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    Naftogaz Independent Directors Resign


Naftogaz's two independent directors have resigned because of the government's lack of commitment to implement corporate governance reforms.

by: Mark Smedley

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Natural Gas News, Corporate, Corporate governance, News By Country, Ukraine

Naftogaz Independent Directors Resign

The remaining two independent members of Ukrainian state gas group Naftogaz's supervisory board have informed the company September 19 of their decision to resign. Paul Warwick and Marcus Richards said their decision was because of the government's lack of commitment to implement corporate governance reforms.

Naftogaz management, led by CEO Andriy Kobolyev, is to hold a media briefing on the current situation on the morning of September 20.

"The independent supervisory board members made it very clear to the government in April 2017 that their continuing involvement in this critical reform project was contingent on material progress. Despite assurances from senior politicians, deadlines have passed and commitments have not been delivered with an environment of government control, not envisaged in the Corporate Governance Action Plan. Increasing political meddling becoming increasingly evident and, unfortunately, the norm. Essentially, no material change has occurred over the last five months despite the assurances we received to the contrary", wrote Paul Warwick, who chairs the Naftogaz supervisory board, in his letter.

The secretariat of the Energy Community, which regroups EU and mostly Balkan non-EU nations plus Ukraine, held a meeting last week with senior government leaders at which it said the law as it now stands is "not compliant with its the Energy Community acquis communautaire on natural gas."

This comes despite reformist moves by Naftogaz's own management; last month it announced it has brought in a Polish man, PGNiG's technical director Pawel Jozef Stanczak, to be the new president of Ukrtransgaz, the gas transmission subsidiary scheduled to be unbundled from Naftogaz.

Until his retirement in 2015 Warwick was an executive director for Repsol and prior to that an executive vice president for Talisman Energy, which Repsol acquired. He previously spent 31 years with Conoco and ConocoPhillips in a variety of positions


Mark Smedley