Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire Ihor Kolomoyskyy
was prohibited from entering the US on Friday due to alleged corruption
charges he faces there.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
announced the decision on Twitter, noting the danger that Kolomoyskyy poses to the rule of law in Ukraine.
Kolomoyskyy is former president of the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC) as well as co-founder of the European Jewish Union. He is considered a keen supporter of Ukraine's Jewish community.
Kolomoyskyy co-founded one of Ukraine's biggest banks - PrivatBank - in the early 1990s, and is considered one of the richest men in Ukraine. According to Forbes, Kolomoyskyy's net worth as of 2021 is $1.2 billion.
However, Kolomoyskyy has also attracted significant opposition and criticism over the years and faces criminal charges in several countries.
In 2016, he came under attack for his alleged involvement in defrauding the bank he helped establish, PrivatBank, for over $5 billion, in what has become one of Europe's most comprehensive banking frauds.
In the US, Kolomoyskyy has been under the investigation of the FBI for funneling PrivatBank funds through commercial and industrial property, according to the Financial Times (FT).
Earlier this week, it was reported by FT that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
was preparing for a wider crackdown on the country’s powerful oligarchs, having recently shut down three television channels linked to several pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs.
And while Kolomoyskyy actually supported Zelensky's election campaign, Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau last week charged three former senior executives at PrivatBank, in what could be an attempt by the Ukrainian President to signal the Biden Administration that he has no intentions of caving in to demands by the country's rich and powerful oligarchs.