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Former Polish transport minister Nowak appointed Ukravtodor acting head

Ex-Minister of Transport of Poland Slawomir Nowak has been appointed new acting head of the State Automobile Roads Agency of Ukraine (Ukravtodor). “We believe that [managing] Ukravtodor requires significant expertise, including international. Our position is that high-quality roads, highways that will connect us with Europe should be built in Ukraine, so the professional level of Ukravtodor needs to be raised,” Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said before presenting Nowak at a government meeting in Kyiv on Wednesday.

According to Nowak himself, he was in charge of transport plans and investments during Poland’s preparation for Euro 2012, before that he was member of the Polish Sejm. He named a profound reform of the Polish railways and the IPO of the PKP Cargo company, whose former chief executive Wojciech Balchun currently heads Ukrzaliznytsia, among his achievements. “Regarding my vision of reform, they should include formation of the State Road Fund and the improvement of cooperation of the EBRD and the World Bank with private capital.

We need to conduct technical audit of roads and improve technical standards very quickly. We need to urgently draft a plan for the construction and reconstruction of roads depending on the traffic,” he said. Nowak added that he wants to invite international companies to Ukraine, which together with Ukrainian business will take part in road tenders.

He also stressed the importance of internal reform of Ukravtodor. Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said Ukravtodor has been a source for corruption for decades. He also spoke about a scandal in Poland involving Nowak.

“Regarding the corruption scandal, the cause of the scandal around Slawomir Nowak in Poland was a watch worth £3,500. And he later defended his good name in court. Former executives of Ukravtodor, regional automobile road administrations, have mansions, luxury cars, etc.

None of them is in jail, none of them lost his post because of a scandal. The scandal in Poland ended with Nowak’s resignation from his positions. This story would be unthinkable in present day Ukraine.

This topic has been closed,” Omelyan said. As reported, first deputy head of Ukravtodor Yevhen Barakh was appointed as acting head of the agency in June 2016. Nowak worked as secretary of state in the Prime Minister’s Chancellery and chairman of the political cabinet of Prime Minister Donald Tusk in 2007 to 2009.

From 2009 until 2010, he was vice president of the Civic Platform parliamentary faction. From 2010 to 2014, he serves as governor of the Pomeranian region. From 2010 to 2011, he was secretary of state in the Office of the President for the contact with government and parliament.

From 2011 to 2013, Nowak was minister of transport, construction and maritime economy.

He also was member of Polish parliament of several convocations.

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