Rick Perry May Have Pushed For His Political Backers To Get Gas Deal In Ukraine
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry helped two of his influential political supporters secure a lucrative oil and gas exploration deal from the Ukrainian government after Perry recommended one of them as an adviser to current President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to NBC News.
Perry’s longtime political backer Michael Bleyzer and his partner Alex Cranberg submitted a bid to drill for oil and gas at a government-controlled site called Varvynska, yet they offered millions of dollars less than their only competitor.
Bleyzer and Cranberg’s joint venture, Ukrainian Energy, was awarded a 50-year contract for drilling rights because it was determined that they had greater technical expertise and stronger financial backing, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
“I believe that Secretary Perry’s conversations with Ukrainian government officials, if they in fact took place, did not play any role in Ukrainian Energy winning its bid,” Bleyzer said Tuesday.
Yet, in a transcript released by the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv in November 2018, Perry said: “You know, Alex Cranberg, who has been in this business a long time, can attest to this probably as well as anyone sitting around the table, that we have the potential to change the world,” earlier suggesting that Ukraine could potentially become “the Texas of Europe.”