Ukraine's ex-PM accused over Russia gas deals

11th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko was accused Monday of costing her government almost $200 million by signing excessively expensive gas contracts with Russia.

State prosecutors have opened a probe into the 2004 Orange Revolution leader on suspicion of exceeding her authority while agreeing the overpriced deals with Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom in 2009, deputy prosecutor general Renat Kuzmin said.

She is accused of causing a loss to the former Soviet republic's budget of 1.5 billion hryvnia ($190 million), Interfax reported.

Tymoshenko has dismissed previous charges against her as a vendetta led by President Viktor Yanukovych, her pro-Russian political nemesis who edged her out in elections one year ago.

The charismatic former prime minister has already been accused in two other criminal probes.

Prosecutors have charged her of exceeding her authority by using state money that had been earmarked for environmental spending to pay off pension arrears.

She has also been charged with purchasing cars at inflated prices and using them for her presidential election campaign.

© 2011 AFP

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