Business news from Ukraine


President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky believes that the issue of the de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea should be resolved in a diplomatic format after the cessation of hostilities, possibly in ten years. “We do not trade our territory. Therefore, issues of territorial integrity and sovereignty are out of the question. There are complex issues regarding the temporarily occupied territories. There are fundamental difficulties that we are ready to remove from the agenda, such as the issue of Crimea. We are ready to talk about the Crimean issue. The issue of the de-occupation of Crimea should be resolved in a diplomatic format, perhaps in ten years,” the head of state said in an interview for Fox News. He stressed that on a global scale, this issue “should be resolved, for example, as follows: cessation of the war, and then diplomatic steps.”

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The United States welcomes the position of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on the Ukrainian Crimea, the Department of State said.”We welcome the statement by President Radev, in which he reaffirmed Bulgaria’s support for Ukraine. The United States, the G7, the European Union and NATO were clear and united in our position that, despite Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea, this is Ukraine,” the Department of State said.Earlier, the European Truth publication said the press service of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev clarified the position of the head of state regarding the occupied Crimea due to his statement during the televised debates in the framework of the election campaign.

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The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has canceled the Crimea free economic area, which was introduced by law in August 2014.
The adoption of relevant bill No. 5502-d on recognizing as invalid the law of Ukraine on the creation of a free economic area “Crimea” and on the specifics of performing economic activities in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and on amending some legislative acts of Ukraine was supported by 328 MPs.
“Taking into account the circumstances that operated in 2014, the law, in fact, introduced preferential conditions for the continuation of economic activities in the temporarily occupied territory. At the same time, the law regulated the implementation of the rights of Ukrainian citizens who remained to live in the temporarily occupied territory and introduced additional restrictions (in particular, customs), in the tax legislation such citizens were equated to non-residents,” the government said in the explanatory note.
The authors of the bill said that such restrictions have led to discrimination against citizens of Ukraine who have remained to live in the temporarily occupied territory or are registered in this territory.
In particular, the status of non-residents led to restrictions on access to banking services in the territory controlled by Ukraine. International and national human rights organizations have repeatedly stated about the negative consequences of the law for the observance of human rights and freedoms.
In addition, bill No. 5502-d proposes to regulate the procedure for persons entering and leaving the temporarily occupied territory, securing the right to free secondary legal aid for Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territory and ensuring the implementation of the right to inheritance for such persons.
The Verkhovna Rada at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday also supported bill No. 5501, which amends the Tax Code regarding the administration of taxes and fees in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and bill No. 5503 on amendments to the Customs Code in connection with the adoption of the law on the abolition of the Crimea free economic area.

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The European Union does not recognize the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which prohibits foreigners from owning land in Crimea, and considers its entry into force as yet another attempt to forcibly integrate the illegally-annexed peninsula into Russia, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Nabila Massrali has said.
“The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia, which is a clear violation of international law. Therefore, the European Union does not recognise this decree and considers its entry into force as yet another attempt to forcibly integrate the illegally-annexed peninsula into Russia. Crimea is part of Ukraine,” the spokesperson said in a statement released by the European External Action Service on Tuesday.
According to her, this decree is also a violation of international humanitarian law, as it is another step towards the imposition of Russian citizenship on the peninsula, which leads to the arbitrary deprivation of property.
“The European Union calls on Russia to stop all violations of international law on the Crimean peninsula. The European Union is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and welcomes Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts to this end,” Massrali said in the statement.
The spokesperson also said the European Union will continue to enforce its non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, including through restrictive measures.
The Russian presidential decree states that most of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol were added to the list of border territories of Russia, where foreign citizens are prohibited from owning land, entered into force on March 20, 2021, a year after its adoption.

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Some Chinese companies cooperate with Crimea on market principles, based on historical ties and practical needs, and such commercial activities should not be politicized, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian has said.
“China’s position on the Crimea issue is consistent. We hope relevant sides can properly address the issue through dialogue and consultation. Some Chinese companies, based on historically-established ties and practical needs, conduct exchanges and cooperation with Crimea on the basis of market principles. Such commercial activities should not be politicized,” he said at a press conference, the content of which was published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Thus, the spokesperson commented on the visit of the Chinese delegation to Crimea and the statement of Ukrainian MP from the Opposition Platform – For Life faction Vadym Rabinovych that this is “China’s retaliatory move in connection with Ukraine’s position on Motor Sich.”
As reported, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, by decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), on January 29 imposed sanctions on Chinese citizen Wang Jing and related Beijing Xinwei Technology Group Co., Ltd; Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co., Ltd (both are based in Beijing); Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited (British Virgin Islands) and Hong Kong Skyrizon Holdings Limited (Hong Kong), which in recent years have been trying to implement the rights of PJSC Motor Sich shareholders, who are placed on the sanctions list of Ukraine.
According to the decision of the NSDC and Zelensky decree No. 29 dated January 28, 2021, the sanctions imposed for three years provide, in particular, the blocking of assets, restriction of trade operations, partial or complete cessation of the transit of resources, flights and transportation across the territory of Ukraine. Other restrictions include preventing the withdrawal of capital from Ukraine, a complete ban on transactions with securities of which they are issuers, and a ban on the purchase of enterprises in Ukraine. The list of sanctions also includes a ban on increasing the size of the charter capital of business entities in which sub-sanctioned persons own 10% or more, and cancellation of official visits, meetings, negotiations on the conclusion of contracts or agreements.

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The founder of UFuture, Vasyl Khmelnytsky, refutes his involvement in managing and investing in Crimean assets after the annexation of the peninsula, the group said in a statement. “We refute information about the alleged involvement of Vasyl Khmelnytsky in managing and investing in Crimean assets after the annexation of the peninsula by Russia … After Russia had annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Vasyl Khmelnytsky did not invest in the development of business and/or infrastructure in the temporarily occupied territory, and did not manage the assets, which partially belonged to him at that time,” the company said.
Commenting on a publication entitled “Simferopol’s developer, IT leader in Kyiv. Ukrainian businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky and his assets in Crimea” by the Current Time edition and the Municipal Scanner project, UFuture emphasized that the information in the article was untrue.
“We were not ready to simply give our liquid assets to third parties. The negotiation and sale process took a considerable time due to understandable risks. In 2018, we sold all the corporate rights of our European companies, which, in turn, owned corporate rights or provided significant impact on the assets located in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, in Crimea. We did not make any investments that would violate the sanctions regime or the current legislation of Ukraine,” Khmelnytsky said.
The businessman added that the facilities in question are very large in terms of investment, and their sale was associated with significant risks.
“It is not easy to find buyers for such facilities, and the sale process itself took a long time. But the decision to sell the assets was made immediately after the annexation of Crimea,” he said.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky, which combines his business and social projects. It has a diversified portfolio of assets in real estate, infrastructure, industry, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT. The value of UFuture’s assets is estimated at $550 million. The total capitalization of the businesses in which it invested exceeds $1 billion.