Journalists of Ukraine’s Skhemy (Schemes) TV program say Russia’s NZNP Engineering, owned by Oksana Marchenko, the wife of Viktor Medvedchuk, Vladimir Putin’s ally in Ukraine, is upgrading an oil refinery (Rostov region, Russia), which is on the sanctions list of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).
“NZNP Engineering has ordered the construction of the third and fourth stages of the Novoshakhtinsky oil refinery from Russia’s Research and Design Institute [of Oil and Gas] Peton,” the journalists said.
“The complex for the production of motor gasoline includes a section for hydrotreating oil, the Penex section, and a section for catalytic reforming. It is designed for the production of motor gasolines that meet the Euro 5 emission standards,” the journalists cited Peton’s press release.
The project is expected to be completed in December 2023. The contract concerns the design of an advanced oil refining complex.
Medvedchuk’s Novoshakhtinsky oil refinery is engaged in shallow oil refining and production of bitumen, fuel and gas oils. Marchenko owns a major stake in the refinery, which allows the enterprise to supply fuels to the United States, bypassing the U.S. sanctions imposed on Medvedchuk.
Sanctions against Medvedchuk: Background
- On February 2, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky enforced the NSDC’s decision to impose sanctions on MP Taras Kozak with the Opposition Platform – For Life party, as well as eight entities that are the founders of the 112 Ukraine, ZIK, and NewsOne TV channels that gained notoriety for spinning Russian propaganda narratives. The broadcasting of the TV channels in the digital multiplex and cable networks was suspended in the early hours of February 3.
- Zelensky’s spokeswoman Yulia Mendel announced that financing of the said TV channels by the Russian Federation had been confirmed.
- Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov says that the decision to impose sanctions on the TV channels does not concern the issue of freedom of speech, but is aimed at combating information warfare against Ukraine.
- President Zelensky said that the NSDC’s decision on sanctions against the said TV channels was legally motivated.
- On February 19, 2021, the NSDC decided to impose sanctions on 19 legal entities and eight individuals. In particular, sanctions shall be applied to MP from the Opposition Platform – For Life Party Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko. All their property and assets are subject to the sanctions. According to NSDC Secretary Danilov, the SBU Security Service of Ukraine has been investigating a case under Part 5 of Article 258 (financing of terrorism), and the latest sanctions were applied to Medvedchuk, Marchenko, and other persons precisely in connection with the said probe.
- The NSDC also made a decision to nationalize part of the Samara – Western Direction fuel pipeline, now owned by Prykarpatzakhidtrans, which is said to be linked with Medvedchuk.
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