The wife of a famously pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician has a sweet oil drilling deal in Russia
The television presenter Oksana Marchenko (who’s married to the pro-Russia Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk) apparently owns a company that’s developing one of the biggest oil deposits in Russia’s Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
According to a new joint investigation by journalists from Radio Liberty and UA: Pershy, Marchenko is the sole proprietor of a Cyprus-based offshore that owns 50.1 percent of the “NZNP Trade” LLC, which three years ago won a procurement contract to drill for oil in the Gavrikovsky oilfield — the third biggest deposit in the whole region, and home to an estimated 123.7 million tons of oil.
According to the newspaper Kommersant, one of the conditions of the drilling contract was that the winner must refine the oil in the Rostov region. At the time of the deal, there were only two oil refineries in Rostov, one of which was affiliated with NZNP Trade. A Rosneft subsidiary initially tried to challenge this condition in court, but the company later dropped its lawsuit.
Who’s Viktor Medvedchuk? According to Ukrainian journalists, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev’s wife were named as the godparents of Medvedchuk’s daughter in 2004. Medvedchuk has previously represented eastern Ukraine’s separatists in negotiations with the Ukrainian government, and he’s believed to be extremely close with Vladimir Putin.