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Zelensky announces new platform for government communication with businesses

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 26, 2024 11:25 PM 3 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the press in Kyiv in December 2023. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian government is creating "a new tool to communicate with entrepreneurs," the Ukrainian Economic Platform, which will include representatives of small, medium, and large businesses from across Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Jan. 26.

The move follows the recent detention of influential investment banker Ihor Mazepa, perceived by some as an escalation of law enforcement pressure on businesses. Mazepa is suspected of illegally seizing land in Kyiv Oblast in 2020-2021, which he has denied.

The Ukrainian Economic Platform "Made in Ukraine" will be managed by the government together with the Presidential Office, regional state administrations, and experts.

"' Made in Ukraine' is not just a brand, it is a large community of people, millions of Ukrainian men and women who work at enterprises. These are our people who found businesses that create jobs for others. The entire community of our business will be represented on the new platform," Zelensky said in his evening address.

"The main task is for it to be a tool for effective communication, which will always be supported by operational decisions — by what state institutions do or change, and what will create a new, normal history of relations, in particular, between law enforcement and entrepreneurs."

Case against investment banker points to increasing pressure by state on business in Ukraine
Ukrainian investment banker and head of Kyiv-based Concorde Capital, Ihor Mazepa, was detained on Jan. 18 concerning a 2014 case against the businessman in which he allegedly illegally acquired land for a cookie-cutter housing development back in 2013. Mazepa was detained by the State Bureau of Inv…

Zelensky added he had signed a decree to formally launch the business support council that he announced earlier. According to the decree, the council will include seven prominent Ukrainian businessmen.

Those are Artem Borodatiuk, co-founder of Netpeak, Oleh Horokhovskyi, co-founder of Monobank, Kostiantyn Yefymenko, head of Biopharma, Taras Kytsmei, co-owner of SoftServe, Viacheslav Klymov, a member of Nova Poshta’s supervisory board, Oleksandr Konotopskyi, co-owner of Ajax Systems, and Dmytro Oliinyk, head of Ukraine's Council of the Federation of Employers.

Mazepa, a Ukrainian businessman and the founder of the Concorde Capital investment firm known for his criticism of state pressure on business was detained on Jan. 18, which he called an unfounded attack against his business.

His arrest sparked criticism from the Ukrainian business community that called the incident a continuation of systemic pressure from the state, including unannounced searches, asset seizure, and detentions. Ukrainian business leaders met with senior government officials on Jan. 22 to address these concerns.

Mazepa was released from pre-trial detention on Jan. 23 after a court reduced his bail from the initial Hr 350 million ($9.3 million) to Hr 21 million ($550,450).

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