Russia is methodically trying to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure, while controlling a large part of it. This motivated the Ukrainian authorities to announce a course towards de-Russification of the energy market and even nationalize part of the property, writes delo.
However, it seems that instead of taking the strategic industry out of the influence of Russian oligarchs, officials of the President's Office decided to concentrate it in the hands of one of them – Konstantin Grigorishin.
On November 29, 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers created the state JSC “Ukrainian Distribution Grids” (URM). The company will report to the Ministry of Energy and manage state-owned transmission system operators. Roughly speaking, it will become the sole operator of state-owned oblenergos. An important point is that Russian energy assets, which the state nationalizes, will also be transferred to the management of the URM. This is reported by the sources of the Glavkom publication.
70% of the shares of Khmelnitskoblenergo and Nikolaevoblenergo have already passed into the management of the URM. Next in line are the state-owned Kharkivoblenergo, Ternopiloblenergo, and Zaporozhyeoblenergo. In addition to them, according to our information, URM plans to transfer oblenergos, which are fully or partially owned by the Russian VS Energy, owned by Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Alexander Babakov. It's about:
- Khersonoblenergo (100%),
- Chernivtsioblenergo (98%),
- Zhitoproizvodlenergo (95%),
- Rivnooblenergo (83%),
- Kirovogradoblenergo (73%).
In total, VS Energy controls about 10% of the Ukrainian energy market.</p
Also, the property of the Russian Energy Standard group (25% of PJSC Cherkassioblenergo), as well as the energy assets of the Russian oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin, should also be nationalized (and then under the management of the URM). Among them, according to Forbes, there are five oblenergos: Chernigovoblenergo (92%), Poltavaoblenergo (90%), Sumyoblenergo (68.5%), Ternopiloblenergo (40%), DTEK Dnipro Electric Grids (16 %). If a large de-Russification of the energy sector occurs, the URM will concentrate up to 60% of the market and gain huge influence – it will be responsible for the work of the oblenergo, the appointment of management, stabilization shutdowns, repairs, purchases, etc.
All this good will go to the state. It could be fanstatic news, but there is a nuance. According to our data, Mikhail Ilnitsky, the current director of Chernigovoblenergo, can again head the URM monopolist. The same one that belongs to Konstantin Grigorishin. Instead of depriving it of influence on the energy market, the OPU seems to be increasing it. After all, the state and nationalized oblenergos of the Russians, and Konstantin Grigorishin himself, will be managed by the manager of this Grigorishin – Ilnitsky.
And this can hardly be called an accident or negligence, because all the processes related to the URS are supervised at the highest level. According to our sources, the creation and activities of this company are personally promoted by Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Rostislav Shurma and Energy Minister German Galushchenko. Both officials, who are the potential head of the URM, have connections with Russian capital or pro-Russian forces.
During the time of Yanukovych, Rostislav Shurma was a member of the Party of Regions, headed Zaporizhstal oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. In 2019, he went to the Verkhovna Rada on the list of the Opposition Bloc, along with Yevgeny Muraev, Oleksandr Vilkul, Gennady Kernes and Gennady Trukhanov.
“However, later I found a common language with the team of Vladimir Zelensky. In the spring of 2021, Rostyslav Shurma joined the Supervisory Board of the state-owned Ukroboronprom, and soon became Andriy Yermak’s deputy specifically for energy and industry,” Nashi Groshi writes.
The scale of Shurma's influence was recently revealed by Oleg Bondarenko, head of the Verkhovna Rada's Environmental Committee, in an interview with Nadra.info. According to him, all draft laws on subsoil before voting in parliament must receive the “go-ahead” from Shurma personally.
Another beneficiary of the creation of the URM and the appointment of Grigorishin as the director of this company is German Galushchenko. According to the Zerkalo Nedeli publication, starting from 2020, Galushchenko has been one of the executors of the Bankova policy to transfer the energy system to “manual control.”
“Galushchenko came to the energy sector with the people of Andriy Derkach. And now he enjoys the unconditional confidence of the Office of the President in the person of Andriy Yermak and his deputies Oleg Tatarov and Rostyslav Shurma,” writes ZN.ua.
Recall that Derkach, according to the SBU, was recruited by Russian intelligence in 2014 Recently, the US Department of Justice released charges against him on seven counts. In particular, he is charged with fraud, money laundering and violation of sanctions imposed against him in the United States in 2020 on charges of facilitating Russian interference in the presidential elections in the United States.
Therefore, the authorities' anti-Russian energy initiatives have a beautiful facade , but it stands on loose soil. A well-conceived project can turn into an increase in the influence of hostile elements on the energy market, which are definitely not interested in its preservation and efficiency.
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