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Committees and quorums – Kolomoisky

March 17, 2015

Over the past month, several entries relating to the rise and fall of some or all of the oligarchy have appeared here.  There are those clearly in the ascendancy such as Igor Kolomoisky, and those that are not – pretty much all the others.

Whether the government and presidential administration are reasonably content to allow Mr Kolomoisky to suppress the influence of the others, leaving them the eventual task of having to deal only with Mr Kolomoisky at an opportune moment – or whether he is becoming far too influential to do so, and it is already a matter of managing one oligarch, rather than several, following his peer containment, is a matter of conjecture.

Is far more, or far less, political energy spent containing Mr Kolomoisky after he triumphs in the oligarchical wars, compared to having no oligarch come out on top and having to try and contain all of them?

Whatever the case, it appears Mr Kolomoisky intends to remain atop the oligarchical heap as this extract from a link above outlines:

“Indeed, Mr Kolomoisky and Mr Pinchuk are currently in on-going litigation against each other in the High Courts of London relating to one such historical deal.

Mr Kolomoisky is clearly currently in confident mood, taking all by surprise and giving testimony to the relevant parliamentary committee last week – and whilst doing so insured he mentioned a $5 million per month extortion racket he claims he was coerced into paying to Mr Pinchuk, for delivery to his father-in-law, then President Kuchma. The “Special Control Commission on Privatisation” parliamentary committee was in a closed session – at least prior to Mr Kolomoisky’s arrival.

That Mr Kolomoisky testified before the parliamentary committee at all, without request or summons, whilst (unofficially) one of the most powerful people in Ukraine today, should perhaps be pondered. The committee whilst chaired by his friend Boris Filatov, is not exactly filled with Kolomoisky fans.

So the questions are why did he do it, and to what end?

One of the first outcomes has been “invitations” being sent to Messrs Akhmetov, Pinchuk and Firtash (the latter by video-link being stuck in Austria) to give testimony over historically dubious privatisations by the parliamentary committee. Whether they will take up the invitations remains to be seen – though they would perhaps not wish to waste the opportunity.”

Following that testimony last week, it is now apparent that the “Special Control Commission on Privatisation” has now appealed to the Prosecutor General to investigate the $5 million per month Mr Kolomoisky claims was coerced from him by Mr Pinchuk and then President Kuchma (to the tune of $110 million in total).

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Despite this committee being chaired by his friend Boris Filatov, to claim undue bias of this parliamentary commission is however, perhaps unfair.  It is not overflowing with those who are particularly enamoured with Mr Kolomoisky.  It is though, perhaps, duty bound to raise such allegations with the PGO, it then being a matter for the Prosecutor General to decide if to conduct an investigation – or not.

Whatever the case, Mr Kolimoisky seems intent upon righting historical wrongs he believes done to him whilst he currently sits atop the oligarchy tree.

Yesterday also saw the resignation of Andrei Ivanchuk as Chair of the Rada Economics Committee.  This resignation continuing the inability (despite forthright instruction by Rada Speaker Groisman) for the committee to form a quorum, allowing it to pass changes to the Law on Joint Stock Companies – long awaited by the Rada to vote upon.

This law has expensive implications for Mr Kolomoisky (and others of course).  Thus those MPs loyal to him insure no committee quorum appears when these amendments are on the agenda.  Should the amendments finally pass the committee stage, and then make it through a Rada vote, then Ukranafta, of which Mr Kolomoisky is a major shareholder together with the State, would have to pay an extra UAH 2 billion (approximately) in additional dividends to the State budget.

Naturally these amendments would not only effect Mr Kolomoisky or Ukranefta – however both have become inextricably associated as target number 1 of the changes.  As any such eventual changes will not be retrospective, every day that Mr Kolomoisky can foil attempts to amend the current legislation is financially beneficial for him – though it is doubtful whether this is about the money.

Having associated Mr Kolomoisky and Ukranefta as target number 1 – this is clearly a display of power by Mr Kolomoisky.  Albeit he will not be able to delay the amendments forever, he has more than managed to do so thus far.  He is clearly sending a message when one Rada committee is duty bound to further his cause following his surprise evidence before it, but yet another Rada committee cannot even manage to form a quorum when likely outcomes undermine his interests.

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