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Top presidential aide confirms his brother got money for solar plants in occupied areas

by Asami Terajima September 3, 2023 1:25 AM 1 min read
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Rostyslav Shurma, a deputy chief of staff for President Volodymyr Zelensky, has confirmed that his brother had received money from the Ukrainian government for solar plants located in Russian-occupied territories, according to an article published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Sept. 2.

He admitted that his brother Oleh received payments from the state "in the same way as all other companies that are located in this territory received it."

According to an investigation by the Bihus.info journalism project, Oleh Shurma co-owns KD Energy and Renewable Energy of Zaporizhzhia.

A number of such companies with power plants in occupied territories continued to receive payments under the "green tariff" scheme after Russia's full-scale invasion began in February 2022, according to Bihus.info.

The green tariff scheme, introduced in 2008, is an above-market price for power intended to encourage investment in renewable energy. Since its introduction, the scheme has faced multiple accusations of corruption, with businesspeople friendly with the government profiteering from the green tariff.

Bihus.info reported that most of the plants in occupied territories had been physically disconnected from Ukraine's energy system since July 1, 2022.

In total, the payments to plants in occupied territories under the green tariff amounted to $8.7 million from July 2022 to July 2023, according to the investigation.

In July 2023, the "green tariff" scheme for plants in occupied territories was halted, Bihus.info wrote.

Rostyslav Shurma denied the accusations of wrongdoing. He claimed that his brother "has been a successful entrepreneur for many years" and that he "cannot understand why there are accusations against my brother or against me."

He claimed that an unnamed oligarch may be behind the Bihus.info investigation.

Guaranteed Buyer, a state enterprise, buys electricity from renewable energy producers at a high feed-in tariff and sells it at a lower price on the market. The gap is covered by state energy company Ukrnergo, and its debt to Guaranteed Buyer was about $6 billion as of July 2023.

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