Friday, June 2, 2017

Skerrit seeking Russian Dollars

Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is in Russia attending SPIEF, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, organized by Russia's Foreign Ministry. A release from the Dominica government indicated that Skerrit is being accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Steve Ferrol.

While we acknowledge the importance of Dominica's participation in various international events is generally beneficial to our country, Mr. Skerrit's appearance in Russia is particularly suspicious to us. And that is exceedingly so in light of the fact that he failed to attend the recently concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an event of even greater global prominence and importance. The Davos conference is a Western forum, organized by the great democracies in the world. The event in St. Petersburg is Russia's attempt to counter western democratic organizations. Is Mr. Skerrit aligning Dominica with the Russians?

Mr. Skerrit chose not to attend the annual Davos event but instead, he showed up in Russia at an event where he looked out of place. Mr. Skerrit is the only participant from the Western hemisphere at this conference and we're curious how he ended up there in the first place. The event is one in which, to participate, you would have to had applied to be a participant. So what propelled Mr. Skerrit to pay at least US$7,285.00 per individual to attend this forum?

In the government's press release announcing his participation, no mention was made of Mr. Skerrit's other sidekicks at the conference, Mr. Kenny Green, the local representative of Russian  passport purveyor Nuri Katz, and Mr. Katz as well. You remember Nuri Katz, don't you?

Left: Nuri Katz | Right: Kenny Green
Nuri Katz is the owner of CBI sales company Apex Capital Partners. In the photo below, you can clearly see Mr. Katz, back towards the camera, sitting to the right of CabSec Ferrol, who in turn is sitting to the right of Roosevelt Skerrit. Mr. Green is sitting to the left of Skerrit. Facing them is Russian Foreign Minister Servey Lavrov (center) and his assistants.

From left: Kenny Green, Roosevelt Skerrit, Steve Ferrol, Nuri Katz | Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov center right.
Why would Mr. Skerrit not inform the Dominican public that Mr. Katz and Mr. Green were also part of his delegation to the communist forum? Is Mr. Skerrit trying to move our country further away from the group of western democracies, having already firmly tied his navel string to the Chinese and Venezuelans? We are concerned about Mr. Skerrit's actions especially in light of the fact that there are Russian-owned companies registered and operating in Dominica. Two such companies, Kenmark, Inc and Ostberg Ltd, are at #8 Copt Hall, Roseau. According to the New Yorker magazine, both Dominican companies have been listed as "directors" in Russian-owned British shell company Tronlux Ventures LLC,  which has been implicated in a massive money laundering scheme involving the giant German bank, Deutsche Bank (Read New Yorker Report Here). Dominica is being led down a path that should make us all very nervous.

We ask the local media in Dominica to press Mr. Skerrit and Mr. Ferrol for details of their trip. The media in any country has the responsibility to keep our leaders in check. It is clear that our local news personalities have failed to do so, but we're hoping that they will grow some balls and step up and do their jobs.

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