Dmytro Firtash, the Ukrainian oligarch who was indicted by US prosecutors for bribery and racketeering and later arrested by Austrian authorities, has released a video which insists he is an innocent party caught at the centre of a "battlefield for the two biggest global players of Russia and the USA".
Firtash was released from custody in Vienna after being ordered to pay the bail of €125m (£105m, $172m), the largest in Austrian legal history.
He says in the video, "thankfully, I have the utmost confidence in the Austrian judicial system and will use all legal means to prove my innocence".
However, he was more scathing with the US authorities, who he claims are landing him with allegations that are "completely absurd and unfounded".
Last month, Austrian prosecutors arrested Firtash under the orders of the Federal Criminal Agency (FCA).
He had been under investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2006. Firtash and his co-conspirators allegedly routed payments through US banks, which meant he was liable to prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
He allegedly was behind bribes of $18.5m to Indian officials which were to win approvals for companies controlled by his company Group DF, to launch a titanium mine.
Firtash is one of the 10 richest men in Ukraine and is reportedly worth around $1bn. He is co-owner of RosUkrEnergo, which controls most of Ukraine's lucrative titanium business.
He is also the founder and Chairman of Group DF, a major Ukrainian diversified holding with investments in a wide range of sectors and industries, fertiliser and titanium businesses, gas distribution and banking.
He is one of the biggest investors in Ukraine, employing more than 100,000 workers in the country, and is a major international benefactor who has donated $230m in the past three years, including charitable projects in the US, UK and Ukraine.
Full Video Translation
The accusations levelled against me in the recent public statement released by the US Department of Justice are completely absurd and unfounded. I am sure that all of these false allegations will be dismissed.
They are, and in particular the US extradition request, clearly politically motivated. Thankfully, I have the utmost confidence in the Austrian judicial system and will use all legal means to prove my innocence.
Ukraine has become the battlefield for the two biggest global players of Russia and the USA. And I have ended up in the centre of this political power play.
I appeal to everyone, including my colleagues, my partners, all of my friends and the people who are supporting me, that despite the fact that I am residing in Austria, the senior management of my group of companies, who are responsible for 100,000 employees, are in full control of the business in Ukraine. The work of the group is being well managed by a highly professional and experienced senior team.
As a Ukrainian citizen, I look forward to our forthcoming Presidential election with great anticipation.
I hope that my fellow Ukrainians will fully participate in the election and we will work together to build a stable and more prosperous country.
I will not allow for my reputation to be ruined by those who are driven by political motivations and are not interested in Ukraine and its people.
I would like to thank all the business leaders and politicians and my team for the support they have given me.
Today, Ukraine needs a united effort, our help and our support. Together, we will win this battle.