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May 1, 2021
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Ukraine – first we go bankrupt, then we buy it out for a pittance

What do foreigners do in Ukrainian state-owned companies

The state gas supply company “Naftogaz of Ukraine” instead of the expected in 2020 profit of UAH 11.5 billion. will cause a loss to the state in 19 billion hryvnia (in 2019 the company had a profit of 63 billion hryvnia). Moreover, in pursuit of such a record, Naftogaz Ukrainy has increased gas prices for the population three times in recent years.

And in Kiev they realized that it was time to find out where the money was going. Personnel changes began. The head of the board of Naftogaz, Andrei Kobolev, who had held this position since 2014, was dismissed, and in his place was appointed and. about. Minister of Energy Yuriy Vitrenko, who was the executive director of the company from November 2018 to July 2020.

Friends-enemies Kobolev (left) and Vitrenko

Friends-enemies Kobolev (left) and Vitrenko

Kobolyev and Vitrenko are record holders in official salaries. The first received UAH 47.1 million in 2017, and UAH 268.5 million in 2018. The second in 2020 declared a salary from Naftogaz in the amount of UAH 284.6 million. In the same year, Naftogaz increased the cost of paying salaries and bonuses to its management to UAH 672 million. compared to UAH 343 million in 2019. People live well!

The dismissal of Kobolev was prepared in such secrecy that he himself learned about it from the news. This event is significant for Ukraine. It was under Kobolev that Naftogaz switched to manual control from abroad, the supervisory board of the company was headed by Claire Spottiswood, a British citizen, the Dutch financier Peter van Drill was the CFO, and the German Otto Waterlander was the executive director for transformation.

At first glance, the situation with Kobolev looks like a step against the IMF. Zelensky seems to be advocating state regulation of the gas market, because he fears that the incredibly increased payments for housing and communal services will lead to a popular explosion, and Kobolev opposed this.

Blockade of Donbass

In fact, there has been a castling: Naftogaz will be managed by Vitrenko, loyal to the authorities, and the company’s gigantic financial resources against the backdrop of the collapse of the Ukrainian economy will be partially under government control, which will help stop the rapid decline in Zelensky’s rating. “Vitrenko goes like a battering ram. People from Zelensky’s inner circle will follow him “, – said the analyst of the Institute for Strategic Studies Yuri Korolchuk.

There is no objection in the West. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States will continue to “support Ukraine in strengthening its institutions.”

EU, EBRD, European Investment Bank, World Bank and International Finance Corporation called on “The leadership of Ukraine to ensure that critical management decisions at state-owned enterprises are made in full compliance with the principles of recognized corporate governance standards”… The reaction is understandable: the Ukrainian government on April 28 dismissed all members of the Naftogaz supervisory board, and on April 30 returned their powers for a period of six months, but those dismissed were offended and, in full force, filed an application for early termination of powers. Of course, they will be replaced abroad, too.

Maidan

On April 29, the Rada, with 305 votes in favor, appointed German Galushchenko as Minister of Energy. The Ukrainian media got excited and called this appointment “a cookie to Washington”, claiming that an alleged “anti-American majority”, including “servants of the people”, had formed in parliament. The head of the Batkivshchyna faction, Yulia Tymoshenko, promised that Zelensky “will be held accountable under the criminal code for everything he has done in the country with his gang,” and said that Galushchenko personally promised her to put an end to external management in the energy sector.

In 2013-2014 Galushchenko worked at Energoatom as an executive director for legal support. He is a part of Zelensky’s inner circle. Thus, the entire Ukrainian energy sector will come under the control of the head of state, but there will be no conflict with the West.

The introduction of foreigners into the supervisory boards of Ukrainian state-owned companies turned out to be so effective that Ukrenergo received UAH 27.5 billion in 2020. loss against UAH 1.86 billion. profit for 2019. JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia” for the same year worked in minus by UAH 11.9 billion; the total debt of this company by the end of 2020 amounted to UAH 36.7 billion.

The scheme of work of foreign managers is simple and was worked out in the late USSR: first, the enterprise goes bankrupt, then it is bought out for a pittance. In Ukraine, this will mean the complete loss of all once profitable state-owned enterprises, including Naftogaz, and their transfer to the ownership of foreign companies.

Opposition Platform – For Life issued a statement in which it indicated: “The government is unable to bring the economy out of the crisis and provide social guarantees for Ukrainian citizens. On April 26, the government placed Eurobonds for $ 1.25 billion at almost 7% per annum. Last year, the national debt grew from 50.3% to 60.8% of GDP. Its maintenance requires the same amount as allocated for all medicine from the state budget “

That is, Kiev, on the one hand, is increasing its external debt, on the other, it condones the loss of a few enterprises that would help the economy stay afloat.

As a result, in 2021, instead of the UAH 6.99 tariff promised by the Ukrainian government. per cubic meter of gas for the population, its price will rise to 10-15.3 hryvnia. Nobody is interested in whether people will be able to pay for it. Debts will be automatically written off from debtors’ bank cards.

Cover photo: Finobzor

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