Dear citizens and representatives of the media, the expert and business community, and international organizations!
Over the past few weeks, the NBU has been besieged by speculations and slander in the media, paid rallies in front of the NBU building, and even attempt by hired thugs to forcibly invade it.
We believe that this pressure on the NBU comes from Ihor Kolomoiskyi, an oligarch and PrivatBank’s former owner who owes the state USD 5.5 billion he siphoned off from PrivatBank before it was nationalized. At the same time, the state – the president, the government, and the NBU – stand united in the call on the debtor to repay these funds.
The purpose of the assault on the NBU is to create a chaos of information in order to:
- discredit the NBU and reform the banking sector, change leadership, and resort to the manual management of the NBU in the future
- avoid responsibility and obligation to return money siphoned off from PrivatBank
- interfere with Ukraine’s cooperation with international partners and, above all, the IMF, which supports the state’s position that former owners of bankrupt banks must repay what they owe the state.
The facts listed below prove that the information campaign is a paid-for action and Ihor Kolomoiskyi has been behind it.
First, protestors at the walls of the NBU, according to the media reports, are paid to take part in protests. The organizer of the mentioned public events is an NGO called Stop Corruption that was expelled from the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) based on lack of professionalism and a conflict of interest.
Second, on 25 November employees of the Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant and other companies controlled by Ihor Kolomoiskyi joined the protests, who previously held a rally outside the PrivatBank offices in Dnipro and Kyiv.
Third, this attack is carried out through the main driver, MP Oleksandr Dubinskyi, who has been under investigation for corruption and known in media as the mouthpiece of oligarch Kolomoiskyi. Negative statements and slander, demands and expectations of the protesting parties are vocalized by the information sources owned or associated with Dubinskyi.
Exerting pressure on the central bank is unacceptable in a legal and civilized state. We continue to work to ensure price and financial stability – we regulate banks, provide continuous payments, accumulate international reserves of Ukraine etc. However, since such attacks may threaten the streamlined operation of the regulator and the safety of our employees, the NBU has referred to the law enforcement requesting prevention of illegal actions.
Despite the pressure we continue to stand by the joint premise: the former owners of banks should take responsibility for siphoning off customer deposits and leading banks to bankruptcy.
We urge the media and expert community to support the NBU through non-biased coverage of events.