The Council of Ministers on September 27 sacked three remaining members of the supervisory board of Naftogaz, the public oil and gas giant.
As the owner of Naftogaz, the government automatically assumes the powers of the company’s supervisory board until the new one is formed, according to the official statement posted on the government’s website.
Naftogaz has been a source of growing concern in public opinion since the sacking of its CEO Andriy Kobolyev and his replacement by former acting energy minister Vitrenko in April.
To appoint Vitrenko, the Cabinet of Ministers directly fired Kobolyev by temporarily dissolving the members of the supervisory board, who supported Kobolyev.
The National Corruption Prevention Agency later said Vitrenko’s appointment to Naftogaz violated a law that requires a year to elapse before an outgoing official with power over a state-owned company can get a job. in this enterprise. However, Vitrenko – who was acting energy minister – had no oversight power over Naftogaz.
In protest, all but one of the supervisory board members announced their resignation. Finally, tthree of them, including chef Clare Spottiswoode, resigned September 7. Spottiswoode accused Vitrenko of not cooperating with the supervisory board.
Naftogaz’s supervisory board is made up of six members: three representatives of the State and three independent experts selected by competition.
The resignation of three independent members left the board of directors without a quorum required to make a decision.
In early September, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal ordered the launch of a competition to select new independent members this fall.
In the meantime, the government fired the other three members of the supervisory board – appointed by the state Yulia Kovaliv, Yulia Svyrydenko and Natalia Boyko – and de facto acquired the authority of the supervisory board. The government justified its decision by declaring that the stable functioning of Naftogaz is its “unconditional priority”.
Under the new authority, the government dismissed two of the three remaining members of the board of directors of Naftogaz, Yaroslav Teklyuk and Serhiy Pereloma. Vitrenko kept the seat.
The government then elevated four Naftogaz employees to acting board members.