A well-known businessman uses Strilets' Deputy for lobbying – mass media shutterstock

A well-known businessman uses Strilets' Deputy for lobbying – mass media

Katerina Belousova

A single state-owned enterprise will take control of all forests and, after corporatization, will lease them out

Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Serhii Vlasenko, who will be a head of the single state-owned enterprise "Forests of Ukraine", may be involved in Leonid Yurushev's lobbying scheme in the woodworking business.

Under the condition of corruption connections, the new state monopolist "Lisa Ukrainy" will allow to bypass competition and auctions, reports Our money, with a link to the Telegram channel Monopolist.

Vlasenko was appointed to the position of the Ministry of Environment in June 2022. Previously, in the government of Oleksiy Honcharuk, he was the deputy head of the State Forestry Agency.

"It was during his work in this position that the mass media found in his possession 20 plots of elite land in the Kyiv region, purchased in June 2018," the article says.

According to Monopolist, Vlasenko's appointment to the government was lobbied by Leonid Yurushev, who owns the Korosten MDF plant in Zhytomyr Oblast, the largest such enterprise in Ukraine. He also owns a large sawmill complex "Ukrainian Holding Sawmill Company" in Korosten, which can annually process 600,000 cubic meters of commercial wood.

"But such capacities require a lot of raw materials. And it is precisely them that the new state monopolist – "Forests of Ukraine" – should provide", – noted in "Our money".

The material also noted that Yurushev is a relative of Oleksandr Skichko, ex-Deputy of the People's Party and ex-head of the Cherkasy Regional State Administration. A businessman wants to sell his wood processing business, but high capitalization requires large and stable sources of raw materials.

"Our money" explained that currently the wood must be sold through an auction, which means competition and a high price. However, a single state-owned enterprise, which will take control of all forests and, after corporatization, will lease them, will help bypass auctions and get rid of competition.

"Now the heads of the forestry farms say that the process of creating the State Enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" is moving forward, and some of them are being offered to "resign" so that they will be left to manage their units in the future State Enterprise. They say that coordination is being carried out by People's Deputy from "Servant of the People" Oleksandr Aliksiichuk and his former factional colleague Roman Ivanisov. Both come from the Rivne region and have business interests there," Monopolist wrote.

The article added that disapproving heads of forest farms face dismissal.

"Yurushev is not the first to use politicians for lobbying. He built the woodworking business after removing taxes on the import of woodworking equipment, as well as imposing restrictions on the export of raw wood. This happened under the governments of Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Volodymyr Groysman," Monopolist writes.

The material noted that Factoring Finance, where Vlasenko worked as finance director in 2018, in the same year initiated the opening of the bankruptcy case of Tariel Vasadze's automobile plant – "Zaporizhsky Automobile Plant. Valentina Vlasenko is the co-owner of the company. The firm received a certificate of registration of a financial institution and permission to provide factoring services in early 2009. There is no public information about its projects in the field of environment or forestry.

In his position in the Ministry of Environment, Vlasenko should take care of issues of digital development, digital transformations and digitization.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that the appointment of Olena Kramarenko to the post of Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources was criticized due to alleged involvement in a corruption case for 200 thousand hryvnias.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, in the Lviv region, law enforcement officers detained the director of one of the state-owned forest enterprises while receiving bribe in the amount of 9 thousand UAH

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