“In January and other months of my premiership I acted strictly within the limits of my official authority. The law on the Cabinet of Ministers gives me the right to conduct talks on behalf of the government, including with the prime minister of another state,” Yulia Tymoshenko said, responding to a question from her lawyer Oleksandr Plakhotnyuk whether she abused her power as prime minister in 2009.
Yulia Tymoshenko stressed that according to the law on the Cabinet of Ministers, she had the legal right to give instructions to the head of Naftohaz. “If I had wanted to give my authorization to the head of Naftohaz, I would have used article 44 of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers that says that the prime minister represents the Cabinet of Ministers in relations with companies. If I had to, I would have done so, there’s nothing wrong with this and this is not abuse of power,” she added, Tymoshenko's official website reported.
Yulia Tymoshenko stressed that she did not interfere in the signing of contracts between business entities. “I handled the results of the negotiations as provided by the rules of the Cabinet of Ministers,” she explained.
The ex-premier also said that given the fact that Naftohaz is a monopoly in the gas sector of Ukraine, it has become established practice in Ukraine for there to be mutual relationships between the government and Naftohaz. “I would like to remind you that all prime ministers of all governments, all four presidents always communicated directly with the management of Naftohaz, and this was never some extraordinary event. There is always direct communication between the top government officials and the management of Naftohaz because this is a key monopoly. All the figures of Naftohaz directly correspond to the performance of the state budget,” she added.
Yulia Tymoshenko’s statements and interrogation lasted nearly eight hours. The ex-premier answered all questions from the state prosecution, representatives of the civil plaintiff – Naftohaz, the defense and the presiding judge in the case.
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