Oligarch law – Richest Ukrainian hands over media group to state

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Oligarch law – Richest Ukrainian hands over media group to state

In addition to Brussels, Kiev also acts against oligarchs. Their own country is not exempt from this, as the example of Rinat Akhmetov now shows. Ukraine’s richest man hands over his entire media empire to the state. The background is a law designed to limit the political influence of the super-rich.

“This week, Media Group Ukraine will transfer all Ukrainian licenses for our TV channels (…) and print media to the state,” Rinat Akhmetov announced on Monday. The 55-year-old is a multi-billionaire with an estimated wealth of more than four billion euros. His company is one of the largest media companies in the country and includes ten TV channels, online and print media. If he were to sell the empire to a private individual, Akhmetov would have to consider a short deadline, among other things. The relevant law passed in September 2021, as well as the war, would make it impossible for him to sell on market terms, the billionaire said.

Presidential adviser welcomes move
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak has already welcomed Akhmetov’s move. “The De-Oligarchization Act is the beginning of a new chapter in the state-business relationship,” he said. This law aims to limit the political influence of the super-rich in Ukraine. Among other things, it ensures that large entrepreneurs with media influence are included in a so-called oligarch register. As a result, they are not allowed to fund parties, political advertisements or demonstrations. In addition, privatizations of the companies concerned are excluded.

Oligarch was considered pro-Russia
In addition to Media Group Ukraine, Akhmetov owns football club Schachter Donezk and SCM Holding, which is active in the steel and coal sector, among others. For a long time he was considered pro-Russian, for example as a patron of the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. In recent years he has not positioned himself politically, he has already condemned the war in Ukraine. Last November, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi accused Akhmetov of plotting a coup. However, the Ukrainian government took no action against the oligarch at the time.

Source: Krone

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