Ukraine’s former President blocked from leaving the country

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was prevented from leaving Ukraine to take part in a meeting of a NATO body in Lithuania, his party’s parliamentary faction said on Saturday.

Poroshenko was stopped twice at a border crossing with Poland while he was on his way to the meeting of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, a consultative interparliamentary organisation, the statement said.

Ukrainian media reported Poroshenko could not cross the border due to “technical problems” with a permit allowing him to leave the country.

“Poroshenko had received all the formal permissions to leave the country and had been included … in the official delegation of the Parliament of Ukraine for this event,” his European Solidarity parliamentary faction said.

Poroshenko was to have a number of high-level meetings in Vilnius, including with the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda. He was also scheduled to participate in a meeting of the European People’s Party in Rotterdam, it said.

In January, Poroshenko won a court ruling allowing him to remain at liberty while being investigated for treason in a probe he says was a politically motivated attack linked to allies of his successor, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Poroshenko is being investigated in connection with the financing of Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country through illegal coal sales in 2014-15.

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