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Oleksiy Vadaturskyy, “Ukraine doesn’t Need Corrupt Laws to Revive River Navigation”
Nobody is properly engaged in revival of waterways of Ukraine.
Sat, Dec 2, 2017, Zderkalo Tyzhnia,
Author: Serhii Sledz
On August 20, 2007, three-deck cruise ship Dnieper Princess (125 m long) stranded in the area of the Dniprodzerzhynsk sluice gates (Dniprodzerzhynsk was renamed into Kamianske). 250 German tourists were to be evacuated from the ship. This is not an unfortunate accident, but a natural consequence of a negligent attitude to the rivers. Figures testify to that. If in 1991 there were 4,000 km of navigable waterways, then in 2016 their length was reduced to 1,500 km. That is, every year we lose about 100 km of navigable ways. If in 1991 60 million tons were transported along the waterways, then in 2015 – only 3.6 million tons. In 1991, about 2,500 passenger vessels operated in Ukraine, and about 100 of them were hydrofoils. Now there are 115 vessels and only 4 of them are operational.
This terrible statistics provides strong evidence to the fact that nobody is properly engaged in revival of waterways of Ukraine. Otherwise, how could it happen that, for example, the Desna River (from the Dnipro River to the source) 1,130 km long, which was navigable up to Novhorod-Siversk (about 537 km) by the 1960, became non-navigable; its depth has reduced from 1.5 m to 0.5 m. The Southern Buh River also disappeared from the navigable map. And the depth of the Dnipro River does not meet the state obligations. In 2009, Ukraine joined the European Agreement on the most important waterways, and it undertook to maintain the depth of the navigable route E40 which runs through the Dnipro River. So, the depth of E40 from Kherson to Kyiv should reach 3.65 m, and 2.65 m from Kyiv to the mouth of Prypiat River. In fact, the depth doesn’t exceed 3.2 m and is a direct cause of the accident with Dnieper Princess.
In response to the passivity of state officials willing to pay foreigners billion hryvnias for dredging of sea ports, NIBULON showed the journalists of Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk regions its unique self-propelled MYKOLAIVETS dredger on November 24. The presentation took place at the limiting area of the Dniprodzerzhynsk sluice gates in the Dnipro Reservoir near Kamianske, where Dnieper Princessran aground.
The high-tech MYKOLAIVETS is capable of operating at the depth of up to 15 m with a hydraulic hammer, milling cutter and bucket. Its capacity is enough to deepen Ukrainian rivers, port areas and terminals to the required depth. The equipment allows one to work with rocks of the Dnipro River and to observe the underwater work online both in the daytime and at night. This was demonstrated to journalists with the participation and support of Ukrvodshliakh SE and the developer of project on dredging the limiting areas of the Dnipro and the Kamianske Reservoirs – Ukrrichtransproekt. The cost of the demonstrated dredging complex exceeds USD 10 million.
That’s what NIBULON’s General Director Oleksiy Vadaturskyy said in an exclusive interview with DT.UA.
— Our company has demonstrated that it is not necessary to bow to foreigners, hold multibillion tenders which often provide for split up of state funds. The cost of the impossibility of adventures, similar to those with Dnieper Princess, does not exceed USD 3 million.
The Dnieper will be navigable to the capital with a depth of 3.65 m. Then ships with a displacement of 3,000 tons will transport cargo with 100% load, and not only 70% of their capacity as it happens today. The non-self-propelled vessels will be capable of transporting 3.5 thousand tons and not 2.7 thousand tons as now. Can Ukraine find such funds? Certainly. There are billions to dredge the ports of Big Odessa, while the Dnipro’s potential is unused and dangerous for international shipping.
— Oleksiy Opanasovych, why, in your opinion, this happened?
— Ukraine has no strategy to develop transport infrastructure. There is also no program developed by the Ministry of Infrastructure, discussed with the public and approved by the government. There is only a declaration on the revival of water transport arteries. At the last meeting with Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman on July 21, 2017, I frankly said that the internal waterways can be revived if the Minister of Infrastructure is not only the Minister of Odessa ports, but also becomes the Minister of the entire transport infrastructure of Ukraine and will be responsible for the state of all transport and transport infrastructure, but not only show off his knowledge of their problems. In my opinion, this is a wild situation when the Minister of Infrastructure lobbies for the draft law that provides for creation of a new River Waterways Authority, such as the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA), known for its inefficiency and corrupt activities far beyond Ukraine. In practice, it is about legitimizing the distribution of state resources between two oligarchic groups. One will get the sea, the other will get the rivers. The main function of the new administration, which is planned to be created by the draft law 2475a, will be to collect tribute from passengers, shippers, ship owners and river operators bypassing the state budget.
— In this case, you, as the general director of the company which has bet on the development of domestic rivers and invested considerable funds in this area, are forced to reveal this topic in detail.
— Yes. The world has recognized that river transport is the most effective way to transport large volumes of cargo in terms of economy and ecology; we have decided to introduce the best world experience in the interests of Ukraine. Our company built its fleet (it numbers 66 vessels) for inland waterways and 11 river transshipment terminals. It revived shipbuilding and river navigation in Ukraine, revived 134 km of navigable way. It dredged the Southern Buh River at its own expense. It constructed the unique dredger capable of performing dredging of rivers in places where rocky soils lie. It annually transports more than 2 million tons of cargoes and increases river turnover. In 2 or 3 years, we will bring the volume of cargo transportation to 4 million tons per year. I am forced to give this interview also because, although I am not spoiled by the kind words of officials, I cannot tolerate the impudent attitude of the head of the Ministry of Infrastructure to myself as the founder and head of the company of national importance, which despite officials has invested USD 1.7 billion in transport system of Ukraine and has created thousands of jobs for Ukrainians. Reproaching me in alleged freeze of the draft law “On Inland Water Transport” No. 2475a, the Minister of Infrastructure "does not notice" the alternative draft law No. 2475а-3, which was supported by about 60 people's deputies from 19 different committees of the Verkhovna Rada, by seven deputy factions and groups. I am concerned about the minister's humiliating rhetoric against my son, one of the authors of this draft law, who previously headed the trade and logistics directions in our company; now he is elected to the Parliament and exercises the powers of the people's deputy. Should a people's deputy with experience of work in a trading and logistics company be concerned with law-making, for example, in the medicine and not to take care of transport and logistics? Whereas the Minister of Transport Infrastructure supports the draft laws 2475а, 2476а, 2712 and 2713 lobbying for the interests of the ports of Big Odesa, but putting an end to the revival of rivers as internal transport arteries.
The Minister sends letters to the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada with complaints about NIBULON, which already revives shipbuilding and navigation on the country’s rivers, invests in river transport, and really changes the image of Ukraine. I have addressed him dozens of times on various problems of the river industry. None of them was solved. You should agree that if the subordinates of a minister do not accomplish the assigned tasks, both the minister and his subordinates have to be dismissed. As the head of a large diversified company, I fire such unprofessional subordinates who are predisposed to populism.
The Minister cannot solve the problem of the railway track of our shipbuilding and repair yard in Mykolaiv adjacent to Ukrzaliznytsia railway track, which leads to Mykolaiv Sea Port. It turned to be that the Minister and the head of the USPA cannot take an obvious decision regarding the private rather than the public track without consent of the Council of the Port. The track is loaded by 50 % and our need for acceptance is 2-3 cars per day. Is it funny? It is sad! After that, it becomes clear how unqualified and unaware in the management of sea ports the leadership of the Ministry and the USPA is; this issue is assigned by the Law “On the Sea Ports of Ukraine” to the USPA competence, and not to the Council of the Port. Do high officials use this selectivity only towards us? Similar issues are solved without the participation of the Council of the port in other ports. We can remember the referendum in the Netherlands on the issues of attaining an associated membership in the EU by Ukraine and envy the Dutch: after hearing the opinion of citizens, the Dutch government has found a way to solve the problem in a civilized way, according to the EU principles.
Unfortunately, evidently, due to the lack of professionalism, the Minister did not understand that the national interests require the Ministry of Infrastructure to achieve the optimal balance between all kinds and branches of transport and transport infrastructure and maintain it, as well as failed to understand the intricacies and peculiarities of the draft laws 2475а and 2475а-3.
In December 2016, I signed a loan agreement of USD 74 million with the European Investment Bank in Brussels with the intended purposes to revive transport infrastructure of the Dnipro River and to reconstruct the shipbuilding yard. We are the only company that, indeed, received loans from the EBRD and IFC. In total, NIBULON invested 1.72 billion to develop infrastructure. And when I inform banks and experts about the accusation from the minister, they are genuinely surprised.
It is important that Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman personally became interested in the problem of construction of enterprises on the Dnipro River, paid attention to the problems of cargo and passenger river transport. He visited our transshipment terminal in Bilenke village (Zaporizhzhia region) and asked us to visit our shipbuilding yard in Mykolaiv. The Prime Minister familiarized himself with the situation on the Ukrainians rivers, with the project designed by our company and with the construction progress of special vessel to crush rocks. He understands that this is a very important task for Ukraine. I felt real support from the head of the government. And we fulfilled this task. Now the decision depends on the state. Although it is very sad to state… We have received 47 permits in 5 years to perform dredging. The public hearings were held. We have dug the Southern Buh River and are technologically ready to dredge the Dnipro River. However, the permits are valid till August–September 2018. And when we, in connection with the launching of the newly-built specialized vessel to crush rocks and other soils, wanted to update them and invite ministers to present the state-of-the-art dredging equipment at the notorious Dniprodzerzhynsk sluice gates, we were banned to perform the works. Although, Ukrvodshliakh is obliged to do this without any permits. For the same reason we are bombarded with numerous demands and requests by law enforcement and controlling bodies from all sides, threats to arrest equipment and launch criminal cases. How can one not recall the Pr. Preobrazhenskyi’s expression from the novel “The Heart of a Dog”, “Give me such a certificate…”
— How could it happen that you, a man who is actively advocating the revival of Ukrainian rivers, river transport and shipbuilding, suddenly fell among the opponents of the river draft laws 2475a, 2476a, 2712 and 2713?
— The documents listed by you have nothing to do with the revival of Ukrainian rivers as transport arteries or river transport, and, moreover, with the interests of the domestic shipbuilding. They are guided by the goals that are incompatible with the national interests. Their desire to abolish any state regulation of access of ships under the flags of other states to Ukrainian rivers unites them. In fact, the authors of these draft laws – Borys Kozyr, Oleksandr Urbanskyi and others – do not intend to revive anything, and instead they will turn Ukrainian transport arteries into routes with no place for the domestic fleet. Neither river transport nor domestic shipbuilding is revived in such a way. In addition, it is proposed to allow foreign seamen to work on Ukrainian rivers instead of Ukrainian ones. Plus, it is planned to allow use of "gray" schemes for the import of ship fuel without paying an excise tax by foreigners, resulting in losses for the state budget and creation of unequal conditions for domestic ship owners.
These draft laws are beneficial only for those who plan to use a foreign flag to avoid taxation, and are not concerned with the honor and international prestige of the state flag of Ukraine. It is strange that such a legislative initiative was launched by Ukrainian people's deputies. The draft law 2476a "On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine regarding rental payment for special water use and land taxation of inland waterway transport" only partially meets the interests of river industry in part concerning the abolition of rent for the special water use which will eliminate long-term tax discrimination against domestic ship owners. This draft law will unreasonably deprive the state and local budgets of significant revenues. After all, to build new river freight or passenger terminal, the investor will have to apply not to local authorities, but to the monopolist in Kyiv – to River Waterways Authority. It is important to note that the draft laws 2475a, 2476a are of a corrupt nature; it is confirmed by the conclusion of the Verkhovna Rada Anti-Corruption Committee. The basic 2475a is only the name of the draft law "On Inland Water Transport". Putting their hands on hearts, its authors could name the law on river due. The cornerstone of the document is the due that has no analogues in any country of the world with the developed river transport. Especially in the USA and EU. Everything in this draft law is devoted to the river due collection and the transfer of multimillion revenues past the state budget. Can patriots of Ukraine adopt such draft laws?
I had to visit the Mississippi River in the United States. NIBULON’s specialists visited all the European and Belarusian rivers. We have thoroughly studied the experience, the Belarusians forbade to transport building materials along the rivers; this is done exclusively by river transport and without paying excise taxes or other charges. The organization serving the inland waterways of Belarus, an analogue of our Ukrvodshliakh, works on self-sufficiency. Hydroelectric power stations allocate funds for depth maintenance on the rivers.
In Europe, there is no excise tax on motor fuel for the river fleet. It is coloured green. In case if it is used in the automobile industry, a vehicle is immediately arrested and confiscated. In the USA, excise tax is 70 USD/ton, and we have 139 EUR/ton. That is why our river transport is uncompetitive in comparison to railway transport. It is economically unprofitable to build a fleet and develop navigation for the same reason. That is why dishonest ship owners fuel their fleet outside Ukraine, avoiding payment of excise tax to the Ukrainian budget. Why there is no passenger transportation? Because train tickets and even bus tickets are cheaper than transportation by high-speed vessels. Since the amount of excise tax in the ticket price is up to 35%.
Do not believe the Minister and the authors of these draft laws. They mislead and are guided only by their selfish interests. The authors of the draft laws 2475а, 2476а, 2712 and 2713 ignore the world experience. It is clear: in the absence of bilateral international agreements in the EU, only vessels flying the flag of a member state of the European Union may enter internal river waters, only under the American flag in the USA, only under Russian flag in Russia. The Minister and the authors of the draft laws are trying to return second-hand vessels to our rivers, which were taken out by oligarchs and lobbyists beyond the territorial waters of Ukraine. The fleet has served as long as it could and became unnecessary. Soon its operation in all civilized countries will be prohibited due to the non-compliance with environmental regulations; and now they bring this junk back. Thus, soon we will be able to see Russian flags on the Dnipro River from Khreshchatyk or Taras Hill. And they seek to import a foreign second-hand in Ukraine without paying any taxes and duties with the ability to secretly refuel outside the 12-mile zone to save on the excise tax. Do patriots do so?
We already observe discrimination: foreign vessels entering the territorial waters of Ukraine fuel in the 12-mile zone, paying the excise tax on fuel three or four times lower than in Ukraine. Removing in such conditions all restrictions for entering the rivers for foreigners, fake patriots displace the Ukrainian fleet. The shipbuilding, which starts its revival, will get no good from it.
— Please, explain the fundamental difference between the draft laws “On Water Transport” No. 2475а and 2475а-3 (which you supported)?
— First of all, I would like to emphasize that our company is against the draft law 2475a from the very beginning, when a working group was working on it at the Ministry of Infrastructure. The idea of creating due for the river industry is not a new one, but was born in the Ministry during the government of Mykola Azarov. Now it was pulled out of the drawer and submitted to the Parliament. The principal difference between the mentioned draft laws is, first of all, that 2475a-3 introduces sound state protectionism in the field of employment of able-bodied population of the country, funds for the state treasury, support of the domestic shipbuilding industry, and the corruption prevention. The draft 2475a-3 will not allow the introduction of the river due – a hidden tax on which the newly created monopoly structure will be parasitized by one or the same financial and industrial group. It solves the problem of exemption from excise tax on fuel used by the river fleet, as well as from hidden bunkering beyond the 12-mile zone. Let’s face the facts. We will not have inland waterways without this. The Dnipro River will not become the Ukrainian Mississippi. Our own shipbuilding will not be revived. At the same time, we support the abolition of the lock dues, payment for raise of drawbridges, abolition of rent for the special water use, love for Ukraine and the development of infrastructure...
We are for the draft law 2475a-3 which was developed with the help of specialists from the Netherlands. The best foreign experts have analyzed this draft law with its developers and authors. The Embassy of the Netherlands took the issue of help to revive the Dnipro River under the patronage. We have discussed all the details of the draft law 2475а-3 with the specialists from the World Bank, the EBRD, the European Investment Bank, the US military corps (that inspected our inland waterways). I am convinced that if this document is adopted, the Dnipro River will turn into the Ukrainian Mississippi.
We already have the USPA. It should be limited in the opportunities to put pressure on business, obliged to fulfill its key task – to ensure navigation on all waterways of Ukraine. Its direction and efficiency of spending port charges should be controlled. The draft law 2475а-3 implies this. The parliamentarians created it in 2013. What for do we need another one?
— How to get out of the situation and where to get funds for the rivers?
— There is a way out. Let's start with the fact that we will give an objective assessment of the level of port charges. For example, only for the passage from Mykolaiv to Ochakiv (44 nautical miles), the cost for the USPA services is about 4.85 USD/ton, and a total cost of sea transportation from Mykolaiv to Egypt (a distance of about 3,600 nautical miles) is about USD 12. According to experts from the World Bank, the economically justifiable amount of port charges in Mykolaiv should not exceed USD 1.85. The sea ports of Mykolaiv and Kherson handle up to 30 million tons of cargo per year and are the most expensive ports of the world. In order to rationally solve the problem of river navigation development, we suggest the Ministry of Infrastructure to revise the port charges for these ports in such a way that the amount of charges decreased by USD 1 per ton. In addition, the procedure for using port charges should be changed so that the USPA directed part of the charged at a rate of 1 USD/ t to develop the territories and navigable rivers. In particular, it is proposed to use 0.5 USD/ton to the local development budgets of the Kherson region and Mykolaiv region for the development of transport infrastructure of settlements (roads, overpasses, bridges, etc), and the rest 0.5 USD to invest in the maintenance and development of public river transport infrastructure (deepening of navigable ways, repair and modernization of locks, etc). Due to this, about UAH 400 million will be sent each year to repair locks, dredge the Dnipro River up to Belarus, to maintain the depth in accordance with the international obligations of the state. Be sure that both the Dnipro River and the Southern Buh River will generate cargo traffic in Kherson and in Mykolaiv at least four or five times as big as now, and will compensate the USPA for the total tax reduction. The USPA will be able to spend millions on its favourite ports of Big Odesa, and the Minister of Infrastructure will not be the minister of weighing complexes and will not blame NIBULON for alleged destruction of roads.
This is what needs to be done in order to prevent the shameful story of Dnieper Princess from happening again in Ukraine. Solving the problem with rocks in the Dnipro River is worth of less than USD 3 million. And I showed you how the state is capable of repairing locks and of performing dredging without using state funds. It already has everything required, although the Minister claims that there is no money to repair emergency locks. He frightens the people of Ukraine with an environmental disaster instead of organizing repair work. To this end, he does not need to promote the corrupt draft law; he should carefully study the difference between the project 2475a-3 and the corrupt draft law 2475a and to adopt 2475a-3, whose co-authors are represented by a large group of people’s deputies who are not indifferent to the development of the rivers. It is unlikely that someone can accuse about 60 parliamentarians from seven different factions and groups in lobbying interests of NIBULON.
— Do you know the opinion of regional authorities and business on the issue of the river draft laws?
— Mayors of Mykolaiv, Kherson, Kremenchuk, Cherkasy, Zaporizhzhia, as well as governors of Mykolaiv region, Kherson region, Zaporizhzhia region, Dnipropetrovsk region, Poltava region, Cherkasy region, Kyiv region appealed to the President, Prime Minister, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada with a request not to adopt the draft law 2475a in this version. As far as I know, the Council of Entrepreneurs under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Federation of Employers of Ukraine, Association of Shipbuilders of Ukraine, authoritative associations of agricultural producers and farmers of Ukraine also insist on this. These arepowerful organizations that really advocate the interests of industries. For example, agricultural producers from the Dnipropetrovsk region annually carry over half a million tons of cargoes to Mykolaiv or Odesa Ports. That’s terrible.
And who supports the draft law 2475а? Hermes-Trading which doesn’t own any vessel, Ukrrichflot and association Rivers of Ukraine, the core of which is Ukrrichflot, do support it.
Residents of port cities, especially of Mykolaiv and Kherson, often condemn exporters and port workers for increase in the number of trucks carrying grain during the harvesting season. Saying, what is the benefit for the community? Here comes the Minister of Infrastructure in the midst of harvesting season and begins to manage the weighing complexes and to change the direction of trucks towards ports of Big Odesa. That is a fair competition.
Together with local authorities of Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Cherkasy, and Kremenchuk we have developed and implemented a program limiting the traffic of road transport carrying grain through regional centers and other settlements. At present, we continue implementing this program; Dnipro and other settlements of Dnipropetrovsk region are next in turn. The foreign banks appreciated our rationalism and, in fact, contrary to the Ministry of Infrastructure policy, finance our activities, as they understand that we are on the right track.
— Who is behind the association Rivers of Ukraine, advocating for the adoption of 2475a as soon as possible?
— Ukrrichflot is a so-called core of this association, which belongs to the group of Hryhoryshyn-Liovochkin. Rivers of Ukraine, in fact, mainly consists of companies that have joint founders, final beneficiary owners who live anywhere, but not in Ukraine (in Russia, Switzerland, Cyprus and Bulgaria) registered at the same address and belong to one financial and industrial group, whose founder is a citizen of the Russian Federation. Therefore, it is unlikely that the position of the association can be considered as a representative one and indeed represent the river transport of Ukraine (industry) as a whole, be pro-Ukrainian and patriotic. In fact, it represents the position of one financial and industrial group, known for its involvement in corporate and tender scandals, including those related to illegal takeovers.
This is a nonsense when the Minister explains NIBULON’s position regarding the draft law 2475a on river due as the desire for monopoly, while Ukrrichflot (which seeks to establish an offshore fleet on the Ukrainian rivers) in its appeal to the Verkhovna Rada admits that it controls 46% of inland waterways transportation; that is, it confirms its monopoly by rates.
— Oleksiy Opanasovych, let’s summarize what is need to be done to quickly revive transportation along the Ukrainian rivers and the domestic shipbuilding?
— First of all I would like to remind the head of the Ministry of Infrastructure that NIBULON isn’t established and developed on the basis of privatized state property. We do not remove our fleet to offshore zones and do not boast of monopoly in cargo transportation. Despite the fact that, as a Ukrainian company, borrowing for investment projects costs us much more than our American and European counterparts, we have already invested about USD 2 billion in the transport system of Ukraine, we have started to construct the fleet, and have created about 1,000 new jobs. We will reply to the statements of the official about alleged monopoly: the Antimonopoly Committee officially publicly testified that there is no reason to consider our company a monopoly in the market of river transport. No one can blame us for preventing any companies, either reputable Ukrrichflot or Hermes-Trading, from borrowing or investing in river transport. We have designed and built the most progressive dredging equipment in Ukraine from scratch, we have restored navigation along the Southern Buh River, and we will welcome every river carrier using the revived waterways. We are glad that we have helped every river facility to be more efficient. But we are opposed to those who try to humiliate and steal the state by bunkering ships beyond the 12-mile zone without paying taxes. Therefore, the government has, instead of meeting with foreign business, when it is necessary and not necessary, to pay attention to the domestic business and national investors. It is necessary to study the best European experience and release the river fleet from the excise tax, to eliminate uneven economic conditions for the Ukrainian flag, to lobby for the restoration of domestic shipbuilding and to return Ukrainian shipbuilders to the domestic shipyards. More than 9,000 persons are next in turn to become employees of our shipbuilding and repair yard. Allowing a foreign second-hand fleet comes to our rivers, we will take the work of a Ukrainian sailor and shipbuilder, employ foreigners in Ukraine, and taxes will go to other countries.
I emphasize that we stand out and defend our position openly: in the European Business Association, in the American Chamber of Commerce, in the committees of the Verkhovna Rada. We do not hide our face, and we are not ashamed of ourselves. We ask the authorities to reveal a statist position and to introduce a reasonable protectionism for the Ukrainian economy.
Please note that despite the fact that we support the alternative draft law 2475a-3, it does not provide for any benefits to any single company, including NIBULON. Instead, it will provide all ship owners and carriers with a level playing field.
NIBULON’s example convincingly testifies: the development of river transport is not restrained by the lack of the law on inland water transport; to talk objectively, the river industry today does not need a separate law. The key issues – the payment for the passage of vessels through the navigable locks of the Dnipro Cascade, swinging open of railway bridges and use of port charges for the needs of the river infrastructure – can be effectively solved by adopting three decisions of the Cabinet of Ministry in a very short time. By the way, the Ministry of Infrastructure has not complied with clauses 27, 28 of the CMU dated 23.08.2016, No. 615-r, which approved the Plan of Measures for the Deregulation of Economic Activities for more than a year, and the Ministry is obliged to elaborate government resolutions on the abolition of fees for the passage of vessels through navigable locks and the swinging open of bridges. There is no need to adopt the law in the Parliament and to spend considerable funds on a complex parliamentary process. The laws have to be adopted where they are really needed: to exempt river transportation from the excise tax on oil and to abolish the rent for special water use. The draft law 2475а-3 focuses on these issues.
I would like the government to hear the group of people's deputies concerned with the revival of the Dnipro River, the authors of the draft law 2475a-3. To enable the Cabinet of Ministers to initiate the consideration of the draft law 2475a-3 in the Parliament and to file it as a draft law of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. I appeal to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (who visited our shipyard several times and promised to support the development of inland waterways and Ukrainian shipbuilding), in order to convince parliamentarians from the parliamentary faction whose party is named with his name, to revise their attitude to the draft law 2475a and withdraw it. A strategy for the development of Ukraine's infrastructure must be developed and approved by the government.
You should not be deceived, hoping that everything would sort itself out. We must struggle for the development of navigation and shipbuilding in Ukraine. I am sure that only when the law exempts Ukrainian fleet from a number of charges, there will be created a solid economic basis to develop shipbuilding and navigation and to revive river transport, and the Dnipro River will be turned into the Ukrainian Mississippi.