Wednesday, January 18, 2006

RosUkrEnergo: a tidy earner for the chosen few..

"We are moving from gray schemes, and for the first time going over to an absolutely transparent, equal relationship," said Putin a few days ago when he met Yuschenko and was asked about the resolution of the recent gas crisis. "Healthy compromises were achieved... a brilliant result," echoed Yushchenko.

These quotes are from a detailed article entitled "Who's left on the pipeline? - the Presidents and their associates personally control the sale of oil and gas," on the Ukrainian 'Obozrevatel' website and originally published on 16th January in the Russian 'Novaya Gazeta.' Its author has compiled what they claim is a complete plan of the entire current RosUkrEnergo financial structure. I include a version below. [The print versions in source articles are more legible].

The tangled web includes companies in Austria, Italy, and Israel, as well as off-shore outfits in Cyprus, Liechtenstein, and the Caribbean Islands. Ariel Sharon's son, a close friend of Italian PM Sylvio Berlusconi, and associates of Putin from his St Petersburg and KGB days are amongst those involved in the mega-scheme. 'Forbes' magazine claims that Ukrainian oligarchs Viktor Pinchuk and Rinat Akmetov, may also be involved on the Ukrainian side of the Swiss-registered company.

The Chief Economist at US SigmaBleyzer estimates that RUE will make a mind-boggling profit of $1.78Bn this year for arranging supply of mainly Russian and Turkmen gas to Ukraine through Gazprom's pipelines. That's it, that's all this shady multi-national structure has to do to make this money for its secret beneficiaries.. Is anyone going to close it down?

Ukraine's fuel and energy Minister Ivan Plachkov has stated that signing of all gas contracts and the creation of a new joint venture for supplying gas to Ukraine is planned for this Saturday. Dare we hope that the scheme below is to be scrapped? Maybe in our dreams..

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