‘Ukrayinska Pravda’ continues to explore overseas property of Ukrainian government. Senior government officials already show their preferences for the Western world. That’s where they spend their vacations, register their private aircrafts, start up cover-up companies for their business here, and send their kids to study.
Sergiy and Irina Klyuyev
But this is not the end of their integration into the Western community. Families of Ukrainian politicians even reside in Europe, while their breadwinners – politicians – ‘earn’ the living in Ukraine.
This journalist investigation focuses on Kliuev brothers, with the elder one working as a First Vice-Minister in Ukrainian government and the younger one being a parliament representative and deputy for Party of Regions fraction in the parliament.
In the upcoming elections Sergey Kliuev is planning to run for parliament in Donestk region, most likely in the city of Artemivsk. However, it would make more sense if the younger Kliuev ran for elections in Vienna suburbs, as that’s where his own family lives.
Earlier ‘Ukrayiska Pravda’ reported that the elder Kliuev assigned over 200 million UAH of government subsidies for his family’s solar power business, registered in Austria. All business activities are conducted under the company Activ Solar. Company Activ Solar is located in Vienna, in the exact same office as the other company of Kliuev Family – Slav AG.
‘Ukrayinska Pravda’ purchased an excerpt statement on the company Slav Ag. Among the Board members we noted a familiar last name – Iryna Kliueva, the wife of parliamentarian Sergey Kliuev.
Then we were surpirsed to find out that Iryna Kliueva’s registered address is not Kyiv, not Donetsk, not even the village Rudyky, where Kliuev brothers have their 17 ha mansion. Iryna Kliueva turned out to be living in ….Tulbing – small town next to Vienna, where we headed later, to explore the family connections of Ukrainian public officials.
Heavenly Place for one Donetsk family
Tulbinger Kogel is not even a town, but a small and cozy village, set in the picturesque natural surroundings, right outside of Vienna. Tulbing community is around 3,000 residents, one of whom is the well-known Mr. Kliuev.
Beside the fact that Tulbing is a charming little place, the village has one more significant benefit – there are not ‘random’ people here. Barely two streets go across the village.
Kliuev’s House is located on Groissaustraße, 12. The mansion is by far the largest in Tulbinger Kogel. The fence runs along the street for over 20-30 m, while the other houses have 2-3 times shorter access to the main road.
Kliuev’s mansion is truly impressive. It resembles their family house of 17 ha in Rudyky village, next to the upscale Koncha Zaspa district in Kiev, fenced off from the outside world by extensive wall and strict security. But if that sight is quite the norm in Ukraine, in Austria it’s seen as rather ridiculous.
Kliuev’s estate in Tulbing is separated from the main street only by a decorative fence and garden trees, and the actual territory is only 0,.27 ha. Nevertheless, it’s still probably the largest estate in the town.
Kliuev’s Mansion in Tulbing
Registered address of Iryna Kliueva – Groissaustraße, 12, Tulbing, Austria
It looks like the house is relatively new or recently restored. By coincidence, or our luck, when ‘Ukrayinska Pravda’ headed to the entrance of the house, the gates opened up, and an off-road jeep drove off to the street. First, a man stepped out of the vehicle- either security or driver – and then… Mrs. Iryna Kliueva herself got out.
They arrived with some grocery bags from the shop, and a small luggage, which clearly looked like a carry-on luggage for one day.
Kliuev’s wife was dressed in her house clothes – sports pants and a jacket. All in all, it looked as if she was just returning home from a shopping spree.
After we rang the entrance bell, the maid opened up. The Russian-speaking lady told us that we could not meet Iryna Kliueva herself, as – according to her – she just left the house.
Locals who live in Tulbing know nothing of their Ukrainian neighbors. Not a problem, though! Austria, unlike Ukraine, is a country with transparent ownership information. Through the internet, for merely 9.90 EURO we purchased a statement about Kliuev’s estate in Tulbing. According to the Austrian registry documents, this building – with the total area of 588 m – belongs to the company GBM Handels- und Vertretungs GmbH.
According to the open database of Austrian companies, GBM enterprise’s main activity is… to manage the estate in Tulbing. GBM shareholders are two entities – Bulinga Ventures LLC and Revaldo Holdings Ltd. Based on these names, the companies might as well be off-shore. We were not able to find any information about them online.
At the same time one more detail caught our attention. In the phone book of all Austrian businesses, we found contact address and phone number for GBM company, that owns Kliuev’s estate property. GBM company is registered at Wipplingerstraße, 35. Its phone number is 405 31 61 plus additional number 0. This is the exact same address (including the phone number), where the two other companies are registered – Slav AG and Activ Solar, owned by Kliuev and receiving substantial subsidies of Ukranian government. Thus, the circle has been closed.
However, two questions are left without answers: if Kliuev brothers not only register their businesses abroad through Austrian mother companies, but also practically live there, then should their business be eligible for subsidies from the State Budget of Ukraine?
P.S. “Ukrayinska Pravda” sent an inquiry into the real estate of Kliuev family to his Press Office, but did not receive any response.
P.P.S. 2.5 hours after the publication of this article, our editorial office received a letter-response to our inquiry, signed as of 28 December. Mr. Kliuev states that he rarely visits Austria, the mansion belongs to the Austrian company, and is simply rented out by his family.
Written by Natalya Gumeniuk, Sergiy Leshchenko,
Published on Portal ‘Ukrayinska Pravda’, December 29th, 2011