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Ihor Liski: "State should provide clear algorithm of actions for businesses affected by war"

On 15 May, as part of the joint project of and EFI Group New Country, a discussion panel "Crime and Justice: How to Bring the Aggressor to Justice?" was held, with Igor Liski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EFI Group, as one of the speakers. In his speech, he focused on three points: a compensation mechanism for business, a new world system and aspects of justice after the war.

Ihor Liski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EFI Group
Photo: Max Trebukhov
Ihor Liski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EFI Group

"Compensation mechanisms are not about money, but about attitudes"

"As a person who faced the losses and injustice of the war a little earlier than the rest of the country - back in 2014, when we lost essentially everything in Luhansk and Donetsk, from housing to all our businesses ("Ihor Liski from Luhansk" - Ed.), I know that there is still no legal decision on any compensation for lost, destroyed, seized property.

Unfortunately, the state has not been able to formulate any accessible, understandable way for those entrepreneurs who lose something. It's good that a register of lost housing of individuals has appeared, but I'm sorry that, conditionally, I and thousands of people like me, when in 2022 two Russian missiles destroyed our company by 70%, still do not understand how to record it, where to go, what is the possible legal way of recording and compensation," the businessman said.

The state should provide an algorithm of actions that is clear to everyone, he is convinced. "Register this and that in the registry, provide that, and then there will be a class action lawsuit or some other way. We need to be sure that everything is recorded at the state level," he adds, "so that no one can say that there was no destruction when we rebuild the enterprise. 

"Now foreign venture capital funds are taking risks, investing in this legal support, hoping that later, when the losses are recovered, they may somehow compensate themselves with some profit. But this is unsystematic work. I would very much like the state, which we have entrusted to protect our Constitution, to somehow lead this process. I would like the principle of justice to be protected and led by business and entrepreneurs," says Liski. 

In his opinion, especially in times of war, it is important to feel that "the state cares about its citizens, about its businesses, about the principles we are fighting for." This is not a story about money, the businessman says, but about trust. 

"We don't want to see the state take care of bridges, schools, hospitals, clinics - buildings, in fact - and forget about its citizens. First and foremost, citizens, first and foremost, entrepreneurs, build trust in the state. 

Even if there are no physical compensations or they are the seventh or tenth step, in the form of benefits or other conditions, the principle of this decision towards those who risk building and creating something in the country is important... This attitude is very important because it shapes the attitude to one's land, to one's country, to one's passport, to one's flag. And it is very much related to justice," says Liski.

About the new world system

Today, not only European states, but the whole world, hundreds of countries, including small ones, that have a larger and more powerful neighbour, are looking at Ukraine's case, so we are fighting not only for ourselves, but also, unfortunately, for the future security architecture, says Ihor Liski. So we have to fight for the main global system to be based on the case of Ukraine.

"I am very afraid that in the near future it will be beneficial for the great powers to somehow end this war, to force Ukraine, which is quite dependent on the Western world, to agree to something that will destroy the main story, and there will be no principle of justice. 

That is why we have to work not only with big countries, not only with the US, but also with small countries, telling them that tomorrow this (like Ukraine - Ed.) can happen to you, so join us. By taking small steps - by recognising someone, by signing an agreement, by bringing them to justice for war crimes - we can unite the world around us. Because we are 100% right, perhaps for the first time in our lives there are no grey areas - there are white and black, light and darkness. In addition to the fact that we were attacked and voluntarily gave up our nuclear weapons, Russia is brutally destroying the nation through war crimes. This is a unique chance for us to get as many countries on our side as possible," Liski said. 

"I would really like every African country, every country in the Big South to know that Ukraine is a victim, to know about Bucha and other cities... Everyone should know that Ukraine is fighting on the side of light," he adds.

"At the level of the nation, we have no right to forgive the murder of our children"

In restoring justice, Ukraine should look to the experience of Israel, suggested Ihor Liski, and think about more radical approaches, "so that no one would ever want to kill Ukrainian children, throw bombs or even intimidate them in the future." "I'm afraid the world is not as perfect as we believe it to be. Perhaps goodness should come with bigger fists," says the businessman. 

In addition, at the national level, we must agree that we will not forgive the killing of our children, he emphasises.

"Under no circumstances. No Ukrainian president or minister can surrender this justice. This must be legally prescribed or enshrined in a separate law, so that no agreement in political or economic interests can override this. So that we do not forget about the main thing, and the criminals are brought to real responsibility," says Ihor Liski.

Ihor LiskiIhor Liski, chairman of the EFI Group supervisory board, a co-founder of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future
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