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#Commentary of Alla Barkhatnova on new appointments of foreigners to state companies of Ukraine

The oil and gas industry of Ukraine has long been, in fact, under external management. The latest appointments in Naftogaz and its subsidiary Ukrtransgaz once again confirmed this fact. So, according to the Ukrainian media reports, on December 23, Pole Pavel Jozef Stanchakwas appointed head of PJSC Ukrtransgaz, and on December 22, Claire Spottiswoode was elected to the position of head of the supervisory board of Naftogaz Ukraine.

These facts clearly illustrate the level of degradation of statehood in Ukraine, showing that it is independent only in one sense: nothing depends on it. One of the signs of the sovereignty of any state is the independence of state companies from foreign agents and, in general, the existence of the state secrets concept.

In Ukraine, there are a number of laws and statutes that determine who and in what order has access to classified information, what information relates to improper disclosure and publication in open access, etc. For example, such information includes technological schemes of the gas transportation infrastructure and emergency response plans.

It is no coincidence, according to media reports, that the appointment of Stanchak was opposed by the SBU. But for Ukraine its own legislation is no rule. How to prevent the disclosure of classified information now, when a citizen of Poland (a competitor of Ukraine in the transit of gas to Europe) becomes the head of the Ukrainian state company?

As for the supervisory board of Naftogaz, it should be noted that, according to the information on the company’s official website, since 2015 this body receives “an unprecedentedly broad authority to monitor the company’s activities.” In particular, it is responsible for appointments in the company, audit, prevention of corruption, etc. Simply put, in fact, Naftogaz is run by the supervisory board. At the same time, the legislation on state secrets is not formally violated, since the visibility of the company’s leadership is exercised by citizens of Ukraine.

It should be recalled that this is not the first appointment of foreigners to the leading positions of state enterprises and public service in Ukraine. The most vivid examples are the former Minister of Finance Natalia Yaresko, the former governor of the Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili and the former head of Ukrzaliznytsia,Wojciech Balczun. However, previously there was at least respected decency and before the appointment to the post mentioned above people acquired the Ukrainian citizenship. Now no one cares about it. No one else hides the fact: Ukraine is under external control.

Conclusions about new appointments are unambiguous. Europe is interested in Ukraine only as an object of politics and economy, while truly serious and important industries are strictly controlled from the outside. Europe needs Russian gas. And foreign leaders should make sure that Ukrainians do not steal it during transit.

The Donbass from the very beginning of the “Maidan” warned that the coup d’état was a direct road to the loss of sovereignty and the introduction of external governance. Looking at the last appointments, we can safely predict the further movement in the direction opposite to the interests of ordinary citizens of Ukraine.

Alla Barkhatnova, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council 

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