Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko should be held criminally responsible for abusing the use of the state budget, incumbent Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said opening a government meeting in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on Wednesday accused his predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko and her government of causing 100 billion hryvnas ($12.5 billion) in state losses.

"The actions of the previous government inflicted damage of 100 billion hryvnas on the state," Azarov said adding that 2009 budget documents should be examined by law enforcement agencies and that Tymoshenko and former government officials should be held responsible.

He said the new government would have to set aside 1.7 bln hryvnas ($212 mln) in the budget to pay for apartments that Tymoshenko gave away as part of her presidential campaign.

Azarov also said that the budget would have to bear the expense of the failed privatization of the Black Sea port of Odessa and look for missing funds designed for use in environmental projects.

"The losses from the actions of the previous government totaled UAH 100 billion. The report on the implementation of the 2009 budget should be considered not only by lawmakers, but also by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, while the [former] prime minister and officials should be held criminally responsible," he said.

Azarov described the actions of opposition lawmakers in the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday as a "smokescreen to avoid criminal responsibility."


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