NBU board claims pressure by ex-owner of PrivatBank Kolomoisky
The Board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has claimed the focused several-weeks-lasting attack on the regulator in the form of hit pieces and libel in the media, paid protests near the building of the NBU and even attempt by hired thugs to forcibly invade it.
"We believe that this pressure on the NBU comes from Ihor Kolomoiskyi, an oligarch and PrivatBank's former owner who owes the state $5.5 billion he siphoned off from PrivatBank before it was nationalized," the Board said on the NBU website on Wednesday.
"At the same time, the state – the president, the government, the National Bank – is united in the call on the debtor to repay these funds," the Board said.
The Board said that the purpose of the assault on the NBU is to create a chaos of information in order to discredit the NBU and reform the banking sector, change leadership, and resort to the manual management of the NBU in the future and avoid responsibility and obligation to return money siphoned off from PrivatBank.
Another purpose is to interfere with Ukraine's cooperation with international partners and, above all, the IMF, which supports the state’s position that former owners of bankrupt banks must repay what they owe the state.
The following facts prove that the information campaign is a paid-for action and Ihor Kolomoisky has been behind it. Protestors at the walls of the NBU, according to the media reports, are paid to take part in protests. On 25 November employees of the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant and other companies controlled by Kolomoisky joined the protests, who previously held a rally outside the PrivatBank offices in Dnipro and Kyiv.
"Third, this attack is carried out through the main driver, MP Oleksandr Dubinsky, who has been under investigation for corruption and has been known in media as the mouthpiece of oligarch Kolomoisky," the NBU Board said.
The NBU Board said that exerting pressure on the central bank is unacceptable in a legal and civilized state.
"We continue to work to ensure price and financial stability – we regulate banks, provide continuous payments, accumulate international reserves of Ukraine etc. However, since such attacks may threaten the streamlined operation of the regulator and the safety of our employees, the NBU has referred to the law enforcement requesting prevention of illegal actions," the NBU Board said in the statement.
The Board urged the media and expert community to support the NBU through non-biased coverage of events.