Russian money won't be involved in privatization in Ukraine – Poroshenko
Only enterprises of strategic importance should remain state-owned, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
"Only strategically important enterprises should be preserved in state property," Poroshenko said at a meeting of the National Reform Council in Kyiv on Friday.
The president stressed that there are still thousands of state-owned enterprises, and the state has no resources to set all of them in order.
According to him, small-scale privatization objects will be sold through an open online auction, which will expand the group of potential buyers and increase the transparency of processes.
"The objects of large-scale privatization will be implemented only with the involvement of advisers. During the receipt of applications, it is planned to carry out a thorough examination of the documents, including the origin of the funds. We will not allow any schemes of fraud, money laundering through Ukrainian privatization. It will make it impossible to accept people associated with the country-aggressor to the auction. I emphasize that Russian money will not take part in privatization in Ukraine," Poroshenko said.
Also, according to the president, the law allows non-resident buyers to pay for acquired privatization objects not only in Ukrainian hryvnia, but also in freely convertible currency. In addition, the new owner gets immunity for some time from the attempts of old debtors to obtain assets of the company through the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings.
"We must protect the investor. And for the additional guarantee, foreign investors are given the opportunity to appeal to the laws of England and Wales until 2021 - until the completion of judicial reform and the creation of new courts at all levels," Poroshenko added.
"The law envisages fair, transparent, and competitive privatization. We didn't have it except for literally several cases, for example privatization of Kryvorizhstal," he stressed.
The president also emphasized that the law on privatization was an important element of anticorruption policy. "Previously, what was the way to conduct privatization? So-called special conditions, qualification requirements. It seemed like Ukraine has built a wall, defending itself from investments. Why was this done? For bribery. And today, it is the exact opposite," the president said, adding that he state is an inefficient owner and it usually receives only losses, and profits traditionally flowed into private hands through corruption schemes.
The president stressed that significant progress had been achieved recently in combating corruption at state enterprises. "There are new conditions for the competition, there are independent supervisory boards. But this is a transitional stage. I want to emphasize that the state must get rid of its nonspecific functions. We must eliminate this source of corruption," he said.
The president expects the government to take all necessary measures aimed at completing the processes of privatization of large objects designated by the State Property Fund in 2018. "The Cabinet of Ministers should find effective owners that will ensure economic growth, competitive production, investment attraction, export growth and currency revenues to Ukraine's balance of payments," the president said.
As reported, Poroshenko during the meeting of the National Council of Reforms signed the law "On privatization of state and municipal property."