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Scandal with Liglass Trading. New details

The scandal surrounding the construction of ten small hydropower stations and two stations of the Upper Naryn cascade by the Czech company Liglass Trading continues. And the more Kyrgyz officials and representatives of the foreign investor try to convince the public of the purity of their thoughts, the more doubts arise.

Presidential lobby

In fact, the full of promises Czechs turned out to be almost swindlers: there was no money, no experience in construction. The Kyrgyz authorities do not intend to terminate the contract, they are waiting for payment of $ 37 million to repay the debt to RusHydro JSC. Meanwhile, the journalists find more and more new information about the scandalous company.

It became known that the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, recommended Liglass Trading CZ to Kyrgyzstan. He confessed it in an interview with the Czech radio. He said that the conversation about Liglass Trading CZ with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev was held at the international exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana.

The Czech President Milos Zeman said that he did not have full information about Liglass Trading.

According to him, the interests of Czech companies are promoted at each of such meetings. He explained that if the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Czech Republic reports that these are reliable firms, their interests are lobbied then.

There is one more interesting detail, which the Czech journalists found out. A letter from the head of the Office of the Czech President, Vratislav Mynar, is written in English with a bunch of mistakes. And the initials of the head of the Presidential Administration of Kyrgyzstan, Sapar Isakov, are incorrect. The journalists came to the conclusion that the letter was not verified and corrected, and this only raises additional questions.

Smelik starts speaking

The sensation in the media forced the management of Liglass Trading to make statement, after all. First, the representative of the company Jiří Wojciechowski, being in Kyrgyzstan, persuaded everyone of the transparency of his thoughts, then its official owner, Michael Smelik, did the same. He gave an interview to the Prague office of Radio Liberty.

In it, Michael Smelik denied the information of the Czech press. He agreed that his firm was «small in terms of turnover in recent years." But at the same time he added that it is a member of a group of companies under his leadership and has 12 years of experience in the field of construction of renewable energy sources.

«This is the way a business is done. I do it all over the world. One company without debts and with a clear ownership structure is always selected. We, for example, participated in the development of 19 power stations in England. We always cooperate with local companies. We also worked in Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Russia — in short, everywhere," Michael Smelik said.

Michael Smilik told about the experience in building energy facilities, but he did not name a specific project.

The owner of Liglass Trading stated that most of the money that he is going to invest in the construction of HPPs is his «personal savings». At the same time, it turned out that Liglass Trading does not have a construction license. However, its owner does not see any problems and difficulties in it.

Here I was attacked: they say, you do not have licenses, you do not produce turbines. I say: so what? I have a management company that hires the best experts in the region and cooperates with local companies.

Michael Smelik

Another director of Liglass Trading, Jiří Wojciechowski, was the founder of City Food in Bishkek. This office was engaged in the supply of small batches of vodka to Europe. There is a construction site at the place of the former office of the company now.

Will August tell?

When the State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use signed an agreement with Liglass Trading, it was stated that this company would pay the debt of the country to RusHydro within a month. But the officials forgot to clarify that the shareholders of the National Energy Holding should approve the deal first of all.

An extraordinary meeting of shareholders of the National Energy Holding will be held on August 4. If it approves the agreement with Liglass Trading, then the 30-day countdown for the payment of $ 37 million to RusHydro will start.

Meanwhile, the question of whether the company really has money for construction and payment of compensation still remains open. The National Energy Holding reported that name of the bank through which Liglass Trading is to send money would become known only after the approval of the agreement.

The same Michael Smelik does not disclose financial sources too. He only hints that he will tell about all the investors, who are involved in financing the project, later. As of today, it is only known from the data posted on the hastily updated website of Liglass Trading that there is only one enterprise among all partners of the company that really has experience in building power facilities: the Armenian Gidepinvest.

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