Olena Zerkal has been appointed as an advisor to Naftogaz CEO. Before joining the company, she worked at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for European integration and representing Ukraine in international proceedings against Russia. Olena also participated in trilateral talks regarding the so-called winter packages of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine in 2014 - 2016.
Her role at Naftogaz will be to maintain international relations and support the company’s position in international proceedings and arbitrations, primarily those related to Naftogaz assets seized by Russia in Crimea.
Olena has 25 years of legal experience in both private and public sectors (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Ministry of Justice of Ukraine). She developed a methodology for adjusting Ukrainian law to EU standards and produced a number of research works on comparative analysis of Ukrainian legislation.
At the Ministry of Justice, she participated in all rounds of talks on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and Ukraine-EU agreements on readmission and visa liberalisation. Olena Zerkal was part of Ukrainian delegations negotiating with the EU, UN, NATO and Council of Europe.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was responsible for European integration and represented Ukraine in cases against Russia concerning sponsorship of terrorism and racial discrimination, and Russia’s breach of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and wrongful arrest of Ukrainian naval vessels and their crewmen.
For two years, Olena was part of the Ukrainian negotiation team on Russian gas transit to Europe after 2019.
As Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Ukraine, Ms. Zerkal was involved in the awareness campaign highlighting the risks of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and promoting opposition to its construction.
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