"The way this agreement is written and the rights given to the offshore company Vanco, I can say that Ukraine will never get any taxes, products or profits – nothing. In fact, the Black Sea shelf today is being taken from the people of Ukraine and given to the oligarchs that surround the president," Yulia Tymoshenko said at a press conference today in Kyiv, her official website informed.
Yulia Tymoshenko stressed that Ukrainian oligarchs are behind Vanco Prykerchenska. "Vanco is just a screen, and if you look at the constituent documents, 90% belongs to clans of Ukraine," she said.
"They’re not conducting any tenders, and the terms stipulated in this agreement amount to blatant, cynical robbery of Ukraine," said the former prime minister.
Yulia Tymoshenko pointed out that the terms of the new agreement between the government and Vanco Prykerchenska will remain unchanged. "In response to questions from journalists, the deputy environment minister said that right now, today, if the negotiations end successfully and the settlement agreement is signed, and this means Ukraine’s Black Sea shelf will again be given to this criminal group, Vanco Prykerchenska will be able to restart operations based on the previous production sharing agreement. There will be no major changes to this agreement," she said.
Yulia Tymoshenko believes statements by representatives of the government regarding the equal distribution between the government and Vanco Prykerchenska of profits and resources produced from the Black Sea shelf are misleading. "Let’s return to the reason I broke off the contract with Vanco Prykerchenska. The agreement that was signed includes the following provisions: for the first period of four years, 70% of the products produced are immediately given to Vanco Prykerchenska as compensation for the resources they invested, and this will go on for as long as Vanco wants. The remaining 30% will be split between Vanco and Ukraine, 70% and 30%, respectively, and Ukraine will pay all the mandatory payments," she said.
"The most that Ukraine will get under this arrangement, or rather what is provided, is 10% of production. And I can say that Ukraine will never get the rights given to the offshore company Vanco," said the former premier.
Yulia Tymoshenko believes that by signing this agreement with Vanco Prykerchenska, the government is acting against the interests of Ukraine. "They’re stealing the country’s strategic future publicly and openly, thereby legalizing it in the eyes of the public. But it’s theft," Yulia Tymoshenko concluded.
In 2007, Viktor Yanukovych’s government signed a production sharing agreement with Vanco International for the Prykerchenska section of the Black Sea shelf. Vanco International transferred all rights and obligations to Vanco Prykerchenska.
In late 2007, Yulia Tymoshenko’s government released data showing that the founders of Vanco Prykerсhenska were two 20-year-old students. The Ministry of Environmental Protection annulled Vanco’s special permit for mining in the Black Sea and in order to protect Ukraine’s energy independence, Yulia Tymoshenko’s government returned to state ownership the Black Sea shelf, which during the premiership of Viktor Yanukovych and presidency of Viktor Yushchenko had been leased to Vanco.
On 17 July 2008, the process between the government of Ukraine and Vanco commenced at the Stockholm Arbitration Court. Vanco said a settlement would be optimal for them; however, Yulia Tymoshenko’s government refused to negotiate. "A treasure worth some one hundred billion dollars was given to Vanco, a company which has a statutory fund of $12,000. How can this happen in a country that has a government, laws and supervisory authority," Yulia Tymoshenko said while she was prime minister.
On 2 Feb. 2011, First Vice Prime Minister Andriy Kliuyev said the government of Ukraine would sign a settlement agreement with Vanco Prykerchenska that month. "We have finished all the preparations and a settlement agreement will be signed with Vanco in February," he said.
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