European Commission responds to pressure on Ukrainian retailer Gennadiy Butkevych

Office of the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn confirms the fact of obtaining information on the situation around Ukraine's trading chain ATB owned by Gennadiy Butkevych.

Journalist Oleksiy Stanchevskyi, who in February 2017 handed over to the European commissioner the results of his investigation into the facts of coercive pressure on retailers and Gennadiy Butkevych in particular, wrote about this on his Facebook page, 112 Ukraine reports.

"Yesterday, I received a letter from Brussels, from the office of EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. In the official response, Peter M. Wagner on behalf of the EU Commissioner informed me that the European Commission studied carefully all documents collected during our investigation and was familiar with all circumstances of coercive pressure on ATB chain and Gennadiy Butkevych, sponsored by Serhiy Rybalka, head of the Parliamentary Committee on Financial Policy and Banking," Stanchevskyi wrote.

Besides, the journalist posted a copy of the official response with appeal to Ukrainian authorities to intensify the process of fighting corruption and prevent political discrimination and pressure by the Ukrainian authorities on entrepreneurs like Gennadiy Butkevych.

"In your letter, you allege that a member of the Ukrainian parliament is conducting a media smear campaign against the supermarket chain ATB with the aim to get the company nationalized and to further his personal enrichment. You ask the commissioner to monitor the situation. I can assure you that the commission is closely monitoring the developments in the area of anti-corruption in the context of the political dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities under the Association Agreement," wrote Peter M. Wagner, head of Support Group of the European commissioner.

European officials assured the journalist that they would monitor closely further developments in the area of anti-corruption and pressure on Gennadiy Butkevych.

"We have read your letter carefully and have taken good note of the situation you describe. I would like to recall that the European Commission attaches significant importance to the prevention of and effective fight against corruption in Ukraine. While the commission acknowledged the progress made by Ukraine with setting up of key anti-corruption institutions under the visa-liberalization process and welcomed the launch of the e-declarations system, it also stressed that further work needs to be done to ensure continued implementation of anti-corruption reforms," Wagner wrote in the official response.

As reported, the Ukrainian retailer ATB, owned by Gennadiy Butkevych, is the largest retail chain in Ukraine. In March 2015, a group of parliamentarians from the Radical Party launched the campaign to discredit Gennadiy Butkevych with the aim of raider takeover of his business assets.Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n441186