The alleged scheme that was used to shift the assets to companies close to Oleksandr Yanukovych, according to Forbes Ukraine, was enabled by an amendment to existing legislation that the president had proposed and subsequently passed by parliament on March 13.
The amendment removes the mandatory requirement of a 50 percent minimum state stake in public companies that are leased and undergo a change in ownership type – in this case from limited liability companies to public joint-stock companies. This change, Forbes Ukraine reported, allowed firms linked to Oleksandr Yanukovych to take control of the lucrative coal plants.
In an Oct. 26 e-mailed response to the Kyiv Post, Oleksandr Yanukovych strenuously denied that any of his companies took part in the scheme transferring the assets of the five coal preparation plants.
Oleksandr said companies that he owns “have not and do not conduct business activity in public procurement, privatization (of state-owned assets) and extraction of natural resources.”