Naftogaz supervisory board chairperson Clare Spottiswoode convenes an extraordinary supervisory board meeting to discuss Yuriy Vitrenko’s suspension as the company’s CEO following the order of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention concerning non-compliance of his appointment with the Law of Ukraine “On Prevention of Corruption”.
“I have convened an extraordinary supervisory board meeting to discuss the CEO suspension. To meet the highest standards of proper corporate governance, I believe, the suspension is in the interests of both Naftogaz and Ukraine,” Clare Spottiswoode noted.
Naftogaz supervisory board chairperson discussed the situation with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice of Ukraine and is expecting the Government, as the Naftogaz shareholder, to make the final decision in the near future.
“I have immediately discussed the situation with the shareholder – the Government of Ukraine. Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and the Minister of Justice participated in the discussion, representing the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The Prime Minister committed himself to making the final decision, including whether to terminate the contract with Yuriy Vitrenko, within 10 business days starting from 15 June 2021 as required,” Clare Spottiswoode concluded.
Meanwhile, Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko commented that the supervisory board had not discussed the NACP order with him. Yuriy Vitrenko strongly believes that the NAPC order contradicts both the letter and the spirit of the law and is a textbook example of “selective justice”.
NACP head Oleksandr Novikov commented the order in his interview to Ukrainska Pravda. “We have not found any conflict of interest in Yuriy Vitrenko’s actions. But the law, unfortunately, bans a person who made decisions involving a business entity to lead that business entity for a year after the resignation”.
According to the Legal Department of Naftogaz of Ukraine NJSC (the Company’s position), the order is unfounded and does not comply with law.
Naftogaz lawyers also note that fulfilling one of the order requirements (to cancel item 9 of CMU Order No 370-р. of 28.04.2021) would lead to cancellation of the company’s general shareholder meeting decision to empower the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture to sign contracts with supervisory board members.
As reported earlier, on 15 June 2021, the NAPC published the conclusion that appointing Yuriy Vitrenko as Naftogaz CEO earlier than a year after his resignation from the Energy Ministry of Ukraine did not comply with law.
Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska, in his turn, stated that the NAPC order would be challenged in court in the near future.