“Joint Stock Company «Beltechexport» confirms the information about replacement of the majority shareholder of the group of companies JSC «Managing Company «Beltech Holding», which comprises JSC «Beltechexport»,” the official web site of the company reports.
“The majority shareholder of the group of companies is now a Russian businessman, a graduate of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Dmitry Fiodorovich Gurinovich. Vladimir Pavlovich Peftiev has fully terminated his participation in the activity of the above mentioned group of companies,” the report says.
It is noted that “this deal has been implemented within the framework of the integration of Russia and Belarus in the field of the military and technical cooperation, and testifies to the enhancement of the transparency between the two countries, as well as, gives confidence that Joint Stock Company «Beltechexport» will step forward to the principally new positions in the world market.”
The information on making the deal leaked out to the press on May 30, 2012 but on this very day Beltechexport representatives declined to comment. On May 31 the sale was affirmed by Raman Galouchanka, vice-chairman of the Belarusian State Defense Industries Committee.
According to independent experts, the deal is designated to take the heat off Beltechexport. However, it would take not only change of owner, but structural alterations and change of name as well.
On June, 2011 The Council of the European Union decided to toughen the sanctions against the Belarusian authorities in view of the continuing deterioration in human rights, democracy and the rule of law since the presidential election. It targeted key business interests and froze the assets of companies linked to the regime: additional persons and entities were included in the list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures, in particular, Uladzimir Peftsiyeu and three companies controlled by him (Beltechexport; Sport-Pari (Operator of the Republican Lottery company; Private Unitary Enterprise BT Telecommunications). In the documents Peftsiyeu appears as “Person associated with President Lukashenka and his family. Chief economic advisor of President Lukashenka and key financial sponsor of the Lukashenka regime. Chairman of the Council of Shareholders of Beltechexport, the largest export/import company of defence products in Belarus”.
Peftsiyeu is banned from travelling within the EU territory, doing business with his companies is tabooed for European entrepreneurs. Aiming at challenging the decision, on August 12, 2011 Peftsiyeu filed an action with the EU court.
In 2010, American magazine Forbes, named Peftsiyeu second richest man in Belarus, after Lukashenka. According to estimates, his investments are worth about one billion dollars. As the EU Observer website reports, companies owned by Peftsiyeu are mostly used for money laundering, which then are directed to personal fund of the Belarusian president, constituting de facto second state budget.