Three weeks ago the Russian oligarch of the Ukrainian origin Konstantin Grigorishin made a serious attack on the Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and accused him of lobbying interests of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov in his interview to Ukrainska Pravda newspaper.
So, he said that "Arseniy Yatsenyuk has got close ties with Rinat Akhmetov. They do not hide it, as it seems to me. That’s why he connects my name with the detriment of their joint business with Rinat".
Grigorishin also mentioned some other facts of Yatsenyuk and Akhmetov’s interaction in the economic field.
"He didn’t cancel all the 2014 subsidy certificates for export of electricity, so DTEK has received at least $ 100 million.
He could have abolished them on the first day of his premiership. Subsidy certificates were not renewed in 2015 only due to the pressure from the market participants (including me), the NERC, the President.
Or another example was when the government stubbornly paid money to DTEK for the electricity which was produced and consumed in the ATO area. All Ukrainian consumers paid for this electricity. Several billions of hryvnia were spent on that. At the same time, DTEK successfully raised money in the ATO area for the second time. Surplus profits from this operation amounted to several billiards of hryvnia.
This scheme was abolished under pressure from the NERC and the President only in the spring of 2015, although it should have been abolished in the summer of 2014 ", - Grigorishin said.
Such a plain statement threatened to become a serious political scandal, but in the end did not cause any effect.
As OstroV collocutors in the Prime Minister’s team say, Grigorishin’s attack caused serious tension and confrontation within the governmental (both the presidential and prime minister's) teams, but not in the public.
"Why should we be involved in an open war with Grigorishin? What is more, it would be a signal to Poroshenko who, according to Grigorishin, does not fulfill certain obligations to him "- said the Deputy of Narodnyi Front who is close to the Prime Minister.
Yatsenyuk’s team decided to hit Grigorishin step by step, involving situational allies against him.
Oligarch Akhmetov gave the following "response" in his media to the Grigorishin’s attacks.
His media, both Ukraina channel group and Segodnia holding, launched a vigorous campaign against the Russian oligarch. But, at the same time, the owner of Shakhtar decided not to step too far.
Apart from Grigorishin, Akhmetov is being slightly attacked by Alexander Turchynov’s team. Alexander is now situationally closer to Poroshenko and also is not interested in strengthening Akhmetov because of the oligarch’s desire to dictate his demands to Ukrainian authorities regarding the uncontrolled territories of Donbass.
Thus, the Deputy of Narodnyi Front Dmitry Tymchuk posted at Facebook on October 1 that Akhmetov visited Donetsk in September this year.
"During his visit to Donetsk at the end of September 2015 Akhmetov visited secondary school №63 where he studied and which he patronizes. While communicating with the management of the school, Akhmetov pointed out that in the near future he plans to restore at his own expense the Oktyabrsky district where the school is located, "- said the Deputy in social networks.
This statement is particularly interesting not because of the fact itself but because Tymchuk in the team of NF is considered to be loyal to Akhmetov.
"Turchynov brought him to the NF," - said one of the unofficial leaders of the NF who is close to Yatsenyuk.
It is worth mentioning that despite the confrontation with Grigorishin Akhmetov’s team is very restrained in their attacks against him. In public it is a media resource and some random attacks like on the energy market. This may be due to the fact that the oligarch hopes to return to the uncontrolled by Ukraine Donetsk in the framework of the Minsk agreements. He has focused all of his resources on the work in this direction. Engagement in a full-fledged confrontation in today’s circumstances can lead to unpredictable consequences.
OstroV has already written that Akhmetov is negotiating with the Kremlin and Kiev simultaneously and that his candidates have joined the local authorities "with special powers" in "certain areas" of Donbass.
The same information was confirmed and expanded (with additional information that Akhmetov closely cooperates with the USA) by the Liga publishing in the article which appeared on the eve of Poroshenko’s trip to the UN General Assembly.
"The point is – according to the Liga, - that Akhmetov has built relations with the Americans. They believe that he is needed and via him reintegration may take place. We disagree. But they insist on the fact that in our struggle to get rid of oligarchs Akhmetov cannot be considered as a target which will be completely destroyed. We can’t create the rules of the game or think of something else. He allegedly remained important and influential in Donbass and can be beneficial to the negotiations, "- he said in the AP.
Talking about the suddenly increased role of Akhmetov, the interlocutors in the Poroshenko’s office emphasized that "there were no special talks on this matter": “But there was a signal. And it is not good news for us. Especially when considering the fact that Akhmetov had numerous contacts with Surkov (Advisor of the President of Russia Vladislav Surkov, one of the ideologists of the hybrid aggression). I heard about it from a person possessing a very senior position. And supposedly during this talk the idea of a common leader for Donbass was discussed. For us it is a challenge that has to be solved ", - they said in the AP".
According to OstroV, the "leak" of information about Akhmetov before Poroshenko’s trip to the United States and the Paris meeting of leaders of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia is not accidental.
"Poroshenko does not want to strengthen the influence of Akhmetov, wants to be able to control him, but his direct contacts with the USA and Russia reduce the opportunity for the President, that’s why they try to outdo him" - says one of the deputies from the BPP to OstroV.
According to OstroV, the oligarch closely works in the Kremlin with Vladislav Surkov who is now the curator of Donbass.
For example, one of the promoters of the Kremlin Vladimir Solovyov in one of his recent broadcasts openly praised Akhmetov.
"Well, if Akhmetov helps (Donetsk with humanitarian aid -OstroV) he can be only praised. Kolomoisky does not help, and Poroshenko does not help and as well as Firtash, the rest of the oligarchs do not help, "- said Solovyov.
It is noteworthy that he praised Akhmetov in the programme in which the guest was Enrique Menendez, a representative of a volunteer organization "Responsible Citizens” which receives help again from Akhmetov.
According to OstroV sources, Akhmetov’s team fully assume that Menendez, in case the election is still held within the Minsk agreements on the uncontrolled by Ukraine territories of Donbass, will take part in it with some unifying programme of peace.
We point out that it’s not possible to participate in Solovyov’s programme, both on television and radio, without permission. One of the Russian journalists working for a state-run channel told this author that without permission of the curators of the Kremlin Solovyov does not invite people to his programme
Regarding American lobbyists of Akhmetov. According to the sources of OstroV in the NF, Akhmetov’s lobbyists in the United States are now the Democrats. It seems that the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, who is in good relations with the White House administration, helped the owner of Shakhtar to get on well with them.
In particular, representatives of Akhmetov in Washington focus on their humanitarian work in Donbass region, positioning themselves among the US senators as a kind of peaceful alternative to Moscow and partially to Kiev, having experience in dealing with humanitarian issues. According to OstroV from the oligarch’s company, such positioning has already brought fruits. In the case of freezing the conflict on the Minsk scenario, the USA is ready to give money for the reconstruction of infrastructure in Donbass through the Ahkmetov’s organizations, not through the Cabinet or Poroshenko’s team.
Viktor KalashnikoV, OstroV