The West Will Make Ukraine Better Than Russia…

And then Putler will shoot himself in the head, and Russia will be free…

There is a country called Abkhazia, it is a largely unrecognised state that split from Georgia. The country has a beautiful coastline, the entire area of the ancient kingdom of Colchis is a great place, the neighbouring Svaneti region of Georgia is beautiful as Arcadia. But Abkhazia does not have a developed tourism, and the Soviet and Tsarist hotels of Sukhumi, the capital lie in ruins. Is it because the state is unrecognised? It is recognised by Russia, it could be the next North Cyprus, and a destination worthy of visit. So why doesn’t Russia help Abkhazia become that? Russian investors tried…

I fear Western investors in Ukraine will have a similar experience. From RFE/RL:

A Canadian company has dismantled one of its multimillion-dollar solar investments in Ukraine following a dispute with a powerful tycoon believed to be close to the presidential administration in a case that has underscored the former Soviet state’s troubled investment climate.

TIU Canada completed the removal of its 10.5 megawatt power plant in Nikopol, a city about 500 kilometers southeast of the capital, Kyiv, in mid-November after failing to be reconnected to the electricity grid, company spokesman Brian Mefford told RFE/RL on December 28. The plant contained more than 32,000 solar panels

TIU Canada commissioned the $12 million plant on the territory of the Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant in January 2018 amid much fanfare, with representatives from the local government, foreign embassies, and business community in attendance.

TIU’s solar plant symbolized foreign investors’ interest in the country’s burgeoning alternative-energy industry. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy even highlighted TIU’s investment in a pitch to Canadian investors during a visit to Toronto in July 2019.

However, on March 1, 2020, the Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant disconnected TIU Canada from the electricity grid on the pretext of needing to make repairs to the power substation on its territory, the solar company said.

Almost two years later, the solar power plant remained idle, costing TIU Canada millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The decision to dismantle the plant follows an unsuccessful, two-year legal, media, and lobbying campaign against Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant and its main owner, Ihor Kolomoyskiy.

TIU hired Washington-based Blue Star Strategies late last year to lobby on its behalf before the U.S. government on “sustainable energy investments in Ukraine.”

TIU has accused Kolomoyskiy of cutting the company off from the grid in an attempt to purchase it at a knockdown price. Such ruthless business practices were common in the 1990s and early 2000s in many former Soviet states but have since subsided.

Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant, meanwhile, accused TIU Canada of blackmail and preventing it from carrying out urgent repairs.

However, Yurkovich told Voice of America he didn’t see anyone doing repairs. Instead, Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant had sent offers to buy the solar power plant at rock-bottom prices, he said.

Ukrainian business ombudsman Marchin Svenchintskiy told Voice of America that even if Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant had to urgently carry out repairs, the work “couldn’t last that long.”

Ukrainian law requires power stations to give their permission to be disconnected, making Nikopol FerroAlloy Plant’s actions illegal, TIU has argued.

However, the company has failed to win over a court system that is widely considered highly corrupt and its Nikopol project has become the latest poster child for the dangers of doing business in Ukraine.

Two court cases have failed to deliver any results for TIU. Several judges recused themselves from hearing the case, something that Yurkovich has attributed to their fear of crossing Kolomoyskiy.

“There are not many judges willing to take on the oligarchs, particularly Kolomoyskiy, and adhere to the rule of law,” Mefford said.

CEO Yurkovich “saw no solution to that situation” and decided to dismantle the project, Mefford said. TIU is storing the recoverable assets — at least temporarily — in Ukraine, he said.

TIU Canada has two other solar plants in Ukraine. Mefford declined to comment on the company’s future plans.

Ukraine has struggled to attract significant foreign investment since achieving independence from the Soviet Union 30 years ago due to its weak rule of law.

You see for every success story about a Western association leading to development, for every Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, there is Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine. East European countries suffer from a corruption of local robber barons and need strong leadership to be successful. Zelensky promised deoligarchisation but so far he only goes after his political opponents and competitors of Kolomoysky. Thus, Zelensky first went after Medvedchuk, and more recently after Poroshenko. There were some vibes about a conflict with Akhmetov and Avakov, but I think that show has been postponed.

The Americans have supported Zelensky sanctions against Medvedchuk but I don’t hear them criticise Zelensky for pursuing Poroshenko. The Americans have been largely impotent against Kolomoysky. They made him a persona non grata but failed to enact any financial sanctions. I guess the persona non grata measure was done to placate the investors that are getting ass raped by Kolomoysky but I doubt Kolomoysky regrets he cannot travel to US. Zelensky is Kolomoysky’s puppet, and of course he didn’t do anything to protect the Canadian investors. It is less difficult to make prosperous the industrious and law abiding Germans, Koreans, and Japanese than the lawless and corrupt Ukrainians.

There will not be any peremoha.

3 thoughts on “The West Will Make Ukraine Better Than Russia…

  1. “Ukraine has struggled to attract significant foreign investment since achieving independence from the Soviet Union 30 years ago due to its weak rule of law.” To simply put, it’s never productive to blame your own failure at running society onto someone else. Most investors want stable, expectable environment. If Ukraine cannot provide that nor coming up with ways to become self-sufficient on important sectors like food, then Ukraine has no one but its own incompetence to blame.

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  2. Ukraine made the mistake that it entrusted the economy to a bunch of robber barons, who have claimed the exclusive rights to plunder the territory, while they stash their money in off shore tax havens. This is a problem of many nations in the global periphery. Somebody needs to break the wheel to use a Game of Thrones reference like an NPC.

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    1. Yes this can be problematic. People need to do something about it instead of trusting some kind of figure/figures among the big guys. From Orange Revolution to Euromaidan all the way till now, life for ordinary Ukrainians seems to be getting worse. Someone needs to focus on economic sectors instead of the good ol’ identity politics from those so-called nationalists.

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