Medvedchuk accuses Poroshenko of involvement in privatization of state pipeline, purchase of coal from occupied Donbas
23 May, 2022

Detained Ukrainian MP Viktor Medvedchuk has testified against the fifth President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. He mentioned the scheme to illegally privatize part of the major oil pipeline "Samara – Western Direction", as well as the purchase of coal from unrecognized Russian proxy "republics" in the Donbas, the Security Service of Ukraine reported, and published a relevant video with Medvedchuk.

The politician noted that he started working on the Samara-Western Direction oil pipeline at Poroshenko's request. According to him, the former president asked him to buy the pipeline in 2016, and also asked to contact Russian President Putin.

"So that Transneft could sell this pipeline, and so that this pipeline could then be bought out, as it turned out, by Poroshenko," Medvedchuk said. According to him, the former head of state spent $23 million on the purchase of the pipeline: the money was withdrawn through sham contracts, and these issues were controlled by financial adviser Makar Pasenyuk.

The SBU emphasizes that the pipeline earned up to $42 million in a year. According to Medvedchuk, the pumping of diesel through the facility ceased in May 2019 – after the termination of Poroshenko's term as president.

In addition, the deputy said that Poroshenko allegedly abetted the judicial and administrative bodies to make the right decision. "The courts, the prosecutor's office, the Antimonopoly Committee, the State Property Fund – all of them made decisions, of course, necessary for the personal interests of President Poroshenko," Medvedchuk said in the released video.

Besides, Medvedchuk tells on camera about another scheme – purchase of coal from unrecognized "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014-2015. In addition to Poroshenko, he alleged that the former head of the National Bank Valeria Hontarieva, former energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn, former deputy Ihor Kononenko, law enforcement officers, the prosecutor general, and the interior minister were involved in the scheme.

Petro Poroshenko has not yet responded to Medvedchuk's published testimony.

The Opposition Platform MP has been in custody since March 18. His detention was announced on March 12. According to the SBU, the Russian FSB wanted to take Medvedchuk under the guise of an Armed Forces rep to unrecognized Transnistria, and from there to Moscow, but the politician was detained on his way out of the Kyiv region.

After the detention, the SBU published a video in which Medvedchuk offered to exchange himself for Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol. The latest video is this testimony of the politician.

What pipeline?

The Samara-Western Direction pipeline is the main source of Russian diesel fuel for Ukraine. It also pumps diesel fuel from Belarus and is used for its transit to Europe. It spans six Ukrainian regions.

The pipeline was discussed in February 2021 during the imposition of sanctions against Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko, when the National Security and Defense Council instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to take measures to return this part of the pipeline to Ukrainian state ownership.

The oil pipeline was built in the USSR and was to be transferred to Ukraine after its independence, but its subsidiary, Russia's Transnefteproduct, did not transfer it to Ukraine.

Prykarpatzakhidtrans LLC owns this pipeline, but the authorities believe that the company obtained it illegally. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has even filed a lawsuit over the misappropriation of the facility. They emphasize that in 2017 the Commercial Court of Rivne region passed a decision, which was based on a knowingly false conclusion of the forensic engineering and technical examination of the state enterprise "UkrDIAP". On February 11, 2021, law enforcement officers reported the suspicion to the former deputy director of UkrDIAP.

"Coal business"

On December 20, 2021, Petro Poroshenko was declared a suspect under three articles of the Criminal Code: on terrorist financing, treason, and aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. He faces up to 15 years in prison with possible confiscation of property.

The case concerns a scheme of supplying coal from the temporarily occupied territories for 1.5 billion hryvnias ($50.7 million) and assistance to the terrorist organizations "LPR" and "DPR".

Poroshenko is suspected of colluding with a group of people (including Russia's top leadership) to promote "L/DPR" activities, as well as buying coal in the occupied territories at public expense.

According to the investigation, the actions of the defendants made Ukraine energy dependent on Russia and Russian proxy forces in the Donbas. Poroshenko's defense denies the accusations. The ex-president's lawyers and he consider the case to be politically motivated.