After victory of the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, a majority of entrepreneurs have expected a decrease in a state regulatory impact on business. And instead of improving an investment climate, a wave of hostile takeover spread over past two years across the country. Most of them deals with higher-level officials. This year more than 2,000 companies have suffered from raiders. In addition to hostile takeovers on stevedoring company “Transinvestservice” and chocolate factory “Zhytomyrski lasoshchi”, the greatest attention was paid to hostile takeover on national oil operator “BRSM-NAFTA”, foreign investment company, that runs hundreds of filling stations throughout Ukraine.
At that time when the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine was held on November 30, thousands of “BRSM-NAFTA” employees and their family members were picketing the Government. They voiced claims to the Head of Government Volodymyr Groysman to quit the Head of the State Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov and to take steps to prevent the destruction of “BRSM-NAFTA” company by raiders who are backed by officials in criminal actions.
Protesters held posters with slogans: “Mr. President! Please protect us from raider Nasirov!”,”Nasirov destroys private property!” and “Families of “BRSM-NAFTA” employees are demanding to quit Nasirov!”.
The situation related to protest of “BRSM-NAFTA” employees somehow resembles Maidan protest: fiscal authorities are destroying the private property, during hostile takeovers people are perishing, employees are picketing the authorities and asking Embassies and European countries for protection, police and prosecutors are looking with their eyes shut at the hostile takeover in which the Head of the State Fiscal Service has been involved.
Raiders have been trying to deprive the property of “BRSM-NAFTA” company for nearly three years. At first, trotyl explosions took place at filling stations, explosives were found at the enterprises. The raiders caused the greatest impact on the enterprise by terrorist attack owing to which the petroleum-storage depot was blasted in Kiev region. Generally, raiders killed 12 people, but these crimes have not been investigating.
Employees in organized groups proceeded from the Government`s building and continued to protest near the Prosecutor General`s Office of Ukraine. Thousands of people gathered near the prosecutor’s office, but the Prosecutor-General did not approach the employees of one of the largest companies that had arrived from all regions of Ukraine. People are concerned because they cannot get to their jobs.
Near the Prosecutor General’s Office people are giving interviews to Ukrainian and foreign journalists. They state that the government destroys their jobs, women cry and men promise to begin an indefinite hunger strike next to the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. At the protest speakers say they believe that the President Petro Poroshenko, being a former businessman, felt the pressure made by the fiscal service and so he understands how the raiders are destroying “BRSM-NAFTA” company. Most of the protesters are asking the Embassies and European Union countries to save the company from hostile takeover.
“We have big hopes that we will be heard in Europe. When the government says to Ukrainian people about the prospects for visa-free regime, we primarily want not such a formality, but a real implementation of European values in Ukraine when the right to private property is inviolable”, representatives of the network of filling stations state.
“BRSM-NAFTA” has won all legal actions against the State Fiscal Service, under which the fiscals have to leave enterprises of the company and return all property. But the court decision has not been performed by the head of fiscal service Roman Nasirov. Although the fiscal service recognizes that “BRSM-NAFTA” company with foreign investments is in the list of the hundred largest taxpayers.
In Ukraine there are fears that takeover of “BRSM-NAFTA” will hit an international image of the country and destroy the prospects of Ukraine with regard to appearing the European investors in Ukraine. The press service of “BRSM-NAFTA” company spread the comment made by Igor Revko, US citizen, founder of “State Oil” company, “On November 1st, the Prosecutor-General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko frankly and openly, through his Facebook-page, gave the command to kill my company. In fact, he called to nationalize private business with foreign investments. This is a blow under the belt for all investment attractiveness of Ukraine. No investor in the world will invest money in the country where the government nationalizes private property.”
While “BRSM-NAFTA” incurs losses every day, the government is not in a hurry to protect the private property. Can Europe help Ukraine and protect the values which Ukraine is heavily approaching? Currently, the question is open and primarily depends on senior management of the European Union.