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Foreign investors grill Poroshenko over corruption, sale of seats

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Fair elections in Ukraine

Elections

Ukraine’s foreign business leaders did not hold back when they got their chance to question President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Oct. 2.

Tomas Fiala, head of the major investment house Dragon Capital, was first to the microphone, where he lashed out about how, despite the pronouncements of honest parliamentary elections, places on party lists were allegedly being sold for $3-4 million.

“And I refer to all party lists, including yours and yours,” Fiala stressed, pointing at the president and prime minister.

Fiala then asked how asset raids were still happening months after the EuroMaidan Revolution, citing a $200 million commercial property dispute between an Estonian investor and local property developer who is running for parliament.

“And that person is number 58 on your party list, Mr. President,” Fiala said. “How do you respond?

Poroshenko said that he was not aware of the problem and would investigate, going as far as to possibly exclude the specific candidate. The president then emphasized how the meeting was all about “trust” and that government and business were all on one team.

Number 58 on the list of Bloc of Poroshenko is Kyiv city council member Oleksandr Hranovsky of Vitali Klitschko’s Ukraine Democratic Alliance for Reforms and a shareholder of Skymall, a shopping center in Kyiv that is in the center of corporate conflict Hranovsky could not be reached for comment. Dragon Capital is a minority investor in Skymall through its property development fund.

Every seat in the main ballroom of the Fairmont Grand Hotel in Kyiv was filled as Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk fielded questions about their plan to transform Ukraine into a modern European country in 2020.

Poroshenko said Yatsenyuk’s presence was to show “that the president and the government remain united in their goals.” The president emphasized that “the core vision of the Ukrainian idea is European Union integration and Ukraine’s rightful place in the world.”

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