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Ex-minister Zlochevskyy reportedly back to Ukraine

He fled the country in 2014.

Ex-minister Zlochevskyy reportedly back to Ukraine
Mykola Zlochevskyy
Photo: skelet-info.org

The former minister of ecology and natural resources and owner of the gas extraction group Burisma Holdings, Mykola Zlochevskyy, has returned to Ukraine, the Ekonomichna Pravda business website has reported quoting a market source.

"He came to Kiev the other day and already held several meetings," the source said.

Zlochevskyy left Ukraine in 2014 after the Prosecutor-General's Office declared him a suspect in an illegal enrichment case and put him on the wanted list.

Last autumn, Zlochevskyy was removed from the wanted list.

In January, Burisma said that all procedural and judicial cases in Ukraine against Zlochevskyy and Burisma Group's operating companies had been closed.

Burisma was once investigated for tax evasion worth 1bn hryvnyas, but the case was closed in January 2017 after the company 180m hryvnyas in taxes. In late December 2016, a deputy head of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction and President Petro Poroshenko's close friend, MP Ihor Kononenko, met Zlochevskyy in Vienna. Photos from the meeting were leaked to the press.

Licenses for most of the fields currently operated by companies from Burisma Holdings were issued in two periods.

The first was in 2003-2004, when Zlochevskyy headed the State Committee of Natural Resources, which at the time was authorized to issue special permits (licenses) to use natural deposits.

The second one was in 2010-2012, when Zlochevskyy was in charge of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which oversees the State Service of Geology and Natural Deposits, the country's only administrator of special permits for the use of natural deposits today.