According to the Security Service of Ukraine, the court seized all corporate rights in Ukraine belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven and Andrey Kosogov. They are members of Putin’s entourage and are involved in “schemes” of large-scale financing of Russia’s armed aggression.
Materials of the SSU
The court’s decision concerns 20 companies and financial institutions owned by Kremlin oligarchs as ultimate beneficiaries or through controlled offshore companies. These companies include the largest telecommunications operator Kyivstar, which is controlled by these oligarchs through the Dutch company VEON Ltd.
Kyivstar itself owns a 69.99% stake in Healthy Ukraine, which has access to medical data of the majority of Ukrainians.
The SSU believes that the seizure of this property will prevent the Russian owners from “re-signing” it to front companies to avoid further transfer of assets to Ukraine.
In turn, Kyivstar said that the company operates as usual, provides high-quality digital electronic communication services to 24 million subscribers and is a reliable partner of the state and society, having paid more than UAH 15 billion in taxes and fees during the full-scale invasion, as well as UAH 1.4 billion in aid to overcome the consequences of the war and bring victory closer.
The company’s management believes that the sanctioned person (Mikhail Fridman) is not the ultimate beneficial owner of Kyivstar, does not influence the company’s activities in any way and does not receive any financial or other benefits.
20% for Fridman
“The said sanctioned person is a minority shareholder of the Luxembourg-based company LetterOne, which is a minority shareholder of the international telecom group VEON. Back in February 2022, he was removed from any management or business processes in LetterOne and VEON, and his assets in LetterOne were frozen in accordance with the financial sanctions of the United States and the United Kingdom,” the commentary reads.
“Fridman owns less than 20% of Kyivstar,” the company’s president, Oleksandr Komarov, recently emphasized in an interview with Radio NV. “For example, the largest international investor has about 12%, another has eight percent… So it’s all organized like a big international business.”