Ministry of Justice has once again simulated the fight against raidership
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Thanks to numerous appeals of people’s deputies and representatives of NGO “Self-Defence of Entrepreneurs”, as well as taking into account the high-profile events in the villages of Berezhynka and Dobre of the Kirovohrad region, yesterday the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine unanimously supported the establishment of operational headquarters in the regions whose goal will be to combat the  attempts of illegal seizures of lands and harvested crops – the government portal reports.

“Every year we witness one and the same picture. Ukrainian farmers become victims of attempts to seize crops and land by dishonest dealers. With an aim of countering this notorious phenomenon, the government has made a following decision – it instructed the chairmen of the regional administrations together with the territorial subdivisions of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Geographical Cadaster and the agrarian associations to set up operational headquarters locally to protect agrarians from raiders,” said Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko. However, Mr. Petrenko never mentioned the main thing – in the vast majority of illegal takeovers all traces lead to people in one way or another close to officials. Moreover, in many cases of raider attacks, the same names appear again and again, and these names are well-known to the members of the Commission for the consideration of complaints in the sphere of state registration under the Ministry of Justice.

At the same time, Mr. Petrenko cynically shifts the control over the situation with illegal takeovers of agro-enterprises to the heads of regions, who are also charged with providing operational information about the state of affairs with takeovers in agricultural businesses every two weeks.

Meanwhile Mr. Petrenko himself only provides formal replies to regular appeals of people’s deputies about almost daily facts of illegal seizures and blatant robbery of farmers with the full cooperation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office.

The Cabinet of Ministers stated, “According to the results of the report we will raise the question of personnel decisions with regard to those leaders of territorial bodies that contributed to the raiders or did not take any measures to protect the agrarians.” Why are we talking about territorial bodies only? After all, one can trace the signs of aiding and abetting in the actions of the Ministry of Justice’s leadership.

Pavlo Petrenko has also stated that at the governmental level, under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Stepan Kubiva, a working group has been set up. The working group consists of representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food; optionally it may be joined by representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office, the relevant committee of the Verkhovna Rada, and the representatives of the European Business Association, public associations “Agrarian Union of Ukraine” and “All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council”, association “Land Union of Ukraine”, association of farmers and private landowners of Ukraine, and other agrarian formations.

However, for some reason no one mentions that this “working” group has never met once and has appointed its first meeting as late as in September. This is the time when farmers’ crops will be collected and sold out by raiders and their patrons. Probably, the heads of the regional state administrations, upon the instructions of Mr. Petrenko, have to prepare full reports for the harvest period by November 15 for the same reasons.

Also, the government portal informs that the initiative to create operational anti-raider headquarters appeared after the visit of Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko to the Kherson and Mykolayiv regions where he met with representatives of the agricultural sector.

And this is despite the fact that public organization “Self-Defence of Entrepreneurs” began to sound the alarm together with people’s deputies about the situation with illegal takeovers of farms a month ago. But the first formal meaningless responses to MPs were received only recently.

That is why, despite the total inactivity and fraud on the part of the relevant ministries and senior officials, the members of “Self-Defence of Entrepreneurs” and people’s deputies who initiated the process of creating the Permanent Interdepartmental Working Group demand the following:

– to urgently create within a week a central permanent interdepartmental working group comprising the Prime Minister of Ukraine and the chairmen of the relevant ministries – the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Prosecutor General’s Office;

– to ensure full control of the public over the work of the working group and the appointment of its members . To include representatives of the supervisory board of the “Self-defence of Entrepreneurs”, which is currently monitoring more than half a dozen egregious facts of raider arbitrariness against farmers.

“Self-Defence of Entrepreneurs” is now actively helping to counteract raider actions at such companies as “Nyva-2010” (Berezhynka village in Kirovohrad region), “Haiduk” (Dolynska city in Kirovohrad region), “Ahroperspektyva”, “Matveev” (Petrovo village in Kirovohrad region), “Bohner” (Bohdanivka village in Kirovohrad region), “NEST” (Bratske village in Mykolayiv region), “Dar” (Popasne village in Dnipropetrovsk region), “Sim Vitriv” (Maryanivka village in Dnipropetrovsk region), “Avanhard” (Osychna village in Vinnytsia region), “Ahroaktyv” (Pysanka village in Kirovohrad region), “Khorol Plant of Children’s Food” (Khorol city in Poltava region).

At the same time, every day we hear about more and more new impudent illegal takeovers. We are aware of the facts of illegal takeovers at dozens of enterprises from five regions of Ukraine. Almost every agrarian enterprise suffered millions of dollars of damage, and the processing industry factories – even tens of millions of dollars. The system continues to fight back the activists, and it seems that this is not the end.

We emphasize: at the moment the Commission for the consideration of complaints in the sphere of state registration under the Ministry of Justice is aimed at full and absolute de-legitimization of the private property institution in Ukraine by creating a very dangerous precedent and exposing the country to the risk of losing the investment attractiveness for all investors.

That is why we demand immediate full control over this Commission by the authorities and the public, as well as a comprehensive investigation of its activities by the relevant law enforcement and anti-corruption bodies.

Photo: Maks Levin

Ivan Miroshnichenko
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