- 27 June 2017
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Company associated with Putin’s Chef to get share of Syrian oil sales proceeds
Evro Polis, the company associated with “Putin’s Chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin, undertakes to release the oil and gas fields seized by Bashar Assad's enemies in exchange for a quarter of all oil and gas produced in the country under an agreement with the Syrian government, reported Fontanka with reference to its sources.
Apart from that, Evro Polis LLC will be reimbursed for all costs of combat operations, according to a five-year memorandum the Ministry of Energy signed. "This was not an obligatory document since a new Syrian law needs to be adopted for the memorandum to come into force, and its effect will be retroactive: they will pay starting from the day the memorandum was signed," Fontanka’s source said. The Ministry of Energy declined to comment.
Prigozhin's interest in the Syrian deposits is further confirmed by a source of RBC.
Evro Polis LLC was registered in July 2016 with Oleg Erokhin as its only employee and the general director. Erokhin is a former fighter of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. After his retirement, he was seen in the company of Yevgeny Gulyaev, his former colleague and current head of Prigozhin’s security service. In addition, Erokhin is the founder of the League for Protection of Interests of Veterans of Local Wars and Conflicts, a St. Petersburg public organization.
Extraction of minerals (since 2017) and wholesale of food products (such as ice cream and coffee) are the company’s main activities. In addition, since May 23, 2017 the company has had a representative office in Damascus (Shuokli Kuatli Highway, office 509), while its authorized capital grew from 10.000 rubles ($170) to 3.000.000 rubles ($50.860).
ZAO Neva and Marina Smirnova are listed as Evro Polis founders. Neva general director is Valery Chekalov, who is also the general director of Kollektiv-Servis, whose telephone numbers happen to be identical with the contacts of several companies associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Since early 2017, the Federal News Agency, which is part of Prigozhin's media holding, has enthusiastically covered the activities of ISIS Hunters, a special unit of the Syrian army. The key tasks of ISIS Hunters are liberation, protection and defense of oil fields near Palmyra. Fontanka believes that the fighters of the unit are also Evro Polis employees.
Prigozhin met Vladimir Putin in 2001. Now his companies provide restaurant and catering services to the Kremlin, the military and schools. Apart from that, FBK linked Prigozhin with the "troll factory" in Olgino referring to Anonymous International hacker group.
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