At the today’s press conference, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev thanked the independent members of Naftogaz supervisory board Paul Warwick and Marcus Richards for their contribution to the group’s transformation and expressed his regret about their decision to quit.
Naftogaz CEO is concerned that the disruption in the supervisory board’s work may complicate the group’s access to funding for gas purchase and investment projects as well as affect the company’s positions in the international courts. During his speech, he mentioned numerous statements of Ukraine’s international partners expressing their concerns with the progress of the gas market reform, Ukraine’s performance under Naftogaz Corporate Governance Action Plan, and its commitments under the IMF program. The situation can be detrimental to Ukraine’s interests not only in the energy sector but in a broader context as well.
Mr. Kobolyev suggested four urgent actions which could remedy the situation.
“All parties should catch up on implementing the Naftogaz Corporate Governance Action Plan, taking into account recommendations of the IMF, EBRD and other Western partners. In particular, a material progress should be achieved in transferring of authority from the government to the company’s governing bodies as stipulated by the plan,” Andriy Kobolyev noted.
Another important step should be de-politicizing of gas prices. Naftogaz is ready to support the recent proposals of the IMF, the Energy Community Secretariat and the World Bank, or the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine all of which imply setting of the regulated gas price based on objective market benchmarks.
Also, Andriy Kobolyev urged for a transparent contest to fill the vacant positions in Naftogaz supervisory board should be held as soon as possible.
Another urgent task is the consideration and approval of the company’s strategy by the government. Naftogaz management and the supervisory board have already submitted a proposed strategy to the government’s consideration.
In the past five months, four members of Naftogaz supervisory board have decided to resign. Yulia Kovaliv, the government’s representative on the supervisory board, quit the position of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board in April 2017. Independent director Charles Proctor has announced his decision to resign in late September.
According to the current Naftogaz charter, the company’s supervisory board consists of seven members, four of which must comply with independence criteria and three represent the government.
NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine