Ukrainian prosecutors drop lawsuit against ArcelorMittal

Ukrainian prosecutors drop lawsuit against ArcelorMittal

"The prosecutor has withdrawin the complaint and the case has been closed," the company's Ukrainian spokeswoman Anna Goncharyuk told AFP.

The world's biggest steel producer purchased Kryvorizhstal mill in 2005 for USD 4.8 billion (3.5 billion euros), promising an investment plan.

But it postponed the investment in 2009 due to the financial crisis. ArcelorMittal agreed on the postponement with the State Property Fund, which oversees privatisations in the country, but the government of Viktor Yanukovych, who became president in Feburary, questioned the legality of the agreement and launched a case against the company in July.

The legal spat could have led to annulment of the Krivorizhstal purchase, the company had said. "We salute the decision to stop investigation of this case," said Goncharyuk.

President Viktor Yanukovych said in Paris last week there was no danger of reprivatizing ArcelorMittal's mill or of breaking off the agreement with the company.

Before the mill, named after its location in eastern Ukraine town Kryviy Rih, was purchased by the steelmaker, it belonged to a wealthy ally of Yanukovych who bought it with a partner in 2004 for USD 600 million.

The 2004 purchase was later declared fraudulent and invalid by the pro-western leaders that came to power in 2005.

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