Ukraine, Shell shale gas deal safe
The shale gas deal between Shell and Ukraine is still going through, the Ukrainian minister of Economic Affairs Pavlo Sheremeta says. The Ukrainian parliament asked the new government on Wednesday for an investigation into the gas contract with Shell. There is suspicion that money is being funneled to ousted president Yanukovych and his cronies via the contract. There are also questions about the deal in the Netherlands. Environment defense wants the Dutch government to launch an investigation.
Shell closed the deal last year in January with Yanukovych, with Mark Rutte present. Around €7.5 billion is involved in the deal. "This ex-president has embezzled money on a large scale", Ike Teuling of Environment defense. "The deal with Shell must be entirely clarified and must be off the table as soon as possible. As well as suspicion of corruption, Shell is also causing environmental damage in Ukraine by the application of techniques which are illegal in the Netherlands" Environment defense state. Ukraine has one of the biggest supplies of shale gas in Europe. Shell closed the deal with the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian company Nadra Yuziviska LLC. This venture is ten percent in the hands of a different company (SPK Geoservice). Opposers of Yanukovych say that this company is being used as a coverup to funnel money to the ousted president and his followers. Shell announced earlier that the company is assuming that the Ukrainian contracts with international investors will be honored. "Irrespective of possible changes in the government", a spokesperson of Shell says. "We often make long term investments in countries, in which changes in government play a role.