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Ukraine has to protect the rights of investors who have lost their property in Crimea – Olena Zerkal

Kyiv, June 07, 2018.

Ukraine will consistently continue to protect the rights of its citizens and legal assets in the temporarily occupied territories. “We are not talking about selling Crimea. Crimea for us is a part of Ukrainian territory. We are talking about the protection of investors who unlawfully lost their rights in Crimea. And we are not talking about the title of ownership in Crimea. This is also obvious for us that the title is in Ukrainian position and Russia has simply usurped our right to regulate and created the double legal regime in Crimea. This is our stable position,” emphasized Olena Zerkal, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine on European Integration, at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center during a panel discussion “The Price of the Kremlin Aggression in Ukraine: Material Dimension”.

On September 30, 2018, expires the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. According to Article 15, Ukraine and Russia have to protect each other’s investments. “This is actually the last year when we have to decide the future of our big agreement with Russia concerning the Friendship and Partnership,” said Olena Zerkal. One of the options for settling the investment problem in the temporarily occupied territories is the creation of special state funds that can be used to protect those investors who have lost their assets.

It is also important to motivate investors to come back to these territories after the end of occupation, says Yulia Klymenko, MBA Program Director at Kyiv School of Economics.  “The motivation will be gradually decreasing. This issue should be a part of the public debate. Indirect losses will be much higher than the direct losses in the occupied territories. We should be ready to count all losses”, Yulia Klymenko emphasized.

It is much more difficult to protect investors in Donetsk and Luhansk regions than in Crimea because Russia does not recognize its presence in eastern Ukraine. “I think that this kind of damage can be solved afterwards, after the war. As it has usually been done in any kind of conflicts, in the kind of a conference or agreement, – said Olena Zerkal. – The main thing that we are not talking about selling Crimea. We are talking about the necessity to protect sovereign rights and protect investors who have lost their properties there. But when Crimea will come back to Ukraine, we suppose that all rights will be reestablished”.

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