Representatives of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" did not formally inform the Ukrainian company Vodafone-Ukraine about "tax" debts and the need to pay $14 million. On March 27, Director-Corporate Governance & Control at Vodafone Ukraine Oleh Prozhivalsky stated this at a press conference in Kyiv, according to Donetskie Novosti.
"It was a PR campaign on their part. They did not put forward any conditions; we do not have any direct links with representatives of the so-called "republics". We do not correspond with them, we did not receive any bills. The only thing [except for the negotiations in Minsk] is that they and we speak out in the press. Minsk is the only platform for negotiations for us. That's where everyone expresses their position clearly and officially", - said Prozhivalsky.
The company, of course, will not pay the "tax" debt of $14 million, requested by the so-called "Minister of incomes and fees of the DNR".
"We will not pay anything. This would be support and funding of separatism. Any financial activity [with unrecognized entities] will be followed by sanctions, and the company's shares will collapse. Also, we will be deprived of the license by the Ukrainian authorities, because we would violate the Ukrainian legislation. Therefore, this is simply unacceptable", - Prozhivalsky said.
He also recalled that they are ready to continue working under the same conditions as a year ago - remotely and within the framework of Ukrainian legislation, in particular, paying Ukrainian enterprises for electricity.
Prozhivalsky also described how Vodafone-Ukraine conducted financial activities, while working in uncontrolled territory, the nuances of the Minsk negotiations on the restoration of Vodafone's connection in the “LDNR”. He added that Vodafone-Ukraine found mutual understanding with the Luhansk party, that's why the connection was restored in the “LNR”. He said the quality of the service would be improved before June.
Unlike the "LNR", the “DNR” is difficult to negotiate with. "At the last meeting, we made a condition - if you continue to play with us, we will just dismantle the equipment that worked on the Donetsk direction", - Director-Corporate Governance & Control at Vodafone Ukraine said.
But the company is ready to send specialists to the “DNR” if it gets guarantees of their safety.
Since January 11, Vodafone-Ukraine connection is not available in the "DNR" (in the "LNR", the connection was fully restored on January 19). The residents started to use the so-called "republican" mobile operator Phoenix. However, the local operator cannot cope with the flow of subscribers.
Since January 13, Phoenix subscribers have the opportunity to call to Vodafone numbers. After amplification of Vodafone stations in Marinka, Avdiivka and other Ukraine-controlled settlements, the signal began available in the outskirts of Donetsk. On January 20, the “DNR” informed about the possibility to call to Ukraine from landline phones.
It is not possible to restore the Vodafone signal in the "DNR", because the "republican authorities" constantly put forward new conditions. One of their recent requirements was that Vodafone-Ukraine had to pay $14 million as a "tax" debt.
At the same time, the “DNR” can still receive the signal of another Ukrainian mobile operator - Intertelecom, which operates in CDMA format.