Business news from Ukraine

MEMBER OF UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RELEASES FRESH RECORDINGS OF PERSONS WITH SIMILAR VOICES TO BIDEN, POROSHENKO

Member of Parliament Andriy Derkach has released recordings of telephone conversations between persons with voices similar to those of Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Derkach earlier released similar audio snippets, saying he received them from “investigative journalists.”
Derkach said the latest recorded conversation took place on August 19, 2016 and was about the detention of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea, whom Russia’s Federal Security Service labelled “members of Ukrainian sabotage terrorist groups.” Ukraine at the time denied the accusation.
“My team has briefed me in considerable detail regarding the events that took transpired over the weekend, on [August] 6th and 7th[2016],” a voice similar to Biden’s is heard saying to Poroshenko without mentioning what, specifically, the events were.
“…These actions have left the president and me a little concerned. […] As you know, we intervened once before this when we learned that your HUR [the General Staff] was going to take some action. And we made it clear that we did not support that. And you stood down, and the next thing this happens. I will say very frankly – he is not real happy. So the head of your military intelligence chief received a clear signal from us a several weeks ago regarding our strong disapproval of the planned sabotage operation against military targets inside Russian territory. And I know that Crimea is Ukraine, and it is illegally occupied. However, we strongly, strongly believe that raising the cost on Russia can only be done via political and diplomatic means, and not military and sabotage operations,” says the voice resembling Biden’s.
“…We know what it was. Four frogmen were intercepted, all four escaped and the next night friendly fire that had nothing to do with you guys, but [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is trying to make some big deal out of this,” says voice resembling Biden’s.
“…This happened when I was on a visit to the Far East. We are undertaking important steps to make it impossible to repeat this situation in the future. The only reason that we are not dismissing the chief of military intelligence… I would hate to do it immediately, that is, now, because anyone will be able to interpret it as a recognizing responsibility,” replies a voice similar to Poroshenko’s.
“…We are still making efforts to organize a telephone conversation with Putin, but he rejected it. I think he wants to hold a meeting of the [Russian] Security Council in Crimea today. …In any case, he does not make new attempts to blame Ukraine, with new names, new killed [persons] or wounded people, because they have nobody. They have nobody to [blame] for this, this crazy idea, this diversion attack against the airport, I don’t know, against ports or infrastructure. This is simply not true. …We don’t open fire, we don’t use military force,” a voice resembling Poroshenko’s replies.
Derkach said “one of the participants in the events (allegedly discussed by Biden and Poroshenko) is Valeriy Kondratiuk [who in 2016 headed the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ukraine’s Defense Ministry], adding that Kondratiuk was recently appointed to head Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service.
“The person who had a direct attitude to the planned terrorist attacks and sabotage against citizens of Ukraine, today is a member of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council and heads the Foreign Intelligence Service, reporting directly to Ukraine’s president. The question is to which president?” Derkach said.
The official telephone conversation of Biden and Poroshenko was purportedly made on August 14, 2016. The White House at the time said that “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has discussed with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko the latest tensions in Russia-occupied Crimea. The Vice President urged President Poroshenko to do his part in order to avoid the escalation of tension and Washington also called on the Russian side to avoid escalating the conflict,” Derkach said.
According to Derkach, at the time of the alleged telephone call, Biden noted Poroshenko’s efforts to find ways to resolve the situation, emphasizing that the America “is closely monitoring all the events surrounding the Crimean provocation, the responsibility for which lies with Russia in full.”
Russia, meanwhile, said it had liquidated the “agent network” in Crimea and detained a group of Ukrainian and Russian citizens “who had assisted in the preparation of the attacks.” They named a resident of Enerhodar, Zaporizhia region, Yevhen Panov, whom they identified as an employee of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Foreign Intelligence Service and National Security and Defense Council at the time denied reports of Ukrainian saboteurs. The Defense Ministry said Russia’s allegations that Ukrainian forces had shelled the peninsula from the mainland were groundless.
Former President Petro Poroshenko at the time said that the Russian accusations of Ukrainian terrorism in the occupied Crimea were unfounded and were intended to lay the groundwork for future military threats against the Ukrainian state.
On August 11, 2016, Poroshenko at a meeting with the leadership of law enforcement agencies and the Foreign Ministry ordered that units near the administrative border of the Kherson region and Crimea be brought to enhanced combat readiness.

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FIFTH PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE POROSHENKO IS SUSPECTED OF IMPELLING FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE HEAD TO EXCEED AUTHORITY

Prosecutors of the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) on behalf of the Prosecutor General reported suspicion to MP, the fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
“According to the investigation, the parliamentarian is suspected of the fact that being the president, he impelled the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Ukraine to exceeded his authority and official powers in 2018, by issuing an obviously criminal order committing actions that clearly go beyond the rights and powers granted to him, committed in a special period (Part 4 of Article 27, Part 4 of Article 41, Part 4 of Article 426-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine),” the PGO press service reported.

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AKHMETOV, PINCHUK, POROSHENKO HEAD TOP 100 RICHEST BUSINESSMEN IN UKRAINE

Rinat Akhmetov with a $2.8 billion fortune is No.1 in the top 100 wealthiest businessmen of Ukraine, the total fortune of whom exceeded $31 billion, and compared with the peak 2013 the fortune of Akhmetov plunged by almost 83%, Forbes has said on its website. According to the ranking of the Forbes Ukraine publication, which was published first since 2016, the owner of Interpipe Group Victor Pinchuk with a $1.4 billion fortune came in at No. 2 and the fifth president of Ukraine, leader of the European Solidarity party Petro Poroshenko ($1.4 billion) is No. 3.
Poroshenko returned to the list of U.S. dollar billionaires after a five year break: in 2014, U.S. Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.3 billion.
Eight people in the list have a fortune no less than $1 billion, including two, who are the co-owners of the Epicenter hypermarket chain – Oleksandr and Halyna Hereha. The list of the U.S. dollar billionaires is locked by former owner of PrivatBank Ihor Kolomoisky.
The top 100 richest businessmen of Ukraine with the minimum net worth needed to be part of the exclusive club of $95 million is locked by the co-owner of the Tavria V supermarket chain Borys Muzalev.

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UKRAINIAN MP HANDS OVER MATERIALS TO PGO ALLEGEDLY TESTIFYING TO BIDEN’S INFLUENCE ON POROSHENKO

Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach has made public audio materials that may indicate the influence of ex-Vice President of the United States Joseph Biden on the fifth President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. “We will unveil recordings of telephone conversations with voices similar to those of Petro Poroshenko and Joseph Biden, testifying to the facts of international corruption and state treason at the highest state level,” Derkach said during an online conference at Interfax-Ukraine agency on Tuesday.
According to Derkach, he received the recordings from investigative journalists, and Poroshenko personally did the recording of the conversations.
The first topic of the recordings, the deputy noted, concerns the receipt of “$1 billion in exchange for maintaining Burisma schemes and international corruption.” The records, as Derkach notes, date back to 2015-2016, in particular, they refer to the need to dismiss Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin at that time, “who was investigating the Burisma case and tapped into Biden at that time.”
“Biden leaves for Kyiv to put pressure on Petro Oleksiyovych regarding Shokin. There’s a powerful argument … in Biden’s pocket … a $1 billion loan guarantees … such was a price to save Biden from prison,” Derkach said.
The deputy claims that the $1 billion received was used to get military government orders by enterprises related to Poroshenko.
The second topic of the recordings, according to Derkach, concerns the collapse of the parliamentary coalition and the upcoming elections in February 2016. “Poroshenko admits that there is no coalition … instead of fulfilling the requirements of the Constitution and declaring a re-election, Petro Oleksiyovych held to the promises given to Biden personally and blocked the Cabinet’s dismissal,” Derkach explained.
“These conversations clearly show … Biden ruled Ukraine,” the deputy said.
Also, according to him, the audio recordings say about Biden’s influence through the supervisory boards of large state enterprises.
“We handed over all the hours-long records we have at our disposal together with a statement about high treason, as well as of facts of international corruption to the Prosecutor General’s Office … for registering criminal proceedings,” Derkach summed up.
He also added that, in his opinion, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov “blocks the creation of the inquiry commission … which is a violation of the law on regulations.” “Such a commission could effectively investigate the facts of international corruption,” Derkach said.
Former prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk, who was present at the press conference, added that Ruslan Riaboshapka, when he was the prosecutor general, “completely stopped the investigation of economic crimes of the Yanukovych regime and stopped the $6 billion budget confiscation planned for 2019.”
“A report has been prepared on this fact that Riaboshapka had committed the crimes pursuant to Articles 349, 364 and 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine … it is about interference with the activities of a law enforcement officer, abuse of power, exceeding of the limits of authority and disclosure of the secrets of pretrial investigation. I hope that the monitoring over the investigation will be organized by Ukrainian parliamentarians … I consider it necessary to initiate the creation of a temporary investigative commission of the Verkhovna Rada to investigate opposition to the investigation of economic criminal cases of the Yanukovych regime,” Kulyk said.

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MYRONIVSKY HLIBOPRODUCT DENIES LINK BETWEEN CONTRIBUTIONS TO REFORMS SUPPORT FOUNDATION UNDER POROSHENKO’S PRESIDENCY AND HIS LOBBYING IN U.S.

Myronivsky Hliboproduct agricultural holding (MHP), whose majority shareholder and chairman of the board is Yuriy Kosiuk, has confirmed information about financing the Foundation for Support of Reforms in Ukraine by five of its enterprises, but the foundation independently decided on spending these funds, in particular on payment for the services of the U.S. lobbying company BGR in 2017-2018 for the National Reforms Council, led by the then President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
“MHP companies really provided financial assistance to the Foundation for Support of Reforms in Ukraine. Financial assistance was provided to achieve the goal of the organization, namely to promote the development of Ukraine and the growth of well-being of its citizens by providing support in the development and implementation of reforms in Ukraine,” the press service of the holding told Interfax-Ukraine.
The agricultural holding said that MHP and its chairman did not used the funds provided to the Foundation for Support of Reforms to directly finance lobbying in the United States or other specific areas.
“The public organization independently determines the use of funds received from all founders and partners, taking into account the detailed directions of activity,” MHP noted.
According to the Kyiv Post edition, the administration of President Poroshenko through the Foundation for Support of Reforms in Ukraine paid for the services of American lobbyists at the expense of contributions made by Kosiuk, who at that time was a freelance adviser to the head of state, and it took $600,000 in 2017-2018. The matter concerns five agricultural firms: PrJSC Zernoproduct MHP, Vinnytsia Poultry Farm LLC, PrJSC Myronivska Poultry Farm, Research and Production Firm Urozhay LLC, and Urozhaina Kraina LLC. In addition to the money from Kosiuk, this public organization received grants of millions of dollars in support of reforms from embassies and Western donors, including American ones, Kyiv Post said.

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STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS: PETRO POROSHENKO REFUSING TO COOPERATE

Fifth President of Ukraine and current member of the Ukrainian parliament Petro Poroshenko does not want to cooperate with the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) on the investigations into thirteen criminal proceedings in which he is a witness, SBI Director Roman Truba said. “Petro Poroshenko should understand that it is in his interests to testify so that the investigators can study the circumstances as soon as possible […] Unfortunately, the ex-president does not agree on that. We are offering cooperation, but he offers opposition. We are proposing to him an investigation into all circumstances of the case, he is engaging in politics near the SBI office,” Truba told a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday.
A testimony is needed first and foremost for Poroshenko himself, Truba said.
The SBI is investigating 13 criminal proceedings in which Poroshenko is a witness and he is being questioned in that status, Truba said.

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