Valentyna Semenyuk-Samsonenko, head of the State Property Fund: I harbor no bias, and the Fund harbors no bias, toward [Arcelor] Mittal Steel. We equally treat everyone who came to Ukraine with investments. If you assume obligations, you should deliver. If you don’t deliver, you’ll be parted with your respective entity. Last year, we repossessed 35 such entities. It’s no big deal.
Having, so far, fended off an attempt by PM Tymoshenko to sack her, Mrs. Semenyuk-Samsonenko has reinforced her buy-hold-sell prerogative with a policy of who’s-your-mama.
Not only does Semenyuk-Samsonenko bounce the privatization deals sought by Tymoshenko, but she also seeks to pull the rug from under the deal that Tymoshenko considers her personal triumph.
In 2005, the resale of Kryvorizhstal in a live-broadcast open-bid auction fetched a record price of $4.8B, becoming the only transparent transaction in Ukraine’s history of murky privatization deals governed by cronyism and favoritism.
Since then, experts believe, the market value of the steel mill has increased manifold.
What’s done is done. Unless ArcelorMittal fails to meet the terms and conditions of the sales agreement, its property rights must not be violated.
And given Semenyuk-Samsonenko’s agenda, the public has the right to know the facts, just the facts.
An article in ePravda (Ukr) cites ArcelorMittal’s failure to pay out dividends to the State Property Fund, which retains a 7% stake in the steel mill. The SPI also claims that the company management has not improved working and housing conditions as stipulated by the agreement. Semenyuk-Samsonenko, the article continues, has voiced plans to divorce ArcelorMittal from its asset, and has asked the government to cover litigation costs.
At the same time, the article argues that Semenyuk-Samsonenko's move is primarily a crusade against Tymoshenko.
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