KYIV. July 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s investment attractiveness could suffer due to incident involving the beach at the Zeleny Bereh recreation center in Odesa, businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky has said.
In an open letter, a copy of which has been sent to Interfax-Ukraine, he said that he supports idea of the country’s authorities to make Odesa region a model region and attract investors to it, although he insists that civilized methods must be used to achieve these goals.
The actions of Head of Odesa Regional Administration Mikheil Saakashvili constitute populism and an invasion of private property, he said.
The businessmen said that the Ukrainian authorities should focus on promoting business development that creates jobs without threatening businesspeople and using administrative resources.
He said that the unfinished recreation center Zeleny Bereh is in private ownership and is located on a legally leased land parcel under the agreement with Odesa City Council.
“Access to the beach was restricted in Soviet times, long before the property was bought and the leasing agreement was signed by the new owners,”
reads the letter.
Khmelnytsky said that on July 20 a representative of the city authorities gave instructions to present permits within 10 days or remove the fence.
However, the fence was removed at once, without a court ruling and or the presence of representatives of law enforcement services.
He also called on the country’s authorities to avoid populism which always results in poverty, saying the government should work on improving the business climate in Ukraine instead.
On July 20 Saakashvili, accompanied by the head of the Odesa police, emergencies service and a bulldozer at the Zeleny Bereh recreation center and organized the removal of a fence barring entrance to the beach.