KIEV, June 6 (RAPSI) – The Ukrainian government has terminated the lease contract of Crimea Titan, a company of billionaire Dmytro Firtash, for two titanium mining and enrichment plants, said Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
“Two [titanium] mining and enrichment plants, which Firtash’s companies leased using a shady scheme, were returned to the Ukrainian state by government decision yesterday,” Yatsenyuk said.
Crimea Titan, the biggest Eastern European titanium dioxide producer, operated the titanium plants in the Zhytomyr and Dnipropetrovsk regions of Ukraine on lease terms.
Yatsenyuk said the government had filed a lawsuit to collect the debts from Firtash’s energy companies, which allegedly amount to about $500 million. “We have launched a policy to de-monopolize the Ukrainian economy and to contend with the oligarchs,” he said.
Firtash, 48, who amassed his fortune as a broker in Russia’s gas sales to Ukraine, was arrested in Vienna on March 12 based on an FBI warrant. According to the bureau, an investigation on Firtash began in 2006 and resulted in bribery and organized crime charges. He was later released on EUR 125 million ($174 million) bail.