VIENNA, March 1 Austria published the names of
18 Ukrainians subject to an asset freeze requested by Ukraine's
new government, including toppled president Viktor Yanukovich
and former chief of staff Andriy Klyuev on the list, but not his
The neutral Alpine republic announced on Friday it would
block any bank accounts it found of people on the list, which
also includes Yanukovich's eldest son Oleksander, as a
precautionary step until similar European Union measures agreed
in principle could take effect.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein also joined the freeze.
Unlike Switzerland, Austria did not include Ukrainian
businessman and member of parliament Serhiy Klyuev, Andriy's
brother and business partner, on its list.
In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Serhiy Klyuev
denied wrongdoing and denounced "dirty propaganda" against him
and his brother. He said he was willing to cooperate fully with
A further statement to Reuters on Friday in response to the
asset freezes rejected accusations that Serhiy was part of the
so-called "Family" - a term used by Yanukovich's opponents for
his inner circle.
"The Klyuevs are not a part and never have been" part of
them, the statement said, and added: "His brother (Andriy)
always stated that he has no property or bank accounts in
Austria, which can be proven."
In an interview with the newspaper Wirtschaftsblatt, veteran
Austrian banker Herbert Stepic said he thought the asset dragnet
could sweep up some wealth but that Austria was not the prime
place for Ukrainians to put their money.
Ukrainians like Austria's quality of life "but they have
invested more wealth in Switzerland and London than in Vienna",
the former Raiffeisen Bank International chief
executive and eastern Europe expert said.
(Reporting by Michael Shields)