Corruption and Lawlessness in Ukraine Worse Than Instability, Say Estonian Businessmen (2)

Urmas Sõõrumaa gave the Reform Party 120,000 and the Center Party 60,000 euros in the first quarter of 2015 (Postimees/Scanpix)
2/25/2014 1:05 PM
Category: Economy

Estonians who have expanded their businesses to Ukraine say that corruption and disorder in the nation are worse for business than political instability.

“The feeling is that the tax men act like they did 300 years ago. If the holidays are around the corner, then the state's pockets are empty and they come and ask,” Urmas Sõõrumaa, who is the owner of USS Security, which employs 2,000 people in Ukraine, ETV reported on Friday.

Hillar Teder, Estonia's second richest person, said European principles do not apply in Ukraine, and local officials say they have their own principles, adding “We are planning our projects for a hundred years and it is likely we will see ten more governments.”

Sõõrumaa said the current crisis has had a positive affect on his business, as foreign companies are stepping up security, and his company has helped to evacuate business leaders.

The economic officer at the Estonian embassy in Kiev, Roman Vinartšuk, said Ukraine has been a popular place for direct investments from Estonia, with 275 million euros moving south last year, making it the fourth largest destination.

He said that small and medium size businesses are closing their operations in the nation, including banks and construction companies.


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