IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Ukraine's Klitschko Calls on West to Freeze Yanukovych Accounts

<p>With billions in state coffers missing, the former heavyweight boxing champion has called on the U.S. and Europe to help freeze accounts.</p>
Image: The session of Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev.
Vitali Klitschko, right, leader of the Punch party speaks with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the Fatherland) party, during a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday. SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA

Ukrainian protester leader Vitali Klitschko, the former heavyweight boxing champion who has already announced his intentions to run for president, said Europe and the United States should freeze the accounts of ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych and return the funds to the state.

"I believe that it is necessary to appeal to Europe and the United States to freeze the accounts of Yanukovych and his family, and return the money to Ukraine's budget," he said during his speech to parliament Thursday.

"We all understand that we urgently need to put everything in order in the country, return to civilian life, and launch reforms so awaited by people," he said. "This requires responsibility of a new government."

Ukraine's new Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, accused Yanukovych's government of stripping state coffers bare and said $37 billion of credit it received had disappeared.

On Monday, the country's new government said it needed $35 billion in foreign assistance over the next two years, and appealed for urgent aid following the overthrow of its president.

The country's finance ministry said it had called for a donor's conference and needed the first aid in the next week or two.