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MOL: Croatia Puts Political Considerations Above INA’s Best Commercial Interest

Tamás Székely 2015.01.22.

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL said the Croatian government was putting political interests first in talks over its local unit INA. In a statement published on a website dedicated to clarifying MOL’s position on INA, the company said it had learnt “with surprise and regret” that the Croatian government’s team of negotiators had rejected all four mediators recommended by the United States State Department and “delayed the negotiation process once again”.

“Today it is clearer than ever which side is undermining the negotiations by placing personal and political considerations above INA’s best commercial interest,” MOL said on molincroatia.com.  It also noted that Croatia’s economy minister had sent “politicised letters” to INA’s board, reinforcing this impression. “MOL Group has not participated in such political activism and it will continue to refrain from doing so in the future,” the statement said.

MOL welcomed last summer the offer of the representatives of the US State Department to facilitate the current phase of negotiations. Therefore MOL has learned with surprise and regret that the Croatian Negotiation Team rejected all four mediators recommended by the State Department and delayed the negotiation process once again. Today it is clearer than ever which side is undermining the negotiations by placing personal and political considerations above INA’s best commercial interest. This impression was further reinforced by the Minister of Economy’s politicized letters addressed to INA’s Management Board. MOL Group has not participated in such political activism and it will continue to refrain from doing so in the future. (MOL Group Statement, 21 January 2015 – molincroatia.com)

MOL holds a little less than a majority stake in INA and the Croatian government owns about 45%. The stakeholders have been at odds for years over a perceived lack of investment in the company by MOL, the state’s failure to take over INA’s loss-making gas business, and charges of corruption. Both shareholders are in arbitration.

via hungarymatters.hu and molincroatia.com photo: nol.hu