Monday, May 31, 2010

Russia to occupy Ukrainian metallurgical sector. Vladimir Putin has already bought controlling interest of Zaporizhstal metallurgical giant

According to rumors, one of the biggest metallurgical plants of Ukraine – Zaporizhstal – is already under control of Russia. State-owned Vnesheconombank has recently bought the controlling interest of Ukrainian metallurgical giant. By the way, the Head of Supervisory Board of Vnesheconombank is none other but the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Some interesting piece of information: Rinat Akhmetov, famous Ukrainian multi-billionaire and member of the ruling Party of Regions, wanted to buy the Zaporizhstal, and even paid an earnest money of $50 million to previous owners (offshore company Midland Resources Holding Ltd, affiliated with some Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) and Canada-based Ukrainian businessmen). This information is also unofficial, of course it is.

Nevertheless, Vnesheconombank had practically stolen the victory from Mr. Akhmetov’s hands. The negotiations with Ukrainian businessman ended dramatically (in favor of Russian bank) almost on a stage of signature of the share purchase agreement.

This info is rather symptomatic, having regard to worsening relationships between the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and his rich party fellow.

Let me also remind you that we had another metallurgical rumor last year, also connected with Vnesheconombank. The rumor stated it bought a controlling package of shares in the Industrial Union of Donbass. The company owns Alchevsk Metallurgical Plant and Dniprovsky Metallurgical Plant, named after famous Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founding father of the Soviet secret service.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

NO to NATO. The question of NATO membership is withdrawn from contemporary agenda for Ukraine – Foreign Minister.

The very idea of possible granting the NATO membership for Ukraine is aggravating the situation in security sphere of the region. Moreover, this idea is not supported by majority of Ukrainians. That’s why it sounds reasonable to withdraw question of possible membership of Ukraine in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from the country’s foreign agenda. Such was the main message conveyed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko at the 11th Interdepartmental Meeting on questions of coordination of the executive power institutions in foreign policy sphere (27 May 2010).

This idea is destructively influencing the effectiveness of foreign policy of our state, and the security situation in the region”, Mr. Hryshchenko said. Ukraine is going to develop its relationships with the Alliance, but only in frames of mutually beneficial co-operation, he added. But “the question of membership has been withdrawn from agenda”.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Revenge or Justice? Old criminal case re-launched against ex-PM of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko.

Today, on 12 May 2010, former Prime Minister and current active oppositionist Yulia Tymoshenko visited the Main Investigative Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. She was officially informed that the criminal case No4912-93 has been re-launched against her.

It is an old, but not very clear story. There is no official information yet on the content of a case, but it is said that the case concerns suspected bribes. I may only say for sure that the criminal case No4912-93 against Mrs. Tymoshenko was opened in May 2004, while she was in a strong opposition to President Leonid Kuchma. Current President Viktor Yanukovych had been serving as a Prime Minister that time.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office information service, the proceedings were closed in January 2005 – after the Orange Revolution and the inauguration of President Viktor Yushchenko. The planned investigative actions were not completed, PGO press service claims, and the pre-court trial has been re-launched.

Yulia Tymoshenko states that the case No4912-93 was closed in 2004 (e.g. before she came to power). At the today’s press briefing near the office of the PGO Main Investigative Department, she said that the investigation was dismissed due to the absence of crime components. ‘Prosecutor General’s Office is a repressive instrument of Yanukovych”, she argues. “A big shadow project on privatization of state monopolies has been prepared, using the technology of foundation of joint ventures with foreign country. Our political team is the only one which opposes to that”.

The same time some fresh cases have been opened against the team of Yulia Tymoshenko. The Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Sivkovych has recently informed journalists that investigation of cases on stealing the budgetary funds by the Tymoshenko’s Government is planned to be finished by autumn 2010. By that time “the majority of opposition members will think on how to hide or escape”, he added. The alleged corrupt practices in a budget sphere are estimated to overcome 100 billion UAH (more than 12.5 billion USD).

Meanwhile, on 17-18 May the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev will visit Ukraine again – to sign more documents, strengthening the ties between two countries. First of all, an agreement on the demarcation of Russia-Ukraine border is to be signed. Let’s see what Ukraine is granting to Russia in this field.

It is interesting to mention that on the day of Medvedev’s arrival to Kiev, Yulia Tymoshenko is invited to the PGO office again. Revenge or justice?