UARU
Ukraine Energy Reform Under Threat
19 September, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

✅ The Ukrainian government altered Naftogaz's charter to retain control of the company's gas transport arm;
✅ Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev: “We’re seeing an unprecedented attack on Naftogaz;”
✅ Kobolev suggests reverting to the proposition introduced by Naftogaz a year ago, where the cabinet of ministers could make joint decisions, rather than delegating directorship just to certain ministers;
✅ “Naftogaz is the cornerstone of reform in this country. If Naftogaz fails, then a lot of other things will fail.“

The project to make Ukraine's state-owned oil and gas monopoly independent of corruption and oligarchic control is under serious threat this week after the Ukrainian government altered Naftogaz's charter to retain control of the company's gas transport arm.

The transport of gas in Ukraine has long been a massive source of corruption, and removing Naftogaz's control over the sector was long a priority for Western creditors seeking to reform Ukraine. 

“We’re seeing an unprecedented attack on Naftogaz,” says CEO Andriy Kobolev. “This is a violation of the plan, which was verified by the cabinet of minister this year in July.” He suggests reverting to the proposition introduced by Naftogaz a year ago, where the cabinet of ministers could make joint decisions, rather than delegating directorship just to certain ministers.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, which has already extended a $300 million loan to Naftogaz, sharply criticized the move, saying that it placed further cooperation in jeopardy. 

“Naftogaz is the cornerstone of reform in this country. If Naftogaz fails, then a lot of other things will fail,“ says Francis Malige, Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus for the EBDR.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman denied a setback: “As the prime minister of the country, I can assure you that there are no problems with Naftogaz reform and there will be no problems.”

Hromadske spoke to Andriy Kobolev, CEO of Naftogaz, Francis Malige, Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus for the EBDR, and Volodymyr Groysman, Prime Minster of Ukraine in September 2016 during the 13th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting in Kyiv.