The Ukrainian securities regulator, the National Commission for Securities and Equity Market (NKTsPFR), has ordered the nationalization of some of the top national companies, using emergency wartime authority as legal grounds. They seized five companies. This needs to be watched. Zelensky has put reporters in prison, banned political parties except his, and shut down the media. He has some bad tendancies.
Some of the stakes were previously owned by billionaire Igor Kolomoysky, a former strong supporter of Zelensky’s.
The news that Zelensky seized the companies was broken by the Ekonomicheskaya Pravda website and later confirmed by other outlets and by the country’s security council.
Among the targets for nationalization was oil producer Ukrnafta, the firm Ukrtatnafta, which AvtoKrAZ, and electricity equipment producer Zaporozhtransformator.
News outlet Strana wrote that Kolomovsky has stakes in Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta. He had no idea this would happen, and his team were “shocked.”
Kolomysky gave comic Zelensky his start in the entertainment industry. Zelensky was nicknamed Kolomoysky’s “puppet” among rivals. Kolomoysky pushed him to run for president in 2019. And now Zelensky seized the source of Kolomovsky’s wealth.
The commission designated the Ukrainian Defense Ministry as the operator of the nationalized companies and cited emergency government powers during wartime as justification for the change of ownership.
THEY MAY BE RETURNED
The National Defense and Security Council stated that the seized assets “may be returned” to their original owners after martial law in the country is lifted, or compensation may be paid to them. If it’s only for wartime, why not promise to return them?
One of the nationalized firms, Motor Sich, came into the Ukrainian public spotlight last month after its former co-owner Vyacheslav Boguslaev got arrested for allegedly supplying helicopter parts to Russia.
An aide to President Zelensky suggested at the time that the man could be exchanged for Ukrainian POWs held in Russian custody.
In 2017, Boguslaev sold his share in Motor Sich to Chinese investors, but Kiev opposed the sale. Last year, Zelensky ordered the company’s nationalization amid a legal battle over ownership with the Chinese buyer.
“We are defending not only Ukraine, but also European democratic values,” Kyiv Mayor Klitschko and Ukrainian Minister Chernyshov told an EU body of lawmakers last month.
Ukraine doesn’t want it called “nationalization,” but rather seizure for wartime needs.