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Sevastopol wants to transfer Ukrainian president's assets to Black Sea Fleet

The head of the Strategic Development Agency in Sevastopol, a former Ukrainian territory that has become a part of Russia, has proposed transferring assets owned by Ukrainian billionaire and President Petro Poroshenko to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Alexei Chaly who headed Sevastopol at the time of the city's reunification with Russia said that dry docks of the Sevastopol Sea Factory should be transferred to the Russian Black Sea Fleet's ship-repair yard, which accounted for 95% of all ship repair orders fulfilled in the city.

"Considering that the enterprise has no dry docks, its capacity to really fulfill the payable defense order is limited," Chaly said at a meeting with city administration officials.

"And so many orders that could be fulfilled in Sevastopol move to other places," Chaly said, adding that the sole solution to this problem would be for the Sevastopol administration to acquire the rights to the dry docks "by one way or another" and transfer them to the enterprise "to ensure comprehensive repairs of all of the Black Sea Fleet's ships locally and not in Severodvinsk (northern Russia)."

"The situation is quite uneasy considering that the Sevastopol Sea Factory is owned by the president of the Ukrainian republic," Chaly said.

The Sevastopol authorities have already sent several letters to Poroshenko. They are currently checking the legitimacy of the Sevastopol Sea Factory privatization with special attention paid to the rights of ownership to berths and hydraulic engineering installations.

Deputy head of the Russian parliament's lower house committee for industry Pavel Dorokhin said in April after Sevastopol's accession to Russia that Poroshenko had agreed to sell his shares. A source in the factory's management said at the time that 25% of shares could be sold.

The Sevastopol Sea Factory, which was founded in 1783, has three dry docks. The factory was placed under control of Poroshenko-owned Ukrprominvest in 2010. The factory sold output worth $5.3 million in 2013.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals on March 18.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia's economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems is actively underway now that Crimea has become a part of Russia.

[Source: Itar Tass, Sevastopol, 10Jul14]

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