Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who has been accused of hyperlinks to the Russian mob, has misplaced his fuel empire, in accordance with the chief of Ukrainian state power large Naftogaz.
“Deoligarchization. This term was talked about a lot in the gas market, but here in Ukraine, the group of [oligarchs] Firtash [led] for almost two decades had dominated. Now, this is coming to an end,” Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko stated at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Vitrenko stated that at present, almost all family shoppers—or 97.6 %—obtain fuel from Naftogaz instantly, making the corporate a monopoly in Ukraine’s retail fuel market.
“There is no intermediary between us in the form of the Firtash group, which has never been a real supplier, but was an intermediary who did not bear the risks that real suppliers usually bear, in the European sense of the word,” he stated.
Vitrenko advised reporters that Firtash’s regional fuel corporations will quickly transfer to Naftogaz.
“[Naftogaz] will actually have more than 60 percent in this gas distribution or transportation market,” he stated.
The billionaire, with reported hyperlinks to the Kremlin, is sanctioned in Ukraine for promoting titanium merchandise that allegedly find yourself being utilized by Russian navy enterprises.
He has additionally been indicted within the U.S. on racketeering and bribery expenses. Firtash has denied wrongdoing and has fought extradition from Vienna.
In April, Firtash denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with NBC News whereas beneath home arrest in Austria, by saying that he believes the Russian president will lose his warfare towards Ukraine, which started in late February.
“He is never going to come out victorious,” stated Firtash. “No matter what happens, Russia will lose.”
Firtash stated he would inform Putin that it is “time to stop” and that “there will be no victory.”
“The longer this war takes, the worse it will be for the Russian people. Not just for the Ukrainian people,” he stated.
“I was never pro-Russian,” Firtash stated. “But you have to understand that I am a businessman. And my goal is to earn money. That’s my job.”
The Ukrainian oligarch referred to as Putin’s warfare “a massacre.”
“To believe that in 2022, in the center of Europe, that such a massacre can be taking place, no normal person could believe it,” he stated.
According to State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks, Firtash advised U.S. officers that he acknowledged needing, and receiving, permission from Semion Mogilevich in 2002, when he established varied companies. At the time, Mogilevich was thought of by American officers one of the vital harmful Russian mobsters on the earth.
Firtash’s spokesman Lanny Davis advised NBC News that the businessman “denied any business or other relationship with Russian organized crime,” and denied being “used by the Russians” or appearing “on behalf of the Kremlin.”
Correction 6/22/22, 10:36 a.m. ET: This article has been amended to state that Firtash has denied wrongdoing and has fought extradition from Vienna, not Vitrenko.