Zelenskyi states he won't give Motor Sich shares to China
President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated he doesn't see China as a major geopolitical threat, a country that could provoke controversy with the Joe Biden administration and Congress.
He stated this in an interview with Axios on HBO.
"It's actually a kind of cold war between China and the United States. We know that US business is represented in Ukraine, but at the same time, it's true that Chinese business is also represented. I believe that regardless of the nation, nationality, if people, business, a certain country treat you, your people and borders with respect, they can be present in your country," Zelenskyi said.
When asked whether China was the biggest geopolitical threat, Zelenskyi said: "I can't agree with that, because we don't feel it in Ukraine."
However, Zelenskyi stressed he wouldn't allow China or any other country to acquire a controlling stake in Motor Sich.
The meeting of Motor Sich shareholders was supposed to take place on January 31, but it was interrupted, and the State Security Service had to break down the door to get to the company.
In April 2018, the Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv seized 56% of Motor Sich shares owned by foreign investors. Until the end of the pre-trial investigation, the court prohibited any actions with the seized assets that could lead to a change of ownership. The shares are still under arrest.
In 2019, the company's former shareholder Viacheslav Bohuslaiev confirmed to Ukrinform that he had sold the company to a Chinese company. According to the entrepreneur, the Chinese pledged to invest $250 million in the company within two years.
The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has repeatedly rejected the application of Chinese investors to purchase Motor Sich. Skyrizon tried to obtain such a permit together with the DCH, Ukrainian entrepreneur Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi's company. After the AMCU rejected another application in November 2020, the Chinese company stated that it intended to sue Ukraine for $3.5 billion for lost investments in Motor Sich.
The United States opposed the sale of Motor Sich to Chinese investors. During a visit to Ukraine in 2019, then-US National Security Adviser John Bolton said he would try to convince the Ukrainian authorities that cooperation with China was dangerous.
In early August 2020, the DCH Group announced the beginning of a partnership with Chinese investors representing Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited. However, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine didn't allow DCH, owned by Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi, to buy shares in the Zaporizhzhia plant.