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Govt transfers 49.9% of Donetskoblgaz shares to Naftogaz management

KYIV. Sept 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Cabinet of Ministers transferred 49.9% of the shares of Donetskoblgaz LLC, the owners of which are associated with fugitive Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, who is sanctioned by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), to the management of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy.

The relevant order was adopted at a government meeting on Wednesday.

Thus, the Cabinet of Ministers agreed with the proposal of the National Agency of Ukraine for finding, tracing and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes (ARMA) and the Ministry of Energy to transfer to the management of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy 24.9% of the shares from both Endless Moonlight Limited and Trading Field Limited, which were seized in criminal proceedings.

As reported, according to the explanatory note to the draft resolution, its adoption will guarantee the provision of natural gas to consumers in Donetsk region.

The note also states that, according to the law on ARMA, in exceptional cases, the management of seized assets, by decision of the government, can be transferred, in particular, to a public sector economic society. At the same time, cases are considered exceptional when there is a risk of failure and/or interruption of the functioning of such assets, which can lead to emergency situations or failures in energy, electricity, heat, water supply or drainage and supply of natural gas, the document says.

In addition, according to the note, from October 1, 2021, Donetsoblgaz’s license for gas distribution activities will be canceled, which requires measures to prevent an emergency in the region.

In March of this year, the NSDC imposed sanctions on two companies from Hong Kong (China), which own 49.9% of the shares of Donetskoblgaz.

In turn, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced that it was investigating the illegal actions of Donetskoblgaz officials, which led to the shutdown of 58 boiler houses in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, which is classified under Article 113 (sabotage) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

A 49.99% stake in Donetskoblgaz was frozen by the Shevchenkivsky District Court of Kyiv.

The SBU noted that the shares belong to companies registered in offshore jurisdictions and are controlled by a Ukrainian citizen who left the state in 2014 and is hiding in the Russian Federation. By a court decision, the rights were transferred to the management of ARMA.

In addition, the court ruled to transfer the seized shares of Donetskoblgaz to Naftogaz Ukrainy, which should organize the prevention of loss or waste of this property until the actual transfer of assets to ARMA’s management.