“I offer myself as a go-between in a business meeting. Can get you in touch with a politician or businessman of any caliber,” the paper cited one of the myriad of such ads readily available online as saying.
Launching their own investigation, the journalists called the authors of several such ads and were told that meeting Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko to discuss, the construction of, say, a small shopping mall, would set them back $10,000.
Securing a meeting with a Verhovna Rada deputy costs $5,000 and a powwow with a federal minister or a deputy – between $10,000 and $15,000.
“Such meetings are usually arranged by former or current aides to MPs or Cabinet ministers. They know them all and have no problem asking any lawmaker to get you in touch with the ‘right man’. The same goes for regional and city administration officials who can be accessed via their personal secretaries or assistants,” one such “go-between” told the paper on condition of anonymity.