On Monday 31, Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council held a committee meeting with experts on energy security. Council of experts is usually called in to provide expertise and recommendations for Ukraine’s state policies on energy security issues.  The list of experts is not publicly available.

According to reports, Volodymyr Ignashchenko, a former state official under Yanukovych government was invited as an expert for Monday meeting at suggestion of Ukraine’s GeoCadastre head Roman Opimakh.

The former is known for his advisor’s role with Arseniy Yatsenyuk government in 2015-2016.

‘Bukvy’ reached out to Ignashchenko for commentary on his expert role with Ukraine’ Security Council but he refused to comment.

What we know about Volodymyr Ignashchenko

Volodymyr Ignashchenko has worked in energy sector for over 20 years largely staying out of public eye.

He is often mentioned in connection to Asters law firm affiliated with the former energy minister Eduard Stavitsky.  As a state official, he was in charge of  development projects at  Yuziv gas deposit, Black Sea gas and oil shelf deposit, and Shevchenko deposit of lithium ores. The latter was at the centre of scandal in 2018 after Petro-Consalting company got a state permit for its development skipping a  public bidding procedure.

In the early 2000s Ignashchenko worked as a deputy environment minister and sat on the governmental committee  that administered ‘distribution of goods’.

In 2005, he became the economy deputy minister under Serhiy Teryokhin, right at the time when the current vice prime minister Oleh Uruskiy worked as the industrial policy deputy minister.

Mykola Azarov later made Ignashchenko the environment deputy minister in his government where the latter  worked under Mykola Zlochevsky Last year, NABU and Special Anticorruption investigators were offered a record bribe of $6 million on a promise they would close the investigation on Zlochevsky who earlier fled the country, facing corruption charges.

In 2010s Ignashchenko worked as an advisor to Zlochevksy’s successor  Eduard Stavytsky, who was then made a new environment minister. The short tenure of Ignashchenko as the environment minister came in  2012  and saw administering tender policies on ‘production distribution’ with developers of Olevsk  and Yuziv gas deposits.

His then former boss Eduard Stavitsky was put on the wanted list in 2014 on charges of state assets’ misappropriation and was sanctioned by the EU.  In 2016, Ukraine sought Stavistsky extradition from Israel in connection to several criminal investigations citing his involvement with Yanukovych scheme of Mezhyhirya residence misappropriation and granting unlawful permits for gas and oil development.

‘Bukvy’ filed information requests with Roman Opimakh and Ukraine’s Security Council official for clarification of the role of Volodymyr Ignashchenko in the energy security expert council.