Sanctions hypocrisy in Ukraine

September 7, 2014

Media reports say that sanctions against Russia will not work until Ukraine itself acts first, since at present it does not join in the restrictive measures against Moscow.

(Note: This post is also in Russian on this site).

THE European Commission on September 5 announced that it would be significantly strengthening sanctions against Russia. In the EU it was being emphasised that the restrictive measures would affect Russia’s capital market, defense industries and sensitive technologies. This is the latest round of measures announced by the European Union to put pressure on Russia, which last month openly stepped up its incursion into Ukraine, writes the Donetsk-based http://www.KorrDon.info news blog, citing http://www.ukranews.com.

However, while this will actually be the third attempt to impose such sanctions on Russia, the measures already taken in the first rounds have not borne fruit – insofar as it is deemed necessary that sanctions squeeze the immediate circle linked to President Vladimir Putin. As written in European media after separatist rebels shot down Flight MN17, the Malaysian Air civilian plane with nearly 300 passengers on board, Russia should be punished by seizing the luxury yachts of Russian billionaires.

However, despite the billions of dollars it cost in economic losses, the Europeans did adhere to to principle of sanctions and even tightened them.  Not so in Ukraine, which ostensibly needs global partners willing to apply ever tougher sanctions against the Russian Federation. Here there is little sign of active support for such measures as “many Russian corporations with close ties to the Kremlin continue to operate freely on Ukraine’s partially occupied territory,” to quote http://www.ukranews.com.

Ukrainian News cited as an example the corporate giant EuroChem, owned and operated by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, which is still quietly operating on Ukrainian soil like other multi-billion dollar enterprises. The 42-year-old Melnichenko, in 2013 joined the very exclusive club of the ten richest people in Russia, according to Forbes Magaine which noted his coziness with the Kremlin and close freindship with Putin.

And yet AgrotsentrEvroHim-Ukraine – the daughter company of a multi-billion Russian corporation – continues to operate unrestricted in Ukraine. Ukrainian News found odd parallels, both past and present. Whe the ousted Viktor Yanukovych first came to power, the Russian EuroChem was cleared by the courts to import ammonium nitrate duty free into Ukraine. Since then the EurChem daughter has grown by 80 percent and its share of the ammonium nitrate import market in Ukraine exceeded 60 percent at the end of 2012.

“As long as Kiev will allow Russian oligarchs to make a profit in Ukraine, the government can not
    realistically expect to further sanctions against Russian business from friendly countries.”

Ukrainian News also notes that among the partners of AgrotsentrEvroHim-Ukraine are JSC Severodonetsk Group, Dmitry Firtash and Agroprodinvest LLC, which is part of Ukrprominvest and co-owned by President Petro Poroshenko. In addition, EuroChem is mainly financed by the Russian state’s Sherbank, which was put on the United States and EU sanctions lists. So Ukraine leaves EuroChem free to do business on its territory, completely undermining its appeals to the West for the introduction of wider sanctions.

However, according to ITAR-TASS, President Poroshenko is taking some tentative steps towrd introducing sanctions against Russia. It is expected that he will approve a Ukrainian parliament law that would allow him to impose sanctions on Russian companies by decree.

This law includes a list compiled by the Ukrainian tax department of around 1,000 cases with more than 50 percent Russian capital who could be consider for having sanctions imposed. ition of sanctions. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether this list cwill cover multibillion-dollar corporations like EuroChem.

Certainly the law is a positive first step, but if the Ukrainian government somehow exempts the largest Russian corporations from its sanctions regime, it would be nothing more than an empty gesture.

“As long as Kiev allows Russian oligarchs to make profits in Ukraine,” writes Ukrainian News, “the government cannot realistically expect friendly countries to make furth efforts to sanction Russian businesses.


СМИ: украинские санкции не эффективны?

September 7, 2014

СМИ говорят о том, что украинские санкции пока не действуют. Журналисты пишут о том, что Украина не придерживается ограничительных мер против России.

Европейская комиссия с 5-го сентября объявила о том, что значительно усилит санкции против России. В ЕС отметили, что ограничительные меры коснутся рынка капитала, обороны и чувствительных технологий. Это уже не первые шаги Евросоюза по оказанию давления на РФ, которая в августе пошла на открытое вторжение в Украину, пишет korrdon.info, которых цитирует  ukranews.com.

Однако, хотя это будет уже третья попытка ввода санкций против России, меры, которые принимались раньше особого эффекта не возымели. И речь пошла о том, что влиять необходимо на ближайшее окружение Владимира Путина. Хотя бы, как писали европейские СМИ после сбитого российскими боевиками малайзиского “Боинга”, – конфисковать роскошные яхты российских миллиардеров в знак протеста против уничтожения рейса МН17 с почти 300 пассажирами на борту.

Европа, несмотря на многомиллиардные убытки своего бизнеса, все же придерживалась точечных санкций. сделала намного больше. В то же время Украина, требуя от мировых партнеров более жестких санкций в отношении РФ, сама не принимает никаких заградительных мер, позволяя российским корпорациям свободно работать на своей территории, пишут ukranews.com.

Так, например “Українські новини” пишут о том, что корпорация “ЕвроХим”, которой владеет и управляет русский миллиардер Андрей Мельниченко, до сих пор спокойно функционирует на территории Украины. Эксперты объясняют “финансовый рывок” 42-летнего Мельниченко, в 2013 году вошедшего в десятку богатейших людей России по версии “Форбс”, близостью к Кремлю и личными приятельскими отношениями с Путиным.

Несмотря на этот факт, “дочка” многомиллиардной российской корпорации – ДП “АгроцентрЕвроХим-Украина” – действует в Украине без ограничений.

“Українські новини” провели параллели и выяснили странные обстоятельства,чтоименно с приходом к власти Виктора Януковича российская корпорация “ЕвроХим” отстояла в судах право беспошлинно ввозить в Украину аммиачную селитру. С тех пор выручка егоукраинской “дочки” выросла на 80%, а доля компании в импорте селитры в Украину по итогам 2012 года превысила 60%.

Издание также провели и еще несколько параллелей: среди партнеров в Украине на сайте “АгроцентрЕвроХим-Украина” значатся, в частности, ЗАО “Северодонецкое объединение “Азот” Дмитрия Фирташа и ООО “Агропродинвест”, входящей в состав Группы “Укрпроминвест”,  совладельцем которой является президент Украины Петр Порошенко.

Кроме того, “ЕвроХим” финансируется в основном российским государственным “Сбербанком”, который был внесен в санкционные списки США и ЕС.Несмотря на это, Украина позволяет “ЕвроХиму” свободно вести бизнес на своей территории, что лишает силы ее призывы к Западу по введению дальнейших санкций.
Однако, отметим, что украинское правительство принимает первые шаги относительно введения санкций против России. Как ожидается, президент Порошенко подпишет принятый украинским парламентом закон, позволяющий ему с помощью указов налагать санкции на российские компании.

Закон также включает в себя список, составленный украинской налоговой службой, включающий почти 1000 лиц с более чем 50-процентным российским капиталом, которые могут быть поданы на рассмотрение для наложения санкций. Тем не менее не ясно, находятся ли в этом списке такие многомиллиардные корпорации как “ЕвроХим”. С одной стороны этот закон является первым позитивным шагом, но если украинская власть так или иначе освободит крупнейшие российские корпорации от режима санкций, то он окажется не более чем пустым жестом, пишут “Українські новини”.

До тех пор, пока Киев будет позволять российским олигархам получать прибыль в Украине, правительство не может реально рассчитывать на дальнейшие санкции против российского бизнеса со стороны дружественных стран.

[ Комсомольская правда в Украине :: 07/09/2014 :: http://kp.ua/economics/469047-smy-ukraynskye-sanktsyy-ne-effektyvny ]


LUKOIL shares: Alekperov controls 16.899%, Fedun 8.3%

April 17, 2009

Lukoil’s presidentVagit Alekperov directly and indirectly controls 16.899% of the company’s shares, a Lukoil announcement said today.

Leonid Fedun, the vice president, holds 8.3% of the stock – giving the two top managers a blocking stake of 25.199%.
Lukoil’s capitalization on the RTS (Russian Trading System) is around $72.893 billion.

This gives a market value of $12.32 bn. for Alekperov’s interest and $6.05 bln. for Fedun’s


Russia halts oil deliveries to Germany

January 8, 2009

Pipeline operator Transneft on Monday, January 8, shut off the Druzhba pipeline, temporarily cutting off the source of 20 percent of Germany’s oil imports, as the conflict between Moscow and Belarus over energy prices worsened.

This has potentially serious consequences for Western Europe and yet again has Western governments and business leaders questioning the reliability of Russian contracts and supplies

Transneft has accused Belarus of illegally tapping oil from the Druzhba pipeline, whose name translates as “friendship”. Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Transneft chief Simon Vainshtock as saying that the company had stopped oil transports through the pipeline – which is used to export oil to Poland and Germany – during the night. The company said it is currently seeking alternative routes for transporting oil to Poland and Germany, but did not provide any information on when the pipeline might be reopened.

The Druzhba pipeline is an enormously important part of Germany’s energy supply. Of the total of 112 million tons of oil that are consumed in Germany each year, 20 percent travel through the pipeline.

“I view the closure of the important Druzhba pipeline with concern,” German Economics Minister Michael Glos said Monday. “I expect the deliveries through the pipeline to resume completely as soon as possible.”

“Druzhba is very relevant for Germany,” said a spokesman for the Association of the German Petroleum Industry. Most German oil imports from Russia travel through the pipeline. The only alternative would be through tanker deliveries, the spokesman said, but this would cover “only a small portion” of the lost oil. According to the association, there are no other pipelines available to do the job.

Poland’s Economics Ministry also confirmed that oil supplies had been interrupted through the Druzhba pipeline on Monday morning. Germany’s Economics Ministry confirmed similar trouble.

A spokesperson for European Union Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said the European Commission in Brussels will investigate the interruption of oil supplies. “We have contacted the Russian and Belarussian authorities and demanded an urgent and detailed explanation for this interruption,” spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said.

In the short term, however, physical shortages aren’t expected because Germany has strategic oil reserves that can last up to 130 days and Poland has at least 70 days’ worth.


Tvoyzlava

July 25, 2007


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Yukos: Into oblivion

July 10, 2007

The bankrupt OAO Yukos vanished last week in a flurry of auctions that ended three years of politically driven legal action that left its former owner jailed and many of its assets snatched by its state-controlled rival.
Yukos, once regarded as one of Russia’s best-run and most transparent companies, was driven into bankruptcy by back tax bills of some $30 billion  while former owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed for eight years for fraud and tax evasion.
Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, had funded opposition political parties and was seen as having personal political ambitions that the Kremlin wanted to quash. A series of asset auctions have allowed the state-controlled oil company OAO Rosneft to transform itself from a loose bundle of holdings into an energy titan.
Yukos’ fate is at the core of the Kremlin’s emergence from passive observer in the 1990s to the controlling power it is today in both the economy and in politics.
Three lots went under the hammer last week, including Yukos’ last remaining production unit Samaraneftegaz, as well as the most visible symbols of its shattered empire – gas stations that dot Moscow and its towering headquarters.
Rosneft has undergone a revival as striking as Yukos’ decline. With Putin’s deputy chief of staff Igor Sechin in the chairman’s seat it has been steadily gaining power.
It became a major player overnight in December 2004 after acquiring Yukos’ 1-million-barrel-a-day Yuganskneftegaz production unit from an apparent shell company that had bought it in an auction.
In this year’s auctions, Rosneft snapped up a chunk of its own shares that had been owned by Yukos for 10 percent lower than their market value. Last week it bought Yukos’ 230,000-barrel-per-day Tomskneft unit and a handful of refineries. That let Rosneft leapfrog over OAO Lukoil to become Russia’s biggest oil producer and gave the state control of more than 40 percent of Russia’s oil production.
With Samaraneftegaz, Rosneft’s average daily production should rise from 1.9 million barrels to 2.1 million barrels – already level with Nigeria and Iraq. Rosneft could soon be pumping 2.3 million barrels per day.


Rosneft raider

June 12, 2007

Rosneft bought the remaining production and refining assets of bankrupt Yukos at auction for 1$6.42 billion, adding to recentacquisitions that have transformed Rosneft from a loose bundle of assets into the dominant player in Russia’s oil market. The only other bidder was a little known company called Versar.
Rosneft’s subsidiary Neft-Aktiv bought Yukos’ Samaraneftegaz production unit, with a capacity of about 200,000 barrels a day, and three refineries.
Rosneft has bought other Yukos production units in previous auctions; the purchase last week of one of the units leapfrogged Rosneft over Lukoil as the country’s largest oil producer. The state now has control of more than 40 percent of Russia’s oil production.
Yukos, once regarded as among Russia’s best-run and most transparent companies, was a favorite of foreign investors. But it was driven into bankruptcy by alleged back-tax bills ofUS$30 billion.
The bills were imposed in a series of legal actions that were patently aimed at dismantling the company to boost state control of the oil industry. The tax cases came in parallel with the conviction and imprisonment of former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky on fraud and tax evasion charges.
Khodorkovsky had funded opposition political parties. Hence his punishment for daring to have political ambitions.


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