National Bank of Ukraine officials are connected to Russian banks

The Deputy Head of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Kateryna Rozhkova, was discovered to have family connections to the head of Russian banks, the TSN news service reported.

At the same time, the leadership does not see a potential conflict of personal and public interests in this.

"The railway is serviced by the three Russian banks. How has someone come up with this! The largest taxpayer, the most extensive rail network," the chairman of the Motherland Defenders Party, Yuriy Karmazin, said.

Meanwhile, experts are raising their concern about the growth of the share of Russian banks in Ukraine.

"On the one hand, the head of the NBU reports that the share has decreased from 18% to 8%. But judging by the number of branches, this information does not seem credible," the head of the Committee of Economists of Ukraine, Andriy Novak, said.

The NBU, in an attempt to reassure those concerned about national security, argued that the Russian banks are closely monitored and that they are currently searching for buyers, an approach that the NBU welcomes.

"They are looking for buyers, and we welcome that. Because we prefer for them to be sold, so everything could be good for us," Rozhkova said.

However, experts say that the NBU cannot be oblivious to the fact that such re-sales are often occurring only in order to disguise the real owners of the financial institutions, which de facto continue to be managed by the former owners, only this time through figureheads.

Some politicians tend to connect Rozhkova's position with the fact that her common-law partner is a head of the board of the Prominvestbank, which, in spite of the Ukrainian name, is a subsidiary of the Russian Vnesheconombank, which is headed by a graduate of the Academy of the Federal Security Service of Russia, Sergey Gorkov.

The Head of the NBU, Valeriya Hontareva, recently had a meeting with Gorkov. MPs requested to be provided with the content and the outcome of this meeting. The National Bank said that this conversation concerned exclusively work issues of the Prominvestbank, particularly capitalization, and that such meetings between banks take place all around the world.

At the same time, Hontareva has referenced neither the connections of her deputy Rozhkova with the Russian bank nor the presence of the representative of Prominvestbank, Natalia Degtyaryova, among the members of the NBU's management.

"It is a known fact, and our government knows about it. The preferential rules for Russian banks have been created. They get favorable conditions - luxurious, liberal, whereas a different approach is being used for the Ukrainian banks," an MP from UKROP, Iryna Konstankevych, said.

  Ukraine, banking sector, NBU