Ukraine's privatization has never been short of twisted plots worthy of a novel. But never has it looked more like a thriller, with self-confessed villains picking public fights and making shocking revelations about their murky past.
He admitted, for example, that he paid $5 million per month during an unspecified period of time to fellow billionaire Victor Pinchuk and his father-in-law, ex-President Leonid Kuchma, in order to keep them out of Ukrnafta, an oil and gas extractor in which Kolomoisky has a 43 percent stake.
“We know that the person who gave bribes and who came first to tell about it will not face anything,” Kolomoisky said, and laughed.
“This is another vile insinuation of Kolomoisky. It is a part of an ongoing improper campaign to put pressure on Pinchuk to call off his lawsuit against Kolomoisky and (Gennadiy) Bogolyubov in London. As previous attempts, it will not work,” Pinchuk’s press office told the Kyiv Post.
The issue is sensitive because of an ongoing court dispute in London over the privatization of Kryvyi Rih Iron Ore in 2004. Pinchuk accused Kolomoisky of breach of trust during the privatization process and failure to pass the asset to him. The case is worth up to $2 billion.
Kolomoisky has denied wrongdoing, saying Pinchuk is seeking to get back a bribe. He also told the parliamentary committee that laws were approved in Kuchma’s time specially to limit privatization of sweet assets to the select few, including billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, himself and Pinchuk, and pushed for re-privatization of some of those assets.