Poroshenko was defeated by voters after a corruption scandal and a mixed record on reform, but he has emerged with the strong title of a patriot for his work in rebuilding the military. Ukrainian team as it battles Russian-backed rebel fighters in the east.

For his part, Zelenskyy says he is waging a war against the oligarchs with the aim of reducing their influence in Ukraine’s political and economic life.

Poroshenko has been outside Ukraine for weeks, meeting with leaders in Brussels, Berlin and other European capitals.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/leader-poroshenko-ukraine-face-charges-82296388 Former President Poroshenko goes to Ukraine to face charges

Emma Bowman

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