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Israel Hesitates to Welcome Ukraine's Fugitive Ex-President

Israel Hesitates to Welcome Ukraine's Fugitive Ex-President

Tuesday, 11 December, 2018 - 09:00
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Reuters file photo
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Israeli government has frozen a decision to receive former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for an alleged medical treatment pending consultations with Kiev and Moscow, sources have said.

Yanukovych, who has sustained injuries on a Moscow tennis court, was seeking to travel to Israel for treatment, reports said.

He has been examined by an Israeli doctor who was flown in specifically for that purpose, they said.

But Pro-Russia Yanukovych is a controversial figure. He fled Ukraine in 2014 as tensions in the capital flared up following a brutal and deadly police crackdown on protesters calling for the president to follow through with an association agreement signed with the European Union.

Shortly after disappearing from Kiev, he surfaced safely in Moscow, which made a swift annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

His visits abroad have been rare over fears that he would get arrested for being on an Interpol international wanted list.

Sources in Tel Aviv said that the Israeli doctor who examined Yanukovych, advised him to seek treatment in Israel.

But officials in Kiev accused him of seeking to apply for political asylum in Israel through the help of the Russian mafia.

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