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Rinat Akhmetov not ready to withdraw from Ukrainian jurisdiction

System Capital Management (SCM) holding owned by Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov disseminated a statement on March 2 saying his enterprises in the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) continue operating under the Ukrainian legislation. “No pressure will make us change jurisdiction of our assets. We consider private property sovereign and the requirement to re-register our enterprises and pay taxes to self-proclaimed DPR and LPR are inadmissible.”

The statement was a response to the March 1 announcement by the DPR leadership on establishment of external control over all enterprises with Ukrainian jurisdiction in the responsibility zone of the republic’s Industry Ministry. Yesterday, DPR head Alexander Zakharchenko said that 40 enterprises have already been transferred to external management. Among those enterprises are Donetsk metallurgical plant and Stirol large chemical combine in Gorlovka. A source at business circles of Donbass told EADaily that Russian specialists have already travelled to some of those metallurgical enterprises.

Immediately after that, Ukrtelecom Company that is also controlled by Rinat Akhmetov reported Internet and telecommunication disruptions in the territory of DPR for almost 200,000 people. The reason was “interference by unknown persons into the work of the networks and seizure of the office by armed persons.”

Ukrainian sources assess the damage from transition of the enterprises with Ukrainian jurisdiction under control of DPR at 30 billion hryvnias annually (about 60,5 billion rubles), including 4 billion hryvnias in metallurgical field. SCM statement says it has paid 100 billion hryvnias to the state budget of Ukraine since the conflict broke out in Donbass. 10% of total amount (10 billion hryvnias) were paid by the enterprises in DPR and LPR.

Businessmen in DPR so far have no idea of the results of the external management over formally Ukrainian enterprises. “If metallurgical plants are loaded with Russian raw materials, it will increase the cost of metals,” EADaily’s source reported. “There are excessive reserves of metal in the Russian market and they cannot be sold on the external market, as metal having ‘DPR marks’ will not be accepted anywhere because of DPR unrecognized status.” Besides, the source reports, it is not clear how the staffs of those enterprises will be paid their salaries, since previously they received salaries on their bank cards served by Ukrainian banks in hryvnias.

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