Photo from UNIAN

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has voted to arrest Ukrainian MP from the Opposition Bloc parliamentary faction Yevhen Bakulin.

Some 240 MPs out of 337 registered in the session hall backed the decision to arrest him, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

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Bakulin was not in the session hall when his issue was being considered.

At the same time, the deputies received documents with his explanations in written.

According to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, the pretrial investigation established that Bakulin had highly likely participated in a criminal organization led by disgraced ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych since March 2010. Lutsenko reported Bakulin "had planned and organized the execution of a number of particularly serious and related crimes, namely: the illegal seizure of funds of PJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine in the amount of UAH 449.963 million (US$17.31 million), as well as an executed attempt to seize the funds of this public joint-stock company worth UAH 5.1 billion (US$196.2 million)."

Lutsenko said the second case concerns the seizure of $404.374 million in funds of JSC Chornomornaftogaz for the purchase of overpriced drilling rigs for oil and gas production on the Black Sea shelf.

UNIAN memo. Bakulin, 61, is a Ukrainian politician of Russian origin. He was chairman of the board of Ukraine's oil and gas giant Naftogaz of Ukraine twice in March through December 2007 and from March 2, 2010, to March 25, 2014. He also held senior positions at gas producer Ukrgazvydobuvannia (2003-2005, 2006-2007) and the operator of Ukraine's main oil pipelines Ukrtransnafta (2006).