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September 22, 2019
POLITICS

After the “storm” last week around Lukoil-Petrotel activity, the weekend brought normality

After the “storm” last week around Petrotel-Lukoil activity and its judiciary troubles, but also after a day of tough statements of president Basescu against Company strategy, the Ploiesti refinery  restarted Friday its operations. The announcement was made by Chief Commissioner of the County  Environment Guard, Daniela Tudorache who said that her institution has been notified thereof by the Company. The Lukoil Ploiesti Refinery, the activity of which was stopped one week before following an investigation of the Prosecutor’s Office near the Court of Appeal of Ploiesti, on Friday notified the Environment Guard of Prahova County on beginning the procedure of starting the technological installations.Petrotel–Lukoil refinery ceased production and commercial activity Friday, Oct. 3, when the company announced that the measure was a result of the seizure of raw materials and oil applied by the prosecution and that its restart time would be specified after settlement appeal filed in court.Judicial sources said that following discussions with the prosecutors investigating the case of tax evasion and money laundering, company representatives offered guarantees that can cover loss of 230 million set in this file. After the announcement of Company about recommissioning facilities, Minister Victor Ponta, Oleg Malginov, the Russian Ambassador to Bucharest and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released statements.

Ponta: “Resuming activity, a good thing for Romania and the R.of Moldova”
While paying an official visit to the Republic of Moldova, prime Minister Victor Ponta said that he had been officially informed on Friday morning about the fact that the activity in Petrotel refinery of Ploiesti had been resumed and said this was a good thing both for Bucharest and for Chisinau.
‘For the Republic of Moldova it is a good thing, too, because a wide part of the fuel produced at Petrotel in Ploiesti goes to the Republic of Moldova. Therefore, this morning I have been officially notified that the activity at Petrotel was resumed. If the refinery had closed down it would had affected the Republic of Moldova, too. So, fortunately, there aren’t any problems in Bucharest or Chisinau,’ the Prime Minister said.
Ponta, at TV Moldova, on his interference in Lukoil lawsuit: “This is nonsense from Romania!”
Prime Minister Victor Ponta had declared, in an interview for TV Moldova, that the idea that his statements regarding the Lukoil lawsuit represent an interference in justice “is a nonsense from Romania”, also pointing out that he was responsible of employees and of public taxes that cannot be recovered by guarding “a bunch of useless machines”.
Invited by the reporter of Moldova 1 TV to explain the fact that he interfered in the Lukoil controversy by making statements seen by many people as an interference in justice, under the circumstances that Moldova is learning from EU members and from Romania, first of all, to fight corruption, PM Ponta, who was visiting the Republic of Moldovam declared: “This is nonsense from Romania!”
He added that, in Romania, any economical issue is immediately treated politically, which is a wrong thing to do for Moldova as well and pointed out that any Prime Minister in Europe has the attribution to preserve jobs and to supervise the payment of taxes, without interfering in justice. Therefore, Ponta explained, his mere concern in the case of Lukoil was that the employees of the company would be paid in due time, on Friday.
“As for Romania’s budget, we have several categories of major contributors, who pay a huge amount of taxes. When a major contributor stops paying taxes, we have a problem, because I am supposed to cutthe money they stop paying from other destinations, from schools, hospitals, the army, and this is a thing I do not want to do. Therefore, in my public discussions – I never talked to the prosecutors – I said one thing I kept saying before and I will continue saying: that every effort to save jobs and the regularity of taxes is very important. If somebody paid less than he owed the budget, my interest is to recover the money, not to close his company just like that. If the prejudice is determined by the judges, we have to recover it from somewhere. If I am left with a bunch of useless machines nobody buys, I will not recover this money!”, Ponta added.
Russian Ambassador,
Oleg Malginov: “I will not comment on those statements that give incorrect signals to business environment”
In a press statement released on Friday, Oleg Malignov, Russian Ambassador to Bucharest  described the latest public statements  in connection with the situation around the “Petrotel-Lukoil” refinery and the activity of the “Lukoil” company in Romania “ unfortunately not always balanced” and “characterized by a language far from the one accepted in the international communication”.
“I will not comment on these statements that can give incorrect signals to business environment, as well as to other structures, in order not to add emotions to the public political discourse of Romania in this highly important period for the country.” “Meanwhile, as a result of the efforts made the last days the refinery in Ploie?ti has commenced to resume its production,” concludes the press statement released by the Russian Ambassador.
MAE discussed Lukoil issue with the Russian Embassy
Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) on Friday issued a press release regarding the situation at the Romanian subsidiary of Russia’s Lukoil, mentioning that following the latest developments, it discussed the issue with the Embassy of the Russian Federation as part of a periodic dialogue, and the probe will complete in accordance with the law.
‘There is the practice of periodic dialogue between MAE and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Romania. Following the latest developments this week, the two parties discussed, among other things, the situation at the oil company. Romania’s judiciary is exercising its constitutional powers and the ongoing probe will complete in accordance with the law and observing the neutrality specific of such action,’ MAE says in its press release. It also says that it is closely following any development that could affect the bilateral relationship, so as to keep up the promotion of Romania’s interests at a regional and global level.

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