Swiss company buys coal from pro-Russia militants in Donetsk region
Ukraine’s Security Service investigates the case
According to UNN news agency, the Prosecutor General’s Office opened the case about financing terrorism back in June 2015.
The investigation group of the SBU (Ukraine’s Security Service) found the following, quote: ‘Since June 2014 till now, Mr. Ruslan Dubovsky, the-then director of Zhdanovskaya coal mine in Donetsk, has exported almost 665 tons of coal to several foreign companies, such as FLAME SA (Switzerland), ELBERT INVEST LLP (the United Kingdom) , SANTOLINA CONSULTANTS LLP (Panama), DIEMANN-HANIEL MINING S (Germany). Part of the sum that Mr. Dubovsky received was sent to support the abovementioned terrorist organization (‘DPR’, - 112 International)’.
The outlet showcased the May 2014 contract between the management of the Zhdanovskaya coal mine, located at the militant-held territory of Ukraine, and FLAME SA company; the forementioned Dubovsky is also a Coal Industry Minister of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’. Under the capital transaction account from May 16, 2014, the mine exported some 77 tons of coal (worth of 4.5 mln dollars) to the Swiss company. The cargo’s custom processing took place in Illichivsk sea port, southern Ukraine.
According to the Unified Register of Commercial Enterprises of Swiss canton Ticino, FLAME SA enjoys the capital worth of 1 million Swiss francs. It was founded by Italian businessmen Alessandro Ballerini (current CEO of the company), Luca Ferrari and Fabricio d’Adamo.
According to lawyer Eduard Baghirov, the very fact of making such a deal between the mine on the occupied territory and the Swiss company is a discretization of the Ukrainian government. ‘It’s not an issue for the Swiss side, but it definitely is for the Ukrainian authorities. A letter – with Ukraine’s economy minister signature – should be sent to the company, and to Swiss authorities, urging them not to buy products or goods from the occupied territory. If the company continues to buy coal or something else after that, that would be an issue for them, a violation of norms and the laws of Switzerland and Ukraine. Our officials do not control the situation, and their inactivity leads to this – enterprises located in the occupied area make contracts with companies in Ukraine and abroad. This contract and actual supplies discredit Ukraine’s authorities – the executive power, I mean, the Cabinet and the Ministry of Economy.
He also warned that such economic deals could leave the self-proclaimed ‘LPR’ and ‘DPR’ certain grounds for achieving and confirming their own legal status at the international arena. The entire situation, Baghirov says, is a violation of EU-imposed anti-Russian sanctions.
‘In this actual case, it’s also a violation by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) and the reckless disregard by the staff of the entire authoritative body; thus, NSDC sanctions do not work’, the lawyer concluded.
Ihor Mosiychuk, MP from the Radical Party, shares Baghirov’s view on the work inefficiency of Ukrainian authorities. ‘First of all, if such contract exists and is adhered to, this means there are faults allowed by Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry and special services. Besides, how one can talk about any sort of control, if ministers come to negotiate with militants? What kind of control is that?’, UNN quotes Mosiychuk as saying.
According to the MP, there are more of such contracts, and trading with the occupied territories is a large-scale feature. That’s up to the law enforcement agencies and special services.
The SBU already opened the criminal case on financing terrorism.
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