Reformer of the week
Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has criticized Wojciech Balczun, CEO of railway monopoly Ukrzaliznytsia.
Omelyan and ex-Deputy Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Shulmeister have accused Balczun of protecting the interests of Yaroslav Dubnevych and Bohdan Dubnevych, lawmakers from President Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc, at his firm. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, another Poroshenko ally, backed Balczun in the conflict. The Dubnevych brothers and Balczun deny the graft accusations.
Last year Omelyan also supported the cancellation of an allegedly rigged Hr 1 billion tender at Yuzhny Port won by a firm linked to Serhiy Faermark, a lawmaker from the People’s Front party.
Meanwhile, Shulmeister exposed pervasive corruption schemes in Ukrainian infrastructure in a Feb. 1 interview with the liga.net online newspaper, saying that $2 billion was being stolen at Ukrzaliznytsia annually. He accused Poroshenko allies Ihor Kononenko and Mykhailo Beilin; Leonid Yurushev, an associate of ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and tycoons Rinat Akhmetov and Ihor Kolomoisky of having vested interests in infrastructure and trying to influence the Infrastructure Ministry. They deny the accusations.
After ex-Infrastructure Minister Andrei Pivovarsky’s team tried to remove an alleged corruption scheme at the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company and fire its CEO Dmytro Barinov, a protégé of People’s Front lawmaker Maxim Burbak, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov heavily criticized them and told them not to do that, Shulmeister said.