European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a $25 million loan for Mironivsky Hliboproduct (MHP) this Wednesday. The financial support was given to the agro-industrial company of Ukrainian billionaire Yuriy Kosyuk despite the often and loud criticism he earns for his suspicious business practices. Not even the appeal of non-governmental organizations has changed the decision of european bank, that possesses significant political power.
The information on the loan approval appeared on the EBDR website on Thursday. The bank, which role is to develop a market-based economy and democratic environment, simply ignored the criticism against the controversial MHP conglomerate. Range of the conglomerate's activities does not follow principles of environmental democracy.
"Unfortunately, EBDR missed the opportunity to show that it doesn´t endorse controversial practices. It would be difficult for Mironivsky Hliboproduct to ignore such a statement," comments Václav Orcígr, Arnika's specialist on Ukrainian issues, on the move of EBRD. He states that by subsidizing the oligarch's business, the bank incurs the risk of losing good reputation.
Vladlena Marcinkyewicz from the Bankwatch international network also expressed her disappointment: "It's such a shame. But our monitoring of the case definitely hasn't finished yet. We currently await the EBDR's motives of its decision to be published."
A pretty penny for a biogas plant
The above-mentioned loan should cover almost all expenses on the $27 million project of biogas plant construction near the Zaozerne village in Vinnytsia Oblast. Even though this plant would resolve some serious problems related to bio-waste disposal that result from huge production of the corporate group, certain negative aspects make this project unacceptable by the environmentalists.
Kosyuk's Mironivsky Hliboproduct is a truly unmatched Ukrainian producer and supplier of chicken meat and the operator of the biggest poultry farm in Europe. Due to subsidiaries in many areas of agriculture, the MHP enjoys a dominant position on the Ukrainian meat market which becomes useful when dealing with partners, competitors and critics. Up to 27,000 out of approximately 132,000 tons of the company's yearly meat export ends up in seventeen countries of the EU. This year, the MHP has opened a branch in Slovakia and plans to keep increasing the export to the European market.
Author: Martin Holzknecht, Ilona Muzatkova