Giuliani associates tried to reshuffle Naftogaz top managers – media report
U.S. businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who lawyer of the U.S. president Rudy Giuliani called his clients, tried to recruit one of the top managers of Naftogaz Ukrainy, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported, referring to a statement of head of Naftogaz integrated gas business unit Andriy Favorov.
"You're a Republican, right? We want you to be our guy," Favorov recalled the men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, in an interview with WSJ. He said that they contacted him in March in Houston on the sidelines of an energy conference.
Favorov said that on his own initiative he went to New York to meet with federal prosecutors who are now investigating the activities of Parnas and Fruman.
In October, Parnas and Fruman were arrested for illegally financing political campaigns in the United States.
According to Favorov, Fruman and Parnas hoped to secure his support in trying to oust Andriy Kobolev, the head of Naftogaz's executive board. They hoped that Favorov should take the place of Kobolev.
Favorov said that he was confused after the conversation. He reported the incident to Kobolev, and told Fruman and Parnas that he was not going to cooperate with them.
Fruman's lawyer denied comments to WSJ on this issue, while Parnas' lawyer said the information voiced by Favorov was untrue.
Parnas is an American of Ukrainian descent, and Fruman is an American of Belarusian descent.