President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky regards the latest events around Ukrainian MP of the Opposition Platform - For Life faction Viktor Medvedchuk as excluding him from the circle of Ukrainian oligarchs and announces plans to de-oligarchize all major Ukrainian businessmen.
"For the first time in many years, the number of oligarchs has not increased, but decreased. Minus Medvedchuk. With the help of legal tools, Medvedchuk was deprived of the opportunity to use media assets and state property in order to openly hit the country and cause devastating damage to state security. There will be more 'minuses' until all the oligarchs become just big businessmen," Zelensky wrote in his column in the Focus magazine on Friday.
According to him, on the example of Medvedchuk "one can see what the status of an oligarch means." "If such persons are deprived of a concentrated media resource, when they no longer have non-transparent access to strategic assets and when there is no 'roof' in Kyiv, they cannot take anything else from the state. And they cannot weaken the state in the confrontation for our sovereignty. This is the meaning of our de-oligarchization policy," the President wrote.
The head of state announced that in the near future the society will be presented with a fundamental bill on de-oligarchization, which will fix a systematic view on this problem.
"We really need maximum transparency of economic relations, prevention of destructive concentration of resources and equality of all citizens before the law and court. Until this happened, the country has been moving towards the status of poor in Europe for decades. We will ensure this, and Ukraine will be able to move to stable economic growth," Zelensky said.
As reported, on February 2, Zelensky put into effect the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) decision on personal sanctions against MP of the Opposition Platform - For Life faction Taras Kozak, and actually blocked the activities of three TV channels - 112.Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK, associated with Medvedchuk.
On February 19, the NSDC imposed personal sanctions against Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko, as well as related companies, due to their financing of terrorism; on February 20, the President of Ukraine put it into effect by the decree.
On April 15, Zelensky, following a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, announced an initiative to draft a bill against oligarchs in order to limit their influence on politics and the adoption of laws in Ukraine.
According to him, "the influence of oligarchs on Ukraine, on the choice of Ukraine, on the economy of Ukraine, on laws, and on the Verkhovna Rada can no longer be allowed."
On May 11, MPs Medvedchuk and Kozak were notified on suspicion of high treason and attempted plunder of national resources in the Russia-occupied Crimea.
On May 12, Medvedchuk arrived at the Prosecutor General's Office, got acquainted with a copy of the suspicion presented to him and said that he did not intend to hide from the investigation, and the suspicions were politically motivated. On May 14, Pechersky District Court of Kyiv chose a measure of restraint for him in the form of round-the-clock house arrest.