The preparation process for the nationalization of PrivatBank showed us what kind of a troubled bank we were nationalizing and that we would have to invest taxpayers' money in the amount of $ 5.5 billion. It was absolutely clear we had no chance for mistake and that no one would forgive us such amounts. Therefore, we had to initiate lawsuits against Kolomoisky.
What did Kolomoisky think? He thought he had to attack the state first to defend himself. That is why the Ministry of Finance together with the National Bank developed the legal protection strategy. We decided that part of the lawsuits were to be filed in Ukraine and the other part in London. Assets freezing was a goal for the London court. The question was how to pursue London to accept those lawsuits. In fact, there were 2 conditions: the fraud cases of the previous owners of Privatbank had to be related to the United Kingdom and, most importantly, there should not have been prosecution on those lawsuits in Ukraine.
The Prosecutor General's Office actively tried to disrupt the process, demanding that I file all lawsuits in Ukraine and accusing me, on the contrary, of helping Kolomoisky while I actively ignored them and kept doing my job.
We decided to conduct an absolutely classified operation and hired powerful lawyers to accompany us. At the same time, I limited any communication as much as possible, especially my contacts with Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko as I had information that he was meeting with Kolomoisky.
The lawsuit in the London court also required a decision of the new supervisory board of PrivatBank, therefore a meeting of the board had to be held. Suddenly, Kolomoisky's lawyers called and happily informed us that there was a decision of the Ukrainian court, which forbade the supervisory board of the state bank to meet and take any decisions. It was nonsense, but okay. By Ukrainian law, the court decision is considered invalid until physically received. So we shut down the mail of the Ministry of Finance and PrivatBank. Accordingly, the court decision could not be received.
We convened a supervisory board. Suddenly, a new story unfolded - criminal prosecution against foreign advisers who compiled the case for the London court. Why was this done? To prevent them from entering Ukraine. We decided to convene a supervisory board outside Ukraine, in Turkey. But then one of the advisers suggested that we still hold a meeting in Ukraine, as anyone’s arrest would only be beneficiary for the London court. We gathered at 5 am on the international territory in Ukraine so that our law enforcement officers could not enter there and disrupt the meeting. At the meeting, when I announced the reason for the assembly, one of the members asked to step out for some urgent call. At 5am. Urge suddenly disappeared when I offered him to step out together. Clearly, he just wanted to leak the information.
After making the necessary decisions, our lawyer immediately flew to London, and I immediately turned off the phone.
Meanwhile, the president was looking for me and, unfortunately, he was successful. I told him that we had filed a lawsuit to freeze Kolomoisky's assets. "Yes, that's great!" - Petro Oleksiyovych reacts. Everything was great, but after a short while Kolomoisky got to know what was happening, the information had already been leaked. And I just sat and hoped for our lawyer not to be beaten. At six o'clock in the evening he called me and said that all the assets were frozen. The President rejoiced again, but preferred me to come and pass on all the most detailed information to Lutsenko the next day. I refused, referring to the fact that I had sustainable suspicions that Lutsenko was leaking information to Kolomoisky, to which Poroshenko replied: "Come on, he is ours. He realized his mistake. "
Despite my arguments, the meeting with Lutsenko was scheduled, so on the way from the Presidential Administration I convened a press conference at the Ministry of Finance, where I openly called on Lutsenko to resign and accused him of playing in Kolomoisky's interests. It threw everyone off balance, and everyone left me alone. Kolomoisky's assets were frozen. It was clear that Lutsenko had a deal with Kolomoisky, probably on behalf of the president. I didn't know what their interest was, but it was clear to me that there were some guarantees from the president not to freeze Igor Valerievich's assets.
Source: NV magazine - № 22 dated June 17, 2021
Photo: Dmitry Larin