The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank have welcomed a decision by the government of Ukraine to reverse last week`s changes of the charter of the energy company Naftogaz, according to a joint statement.
”We are very happy that out of this situation a renewed consensus has emerged towards the shared goal of transforming Naftogaz corporate governance and accelerating the steps required to prepare its unbundling. This is one of the most important reforms in Ukraine and a cornerstone of the EBRD strategy. I am particularly pleased with the level of openness and cooperation we have now established,” Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said in the statement.
In her turn, Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, noted that the World Banks is ready to continue supporting Ukraine on its path towards gas sector reforming.
”We welcome the government`s commitment and strong desire to accelerate the reforms in the gas sector. The World Bank stands ready to continue providing support to Ukraine in implementing critical reforms.”
The World Bank is preparing a US$500 million guarantee operation for gas purchases, according to the statement.
The government decided to accelerate the unbundling of Naftogaz into separate production, supply and transit companies in line with EU regulations. While preparing for unbundling, Naftogaz will report directly to the Cabinet of Ministers. Major recent investment decisions by its subsidiary, the gas transportation company Ukrtransgaz, will be examined by an external audit.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 19, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade suspended the decision on amending the charter of National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine, which provides for the withdrawal of state-owned subsidiary Ukrtransgaz out of Naftogaz`s control.
A corresponding resolution, which introduced Naftogaz`s amended charter, was issued by the Economy Ministry on September 7, 2016.
In response to the ministry`s decision, Naftogaz`s press service announced on September 16 that such amendments jeopardized the allocation of a $500 loan for Naftogaz necessary to carry out gas purchases, and also ran contrary to the loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Also, the company`s press service reported on Facebook that the Cabinet had previously approved a resolution which authorized the Economy Ministry to only recommend that Naftogaz establish the supervisory board of Ukrtransgaz, consisting of five members. Such a recommendation should take place only after 30 days from the date of completion of the arbitration dispute between Naftogaz and Russia`s OAO Gazprom.
While the ministry has reasoned its decision by the necessity to act in compliance with the provisions of the Third Energy Package, according to which the gas transport system operator must be an independent company.