Romania’s Prosecutor General: Lukoil’s withdrawal announcement puts pressure on prosecutors

Romania’s Prosecutor General Tiberiu Nitu on Thursday said that the announcement of the Lukoil representatives on closing down the Petrotel Ploiesti refinery unless the lien on the company’s goods is lifted, was meant to put pressure on the prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s Office near the Court of Appeal of Ploiesti.

‘This statement is in my opinion meant to put pressure on the prosecutor and intimidate him. Because such an announcement: ‘If you don’t lift the lien tomorrow, we are out of here,’ can do just that,’ Tiberiu Nitu said at the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), when asked whether Lukoil’s announcement threatened the prosecutors’ independence.

The President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Livia Stanciu, also voiced her point of view on the position adopted by Lukoil company concerning the Romanian prosecutors’ investigation.

When asked what was her opinion about the statement of the Russian company, Livia Stanciu said: ‘Just go ahead and leave then, this is how I see it. But I am joking right now. Punctually, a company, regardless of its nature, be it Romanian or international, is not allowed to make statements, same as politicians, of this kind. In the sense that they threaten, in the situation in which the lien is not lifted, that these 3,500 people will actually remain without jobs (…). The law must be observed by everyone, including by the company that made such statements.’

The Lukoil Group will make the decision of shutting down for good the Petrotel Ploiesti, unless the prosecutors accept to lift the lien set on the company’s stocks and patrimony by Friday, First Deputy Chairman of Lukoil Group Vladimir Nekrasov said in Ploiesti on Wednesday.

He arrived to Romania from Moscow and had talks on this topic with Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea, with Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu and with the prosecutor in charge with this case.

‘At the moment, our strategic crude oil and oil products stocks are blocked and we have a security lien on all our patrimony and on Lukoil Romania’s debits to Petrotel. We proposed an understanding for the revision of these security measures. If we reach an agreement, we shall restart the refinery. On contrary, we shall not restart it,’ said Nekrasov, the Group’s representative, in charge with the activity of refining, marketing and distribution.

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