Ukraine to start auctioning confiscated Russian assets by year’s end
Photo via Rustem Umerov's Facebook

Ukraine is going to start privatising confiscated Russian assets by the end of the year, Rustem Umerov, the head of the state property fund, told Reuters in an interview.

"Russian business in some industries was a significant market player, some say that they had a huge market share," he said.

"Our goal is to take it all into state ownership, prepare it and sell it. We want these enterprises to work for the state of Ukraine, for the Ukrainian citizens."

The government has already transferred 102 assets to the state property fund, mainly real estate and cars. The fund prepares them for privatisation, including by resuming operation at plants.

"[A]t the end of the second, start of the third quarter, we will already be ready to sell these assets," Mr Umerov believes.

Seizing Russian assets has proved slow and complicated, since the process frequently faces opposition from asset owners trying to find legal loopholes to keep their assets.

"The fight goes on when the re-registration starts. When they start fighting us in courts, they register so many legal entities that we get confused," the official said.

"But we are not confused. We know and we focus on the single legal entity. If this legal entity has assets in Ukraine, we confiscate it (and the funds go) to the state's income."

The Ukrainian government in February approved the procedure for the sale of confiscated property owned by Russia and its residents, placing the state property fund at the centre.

Earlier, according to Mr Umerov, the state property fund of Ukraine already handed over the assets of fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych and Russian businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov, as well as the Demurinsky mining and processing plant linked to Russian businessman Mikhail Shelkov.