Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine, hands over his media empire to the state

“This week, Media Group Ukraine will hand over all Ukrainian licenses for our TV channels and print media to the state. We will also cease our online media activities “Rinat Akhmetov announced in a press release posted on the website of his holding company SCM.

The 55-year-old businessman, the richest Ukrainian citizen, said the decision had been made “dictation” from the entry into force of a finalized law “Prevent the risks to national security linked to the excessive influence of the oligarchs”adopted in September 2021. In his press release he regretted that the “The six-month legal deadline for the sale of multimedia assets, coupled with the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, makes it impossible for SCM to sell its media business on market terms”.

Media Group Ukraine consists of ten television channels, including several news channels, a video on demand platform and a news website. Mykhaïlo Podoliak, Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser, welcomed this decision on Twitter, stating that “the law of the ‘de-oligarchy’ opens a new page in relations between the state and businesses”.

It comes at a time when the leaders of the Twenty-seven granted Ukraine candidate status for the European Union on June 23, accompanied by a long roadmap. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, specifically called for the law to be aimed at unraveling “the excessive influence of the oligarchs on the economy” this is “implementation in a legally correct manner”.

Endowed with a fortune valued by Forbes With $ 4.2 billion, Rinat Akhmetov is the president of the Chakhtar Donetsk football club. SCM Holdings is mainly active in the steel and energy sector, but also in the coal industry and metallurgy. Originally from the east of the country and long labeled pro-Russian, Mr. Akhmetov denounced the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow troops and his fortunes have declined significantly in recent months, particularly with the destruction or the occupation of many of its factories in the east of the country, such as that of Azovstal in Mariupol.

Read also: Ukraine wages battle against the oligarchs

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