Last month’s decision by an Austrian court to grant the request of the Department of Justice to deport Ukrainian gas oligarch Dmytro Firtash to stand trial in the US will have enormous consequences for Ukrainian politics. Ukraine’s current President Petro Poroshenko and the last three – Viktor Yanukovych, Viktor Yushchenko and Leonid Kuchma – have and continue to have close corrupt ties to Firtash.
Throughout the history of Ukraine’s independence, Western experts, intelligence services and diplomats have always possessed more information about the leaders of Ukraine’s gas lobby than have the country’s presidents, prosecutor-generals and Security Service (SBU). The reason for this is because the Ukrainian side always covered up how little it allegedly knew and because its work was politically driven. When President Yushchenko ordered the SBU to investigate who was behind the gas intermediary RosUkrEnergo (RUE) US Ambassador William Taylor offered to tell him and President Vladimir Putin leaked the information to the Russian government newspaper.