Medvedchuk’s companies sell petroleum products to U.S. circumventing sanctions – media
ExxonMobil bought petroleum products from a Swiss company NewCoal Trading rather than directly from Medvedchuk’s firms.
Ukrainian investigative journalists have exposed a scheme by which petroleum products from the Russian Novoshakhtinsky refinery, controlled by the family of Ukrainian politician and Vladimir Putin’s crony Viktor Medvedchuk, are supplied to the United States, despite personal sanctions earlier imposed against the pro-Russian MP.
That’s according to RFE’RL’s Schemes investigative project.
The probe focuses on the Russian company Rosewood Shipping, which owns eight oil tankers. The company is officially owned by Oksana Marchenko, Medvedchuk’s wife, which is reflected in MP’s declaration of assets.
It exports oil produced by Novoshakhtinsky refinery, another Russian company based in Rostov region, also owned by Marchenko – something the Schemes had revealed back in 2018 before Medvedchuk confirmed the report, added that he had been managing the company.
According to the departure schedule of Rosewood Shipping tankers, reported by the Rostov port, they supposedly sail to the Georgian port of Batumi. However, the latter port in a commentary to Schemes has denied accepting any of the tankers owned by Marchenko’s company.
The Marine Traffic tracking service shows that three large tankers often stay stationary in a certain zone in the Black Sea, while five smaller ones sail from the port in Rostov to the Black Sea and back.
The Schemes managed to reveal at least six cases of petroleum products delivery from the Novoshakhtinsky refinery to the United States from February to April 2020.
Tankers departed from the Rostov port area and arrived in Houston, Texas.
The recipient was ExxonMobil Sales and Supply LLC, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, whose former leader Rex Tillerson briefly served as U.S. Secretary of State during Donald Trump’s cadence.
According to the Schemes’ estimates, the total value of contracts could reach $150 million.
ExxonMobil acquired petroleum products from the Swiss company NewCoal Trading, not directly from Medvedchuk’s firms.
Investigators say the company is tied to the family of the Russian State Duma Deputy Gleb Khor.
Thus, the journalists of the Scheme program managed to establish that a “well-known American corporation purchases petroleum products from Putin crony’s plant through a Swiss company, which is affiliated with a State Duma deputy with the United Russia party.”
Exxon Mobil told Schemes that the company complies with all applicable sanctions. Novoshakhtinsky refinery and Gleb Khor did not respond to the journalists’ inquiries.
Viktor Medvedchuk: other news
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is sure that Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, who is also believed to be in actual control, through affiliated persons, of a TV channels’ pool in Ukraine, is sponsored by Moscow.
In 2019, in the heat of presidential election campaign in Ukraine, Medvedchuk was harshly criticized for flying to Moscow where he met with senior Russian officials without any authorization on the part of Ukrainian authorities.
Together with another MP, Renat Kuzmin, Vitkor Medvedchuk this April spun allegations of the U.S. operating “biological laboratories” where he claimed fatal virus outbreaks had been reported. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has dismissed allegations, calling them out as “disinformation” that mirrors Russian efforts to tar “U.S.-Ukrainian partnership to reduce biological threats.”
In early August 2020, Medvedchuk and his wife visited the Russian-occupied Crimea. At the same time, Ukrainian journalists noted that an Il 96-300 jet that is reportedly part of the Russian Presidential Administration’s fleet landed in Crimea.