London, 13 October 2021

AQUIND Refutes Recent Allegations in the Media

AQUIND refutes the recent allegations made in the media against itself, Alexander Temerko and Viсtor Fedotov, and these allegations have now been made the subject of a legal complaint.

London, UK, 8 October 2021

AQUIND refutes the recent allegations made in the media against itself, Alexander Temerko and Viсtor Fedotov, and these allegations have now been made the subject of a legal complaint.

Claims of wrongdoing about AQUIND, its management and its shareholders are based on biased sources and neither the company nor the individuals had been given an adequate opportunity to respond. The purpose of this statement is to provide the facts surrounding these claims. AQUIND has always and will always comply with all relevant laws and regulations, and has always held itself to the highest standards of transparency and openness, and will continue to do so.

Statement on the Facts of the Allegations

Publicly available sources clearly demonstrate the lack of substance behind the allegations of wrongdoing in relationships between VNIIST and Transneft.  Based on this review of publicly available sources, we attempt to provide the facts surrounding the allegations made.

First, it has been alleged that VNIIST damaged Transneft. Contrary to what has been suggested in the press, independent audits of Transneft carried out by KPMG and PwC did not identify any damage from VNIIST or any other companies that the allegations mention. Transneft has not, in any official document, identified any wrongdoing of any kind in connection with its engagement with VNIIST; and no company in the Transneft group has sought to annul any agreement with VNIIST. In summary, Transneft does not consider that it suffered any damage in its engagement with VNIIST.

Second, it has further been alleged that an audit of Transneft discovered wrongdoing.  This is false.  The allegations of wrongdoing were not made by independent auditors in an official audit report, but rather by the company itself using its own methodology, and thus reflects the commercial interests of that company. Further, the reports do not contain any terms of reference, and clearly do not meet the requirements of objectivity and robustness of analysis which would meet the standards of an independent audit.  The Head of the Accounts Chamber of Russia, Sergey Stepashin, delivered the definitive judgment of record, saying that the audit of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline project undertaken by the Accounts Chamber of Russia did not contain any evidence of embezzlement.

Following from this, as the internal Transneft report is not an official audit document, and has been discredited by the state authorities, the media should have no reasonable expectation of its reliability. Despite AQUIND’s attempts to make journalists aware of this in good faith, the documents are taken uncritically as accurate and reliable. The reporting of the allegations is clearly sensationalist, in a highly politicised context, and it is regrettable that more care was not exercised to verify the sources relied on.

Third, it was repeatedly alleged or implied in the media that AQUIND shareholder Victor Fedotov has committed wrongdoing. In fact, Mr Fedotov has no criminal record and has never been investigated or charged with any offences, in any country or in any legal jurisdiction whatsoever. It is clear from publicly available information that no criminal investigations were brought against VNIIST or Mr Fedotov and, more particularly, none in connection with the work on the ESPO Pipeline whatsoever.

Fourth, the media has reported that Mr Fedotov is a Conservative Party donor. In fact, Mr Fedotov has never had any interest in British politics and has operated in an open and transparent manner throughout the course of his career. He has never made any political donations to any political party. The media further falsely claimed that Mr Fedotov is the ultimate owner of AQUIND, while in fact he owns only a 50% share of AQUIND – alongside Mr Temerko’s 50% share in ownership of the company. This misrepresentation of the equal ownership by Mr Temerko and Mr Fedotov seems calculated to suggest that donations by AQUIND to the Conservative Party were made by Mr Fedotov as the ultimate owner; contrary to what was reported in the media, Mr Fedotov has never instructed, requested or suggested in any form that AQUIND makes any political donations.



AQUIND vehemently denies any alleged wrongdoing, and is committed to taking all steps available to defend itself and its shareholders against any attacks on their reputation. It will continue the development of the AQUIND Interconnector project which will be hugely beneficial to the UK.

The reporting of the allegations has targeted the nationalities of those involved in the company’s ownership and management, in a way that is plainly intended to evoke scepticism and mistrust. These damaging claims by the media seem to be based on bias and perception, instead of facts and evidence, and seemingly stem from a xenophobic attitude towards anyone with post-Soviet Union origins.  It is far removed from a fair and balanced enquiry, and without regard to the obvious harm caused to the company, its shareholders and those individuals who have been personally identified.  To the contrary, the timing and tone of the publication has clearly been calculated to cause maximum disruption to the company’s projects. These claims have resulted in the public defamation of AQUIND, its management and shareholders, and its project which has been deemed Nationally Important Infrastructure and will be a vital link for the UK’s energy security, independence and renewable generation.

AQUIND will not stand silently and accept slander based on xenophobia and the principles of guilt by association. It will safeguard its reputation as a transparent company with a proposal for a project that will wholly benefit the people of the UK. AQUIND is now considering all options available, including taking legal action against the media involved.


Benefits of AQUIND Interconnector

AQUIND Interconnector is a new subsea and underground High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) electric power transmission link between the South Coast of England and Normandy in France. By linking the British and French electric power grids it will make energy markets more efficient, improve security of supply and enable greater flexibility as power grids evolve to adapt to different sources of renewable energy and changes in demand trends such as the electrification of transport.

With a net capacity of 2,000 MW, AQUIND Interconnector will be able to transmit 17,000,000 MWh per year, or 5% of the total energy consumption of Great Britain, which is enough to power over 5 million homes. It is especially relevant in the setting of the South East of England, where power consumption is greater than power generation. AQUIND Interconnector will help reduce the impact of volatile gas and coal prices, which are the reasons behind growing electricity bills this autumn and winter. It will help reduce UK energy prices with estimated savings for consumers of several billion pounds over the first 25 years of the project’s operation and will help address the issue of fuel poverty. The ongoing gas and other fuel price spikes demonstrate how important it is to have a diversified and interconnected electricity supply.

The project will also help to integrate a greater proportion of non-fossil fuel energy sources and intermittent renewables into the GB energy mix, helping the UK to meet the Net Zero 2050 target by reducing CO2 emissions by 40-70 million tonnes of over the lifetime of the project.

The project will be operated in accordance with UK and EU energy market regulations and will comply with stringent reporting requirements. The project will raise investments for construction from a wide range of British and international institutional investors who will take a leading role in overseeing the construction and operational stages of the project.

The environment has been at the heart of the project development and has been fully considered during the planning process. The proposal has been subject to rigorous expert assessment by an independent Examining Authority.

As part of OGN Group until 2015, AQUIND participated in the development of British manufacturing capacity, supporting offshore oil & gas, offshore wind and other marine energy developments. OGN Group successfully completed a number of landmark projects for major and independent international energy companies, including Shell, ConocoPhillips, Apache and Talisman. The group created around 3000 jobs in the North East of England and many further jobs in its supply chain in many locations in England and Scotland in the period between 2009 and 2016.

Further Information

We invite the public to discover more about AQUIND and learn about AQUIND Interconnector project at

Members of the press or public can contact the AQUIND team with any queries at