15 Jun 2022 11:59

Ukraine's Security Service seizes assets of subsidiary of Belarusian Oil Company

MOSCOW/MINSK. June 15 (Interfax) - The corporate rights and the bank accounts of a Belarusian fuel company worth a total of 20 million hryvni ($700,000 at today's exchange rate) have been frozen in Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on Wednesday.

The company's involvement in financing the Russian military operation has been cited as the reason for the assets seizure, the Ukrainian media outlets quoted the SBU as saying.

Photos of filling stations released by the SBU feature the blurred logo of BNK-Ukraine, a subsidiary of one of Belarus' largest oil traders, the Belarusian Oil Company, which delivered commodities worth almost 20 billion hryvni to Ukraine in 2021.

"The company had Belarusian state-run enterprises among its founders, purchased raw materials in the Russian Federation and paid taxes to the budgets of both countries," the SBU said, adding that considering this information, the chain was directly involved in financing the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

The seized assets have been transferred to the National Agency for Detection, Investigation and Management of Assets Obtained from Corruption and Other Crimes.

Procedural guidance in this case is being provided by the Podolsk District Prosecutor's Office of Kyiv.

According to open source data as of the end of 2021, BNK-Ukraine is 56.5% owned by the Belarusian Oil Company, and 43.5% by Gomel-based Belorusneft.

Meanwhile, the shareholders of BNK LCC, established in 2007, are Belorusneft (52% of shares), JSC Mozyr Oil Refinery (24%), and JSC Naftan (24%).

BNK was previously the exclusive exporter of petroleum products from Belarus. Specifically, it delivered petroleum and diesel fuel to Ukraine and developed a chain of filling stations in partnership with the Ukrainian company UPG. The company also developed the BelOil chain of filling stations outside St. Petersburg in Russia.

BNK and Belarusneft have declined to comment on the SBU report.

The official exchange rate for June 15 in 29.25 hryvni/$1.