Thursday, July 05, 2007

Akhmetov skips pres's bash

Viktor Yushchenko today met some of Ukraine's most important 'big name' businessmen and oligarchs.

The themes under discussion at the encounter were to be tax reform, preparation of new tax laws, observance of property rights, and the disturbing increase of corporate raiding.

'Donbass' newspaper considers that the meeting, weeks before the September VR elections, may have been called by Yushchenko to try and secure the support of these oligarchs, be it financial, or in the media, as many of these guys have media and television interests.

Ukrainian politologists have long discussed formation of a so-called broad PoR-NSNU coalition after election, which would suit business-elites from both camps, and also the President.

Unfortunately Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest oligarch, and PoR's biggest financial sponsor, did not attend. He had previously informed the President's secretariat that his workload was to heavy at the beginning of July to permit this. Some commentators say he may have been embarrassed by Yushenko's gushing praise for helping solve the political crisis following Yushenko's dismissal of the VR.

'Donbass' speculates that Akhmetov may prefer to solve problems in a tight circle rather than in larger company. On Friday the president is to attend the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Donbass region, so a Yushchenko-Akhmetov meeting could take place on the latter's 'home turf' at that time. I wonder if it will?

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