A former CEO of Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, Andriy Koboliev, faces charges of the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine concerning a case on the alleged embezzlement of around $10 million. This case has stirred heated debates among Ukraine’s political pundits, lawyers, and anti-corruption activists.
Public opinion in Ukraine concerning the case against a former top-ranking official is divided. While one group of experts and activists insists that the case against the ex-Naftogaz chief has signs of political persecution, others believe that anti-corruption institutions must be allowed to get their job done without unnecessary pressure.
Who is Andriy Koboliev?
According to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) investigation, ex-Naftogaz CEO Andriy Koboliev is suspected of embezzling a large sum of money. Koboliev denies any wrongdoing by Naftogaz officials and himself during his administration.
Koboliev became CEO of the National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz in March 2014. In two years since taking over the company, Andriy Koboliev cut the dependence of Naftogaz on gas from Russia’s gas monopolist Gazprom, which was a crucial change for the energy security of Ukraine. In 2014, Gazprom supplied 90% of Ukraine’s domestic needs.