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POSTCARD FROM GENEVA — VICTOR PINCHUK IS FIRST UKRAINE OLIGARCH TO WAVE THE WHITE, BLUE AND RED; SERGEI TARUTA IS THE SECOND

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By John Helmer, Moscow

On Sunday, September 14, Victor Pinchuk signed a declaration with a group of leading Russian and German businessmen, calling for decentralization of regional power in eastern Ukraine; self-determination and constitutional guarantees of minority rights; military non-alignment and neutrality barring Ukrainian membership of NATO or foreign military deployments, bases, advisors on Ukrainian territory, east or west; an end to sanctions; resumption of business as usual with Russia; modification of the European Union’s association agreement with Kiev by trade terms acceptable to Moscow; and Russian participation in multilateral financing for economic recovery and reconstruction of the war-damaged Donbass.

Three of the Russians signing direct state corporations, including two currently subject to sectoral sanctions; and their signing was authorized by the Kremlin: German Gref of Sberbank; Andrei Kostin of VTB; and Anatoly Chubais of Rusnano. The fourth Russian signatory was steelmaker Alexei Mordashov, who has just completed the sale of his US steelmills. The American signatories were the chief executives of Alcoa, Pepsico, and Ernst & Young (EY). The Germans were from Siemens and BASF. Pinchuk was joined by Sergei Taruta, Kiev’s appointee as governor of Donetsk; and chief executives from Horizon Capital, a fund manager in Kiev, and KM Core, a high-technology investor, also based in Kiev.

The 10-point text of their policy declaration, dubbed the Geneva Ukraine Initiative of the World Economic Forum (Davos) – “committed to improving the state of the world” — can be read in full here [1].

The official list of signatories follows [2].