Former Ministers Stavreski and Janakieski suspects in SPO’s case “The Gift”
The Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) announced on 10 October 2018 that six new investigations have been launched one of which is “The Gift”. In this investigation, SPO suspects former Ministers Zoran Stavreski and Mile Janakieski of making an agreement to settle a part of the former USSR debt to the former SFR Yugoslavia and transferred to Macedonia, which unlawfully benefited OAO Stroytransgaz from Moscow in the amount of nearly 33 million euros
The Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) announced on 10 October 2018 that six new investigations have been launched one of which is “The Gift”. In this investigation, SPO suspects former Ministers Zoran Stavreski and Mile Janakieski of making an agreement to settle a part of the former USSR debt to the former SFR Yugoslavia and transferred to Macedonia, which unlawfully benefited OAO Stroytransgaz from Moscow in the amount of nearly 33 million euros.
According to the Special Prosecutor’s Office:
Suspects Zoran Stavreski, Minister of Finance, and Mile Janakieski, Minister of Transport and Communications, by participating in an act of agreement execution alongside the suspect Krste Miladinov, director of Macedonian Energy Resources AD Skopje, intentionally used their office and authorization in the period January 2012 – July 2014 and unlawfully benefited the Russian company OAO Stroytransgaz from Moscow in the amount of 2.008.877.000,00 denars i.e. nearly 33 million euros, and damaged the Budget of the RM in the same amount.
Stavreski and Janakieski had been official representatives for implementation of the Intergovernmental agreement concluded on 19 June 2010 in Saint Petersburg between the governments of the RM and the Russian Federation on settling the debt of the former USSR to the former SFRY transferred to Macedonia.
The agreement settles the Russian debt in the amount of 60.560.242,44 US dollars by delivering goods, services and works.
During negotiations, Stavreski and Janakieski agreed to settle the amount by constructing the Klechovce – Block Station 5 pipeline in total amount of 75.700.303,05 US dollars or 55.647.292,77 euros, wherein Russia’s share is 80 percent while Macedonia’s 20 percent.
However, the Ministry of Transport and Communications had previously ordered a feasibility study on the construction of the Klechovce – Shtip pipeline, which is nearly 36 km longer than the previously mentioned agreement on the Klechovce – Block Station 5 pipeline, SPO’s press release reads.
The study had shown that the construction costs would had been between 30 and 35 million euros, meaning that suspects Stavreski and Janakieski had been completely aware of the fact that the actual price is a lot lower than the agreed price with the Russian party. Despite that, Stavreski and Janakieski had written off the entire debt in exchange of a service – construction of a pipeline done by the Moscow company.
In a closed-door government session, in the presence of the suspected Ministers, the Government arrived at a conclusion to accept Russian company’s offer and sign a final agreement. Afterwards, the Parliament of the RM accepted the governmental proposal and passed a law on construction of the pipeline in a summary proceeding, during which the MPs were unaware of the facts in the feasibility study, according to which the price is far lower – 378.626,37 euros (per one kilometer pipeline).
In order to conclude the agreement, suspect Krste Miladinov, director of Macedonian Energy Resources, accepted the unreasonably high price, although familiar with the feasibility study, hence with the actual price for construction of the pipeline, and on 9. July 2014 in Skopje concluded the agreement with the Russian company, providing it with unlawful benefit in assets in the amount of 32.664.672 euros and 11 cents, damaging the budget of the Republic of Macedonia in the same amount.
Therefore, there is a reasonable suspicion that suspects Zoran Stavreski and Mile Janakieski committed one crime each – Abuse of power and authorization pursuant to article 353 paragraph 5 in relation to paragraph 3 and 1 in relation to article 22 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia, while suspect Krste Miladinov committed one crime Abuse of office and authorization pursuant to article 353 paragraph 5 in relation to paragraph 4, 3 and 1 in relation to article 22 of the RM.
In fact, the Republic of Macedonia paid for the pipeline with its own funds, because its share in the agreement was 20 percent, which is pretty much the entire (actual) cost, while the Russian debt to the RM had been turned into a “gift” for Russia, SPO’s press release reads