Arcelor-Mittal and Ukrainian Government are to Return to Constructive Dialogue

Oct 12, 2010, 15:07 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine, October 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The representatives of Arcelor-Mittal have expressed their willingness to get back to negotiations of the investment agreement with the Ukrainian government. They made this statement after the Kyiv City Commercial Court had droppedthe case upon the withdrawal of the General Prosecutor's claim.

Cristophe Cornier, Vice President and Management Board Member, Arcelor-Mittal, said "We welcome the decision to stop these proceedings. We are grateful to the Cabinet of Ministers for their consistent support throughout this process. We welcome the government's proposal for discussions on our operations and projects in Ukraine."

Speaking on this case before the French businesses last Friday, 8 October, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pledged that there would be no re-privatization of the steel mill and that the ownership rights of the largest foreign investor in the Ukrainian economy would remain intact. The President predicted that the court proceedings would be closed shortly.

Now the representatives of ArcelorMittalKryvyiRih, the Ukrainian subsidiary of the international steel group have already confirmed they are ready to restore the negotiations with the Ukrainian government. "If the State Property Fund or Ukrainian Government has any proposals or critical comments, we are always ready for an open dialogue at the negotiations table in order to find a compromise solution", Mr. RinatStarkov, the Director General of ArcelorMittalKryvyRih, told the press today.

Bearing in mind the President's position, a reciprocal step forward is also expected from the Ukrainian Government.

The case of Arcelor-Mittal came up as the Prosecutor General's office had alleged that ArcelorMittal violated terms of its 2005 purchase of the eastern Ukrainian plant by subsequently delaying investment in it without valid permission. Arcelor-Mittal said it reached a legal agreement with Ukraine's State Property Fund to put off investment commitments after declaring force majeure in the global downturn of 2008-9.

The international business community has been closely watching the developments of the case around Ukraine's largest foreign investment, considering it as an indicator of the country's overall investment climate.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine