Why is oligarch Kolomoisky helping Putin to lift sanctions for the annexation of Crimea?

Andriy Gerus

On October 1, Ukraine resumed commercial import of electricity from Russia, which captured Crimea in 2014 and conducted a military intervention in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. Electricity is sold by the company of a friend of Russian President Putin and bought by the company of an oligarch close to Ukrainian President Zelensky.

The aggression of Russia against Ukraine has outraged democratic countries. To support Ukraine, they introduced unprecedented sanctions against Russia. Ukraine also imposed sanctions against Russia. After 2014, she reduced economic and diplomatic relations with Moscow. There are no direct flights between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine and Russia have not appointed ambassadors since 2014. Only supplies of certain oil products, coal, and nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants, with which Ukraine does not provide itself, continue. Ukraine transits Russian gas to Europe. But for the domestic market it buys gas in Europe.

Suddenly, the Ukrainian parliament passes a law that allows it to import electric energy from Belarus and Russia. This is a very strange act, because Ukraine does not need to import electricity. It has cheap electricity from nuclear power plants and exports electricity to Europe itself. Last year, the largest shipments were to Hungary, Poland and Moldova. In total, in 2018 Ukraine earned $ 331.9 million from electricity exports. And about the same amount can be earned from electricity exports in 2019. Why does it need electricity from Russia?

Expert Olga Kosharnaya from the Ukrainian Nuclear Forum association says that there is no excess electricity in Belarus. This is transit from Russia. And Russia is looking for sales because it has an excess. But the main thing for Russia is to prove that it provided the annexed Crimea with electricity. Deception seized the turbines of Siemens and installed them at new power plants in the Crimea. Now there is a lot of electricity in the Crimea and Russia is ready to sell it to Ukraine. This was announced to reporters by Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Andrei Cherezov.

If Ukraine buys electricity from the Crimea taken from it, the United States and Europe ask: why should they maintain sanctions against Russia for the annexation of Crimea? Perhaps Ukraine plans to exchange Crimea for Russia’s economic preferences? Then her partners in the US and in the democratic world should know about it. What does Ukraine want when purchasing electricity in Russia that it does not need?

You can figure this out if you look at who proposed the amendment to Bill No. 1084 and who took advantage of the benefits of importing Russian electricity. The amendment, which allows you to import electricity from Russia under bilateral contracts, was proposed by the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s committee on energy and housing, Andriy Gerus.

Who is MP Gerus? President of the Energy Association of Ukraine Oleksandr Trohimets writes on his Facebook page, that parliamentarian Andrei Gerus is associated with oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. This is one of the richest businessmen in Ukraine. According to the rating of the Ukrainian magazine Focus, which makes a list of the hundred (100) richest people in Ukraine, Igor Kolomoisky last year ranked second in terms of capital.

Kolomoisky has industrial and financial assets. He is also the ultimate beneficiary through the offshore companies of the popular in Ukraine Studio 1+1 television channel. For many years, comedian Vladimir Zelensky, who became president of Ukraine in the spring of 2019, spoke on this television channel.

Gerus convinced other deputies that the import of electricity from Russia would demonopolize the market and significantly reduce electricity tariffs in Ukraine. However, he did not say that oligarch Igor Kolomoisky will use cheap electricity from Russia, which captured Crimea and the Donbass.

But now we know about it. On October 1, Ukraine began commercial import of electricity from the Russian Federation. Import at 100 MW was carried out by United Energy, which is part of the control of businessman Igor Kolomoisky empire.

Former head of the Security Service of Ukraine (Ukrainian counterpart of the CIA), deputy Valentin Nalyvaichenko, who is co-chair of the parliamentary group of inter-parliamentary relations with the United States, told reporters during a popular television show about a meeting with American partners. They were surprised and asked him if Ukraine really buys electric energy from the Russian company of friend Putin, who is under sanctions?

We are shocked, but this is true. According to the legislation of the Russian Federation, electricity export can only be carried out by the state monopolist Inter RAO UES. That is, the export of electricity from the Russian Federation does not occur on market conditions.

This is similar to the situation with gas export, which is allowed only to the state monopolist Gazprom. As with gas, electricity exports can be moderated by representatives of the Russian government. Inter RAO UES may become an “electric” Gazprom for Ukraine, which has become technically possible due to the so-called “Gerus amendment” (the term has already come into use in Ukraine).

The head of the board of directors of this company, Igor Sechin, is under the personal sanctions of the United States and Canada because of his active participation in the annexation of Crimea. Sechin has been friends with Vladimir Putin since the 1980s.

By importing electricity from Russia, Ukraine puzzled its Western allies. It is necessary to understand what the oligarch Kolomoisky really wants: to get additional profit, thanks to inexpensive electricity from Russia, or to help Putin to lift sanctions for Crimea and Donbass? Who will answer this question? President Zelensky is still silent ..

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