• 5 minutes 'No - Deal Brexit' vs 'Operation Fear' Globalist Pushback ... Impact to World Economies and Oil
  • 8 minutes China has *Already* Lost the Trade War. Meantime, the U.S. Might Sanction China’s Largest Oil Company
  • 12 minutes Will Uncle Sam Step Up and Cut Production
  • 9 hours Maybe 8 to 10 "good" years left in oil industry * UAE model for Economic Deversification * Others spent oil billions on funding terrorism, wars, suppressing dissidents, building nukes * Too late now
  • 4 hours OPEC will consider all options. What options do they have ?
  • 46 mins Recession Jitters Are Rising. Is There Reason To Worry?
  • 14 hours Russia Accuses U.S. Of Stoking Tensions With Missile Test
  • 6 hours What to tell my students
  • 6 hours CLIMATE PANIC! ELEVENTY!!! "250,000 people die a year due to the climate crisis"
  • 18 hours With Global Warming Greenland is Prime Real Estate
  • 6 hours NATGAS, LNG, Technology, benefits etc , cleaner global energy fuel
  • 10 hours TRUMP'S FORMER 'CHRISTIAN LIAISON' SAYS DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER WAS GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR OBAMA ISRAEL DIVISION
  • 2 hours Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House
  • 1 day In The Bright Of New Administration Rules: Immigrants as Economic Contributors
  • 21 hours Get First Access To The Oilprice App!
  • 11 hours Flaring is at Record Highs in Texas
Alt Text

The U.S. Plans To Send Nuclear Reactors To Space

Despite the nuclear industry stumbling…

Alt Text

A Limited Risk Play In A Shaken Market

Recession fears tanked stock markets…

Alt Text

The Toughest Challenge For Any Energy Company In 2019

Strong volatility and poor overall…

John Daly

John Daly

Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European…

More Info

Premium Content

Ukraine’s Yulia Timoshenko - Victim or Crook?

The courts have spoken - Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Volodymyrivna Timoshenko has received a seven year prison sentence from Judge Rodion Kireyev of Kiev’s Pechersk Court, convicted of the abuse of power while negotiating natural gas contracts with Russia in 2009.

The ruling also adjudged that the agreements damaged Ukraine’s Naftogaz Ukrayiny to the level of roughly $191 million, for which Ms. Timoshenko is liable.

Justice served or justice denied?

Bit of both, actually – with enormous potential consequences for Ukraine’s energy future.
Quite aside from her incarnation, Ms. Timoshenko has been ordered to repay “all material damage” she caused to state-owned Naftogaz Ukrayiny to be paid back in full, a fine assessed at $191 million.

Her crime?

In 2009 Timoshenko negotiated a contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy on purchase and transit fees. Prosecutors allege that in doing so, Timoshenko, then Prime Minister, abused her authority for personal benefit, violating Article 19 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

Timoshenko reportedly during the 1990s increased prices for Russian natural gas imports while head of the common energy systems of Ukraine, to take revenge on current President Victor Yanukovych.

The European Union has already weighed in the verdict, with EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton stating that the Ukrainian government ensures that Ms. Timoshenko a transparent and fair appeals process, as a failure to do so would have "profound implications" for Ukraine-EU relations.

Ms. Timoshenko’s tycoon background? 

During 1995- 1997 Timoshenko was the president of Ukraine’s natural gas trading company United Energy Systems of Ukraine, which became Ukraine’s main importer of Russian natural gas to Ukraine. Accusations swirled that she was reselling enormous quantities of stolen gas and avoiding tax, having given former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko kickbacks in exchange for her company's access. In August 2006 Lazarenko was convicted and sentenced to prison in the United States for money laundering, wire fraud and extortion.

Interesting company the Ukraine’s “gas princess” keeps, along with her personal wealth estimated in the millions. That said, Ms. Timoshenko is simply a product of her environment, and the 2009 natural gas deal that she cut with Russia was pragmatic, which raises the question of why she’s on the rack now.

Speaking of personal fortunes – in the past two decades it has been impossible for anyone in the post-Soviet space to become rich.

Why?

Simple – because theoretically, according to Marxism, “property is theft” and in December 1991 every Soviet citizen following the collapse of the USSR started out on the same starting line.

Not – those with connections prospered, those on the assembly line did not. Timoshenko, cagey about her private wealth and reinventing herself as a populist politician, was nonetheless one of the former.

Why is the EU so interested in Ms. Timoshenko’s fate?

Because the case opens so many cans of nasty worms, including the EU’s growing dependency on Russian energy imports, much of which travels via Ukraine through Soviet-era pipelines, but its commitment to political evolution in Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space, which makes the fate of such a high-profile detainee as Ms. Timoshenko a matter that ought, nor, needs, to be addressed.

But how to indicate to Kiev that such actions are unacceptable whilst ensuring gas flow? 

Startlingly, even Moscow also reacted harshly to the conviction, with the Russian Federation Foreign Ministry noting that "many states and the world public perceive this entire judicial process as initiated for purely political reasons."

So, where’s the compromise? Some Ukrainian analysts have speculated that the leadership in Kiev could attempt to save face by pardoning her, which would alleviate Timoshenko from doing hard time but under Ukrainian law, bar her from further participation in the country's politics.

Expect such a deal so Russian natural gas shipments to Europe continue uninterrupted. If Moscow is pressuring Kiev over the case, some democratic lipstick whitewash will need to be applied to the Ukrainian judicial pig in an attempt to convert it into a judicial silk purse, but the fix already seems to be in, and its seems to be less about justice than settling political scores.

At least Timoshenko isn’t facing U.S. justice, where her Prime Minister predecessor in 2006 got a nine-year sentence.

After all, gotta keep those Europeans warm… especially as they pay their bills on time.

By. John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Truth on March 18 2012 said:
    Interesting how people from countries with enormous debts and relatively buoyant economies, complain about a country with a fledgling and poor economy not paying a bill immediately. A shameful and nonconstructive stance to take.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play