National Bank of Ukraine attacked by Kolomoisky

The board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has stated that an attack on the NBU, which has been going on for several weeks, is being carried out by former PrivatBank owner Ihor Kolomoisky, who owes the state $5.5 billion.

The NBU board said this in an appeal posted on the Facebook page of the central bank.

“A focused attack on the National Bank in the form of ordered speculation and slander in the media, paid rallies outside the NBU building, and even attempts by ‘hired thugs’ to forcibly invade the NBU, has been going on for several weeks. We believe that this pressure on the National Bank is exerted by oligarch and former PrivatBank owner Ihor Kolomoisky, who owes the state $5.5 billion withdrawn from PrivatBank before its nationalization. At the same time, the state – the president, the government, the National Bank – are united in the only position that the funds must be returned,” the NBU said.

The central bank stressed that the purpose of the attack is to create a managed information chaos: so as to discredit the NBU and reform on the cleansing of the banking sector; to change leadership and, in the future, resort to the manual management of the NBU; to avoid liability and the need to repay funds withdrawn from PrivatBank to the state; to interfere with Ukraine’s cooperation with international partners and, above all, the IMF, which supports the state’s position that former owners of bankrupt banks should repay funds to the state.

At the same time, a report published on the NBU website notes that this information campaign was ordered. According to the NBU, a number of factors indicate that Kolomoisky is the person who ordered it. Firstly, according to the media, those protesting outside the NBU building receive money for participation in rallies. Rallies are organized by NGO Stop Corruption, which was expelled from the Global Investigative Journalists Network (GIJN) in September 2018 due to the lack of professionalism and conflict of interest.

Secondly, according to the NBU, employees of Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant and other Kolomoisky-controlled enterprises, which had previously been picketing PrivatBank’s offices in Dnipro and Kyiv, joined the rallies on November 25.

“Thirdly, the attack is being carried out through the main ‘executor’ – MP Oleksandr Dubinsky, a person involved in anti-corruption investigations, who is called the mouthpiece of oligarch Kolomoisky in the media. Negative information and slander, demands and expectations of ‘that’ party are made public through his own information resources or those related to him,” the NBU added.

“Pressure on the central bank is unacceptable in a rule-of-law and civilized state. We continue to ensure pricing and financial stability. We regulate banks, ensure uninterrupted payments, increase Ukraine’s international reserves, etc. However, since attacks can threaten the well-functioning of the regulator and the safety of our staff, the NBU has already appealed to law enforcement agencies to prevent unlawful actions. Despite the pressure, we continue to defend the common position of the state: former owners of banks should be held responsible for withdrawing depositors’ funds and bringing banks to bankruptcy,” the appeal reads.

On December 18, 2016, following the proposal of the NBU and former shareholders of PrivatBank (the largest of them being Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov), the government decided to nationalize Ukraine’s largest bank.

To save the bank, the state conducted additional capitalization for over UAH 155 billion.

The bank’s former owners consider nationalization illegal. Litigation is ongoing both in Ukraine and abroad.

On April 18, 2019, Kyiv’s District Administrative Court overturned the decision on PrivatBank’s nationalization under a lawsuit filed by Kolomoisky. In response, the Cabinet of Ministers, the NBU and Privatbank immediately appealed against the ruling in May.

On October 15, PrivatBank earned a victory at the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in the case against Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov.

The judges ruled that PrivatBank has sufficient prerequisites to litigate the case and obtain compensation of about $3 billion.

Ukraine’s Presidential Office stated that whatever the decisions of the courts are, there is no reason to return state-owned PrivatBank to its former shareholders.

© 2019 Ukrinform News



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