VTB statement on the situation with its bank in Ukraine
The recent actions of the Ukrainian judicial system sit outside a civilized legal framework and threaten the current operations of our bank in the country.
In September the Kiev Court of Appeal, as part of proceedings relating to the recognition and enforcement of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the lawsuit of Mr Kolomoyskyi’s group of companies against Russia, demonstrated legal nihilism and, having recognized the assets of VTB (Ukraine) as Russia’s property in Ukraine, resolved to seize shares and assets of VTB (Ukraine). This, in fact, has paralyzed our bank’s operations in this country.
VTB Group has challenged this ruling, but consideration of our complaints is being delayed without any sound reason, and due to the political bias of Ukrainian courts, their future rulings relating to us are also predictable. This deprives us of a hope of a fair trial and therefore of maintaining our business in the country. In our opinion, the Ukrainian court rulings are nothing more than legalization of an attempted illegal takeover of our assets in Ukraine.
Mr Kolomoyskyi’s actions are purposefully reinforcing the illegitimate sanctions that the Ukrainian authorities introduced against Russian banks in March 2017. It is clear to us that the Ukrainian authorities, through their silent approval of these actions, encourage the takeover by the oligarch, despite the fact that as a result Ukrainian citizens will suffer. Even though Mr Kolomoyskyi is no stranger to this situation. This is not the first time he leaves them without means of subsistence by “nationalizing” hard earned money of millions of depositors. Now he obviously plans to get to the money of his fellow citizens in the Russian banks, including VTB (Ukraine).
In this situation the Ukrainian leadership bears full responsibility for the damage that Mr Kolomoyskyi’s illegal actions can cause the Ukrainian citizens and business.
We would also like to remind Mr Poroshenko that VTB (Ukraine) was established based on Mriya Bank, which he owned and which VTB Group acquired in 2006. VTB Group reserves the right to appeal at an international court to demand that Mr Poroshenko repay the amount spent on purchasing the bank.
Fulfilling obligations to the customers is VTB Bank’s main priority in all countries in which it operates. In Ukraine, we demonstrated our commitment to this principle in the case of BM Bank. It has terminated its banking operations but met all its obligations under the plan agreed with the National Bank of Ukraine.
We intend to follow this principle in regards to VTB (Ukraine) as well, if, of course, Ukrainian authorities and oligarchs connected with them will not prevent us from doing so.