“Arbuzov, Kliuev and Azarov — the people responsible for the violence and terror in the Ukraine — have Austrian passports and are free to enter the EU,” she said. “We learned about this from our Austrian colleagues. They are free to leave the country, while they are responsible for the violence in Ukraine,” she said. Harms called on the EU to implement sanctions against officials responsible for violence against participants in peaceful protests in Ukraine. “Is is precisely limiting their entry into the EU that the Ukrainian people demand. A very strict visa regime should be implemented against these people. And the complicated process for issuing visas for ordinary citizens should be facilitated for entry into the EU,” said Harms.
Former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov deny that they have Austrian passports. Azarov stated on his Facebook page: “I never addressed any European country asking for a passport to be issued to me”.
His press secretary Vitaliy Lukyanenko also “categorically denies” this information, as stated in the newspaper “Uryadoviy kvartal”.
Moreover, Mykola Azarov requires Rebecca Harms to give evidence for the statement or to refute it and apologize for spreading false information. Otherwise he will press charges.
Artem Petrenko, press secretary of Head of the President’s Administration Andriy Klyuev, said that “Klyuev has a Ukrainian passport, and does not possess a passport of any other country. The press office of Serhiy Arbuzov also denied Harms’ statement.
In a comment to EuromaidanPR, Harms stated:
“I want to let you know that the information of the Austrian passports was not entirely correctly repeated. I only said today in the press briefing that it could be that these persons have already Austrian passports. There is no proof for the moment. But some of the Ukrainians have big business in Austria like the Klujew family who one even a bank. Together with the Austrian Greens, we will now do an official request to the Austrian government to find out if some of them do have Austrian passports”.