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Ukravtodor headed by former transport minister of Poland

Slawomir Nowak hired to improve the quality of the road agency.

The Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday appointed the former Minister of Transport of Poland Slawomir Nowak as acting Chairman of the State Agency of Automobile Roads of Ukraine (Ukravtodor).

"We need to raise the level Ukravtodor, and we have a fairly powerful experienced candidate for the job: the former minister of infrastructure of Poland," Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman told a Cabinet meeting as he ushered Nowak on Wednesday, 19 October.

The previous head of Ukravtodor Andriy Batishchev was dismissed in June 2016 to be temporarily replaced by Yevhen Barakh.

Novak led by the Ministry of Transport of Poland in 2011-2013, was the election campaign chief of the presidential runner Bronislaw Komorowski, and a member of Sejm.

"For decades, Ukravtodor has been a source of corruption, the object of criticism, and eventually a subject of ridicule by the public. Ukraine is entering the era of new roads, new infrastructure, which should give an impetus of economic growth to the state, and provide citizens with safety, comfort and new standards of living. It is impossible to build a new road with a rusty old roller. Ukravtodor cannot be turned into a modern dynamic European company using the post-Soviet thinking. A European leader is needed to fill Ukravtodor with European content," Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan commented on the appointment of Nowak on Facebook.

In 2013, Novak resigned amidst the scandal with expensive watches worth a few thousand dollars, which he has not mentioned in the inventory of his property. Novak then defended his honest name in court, Omelyan emphasizes.

"Former heads of Ukravtodor and its regional chapters own estates, drive luxury cars etc, but none of them is in jail, none of them has lost his post because of a scandal. The scandal in Poland ended in the resignation of Novak. In the Ukrainian realities of today, it's a fantastic story," the minister stressed.

Ukrainian Railways are headed by a Polish citizen, the former head of PKP Cargo Wojciech Balchun.