(Adds detail, background)
KIEV, March 21 Ukrainian police detained the
chief executive of state energy company Naftogaz on Friday in
connection with a corruption investigation, Interior Minister
Arsen Avakov said in an online post.
Naftogaz declined to comment on the report of Yevhen
Naftogaz is responsible for the import and distribution of
Russian natural gas in Ukraine. It also holds a monopoly on the
shipment of gas from Russia's Gazprom via Ukraine to
Police are conducting three separate investigations into
suspected corruption in the gas industry that may have cost the
Ukrainian state about $4 billion, Avakov said on Facebook.
"The investigation is important not only for the sake of
justice and the recovery of stolen assets. It is even more
important as an inoculation against corruption in the new
government," he said.
Bakulin, who was a close ally of former deputy prime
minister Yuri Boiko, was appointed head of Naftogaz in 2010
under ousted president Viktor Yanukovich.
Earlier on Friday, international tensions over Ukraine
ratcheted up another notch when President Vladimir Putin signed
laws completing Russia's annexation of Crimea and the European
Union followed the United States in imposing more sanctions
against senior Russian officials.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice;
Editing by Gareth Jones)