Andriy Kobolyev

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Andriy Kobolyev (Ukrainian: Андрíй Володѝмирович Кóболєв; born August 16, 1978) is a Ukrainian politician and businessman, former chief executive officer of Ukrainian largest national oil and gas company Naftogaz.



On fighting with the corruption and oligarchs

  • Naftogaz was mostly used as an instrument to do two things: firstly, to bribe the electorate through the huge prepaid subsidies, and secondly for corrupt practices.[1]
  • “Every Saturday, they would run shows saying how bad Naftogaz is, what a bad person Kobolyev is” (Andriy Kobolyev said to the Wall Street Journal about a Firtash-controlled television station called Inter started airing negative coverage about Kobolyev.[2] “In Ukraine, those favors don't come for free. If you want a TV channel which is a propaganda channel to promote you, that comes at a cost,” he said.[2]

On making Naftogaz the largest contributor to the state budget

  • You can either be in Turkmenistan, where you have free gas but low salaries and no freedom, or you can be in the European Union-style, but then the gas will be priced to market value. Sorry.[1]

Lobbying against Nord Stream 2

  • With blows like that, the Russian Federation is trying to make sure that Ukraine as a state will fail Kobolyev said that Nord Stream 2 would kill the Ukrainian transit route.[2]
  • Every day for Naftogaz is like walking on the edge.[1]
  • The construction and launch of Nord Stream 2 are nothing but part of Putin's plan to wage war against Ukraine. He wanted to give up transit through our country so that any further invasion would not affect Russian gas sales to Europe.[3]
  • Even if Russia gives guarantees, I believe the likelihood of Russia helping us is zero.[3]

On unbundling of the GTS

  • This plan enabled Ukraine to achieve two goals: create the independent GTS operator in line with European rules and protect the country's interests in the arbitration proceedings against Gazprom.[4]

On the annual salary for charity

  • A lot of populist politicians began to use it as a tool to discredit reforms and to increase their rating in the year of double elections. ... Now I will give my salary and bonuses in equal proportions to three Ukrainian organizations – “Narodny tyl” supporting the families of the dead warriors, “Come back alive” supporting the army, [MIM] and “Tabletochky” to help children with cancer.[5]

On Energy sanctions against Russia

  • There is no reason for the EU not to place an immediate embargo on supplies of Russian LNG and petroleum products. Russia's energy stranglehold has lasted for too long. This step will save lives, and not only in Ukraine.[6]
  • Beyond the military domain, the most obvious target for such retaliation is Russian energy exports, which account for roughly 36 percent of the country's total budget revenues, most of which are used to fund military expenditure. Europe should move fast to replace Russian energy supplies permanently.[6]
  • Moreover, the EU's Green Deal, which commits the bloc to become carbon-neutral by 2050, means the balance of bargaining power has shifted decisively from fossil fuel producers to consumers. European governments must use that advantage to sanction Russian energy exports in a way that will not damage their economies. The best approach is the tried and tested Iranian sanction model: natural gas can flow from Gazprom to Europe. However, all proceeds are kept in special escrow accounts in European banks until Russia meets certain conditions.[6]
  • However, shifting gas sales, for example, to Chinese markets is not possible. ... In the case of China, it might take 10 to 15 years to build the infrastructure. The existing pipeline to China is small and is not connected to the areas currently supplying Europe. To lose your biggest, most lucrative market, to lose 80% of your revenues, and become fully dependent on China, does not look like a very smart or strategic move. That does not look like a victory.[7]
  • The Russians and Putin have always believed Europe can never survive without Russian oil. ... Putin thinks if he wins in Ukraine, the Kremlin will be forgiven because there is no alternative, and the west is weak. That is how he thinks, how Gazprom thinks, and how Rosneft thinks. That is how they see the world. That is why Putin personally controls the energy trade. It is his sacred cash cow. ...There is a Russian proverb: a sacred place is never empty for long.[7]

Quotes about Kobolyev

  • Kobolyev is one of the most remarkable anti-corruption leaders in Ukraine.
– Amos Hochstein, an American member of Naftogaz's board and the former U.S. special envoy for international energy affairs.[1]
  • Kobolyev is “a stalwart reformer” and “a rare Ukrainian in power who never stopped fighting corrupt efforts to benefit the well-connected at the expense of the Ukrainian people.”
– Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, in her book “Lessons from the Edge”[1]
  • Kobolyev is “as clean as they come,” saying he had been “fearless and determined to sort of shake everything up.”
– Marie Yovanovitch, in her testimony to House impeachment investigators.[8]
  • You’re going to sit in prison.
– Ihor Kolomoiskyi, a billionaire, told Kobolyev.[1]


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