Posts Tagged ‘energy’

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Treading on the toes of Angels – Odessa machinations

December 26, 2016

The name Alexander Angert also know as Angel to use his mafia name, has appeared in this blog numerous times (a reader may use the search facility if particularly interested).  How could it not?  His links with Mayor Trukhanov and Alexander Zhukov (father of Daria, the current Mrs Roman Abramovich) among others of notoriety and the numerous joint and associated business enterprises that do well out of City Hall and Ukraine more broadly, demand that every now and again his name is mentioned.

Indeed Mr Angert was mentioned so often by Yuri Lutsenko when he was Minister of Interior in the Tymoshenko government it would be difficult to have seen him as anything other than a personal nemesis.  (A reader may ponder why he no longer mentions it now he is Prosecutor General).  Misha Saakashvili as Governor was also not adverse to throwing Mr Angert’s name about when it came to the organised criminality in Odessa.

Mr Angert no longer lives in Odessa – but he does visit when the situation is serious enough to demand he personal participation in a “negotiation”.  His last know place of abode (for many years) is London.  Indeed if asking the personal assistant of Mr Zhukov who also lives in London, messages can apparently reach Mr Angert through that channel.  (It seems that via this route Leonid Minin can be reached in Rome too).

The full extent of Mr Angert’s (business) interests is very difficult to gauge.  In some cases his control is “unofficial”.  Others there are clearly cut outs who are known associates.  There are overtly known long term business partners like Igor Uchitel.  There are even one or two business where Mr Angert’s name actually appears.  Thus quite where all the metaphorical and literal bodies are buried is unknown – but there are definitely both metaphorical and literal bodies buried.

Perhaps the best way to identify the assets controlled by Mr Angert are those in Odessa that were left alone by Viktor Yanukovych and “The Family” from 2010 to 2014.  Former President Yanukovych did indeed meet with Mr Angert in Odessa and whatever was said between them seemingly saved Mr Angert’s interests from the attentions of “The Family” – or perhaps saved “The Family” from a slighted and vengeful “Angel”.

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Of the businesses that are transparently associated with Mr Angert, one is Odessagaz.  It is co-owned by Messrs Angert and Uchitel and has been for decades.  Neither oligarchs such as Firtash or Kolomoisky and not former President Yanukovych have ever made an attempt upon Odessagaz, nor interfered as they have with other regional and national gas companies.

Clearly tangling with those behind Odessagaz was not worth the blood and treasure – even for such odious, nefarious and powerful men.

Any regular reader is well aware of the frequent mention of the business appetites (by hook but mostly crook) of Igor Kononenko, President Poroshenko’s long term friend, occasional business partner and parliamentary “leg breaker”.  He is, to be blunt, as bad as they come when it comes to scams, schemes, and coercion.  His current appetites and methodology as to feeding them have hardly gone unnoticed – neither has the completely absent desire of President Poroshenko to rein them in.

It would appear however that Mr Kononenko is about to go not only where angels and oligarchs fear to tread, but indeed is about to stand on Angel’s toes.

Mr Angert, or more precisely Odessagaz, for many, many years has been trying to bring about the insolvency of Odessa CHP (thermal power plant).  Bankruptcy petitions have been made and various internal nefarious financial acts have been “encouraged” of the employees within Odessa CHP by Odessagaz (Mr Angert).  The net result was to engineer the bankruptcy of Odessa CHP beholding of large debts to Odessagaz who would then take Odessa CHP as debt settlement.

Recently however, that plan has quickly been undone via the purchasing of a significant quantity of Odessa CHP debts by Energomerezha.  This company is controlled by the brothers Surkis who are in turn puppets of Igor Kononenko.  In buying up those debts Energomerezha has therefore taken control of Odessa CHP financials that can either prevent Odessa CHP bankruptcy or assume the role of leading creditor thus undoing the plans of Odessagaz (Mr Angert).

In short when Energomerezha decides to allow Odessa CHP to go bankrupt at a time of its chosing it would be the largest creditor with a claim to taking control of the asset as settlement.  Thus that can be expected when all the ducks are lined up to insure the loser would be Odessagaz – and by extension Mr Angert.

(In the meantime as usual there is a scam whereby an agreement has been reached between Odessa CHP and Energomerezha that enables Energomerezha (read the brothers Surkis and Igor Kononenko) to clear UAH 1000 in profit for every thousand cubic meters of gas).

Quite how this situation will play out remains to be seen when even the appetites of Yanukovych, Kolomoisky and Firtash left the machinations of Angel well alone in Odessa.

Perhaps Messrs Kononenko and Angert will come to an agreement amicably.

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Or perhaps there will be made an offer than cannot be refused.

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Chernobyl reactor entombed at last

November 29, 2016

A very short entry to firstly acknowledge a major piece of engineering, and secondly the symbolic entombment of a toxic Soviet legacy within a western funded and built sarcophagus – (Sarcastic readers are now pondering whether the Verkhovna Rada should be next perhaps?)

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The full facts and figures can be found at the EBRD website, together with a video showing the final settling of the sarcophagus in place, outlining what a major feat of engineering the project has been.

Bravo to all concerned.  A truly significant achievement.

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China continues to penetrate the otherwise impenetrable – Ukraine

November 22, 2016

In April 2016 the blog noted a(nother) significant investment by China in Odessa – and by extension Ukraine – “It has now become public knowledge that the Chinese company CNBM International (part of CNGC) has acquired eight solar panel plants (previously owned by Activ Solar behind which were the Kluyev brothers, both now wanted in Ukraine having done rather too well within the Yanukovych regime for all their business dealings to be entirely above board).

The two “Franko” solar farms in Starokozache , both “Danube” solar farms in Artsyz, the pair of “Lakeside” solar farms in Kilivy, and twin “Limanskaya” farms in Renne have certainly been acquired by CNBM.

It is quite likely that the remaining Activ Solar farms in Bolgrad have the same CNBM owners too, although as yet that cannot be confirmed.  Also unconfirmed, but of reasonable likelihood given the source, is a further solar farm being built by CNBM.  CNBM is after all, a renewable energy superpower across Asia and a global heavyweight in wind farm blades – not withstanding thin film solar cells.

(It will surely not be long, if it hasn’t quietly happened already, that parent company CNGC expands its own interests into Ukraine – cement and drywall production and raw material trading on truly global scales.)

Regardless, China via CNBM has just acquired in Odessa one of the top 50 solar power plants in the world, and seemingly intends to expand its solar energy production in Odessa even further.

(With regard to these solar power plants/farms in Odessa, more than 70% of the parts are actually manufactured in China by part of the CNGC industrial empire – thus no surprise that its subsidiary CNBM have now acquired the Activ Solar assets.  Indeed the Kluyev brothers Activ Solar loans were underwritten by these Chinese produced assets.)”

The entry concluding thus – “A reader may perhaps wonder, with Ukraine no longer the most receptive of markets for the Russian Federation – and therefore opportunities aplenty exist where they once did not – why it is China that is prepared to walk the business investment walk, whilst it is the Europeans with the DCFTA and reform financing leverage over Ukraine, that are still engaged in business talk.”

To be blunt the size of the aforementioned Chinese investments whilst certainly not small, are only part of more than $10 billion invested in Ukrainian clearly identifiable infrastructure sectors in recent years.  There will be no reader that is not aware that China invests where China feels it will benefit – whether or not that is also beneficial to the location/nation/business market it decides to invest in.

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The reason this Chinese investment was worthy of note (far in excess of the notice actually taken) was that it penetrated the otherwise impenetrable – the Ukrainian energy sector with energy generating assets located in Ukraine.

It appears that China has not been put off by the experience either – in fact it is going to expand its presence in the Ukrainian energy market further – yet again in solar energy.

Another $1 billion investment will begin to physically manifest by way of solar power plants in the 10 kilometer exclusion zone around Chernobyl.  Those solar power plants expected to generate 1 GWh per annum.

The investors this time being,  GCL System Integration Technology (part of the GCL Group) and the China National Complete Engineering Corp.

Well so be it.  With the Russian Federation far from welcome in the Ukrainian energy market and no noticeable committed long-term western entry thus far, China may as well capture the solar generation market – move over Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK.

It would appear that the early bird once again catches the worm.  (There is certainly not much concern over it usually being the second mouse that gets the cheese – for China is selfish, it is far too big, and far too influential than any Ukrainian mouse trap that would kill the first mouse.)

It would be somewhat ironic that as Ukraine legislatively progresses toward meeting its EU 3rd Energy Package obligations if only China manages to penetrate the Ukrainian energy production market.

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NKREKU – Draft Law 2966-d (Energy Regulator)

September 22, 2016

As part of the ratified obligations made by the Ukrainian State, within the Association Agreement with the EU is mentioned the Third Energy Package and Ukrainian adherence to it.

Quite rightly too for there is no way Ukraine would significantly overhaul its energy sector otherwise – energy is a significant font of corruption that continually spews (no differently to Government subsidies and VAT refunds/fraud/coercion).

It is true that Ukraine has made some real progress in reforming its energy sector – as difficult as each and every step (both forward and backward) has been.  Having now corrected an entirely retarded decision relating to Ukrtransgaz, a reader can nevertheless anticipate an all out assault by vested interests upon Naftogaz Ukraine and its subsidiaries almost immediately after any final Stockholm Court ruling is delivered regarding its claims against Gazprom.

Ukraine now faces the prickly issue of reforming its energy regulator into one that serves the interests of those other than vested interests.  Needless to say a process that has not, and remains, a far from smooth, influence-free, process.

Draft law №2966-d “On the National Commission in charge of regulation in the energy sector and utilities (NKREKU)” easily passed through its first reading within the Verkhovna Rada with 285 votes in favour on 12th April – unsurprisingly as it was authored by a dozen parliamentarians from across 5 parties (including those in opposition).

Nevertheless, despite its inclusive authorship, it has yet to receive its second and final reading and vote prior to being sent to the president for signature and eventually entering into law.

Amendments are being sought.  Meddling from the Bankova (Presidential Administration) occurs.

The draft Bill mandated a staggered replacement of the existing regulatory personnel, with limited departures every 6 months until all were replaced over a period of 18 months.  The fixed tenure appointments replacing them therefore also eventually departing in a staggered fashion some years hence too – which is perhaps wise if institutional memory is to be maintained in any meaningful way.

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As is always the case with Ukrainian politics, who decides, and who decides who decides, is a major issue in most appointments – and one that regularly slows down any process whilst decisions about decisions are decided.

The new regulatory personnel will be decided by a competition commission comprising of two presidential appointees, two parliamentary appointees from within the Verhovna Rada Coal and Energies Committee, and one appointee from the Cabinet of Ministers – when the law is eventually passed.

From this, apparently an independent regulator will emerge over the course of 2 years – allowing for the law to be passed, decisions about decisions to be decided, open competition, interviews, more competition appointment decisions, and eventually a full, staggered, personnel change.  There may yet appear an energy regulator that is an independent authority and arbiter (with a good deal of genuine independence) for the energy market that will defend the interests of consumers, and create fair conditions for suppliers and manufacturers.

Very good – so get on with it.

Indeed, Messrs Leszek Balcerowicz and Ivan Miklos who are part of the official advisory conclave regarding reform have rather tired of such nonsense and delays, stating “Further delay of the adoption of the bill as a whole can have a negative impact both on the state of the energy market in Ukraine, and the country’s international image as a reliable partner.  The independent regulator – A prerequisite for attracting foreign direct investment in the energy sector calls upon all political forces to immediately support the bill as amended, prepared by the Parliamentary Committee for a second reading.”

The passage of this draft law which pushes Ukraine further along its 3rd Energy Package obligations also releases more EU cash.

Perhaps the draft law will receive its final Verkhovna Rada vote this week.  Perhaps the President will sign it at some point.  Perhaps by Christmas the first new personnel will have been selected.  It will be 2018 however before the regulator has been completely overhauled as foreseen by the timetable within the draft law.

A reader may suspect that the necessary butchering of Naftogaz Ukraine as required by the 3rd Energy Package is not about the wait for a completely reformatted Regulator – and the guaranteed battle by vested interests over Nafogaz Ukraine and its subsidiaries prior to, and during Natogaz dismemberment will immediately follow the Arbitration Court in Stockholm making a ruling – that attack certainly won’t wait.  Thus how much more perverted and warped the market the Regulator will be asked to regulate once it is independent and fit for purpose remains to be seen.

In the meantime, as a reader will be accustomed by now, between attempts at amendments and politicking between the Verkhovna Rada Committee, Cabinet and Presidential Administration, Draft Law 2966-d remains exactly that – a draft law.

Nevertheless, if an independent regulator does eventually emerge, that can only be a positive outcome.

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Not a question of “why” but “who benefits” – Ukrtransgaz

September 17, 2016

It is no surprise to anybody that Ukraine takes two steps forward and one step backwards having opted for evolutionary rather than revolutionary reform.

Evolutionary by its very definition is a statement of change over time.  Evolutionary also manages to allow for grubby, if perhaps occasionally necessary, deals with those that once held power and/or significant control over the national economy.  Such deals theoretically (and empirically globally) set about the reduction of influence of old elites insuring that they and their patriarchy systems decide not to try and return to power and roll back to old methods in return for avoiding their otherwise deserved comeuppance – or at least the full force of justice.

That thinking perhaps works if the new leaders that come to power, recognising that this option is preferable to other radical and perhaps more risky options presented, are not products of the old system but are unsullied.

The “Revolution of Dignity” offered no such unsullied leaders to Ukraine in its immediate aftermath.  The presidential elections of 2015 essentially offered a choice between Mr Poroshenko and Ms Tymoshenko.  Mr Poroshenko won, which considering the choice facing the nation was the best possible outcome.  Ms Tymoshenko was, is and will forever be a political disaster for Ukraine should she ever hold the office of President, or become Prime Minister again.

Nevertheless, President Poroshenko is far from unsullied and is not a leader.  He is a manager that believes he can do deals with everybody keeping the elite more or less equally (un)happy, which whilst significantly slowing any reform progress, doesn’t actually stop it entirely – and to stop it entirely is simply politically impossible for reasons internal and external of Ukraine.

During the YES conference in Kyiv 16th/17th September, whilst President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Groisman, Prosecutor General Lutsenko and other senior political and institutional figures predictably put a veneer upon reform progress.

To be fair there have been a few reforms that are on balance probably irreversible, albeit most are certainly not irreversible, many are half completed, the majority poorly implemented or otherwise exist on legislative paper but are de facto all form and no tangible substance.

With so many intellectuals, lobbyists, journalists, opinion-shapers, policymakers and otherwise erudite and wise people gathered at the YES conference in Kyiv, a reader may ponder therefore why this time was chosen for an undoubtedly retarded and backward step within the halls of power.

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Contrary to agreement with the EBRD, perhaps inadmissible to Ukraine’s obligations to the EU’s 3rd Energy Package (which requires the “unbundling” of energy monopolies), flying in the face of understandings given to the US regarding Ukrainian energy and the font of corruption that it is, Ukrtransgaz was quietly moved from within the Natfogaz empire and transferred to the control of the Ministry of Economic Development for no apparent or justifiable reason.

This despite agreed plans about how to “unbundle” Naftogaz Ukraine with the EBRD prior to the EBRD jumping in to assist Naftogaz to the tune of $300 million.

Clearly the EBRD has expressed its displeasure publicly, and during the YES conference, calling for this retarded decision to be reversed post haste.

Further it jeopardises a World Bank $500 million loan to Naftogaz too.

Naturally given the YES conference circumstance, it does not put President Poroshenko, PM Groisman et al in a particularly good or comfortable light – whether they had any involvement or prior knowledge of the incident or not.

Unsurprisingly it does little for investor confidence if the Ukrainian State breaks its agreements with a major, frequent and reliable inward international investor – particularly when that investor is in the same YES conference room in Kyiv as a leadership telling the world that this government and executive can be trusted to meet its obligations.

In short, whatever decisions are made regarding Naftogaz, Ukrtransgaz etc., they necessarily have to be consistent with existing agreements.

Was such a retarded decision/action timed to deliberately project a poor image of the current leadership?

If complicit, did the current leadership expect the YES conference media noise to drown out or ignore a planned nefarious act?  On balance was it considered a good weekend to bury nefarious news?  If so it failed.

That Ukrtransgaz would be split from Natfogaz to meet the Ukrainian obligations to the 3rd Energy Package is an absolute requirement.  Resolution 496 of the Cabinet of Ministers dated 1st July 2016 clearly plans for this eventuality.  That Resolution calls for the Public Joint Stock Company “Main Pipelines of Ukraine” to be created under the management (temporary or otherwise) of the Ministry of Energy and Coal.  In summary the substance of that Resolution moves Uktransgaz from Naftogaz, renames it – or transfers the assets to be more accurate – to PJSC Main Pipelines of Ukraine which will operate under the Energy and Coal Ministry (at least initially).

This is all to have occurred within 30 days after a currently pending Gazprom v Naftogaz arbitration in Stockholm – but no asset transfer is to occur prior.

Does this decision affect the arbitration process in Stockholm in any way?  If so how?  To the benefit of Gazprom?

Without going too deeply into Resolutions and plans – suffice to say there are publicly available Resolutions and plans about how Ukrtransgaz was to be dealt with as declared by the Cabinet of Ministers – none of which caused angst or ire of the EBRD when published (or since).

It follows that with the current nonsense surrounding Ukrtransgaz, a reader is therefore asking “Why”?

A good question, but perhaps not entirely the right question of “Who”?  Or more precisely “Who benefits?”.

Whenever there is a retarded and backward policy step in Ukraine, the first question that should always be asked before any other is “Who benefits?”.  The next question is then “Why (this way from several possible ways was chosen)?

Recognising that the Ukrtransgaz issue will be resolved to the liking of the EBRD and to try and reduce reputational damage to President Poroshenko, PM Groisman etc., the full question is “who benefits from the fairly short window of opaqueness and unaccountable management decisions in and surrounding Ukrtransgaz during this time?”

For who exactly benefits from what damage can be done/what gains can be made during this time?  Cancelled tenders, or alternatively swiftly awarded tenders will ultimately come to light as will any asset sales, acquisitions, or theft.  The EBRD is not a complainant that the PGO or NABU can ignore when its contractual agreement is with the Ukrainian State.

As yet it is not entirely clear who specifically benefits – but somebody does for such a retarded act to have occurred.  Sooner rather than later it will become clear who benefits (and who clearly believes that any repercussions will be acceptable – as nobody within the elite goes to jail).

In the meantime sadly, as the incompetence of a mere breakdown of communication is rather unlikely, a reader is left to choose between either yet more dirty deeds within the current ruling elite (or at least some of them), and/or a complete lack of government control, or a brazen breach of its obligations.

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Politically expedient legislation – Poroshenko

March 26, 2016

After two days in locked in a room with incredibly wise intellectuals, practitioners, assorted spooks past (and probably some present), numerous ambassadors, policy, and strategy wonks, plus other assorted aficionados, (thus this blog rightly assuming the mantle of retard in residence), it is with reluctance entries once again appear – for it means this gathering and meeting of enlightened and erudite minds is over (at least when it comes to being physically present in the same room).

It is also begrudgingly noted that as early as March 2016 the highlight of the conference/forum season in Odessa and Ukraine has already past.  There will surely not be a gathering of such global expertise, the orating (and debating) of such insightful commentary, nor quality recommendations for the rest of the year in Ukraine.

Thus before getting onto the subject of this entry, a public thanks to those that sponsored, organised and attended the Odessa Security Forum.

Particularly for the sponsors, a shameless plug in exchange for sincere gratitude.  Thanks to NATO,  The Black Sea Trust, Pridunavie, the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Ukraine Today.

It was a good to see some old friends again, and also to make new and most valued acquaintances – some of whom with the passage of time will undoubtedly progress to the category of old friends.

This entry will not go into the substance of this two day event – though other entries subsequent may raise some of the issues discussed (Chatham House Rule applies if and when that occurs).

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Humble tribute made, and genuine gratitude expressed after being seen as worthy of having an invitation, it is time for a return to the grubby politics, strategies and internal disputes that provide the tainted hue of much of the Ukrainian political class.

On 16th February the Verkhovna Rada passed law 3700.  The law was rightly decried as being an absolute affront to democracy and will undoubtedly be challenged in the Constitutional Court if not amended, or preferably repealed in its entirety.

In short, law 3700 allows political parties to remove from their party lists (not single mandate, first past the post seats) those candidates they no longer want after an election and after the Central Election Committee has recognised them.

Thus a party who placed candidates on the proportional representation party list may remove those upon it after an election has occurred and been recognised officially.

It therefore follows that should an individual (or many individuals) vote for Party X because Candidate Y was number 27 on the party list, following CEC recognition, the party can simply strike off Candidate Y and replace them before they assume their democratic mandate.

To go to the extremes, in theory, a party can stuff the top half of its party list with reformers that have traction with the public, fill the bottom half with odious hangovers from post-Soviet oligarchical politics, have the CEC recognise the result, and then strike down the reformers en masse leaving the seats to be filled by the loathsome – lawfully.

The law is clearly undemocratic, and hands power to the party leadership to simply select their chosen (and far too oft nefarious) men/women to fill the seats won under the proportional representation system.  The invitation for internal party corruption and buying/selling of seats due to the arbitrary selection by party leaders is as plain as it is grotesque.

On 25th February, further sullying and already dubious commitment to reforms, President Poroshenko signed these poisoned prose into law – once again to rightful squeals and loud public laments from the reform orientated democracy advocates.

The questions are therefore why would President Poroshenko sign into law such a blatantly offensive and odious text when his reform credentials are now deeply suspect within the national constituency (and to be blunt the international community too)?  He has stated numerous times that there will be no early Verkhovna Rada elections this year, so why not send it back to the Verkhovna Rada with “Must try harder” scrawled across it?  Is there not ample time to produce something that holds democratic integrity if such a law is necessary whatsoever?  He must surely be aware that this law will be rigorously challenged and also adversely effect his steadily decreasing popularity.

The answer is that the law, whilst remaining the law, provides President Poroshenko with the (perhaps temporary) ability to correct a problem within the exiting party list from the last elections of 2014.

It seems likely that there will be some changes both within the Cabinet of Ministers and the Presidential Administration during the on-going negotiations over a reshuffle.  It is quite possible that any outcome will bring about the requirement to bring into parliament the next name (or perhaps several names) on the 2014 party list of Block Poroshenko.

Unfortunately for President Poroshenko the very next name on the list is Andrei Bogdan.

Mr Bogdan is the current lawyer and friend of Gennady Korban.  Mr Korban is currently in and out of prison pending trial for numerous serious allegations.  Some would say that he is indeed getting his richly deserved comeuppance for an entirely dubious history.  Some will state that as he is close to Ihor Kolomoisky, he is but a pawn in a game being played between Messrs Kolomoisky and Poroshenko.  It is also rumoured that Mr Bogdan is now also a member of another political party.

Either way, and any which way a reader may perceive it, there is no way as Mr Korban’s lawyer and chum, Andrei Bogdan can remain comfortably atop the party list waiting to enter the Verkhovna Rada under the presidential flag at a time of internal political flux and Verkhovna Rada reshuffling.  Hence the cynical may conclude that this clearly undemocratic and potentially corruption enhancing law was both passed and signed into statute within a fortnight to provide a lawful path to undo a previous political error.

Lo, it will come as no surprise that within one month of this law entering into force, on 26th March 2016, the “presidential party” has purged itself of those it no longer wants waiting upon its 2014 party list having now gained the approval and recognition of the CEC (under the chairmanship of Mr Okhendovsky) to remove them.

The very first name on that list of those struck off being that of Andrei Bogdan – (There were 12 others – Malovatskoho, Malashenkovoyi, Ryabykina, Vovk, Friedman, Raupova, Ilyashenka, Tarasovtsya, Revenko, Byedovoho, Leshyka and Velimovskoho).

The immediate issue relating to the required denial of Andrei Bogdan entering the Verkhovna Rada should any reshuffle present the opportunity is now resolved.  (Not withstanding another 12 on the party list too).

The law may or may not get struck down in the future, but certainly not before any early Verkhovna Rada elections that may occur during the Spring of 2017.  Those elections will require new party lists which will certainly not feature Mr Bogdan on anything associated directly with President Poroshenko’s official party – or indirectly and unofficially supported Bankova project/technical parties.

Whether this offensive legislation will survive and for how long remains to be seen, for it can also be interpreted as a very crude method of buying Verkhovna Rada proportionally represented party seats when the leadership can pick and choose who fills them post election and CEC recognition.  Perhaps it was never designed to last, then again, perhaps it was.

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Privatisation Ukraine

March 3, 2016

About a month ago, rumour circulated that Vladimir Derzhavin, a long term of ally of Igor Kononenko – business partner, friend ,and parliamentary “enforcer” of President Poroshenko – was to be inserted (by hook or by crook) within the State Property Fund (a State institution not known for its integrity) .

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The State Property Fund, together with the Ministry of Economic Development will have “access” to the dealings with the privatisation of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

It was for this reason that this blog foretold far in advance the departure of Aivaras Abromavicius (via whatever political dark arts necessary) as Minister prior to any privatisation actually occurring.  An honest man beholding to no established vested interests simply wouldn’t do.  Indeed Mr Kononenko was specifically named by the former Minister in his resignation speech.  (Former Deputy Prosecutor General Kasko has had few charitable words to say about Mr Kononenko’s influence within the Prosecutor General’s Office either.)

Mr Kononenko was (and remains) intent of having “his people” with “hands-on” access to the process.

Indeed the State Property Fund intends to sell off 20 large, 50 medium and 380 small SOEs during 2016 alone.  In May, the SPF plans to sell 25% shares in “Donbassenergo”, “Sumyoblenergo”, and”Odessaoblenergo”.  June will see the sale of 99.6% state-owned shares in Odessa Port Side, and 25% shares in “DTEK Zakhidenergo”, “DTEK Dniproenergo”, “DTEK Dneprooblenergo” and “Kyivenergo”.  July will see the SPF sell a 46% share in Cherkassyoblenergo, and October  25% shares in DTEK Donbassoblenergo are up for sale.  A heavily energy orientated list.

Lo, it has unsurprisingly come to pass that  Vladimir Derzhavin, as rumoured a month ago, has indeed been appointed within the State Property Fund – as Deputy Head (According to Decree 128).

Will anybody be surprised if Mr Kononenko, or those closest to him, will end up with more energy assets by the year end than they have now via questionable methods?

Thus whilst it may be true that the toxic Ukrainian womb of corruption begins to produce fewer out-sized oligarchic and minigarch births, this toxic womb remains fertile, regularly given reproductive seed to produce illegitimate bastard proteges fathered by the first grotesquely formed oligarchical generation now matured, in the ever incestuous orgy of patronage.

The necessary hysterectomy begins when exactly?

 

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