Russia Is “Aggressive”… Except When Poroshenko Wants Profits

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Answering one of the questions at a meeting of the “Valdai” club, Vladimir Putin stressed: Russia respects the right of property ownership. And there are no exceptions for any of the investors. Even for those who constantly say that Moscow is an aggressor and demand the placing of new sanctions. We are talking about the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko – owner of Roshen in the Lipetsk region. Now, this factory, of course, is not in perfect condition. As of August this year, it employed 800 people, though, while the State required this figure to be two-fold. And the volumes of production was halved. The owner — President of Ukraine — of course, even in this blames the Russian side, while the facts indicate that it’s he himself who must be blamed — for not paying taxes. The subject of lawsuits with Roshen with FNS at the time was more than an impressive sum: according to the tax, together with penalties and interest, it came to nearly 400 million rubles. And of course, the court took action. But even this does not prevent Poroshenko from getting a solid profit, and transferring this profit abroad, i.e. nobody interferes with the pockets of the Ukrainian President.

“Patriotism and heroism in one wrapper” — a joke from a Ukrainian blogger who found on the Internet the announcement that the Lipetsk factory of Roshen is looking for employees, with more than 20 vacancies. But the main thing is the salary. A sales representative — 45,000 rubles. Supervisor of sales representatives — already 60,000. Finally, the wrapper-packer — 67,000. In Kiev they spread their hands and say: we have a generous President.

“The entities owned by Roshen – branches and subsidiaries – take new recruits in Russia,” says economist Alexander Dudchak. “Apparently, the feeling in the country, which Poroshenko called the aggressor himself, is very calm and well. Salaries offered to the employees in these Roshen enterprises are much higher than salaries paid to Ukrainian citizens working on the territory of Ukraine”.

Now CV’s are sent to Lipetsk plant from all over Ukraine, because the conditions are very favourable. And all this against the background of tumultuous discussions in the Verkhovna Rada of introducing a visa regime with Russia. But the decision failed. And, of course, it was the President who was very quickly blamed, who likely adopted a neutral position by passing the solution of the issue to the deputies, while on the other hand created all the conditions of his fellow citizens to feel much more comfortable abroad than at home.

“In fact, the whole business empire began to be built already when he entered politics,” says the chief editor of the information agency News Front Konstantin Knyrik. “And here we must pay tribute to Poroshenko: he really learned to adapt to any power. He felt completely comfortable, as at the time of Kuchma, and Yushchenko, and Yanukovych. And already after Yanukovych, as you can see, he feels the same way.”

Petro Poroshenko proved it a long time ago, it’s nothing personal — just business. For example, today at the meeting with students of Ostrog Academy he vowed to return Donbass under the Ukrainian flag. And affirmed that there is no internal conflict in the country, and as usual accused Russia of aggression. He just forgot to mention just how much he and the enterprises he contorls earn in the civil war. A simple example: according to deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, at the end of last year, the Ukrainian state defence order entered into a contract for the purchase of 120 “MAZ” vehicles. They are assembled at the plant “Bogdan” in Cherkassy, which belongs to Petro Poroshenko.

“At first, while there is a war, his enterprises receive military orders,” notes Ukrainian blogger Aleksandr Rodgers. “It means that money from the state budget of Ukraine goes to the same production of “Bogdan” and for same production of mortars. That is, this plant received direct military orders. Plus, it’s possible that there is preferential taxation. For Poroshenko it is very convenient to use the war in order so that money is pumped from the state budget”.

However, war and chaos are useful for Petro Poroshenko not only as the best time for profitable defence orders, but also as a convenient moment for the redistribution of property. Rumour has it that after the resignation of Arseny Yatsenyuk his assets, through intermediaries and third-party funds, gradually passed into the hands of supporters of the Ukrainian leader, and all state contracts, on which the ex-Prime Minister earns money, now are divided between the current Prime Minister and current President, for who, despite the crisis, the profits are only growing.

“Information recently appeared that it is not personally Petro Poroshenko, but his fund that acquired milk processing companies,” says economist Alexander Okhrimenko. “I think that over time this business will develop very successfully. And not only for Poroshenko. For other oligarchs too. This is really on the rise now”.

So do we need to wonder that today he has become one step closer to the top. With $949 million Petro Poroshenko took fourth place in the ranking of the richest people of Ukraine. By the way, in the same meeting with students, the leader of nation complained, few people in the world envy him. Probably in vain. “I’m proud that I’m Ukrainian President,” confessed Petro Poroshenko.

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