Britain hosts 'landmark' talks to recover looted Ukrainian assets
Britain will on Tuesday host international talks aimed at recovering Ukrainian assets believed to have been looted under the regime of deposed president Viktor Yanukovych.
The international Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery (UFAR) -- led by Britain and the United States -- unveiled details of the talks on Monday, calling them "a landmark for Ukraine".
UFAR hopes to mobilise the international community in order to track down and recover stolen assets, in the process sending "a strong message that there is no impunity for those who carry out such illegal actions".
The two-day London meeting will be attended by senior government officials, prosecutors and representatives from financial centres and international organisations, according to a statement issued by Britain's Home Office.
British interior minister Theresa May said the meeting highlighted international support for Ukrainians.
"By taking urgent and immediate steps to provide political and economic stability, the UK, US and wider international community has already demonstrated a strong commitment to the people of Ukraine," she said. "This forum provides a further opportunity to show our ongoing support.
"Building on our expertise in the field of asset recovery, it will also provide practical leadership and assistance to the Ukrainian government as they identify and recover assets looted under the Yanukovych regime and introduce political and economic reform," she added.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the US stood by its international partners "in our determination to support Ukrainian leaders and citizens as they combat corruption".
"The United States will never stop fighting alongside Ukraine and its partners to ensure accountability, to strengthen transnational cooperation, and to meet instability with resolve -- and robust diplomacy," he explained.
Yanukovych was ousted in February following a series of massive protests after he decided to scrap an agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.
He fled Ukraine for Russia and is now reportedly living in a country house outside Moscow.
© 2014 AFP