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Ceturtdiena 20.02.2020 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

Minister's infamous advisor has met with Latvijas gaze shareholder and Conexus

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Olainfarm, Pāvels Rebenoks, Ralfs Nemiro, Conexus, Latvijas gaze, Nekā personīga

Pāvels Rebenoks

Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro’s advisor Pāvels Rebenoks, who is involved with «Olainfarm inheritors wards», has taken part in meetings with Conexus and Latvijas gaze shareholder Marguerite Fund, as reported by TV3 programme Nekā personīga.

Rebenoks has confirmed as much in an interview to the programme. It is worth asking here – shouldn’t an inspection be performed to determine why a minister’s assistant was allowed to discuss top secret topics without access to official secrets?

Latvenergo is the largest state-owned company in Latvia. The concern’s annual revenue nears EUR 900 million and its clear profits reach EUR 80 million. Latvenergo is worth more than one and a half billion euros, which makes it the most valuable company in Latvia, the programme notes.

«For ten years the company was managed by Āris Žīgurs. His and two other board members’ terms will end in autumn 2020. The new board needs to be selected and have it approve Latvenergo’s council. For half a year the company has not had it – there is only an interim council,» says Nekā personīga.

The most competent council members were picked in the selection process. Economy Ministry’s state secretary Ēriks Eglītis had intended to approve the same council members previously. However, half an hour prior to that, Nemiro had Eglītis dismissed. It is worth mentioning that the list composed by Eglītis did not include Nemiro’s advisor Rebenoks, the programme reports.

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš says: «This is about one of our country’s largest strategic company – Latvenergo. The order of things in Latvia now is that ministries have these large companies under their wing. In this case it is very important to have an objective selection process and avoid putting political persons in positions of the council. This means ‘chauffeur sons’ and the like».

Whereas the suspended Economy Ministry’s state secretary Ēriks Eglītis says: «This process is how it is – by the time the last stage hits we have received candidates we then have to pick council members from. Of the eight candidates we had requested an assessment on, five were considered positive. The received report also mentioned that a full assessment is needed for two of them, however. One candidate received an initially negative opinion, which made the situation mixed.»

Nekā personīga learned from multiple sources that the candidate who received a negative assessment is Pāvels Rebenoks.

Now all candidates have to apply for the issue of a permit to access official secrets. The process will last several more months. The interim council will remain in power until then. This council is managed by vice-state secretary Edmunds Valantis. He was proposed by Nemiro to become the next state secretary to Economy Ministry. The government needs to decide on this on Tuesday, 11 February.

Read also: Continuation of Olainfarm talks: the raiderism of Nemiro’s advisor Rebenoks

A day prior to his suspension Eglītis had submitted his resignation to Nemiro. Now he publicly criticizes the minister. Nemiro made the state secretary make political decisions – drop the litigation with Parex shareholders and appoint Rebenoks to Latvenergo’s council.

«If I as an official am given a minister’s order and this order is not clearly illegal, I have to execute it. This was the situation with the council in June 2019 and this was the situation with the interim council in October 2019,» said Eglītis.

The programme notes Rebenoks also tries influencing decisions and acts as though he is the minister. «Over a short two-week period of time, Rebenoks’ council has offered one of Latvenergo’s board members to develop a wind energy project and purchase a ready wind turbine park.»

Economy Ministry does everything it can to make sure Rebenoks ends up in Latvenergo council. Requirements of the selection process provided for one of the council members needs to be a lawyer, notes Nekā personīga.

As a freelance advisor Rebenoks has taken part in official meetings. One such meeting included Conexus and Latvijas gaze shareholder Marguerite foundation.

When asked what was discussed during those meetings, Rebenoks said: ‘I cannot reveal it – it is sensitive information.’

Rebenoks’ most impressive entry in his CV is his post of council chairman in Olainfarm. He ended up there in 2018 as a trustee of one of Valērijs Maligins’ daughters. Mārtiņš Krieķis had joined the council together with him. The two of them had a major influence over Olainfarm, the programme notes.

BNN had previously reported that both Krieķis and Rebenoks share Olainfarm. Everything can be heard in recorded conversations available here. Nekā personīga has also found a couple of statements that illustrate the two gentlemen’s management style.

April 2018. Mārtiņš Krieķis: «Listen, remember Liepājas metalurgs? It is no more. Only because the ones who sat on the other side didn’t want to talk to us. If the same thing repeats here, I don’t care.»

September 2018. Pāvels Rebenoks: «Ira [Maligina] is slightly occupied at the moment. We’re here preparing documents, so… we will decide on this matter. We should meet with you and discuss everything.»

September 2018. Mārtiņš Krieķis: «Once we’re through, we will tear everything apart and there won’t be 21%. Why should we feed the country? We’re serious men; the important thing for us is to get the number.»

More on this topic: Mārtiņš Krieķis’ secret conversations or everyone is a fool

Since then the police have had an ongoing investigation over the outflow of finances from Olainfarm. Aside from Rebenoks and Krieķis, Daina Sirlaka has also ended up in the council of Olainfarm. Nemiro has appointed her to the council of the newly-formed Ventas osta, as noted by the programme.

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