Real justice or only pressure: CEOs of the largest companies of the country hotly discussed in Kyiv the role of security officials in Ukrainian business. Heads of enterprises, the total cost of which exceeds tens of billions of dollars, put forward their proposals for the security officials, so that both the business worked and the country’s budget was filled. Opinion has learned, whether it is possible to find a consensus between money and shoulder straps.
Ukrainian, English–language publication Kyiv Post organized the CEO Breakfast – breakfast of the leaders of the largest Ukrainian companies. Many leaders gathered at the big table, including: partner of the international law firm S&P; Peter Kerekgyarto – CEO of Shell Retail Ukraine; Head of Ukrzaliznytsia; Yevgen Kravtsov; Director of the Central Department of Management Brian Handley; Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine Guillaume Scheurer and founder of one of the largest construction companies of Ukraine the KADORR Group and the owner of Kyiv Post billionaire Adnan Kivan.
Also, the business ombudsman of Ukraine Algirdas Semeta and the security officials were invited to the dialogue: Deputy Prosecutor General Sergiy Gorbatyuk, ex–SSU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko and his ex–adviser Markiyan Lubkivsky.
The main topic was the contact of business and law enforcement agencies. Many CEOs complained about unsubstantiated searches, confiscation of documents and equipment. However, most entrepreneurs noted that in recent years the situation has been getting better, “however, do not stop there”.
“Law enforcement agencies, from police officers to prosecutors and judges, have previously formed a strange symbiosis. They did not provide proper justice, but, on the other hand, they abused their position and pressed on business. Now the situation has changed, entrepreneurs can really work, but all the same, the overall system of business control must be changed”, the meeting participants noted.
According to the leading CEO of the country, the current lack of healthy communication between law enforcement agents and entrepreneurs diverts foreign investments, and it is quite simple to correct the situation – instead of duplicating the functions of the Police, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service, to create a single law enforcement agency for economic crimes, which will only investigate corrupt facts, and not to put pressure on business.
The absolute majority of forum participants supported the view, the largest Arab investor in Ukraine, billionaire Adnan Kivan, who plans to build complexes of manufacturing and processing agricultural products for the Arab world. Such enterprises will be able to process more than 10 million tons a year. “We invested a lot of money in the economy. This is the construction, and the creation of shopping centers, business centers, elevators and agrarian business… And this is a very important thing to create work places, to pay colossal money to the Ukrainian budget. Therefore, we have gathered to create a working mechanism for business and law enforcement agencies, “Adnan Kivan said. By the way, about 800 million dollars of Kivan’s fortune are assets already built and operating in Ukraine, such as shopping centers, business centers, hotels, commercial real estate, elevators, etc.
Participants suggested limiting the influence of existing structures on business and creating an independent body that would deal exclusively with economic crimes under strict control of anti–corruption structures. The corresponding decision was passed to the representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine.
Text: Artur Pantyuk