Ukrainian gas controversy

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 14 Sep 2021 by Alex Teddy

On September 8 three members of Naftogaz's board of supervisors resigned. The three members are all foreigners. Naftogaz sought Western board members to give it more credibility. The resignations came as the board members kept clashing with the CEO Yuriy Vitrenko.Years of mismanagement have meant that Naftogaz often makes a loss. Vitrenko was appointed CEO in April 2021 with the specific brief of turning it into a profitable company.One of the those who resigned said that Naftogaz is in serious trouble because the board's decision are not implemented. Moreover, investment is not being made, and Naftogaz needs to update its infrastructure. Vitrenko's stonewalling defeats the purpose of having a board of supervisors.Vitrenko counterattacked, saying that the board members know nothing about the oil and gas sector or about law. He is confident that the company will turn a profit in 2022. There are now four empty seats on the board of supervisors. There already was a vacancy before the September resignations. These are supposed to be filled by November 2021. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is taking a close interest in the issue. Naftogaz is potentially one of the most valuable companies in the country. The company has another headache coming. In 2022 Russia will no longer send gas through Ukrainian pipelines.

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