Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash in the interview to Bloomberg Agency said that Ukraine is under “external control” of the United States.
“I don’t like the fact that we have external control. You know, I don’t like that the Americans are controlling Ukraine,” Firtash said. He noted that he has nothing against the United States. “But there is one problem: it is necessary to understand that Ukraine is an independent state. And I wish Ukraine was ruled by the Ukrainians,” he said.
While Firtash added that the U.S. for two years failed to make Ukraine “a successful project”. “(America) virtually made the country poor,” — said Firtash. According to him, this is not the first time. “Let’s look at Syria. Let’s look at Ukraine. The handwriting is one and the same, you know?” he said.
Firtash lashed out at the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, calling him “politically bankrupt”. According to him, members of the government for two years “has shown that they are incompetent, helpless, except for PR and everything else they do can’t do”.
In an interview with Firtash also noted that he intends to return to Ukraine.
U.S. authorities accuse of Dmitry Firtash to participate in “international criminal conspiracy to commit racketeering activities”. According to the Washington, a businessman involved in the bribery of Indian government officials to obtain licenses for mining of titanium minerals. Firtash called his prosecution in the U.S. is politically motivated.
In March 2014, Firtash on request FBI was arrested in Vienna. The businessman has been detained for 9 days, after which he released under a record for the Austrian justice bail of €125 million Under the terms of the release Firtash forbidden to leave Austria prior to the consideration of the U.S. request for his extradition.
In April 2015 regional court in Vienna rejected the U.S. justice Department on the extradition of Firtash, saying that the American side failed to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate their accusations. Austrian prosecutors filed a complaint against this decision, which is yet to be heard. In late March, Deutsche Welle reported that the appeal hearing is delayed due to the fact that Firtash appealed to the constitutional court of Austria with a request to recognize unconstitutional the extradition agreement between Austria and the USA.
After the refusal of Austria to extradite him to the U.S. Firtash announced his intention to return to Ukraine. For his part, the head of the Ukrainian interior Ministry Arsen Avakov promised that upon receiving a request from the U.S. Ukrainian police detain Firtash in case of its arrival to Ukraine.
Firtash jointly with Gazprom owned the company Rosukrenergo, which in 2004-2009 as a mediator bought gas from Gazprom and resold it to “Naftogaz of Ukraine”. In 2009, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was then Prime Minister of Ukraine, has made the signing of the contract on direct purchases of Naftogaz from Gazprom, and Rosukrenergo was excluded from the scheme of deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine. Next year Firtash at the election of the President of Ukraine supported Viktor Yanukovych. Ukrainian Forbes estimates the state of Firtash at $270 million (28 March 2016).