As I mentioned in my previous blog, the US Vanco Energy Company, with which Yanukovych's government signed an agreement to develop the Kerch section of the Black sea shelf in 2007, has a Ukrainian financial partner - the Donbas fuel and energy company DTEK, controlled to multi-millionaire Rinat Akhmetov. Nothing necessarily wrong with this.
But apart from Akhmetov, Vanco's Black sea project will be financed also by Shadowlight Investments Ltd owned by Russian businessman Eugene Novitskiy, and a certain Integrum Technologies Ltd. The latter is allegedly a subsidiary of an undisclosed Austrian investment holding. Some allege it could be a cover for 'Gazprom' .
When Minister of the Environment Heorhiy Filipchuk is asked by 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya' who is behind Intergrum, and whether it is the president's brother Petro Yushchenko, or the Klyuev brothers [senior Party of Regions figures] who were behind the company, he replies that he had had no official confirmation of this.
Filipchuk's ministry had recently withdrawn Vanco's hydrocarbon exploration and extraction licence. This will, no doubt be challenged or ignored. But shouldn't Ukraine's citizens know with whom they could be sharing the country's hydrocarbon wealth?
It took many months for the people behind the infamous RosUkrEnergo to reveal themselves. President Yushchenko flatly denied knowing who they were. Hopefully Integrum's backers will not be so shy.