Avia Invest, the company that operates the international airport in Chisinau under concession, has promised to pay all its debts and furthermore invest €170mn in the planned new terminal, Deschide.md reported.
The investments will be financed from “a substantial loan” extended by one of the Avia Invest founders, the company announced. Avia Invest was founded by unidentified Russian investors and is currently owned by Andrey Goncharenko through a Cyprus-based investment vehicle.
Investigative journalist platform Rise Moldova has reported business relations between Goncharenko and former Moldovan political leader Vlad Plahotniuc. Previously, Avia Invest was managed by people related to Ilan Shor, the visible beneficiary of the $1bn bank fraud in the country that was not prosecuted during Plahotniuc’s regime that ended last summer.
Avia Invest’s statement comes a couple of days after the state authorities prepare to resume efforts to terminate the concession agreement for Chisinau airport.
Separately, Avia Invest reportedly opened a litigation process at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington partly related to the decision of the Moldovan government on halving the per-passenger fee collected for investments in the airport infrastructure. The government of Moldova included such a provision in the package of laws aimed at supporting the economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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