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Ukraine’s Zelensky, Kolomoisky pretend to have nothing in common, say analysts

Zelensky’s decision not to return the nationalized Privatbank to Kolomoisky was made under Western pressure, experts believe
Vladimir Zelensky Pyotr Sivkov/TASS
Vladimir Zelensky
© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky and business tycoon Igor Kolomoisky are keen to persuade the public they have different interests, the director of the Kiev Center of Political Studies and Conflictology, Mikhail Pogrebinsky, told a TASS news conference.

At the same news conference earlier the Center for Current Policy presented a report in which the center’s analysts say that "by and large the Zelensky team manages to demonstrate its equidistance from the oligarchic groups." The analysts believe that the "Ukrainian economy remains oligarchic, but the current authorities should by no means be accused of placing the interests of oligarchs above development interests."

As far as Zelensky’s decision not to return the nationalized Privatbank to Kolomoisky is concerned, it was made under Western pressure. This is true," Pogrebinsky said. "But he and Kolomoisky have achieved consensus. They play a game of estrangement."

The director of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, Ruslan Bortnik, shares this viewpoint.

"The impression that Kolomoisky’s influence has been reset to zero is wrong. Privatbank is not the correct indicator. No assets are left there. Take a look at some of his other lines of business, such as Tsentrenergo, where Kolomoisky has gained a firm foothold and obtained loans from public banks," Bortnik said.

Zelensky promised that in the near future he would sign into law the "anti-Kolomoisky bill" Ukraine’s parliament voted for on May 13. The law’s key idea is to prohibit the return of nationalized banks to their former owners. First and foremost, the law targets mogul Igor Kolomoisky, the former main stakeholder of the nationalized Privatbank. Kolomoisky has taken the case to courts of law in an attempt to prove the nationalization was illegal.