Kaan Terzioglu, CEO of multinational telecommunications company VEON, said that investors and senior stakeholders learned that the Ukrainian government was seizing the “corporate rights” of Kyivstar, Ukraine's biggest telecommunications company, through social media and publications.

He said that foreign investors were “confused” by the situation, and they have reached out to their local congressmen and parliament members for help.

Terzioglu said while he respected the Ukrainian government’s concerns, he wants to have a dialogue with officials to understand the meaning behind the decision and that there’s protection for international investors’ rights in Ukraine.

“Our rights at VEON, on Kyivstar, [are] unquestionable,” said Terzioglu.


Oleksandr Komarov, the president of Kyivstar, said that it might be a “mistake in approach” that they heard everything from social media instead of the government.

A meeting is due to take place between the major shareholders of VEON and government officials, including representatives from embassies whose investors are affected by the recent ruling.

On Oct. 6, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) announced the seizure of all “corporate rights” of three Russian oligarchs over their involvement in financing Russia in the current invasion.

The initial court decision was to seize 99.9 percent of authorized capital from Kyivstar, but it was later amended to 47.8 percent, corresponding to LetterOne’s shares of VEON.

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In a climate rife with risk due to the ongoing war, banks have given more than 50,000 loans with a compensatory interest rate to Ukraine’s companies.

All three oligarchs used to sit on the board of directors of LetterOne, a UK fund. The fund in turn owns part of VEON. Neither LetterOne nor VEON are under EU and Ukrainian sanctions.

VEON denied meddling influence from the oligarchs, noting that there’s never been a majority or controlling shareholder in its operations. According to a VEON press release, LetterOne holds 47.8 percent of common and voting shares.


“VEON is a publicly owned company,” said Terzioglu, at a press conference in Kyiv. “[...] VEON has no controlling shareholders, and none of the mentioned names [...] has any direct interest, any access, to any economic values, and they have zero ability [to influence] any decisions we make.”

Despite the recent turmoils, Kyivstar’s president maintains that the operations of Kyivstar will continue as usual.

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