Europe ‘against’ Corruption: Ex-Politicians from Europe Are Working for Ukrainian Oligarchs

European politicians, directly responsible for the mess in Ukraine, are now working with oligarchs to plunder the country

The article originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova

Three Ukrainian oligarchs have hired prominent former EU politicians: in their ‘Agency for modernization of Ukraine’ former politicians – ministers, commissioners and lobbyists – must help oligarchs to start new business. Among them are the SPD politician Peer Steinbrück and Günter Verheugen.

Former Finance Minister and former SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück will help Ukraine to develop a modern banking system. 


As several Austrian media report unanimously, Steinbrück will work together with other prominent personalities from the West for the ‘Agency for modernization of Ukraine’. Steinbrück’s parliamentary office has not yet answered to the letter of enquiry.

Former Austrian Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger was presented as director of the new advisory agency on Tuesday in Vienna. Co-founder of the Advisory Board was the CDU MP Karl-Georg Wellmann. French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, former German Commissioner Günter Verheugen (SPD) and former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner want to be part of the Kiev mission. Additionally, the former Commissioners Stefan Fule (Integration) and Peter Mandelson (Trade) are members of the Board.

On Tuesday Spindelegger (former Austrian politician) confirmed that German political consultant Udo Brockhausen would move in the direction of the new company, reports the Press.

The Federal Government has recently announced that it will invest 500 million euros in loan guarantees for reconstruction in Ukraine. The Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, which is under house arrest in Austria, told the Handelsblatt that he would like to join the initiative together with other oligarchs:

‘We want to create a guarantee fund with Germany of about $500 million, to which the big businessmen, such as Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk and I would invest our money’.

Oligarchs Pinchuk and Akhemtov have likewise a dubious reputation: Akhemtov acts as the godfather in Donbass, at the outset of the war he supported the rebels. Pinchuk is the son-in-law of the former President Leonid Kuchma, who has gained unpopularity in Ukraine for his activities on fusion of politics and business.

At the Minsk peace summit it was agreed that France and Germany are to be given access to the Ukrainian banking sector to restore them. The official statement said:

‘Germany and France will provide technical expertise for the recovery of the banking sector in the affected areas of conflict, possibly, establishment of the international mechanism for facilitating social transfers’.

Oligarchs traditionally dominate politics and business in Ukraine. By means of the new joint venture and with the help of European and international tax money they will be able to fund new projects.

The degree of selflessness in dealing with the expected ‘Auxiliary billion’ should be easily understandable.


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