Estonia's Viru Keemia Grupp gets oil shale survey permit in Ukraine

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Photo: Liis Treimann

The northeast Estonia based oil shale mining and oil refining group Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG) has obtained a permit to conduct oil shale exploration in Ukraine, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told BNS.

"When big investments are made stability of the investment environment is of utmost importance," Ansip said. "It's very important for the investment environment to be predictable. That means not only the current year or next year but it has to be possible to imagine what will happen in ten or twenty years," Ansip told BNS upon his return from a visit to Ukraine.

Meelis Eldermann, board member and technical director of VKG, declined comment to BNS on Friday.

Ansip was accompanied in Ukraine by the real estate businessman Hillar Teder, head of the industrial group BLRT Fjodor Berman, chairman of the supervisory board of the gaming group Olympic Entertainment Group Armin Karu and CEO of the oil shale processor VKG Priit Rohumaa.

Ansip told BNS the businessmen that were in Ukraine together with him had reason to be satisfied. "They are satisfied," he said.

Karu told BNS that at Friday's official meeting with the director of the Ukrainian Justice Ministry's legal department, German Galushchenko, an agreement was concluded whereby a separate commission will be set up soon to find a solution to Olympic Entertainment Group's claim for damages.

Olympic Entertainment Group was forced to wind up its operations in Ukraine after the adoption in 2009 of a law that banned all kinds of casino business. Basing on the agreement on the mutual protection of investments signed between the Estonian and Ukrainian governments, the group filed a claim for damages in the amount of 38.5 million euros in the same year.