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Three independent members left Naftogaz’s Supervisory Board

Photo: Flickr

Photo: Flickr

Three members of the Supervisory Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine announced the termination of their powers. According to Yevropeiska Pravda (European Truth from Ukrainian), citing sources in the company, this refers to Bruno Jean Gaston Lescoeur, Ludo Van der Heyden, and Clare Mary Joan Spottiswoode.

The day before the announcement of his decision, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that in the near future a competition would be announced for the posts of four independent members of the Naftogaz Supervisory Board.

Context. On April 30 this year, five members of the Naftogaz Supervisory Board (Claire Spottiswoode, Bruno Lescoeur, Ludo van der Heyden, and state representatives Yuliya Kovaliv and Nataliya Boyko) publicly announced the termination of their powers from May 14. After that, the government invited them to remain in their position for another year, until a new council was elected.

Before that the Cabinet of Ministers recognized the work of the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board of the company Naftogaz unsatisfactory. At that time the government first terminated the powers of all members of the Supervisory Board with their subsequent re-election in full, but from April 30, 2021.

On April 28, 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to dismiss Andriy Kobolev, who had been running Naftogaz since 2015. After that, the company was headed by Acting Minister of Energy Yuriy Vitrenko.

Kobolev stated that he had found out about his dismissal from the media, and had repeatedly hinted at the illegality of the Cabinet actions. Naftogaz itself called the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers "legal manipulation": in order to fire Kobolev, the Cabinet of Ministers had dismissed the supervisory board of Naftogaz for two days. The US and the G7 sharply criticized Kobolev's dismissal and hinted at political interference in the work of Naftogaz.

On June 15, it was announced that Vitrenko had been illegally appointed to the post of head of Naftogaz—during his appointment, according to the National Agency, the law had been violated. NACP sent a demand to the Supervisory Board of Naftogaz to dismiss Vitrenko, and the very next day, Claire Spottiswoode, the Chair of the Supervisory Board, initiated his resignation. However, after that the Supervisory Board for some reason changed its mind about dismissing him and postponed the decision.

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