Court rules to seize pipeline allegedly linked to Medvedchuk

Leader of the pro-Kremlin Opposition Platform – For Life party, Viktor Medvedchuk (C) attends aparliament session on Oct. 31, 2019 in Kyiv.Photo by UNIAN

The High Anti-Corruption Court on Feb. 23 ordered the seizure of an oil product pipeline owned by Prikarpatzahidtrans, a firm accused of having links to pro-Kremlin lawmaker Viktor Medvedchuk. The politician denies owning it.  

The assets were seized as part of an investigation into the allegedly unlawful transfer of the pipeline to entities linked to Russia in 2015, according to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU).

The decision was based on evidence provided by the NABU and the Security Service of Ukraine. 

The pipeline will be transferred to the Assets Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA). 

On Feb. 19, Zelensky signed a decree to implement a decision by the National Security and Defense Council to return the pipeline to the state. 

The move is part of the Feb. 19 sanctions imposed by the council on Medvedchuk, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his associates. 

Prikarpatzahidtrans is part of the Samara-West pipeline, which transports oil products from Russia through Western Ukraine to Europe.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the pipeline was acquired by Russia but later a court transferred it to the Ukrainian government.

However, in 2015, a court in Rivne Oblast gave the pipeline back to Russia’s state-controlled oil pipeline monopoly Transneft.

In 2015, Transneft sold Prikarpatzahidtrans to International Trading Partners, which is owned by German citizen Anatoly Shefer. Ukraine’s Anti-Monopoly Committee, which was controlled by allies of then President Petro Poroshenko, authorized the acquisition.

Shefer has had some business connections to Medvedchuk. In 2013-2014, ITC Industry Trading Company SA, where Shefer is one of the directors, received a Hr 5.7 million prepayment from Ukraine’s Agrotekhnika to supply grain to Ukraine. Agrotekhnika is co-owned by Medvedchuk’s wife Oksana Marchenko and his ally, lawmaker Taras Kozak.

(C)KYIV POST 2021

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