Archive for May 13th, 2017

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Ukraine takes another (preparatory) step toward NOIS

May 13, 2017

Almost 2 years ago an entry appeared relating to the fairly high priority the US had relating to intellectual property rights and its place on the Ukrainian legislative agenda.

As stated at the time following a conversation with a senior US diplomat – “Certainly a matter that is not confidential nor sensitive that is a constant for the US, via its embassy in Kyiv, has been trying to quietly force up the Ukrainian legislative agenda over recent years, has been the issue of intellectual property rights/protection.

Needless to say the Yanukovych regime had very little interest in such matters, and the post EuroMaidan government has been slightly preoccupied with what it considered somewhat more pressing issues.  To be fair to the US, it too had issues it thought more pressing here as well.

However, the issue of intellectual property rights/protection is a significant issue – both for trade and business with the EU and the US – indeed the “western world”.

That same US diplomat will soon complete the Ukrainian tour of duty and head to Pakistan to begin a new posting.   The issue of intellectual property rights has remained high upon the US diplomatic agenda.

Timed no doubt coincidentally, but no doubt something of a welcome leaving gift, the Cabinet of Ministers has issued Decree 320 that transfers the functions of the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine over to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT).

MEDT is in the process of creating a single authority to deal with all matters of intellectual property rights to be called the National Intellectual Property Service (NOIS), the launch of which will occur upon a legislative intellectual property rights overhaul during the remainder of 2017.  It will be responsible for government policy implementation as well as being the single window patent intellectual property rights certification body within MEDT.

Prima facie this move appears to be a case of being seen to be doing something, when actually doing nothing (a regular political occurrence the world over), however it is actually a preparatory move toward implementing something that has to be done – and done successfully if Ukraine is to see external private investment arrive in a meaningful way.

Sadly it may well be that from Pakistan rather than from within Ukraine, that the US diplomat that has worked tirelessly in poking, prompting and pushing those in Kyiv to push the matter up the political agenda and along the legislative and structural path will see some real results from such endeavour.

Clearly even when structures, process and legislation are in place, the question of enforcement and equal application of the law remains to be tested.   Nevertheless a positive step on the slow plod onward.

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Even angels meet their maker – eventually

May 13, 2017

Recently several entries have appeared relating to Odessa’s Don of Dons Alexander (Angel) Angert – the most recent dealing with his ill health and the ramifications be they political for Mayor Trukhanov, regarding Angel’s sprawling business empire, and of course the reverberations within organised criminality.

Assets such as Privoz market, Odessagaz, Sintez Oil legacies, ROST/Growth and many, many more both known and unknown , will now have an uncertain future – although the above link names a few sharks that may snap at those assets when/if the opportunity arrives.

Naturally the the smooth running of the smuggling (from arms to counterfeit and contraband) may also see a battle for control for the sway he holds over the ports.

Persistent rumour over the past 24 hours proclaims that Mr Angert has died (apparently of cancer) – and if true, brings into sharper focus the above link.  That he has been unwell has been known for some time as the above link makes clear.

A potted history of Mr Angert – Aleksander Anatolevich Angert, born in 1955.  In 1979 he was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment – of which he served 10, being released in 1990.  Upon release he cooperated with the leading criminal lights of Odessa as the Soviet Union fell apart – Viktor and Valery Kulivar and “Karabas” Tomal perhaps the most notorious.  When “Karabas” died, Mr Angert became a significant player leading to a bloody war with “Kingpins” Sergeem Ershov (Katsap) and Georgi Stoyanov in particular.  The violence and significant bloodletting between the Katsapovski and Angelovski ending when “Katsap” surrendered, apparently due at least in part to Mrs Ershov losing her leg during the on-going brutality – or so the legend goes.

Business relationships with Alexander Zhukov (father of Daria Abramovych, Roman Abramovych’s current wife), Russian mobster and politician Alexander Lebed, arms dealer Leonid Minim, and current Mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov were formed – that list of aforementioned names being by no means exhausted when it comes to “household names” associated with serious criminality.

Suffice to say Mr Angert’s influence spanned organised criminality, business and politics, as an entry relating to the Mayoral elections of 2015 in Odessa explained.

By 2015, Mr Angert had long since moved to London (as has Alexander Zhukov.  Mr Minin is currently in Rome, or was living there as of summer 2016).  Indeed Mr Angert was the most reclusive public personality in the contemporary history of Odessa.  Rarely if ever was he seen publicly (with the exception of a very unusual and particularly public spat with former Mayor Gurvitz on local TV in 2009).

The blog does not make a habit of writing obituaries, and despite the persistent rumours of Mr Angert’s death over the past 24 hours, the blog has been unable to confirm that passing with somebody who would unquestionably know.  The local political class seem sure of Mr Angert’s death.  The underworld however, depending upon who is speaking, also offer up a less likely suggestion that Mr Angert lives and that the rumour is intended to act as a metaphorical barium meal being served to organised crime to highlight the disloyal.

It will probably be 48 hours until the blog knows for certain one way or another.

However, every angel has to meet their maker sooner or later – and it seems more than a possibility than Angel Angert has just done so.

The ramifications of the passing of (until very recently) a living legend throughout the city given his notable influence across politics, business, and organised crime will be significant, even if for the most part kept from the public eye (any bloody succession war notwithstanding).

With such a strength of rumour and with such ramifications if/when proven true, a blog called OdessaTalk could hardly fail to make an appropriate note – even if the obituary (of sorts) ultimately proves to be a little premature .

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