international magazine
13-05-2020 17:07



Yury Vitrenko, executive director of the Ukrainian state oil and gas monopoly Naftogaz Ukrainy, said on May 13 in his social networks that he had been warned that his position would be liquidated in two months.

This message came as not a big surprise for those who saw in early April the contract for the Naftogaz boss Andrey Kobolev renewed for 4 years, while, however, something similar was not proposed for Yury Vitrenko, who is often seen as the chief architect of the “European Reverse”.

This mechanism of the natural gas re-export system, in which Naftogaz, as a natural gas transit operator, made good money on Russian gas supplies to the EU, while later on the Ukrainian importers bought the same gas with up to 20% surplus from European suppliers by reverse, also making American and European financial structures and gas traders involved, this all often be presented by Y. Vitrenko and his partners as liberation from “Gazprom slavery”.

Experts also suggested that re-export “made it possible to create a good, liquid gas market, free from the political “arm-twisting”, adding that gas was returned from Europe already being “European, not Russian.”

Naturally, Ukrainian industrial consumers and individuals were the ones to foot the bill for all this freedom.

Vitrenko’s activity was also instrumental in translating the relationship between Naftogaz and Russian Gazprom into the “ship or pay” format, in the victory of Naftogaz in the Stockholm arbitration.

The last months of Y. Vitrenko work at Naftogaz had been shadowed by the disputes over receiving 1% of the commission on the amount of $ 2.9bn received by Naftogaz from the Russian side!

Vitrenko insisted that his requirements were completely legitimate. However, this happened against in the context of decline in the natural gas production at Naftogaz’s subsidiaries, as well as the restructuring of the holding - the separation of a transit operator into an independent company. This significantly cut demand for such an expensive management.