With President Zelensky calling for a National Day of Unity on Feb. 16, and for business leaders and politicians to demonstrate their support for Ukraine, the country’s leading investor, Donetsk-born, Rinat Akhmetov, returned to Ukraine after a visit to Europe and went to the port city of Mariupol in Ukraine’s east, close to the front-line.

The oligarch was there to launch a major $1billon investment in Metinvest’s steel facilities in the city and to support the development of the new Metinvest Polytechnic, Ukraine’s private sector technical university, which is being built in the Mariupol.

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Speaking at the press conference in Mariupol, Akhmetov reaffirmed his commitment to the city and his confidence in Ukraine.

Here is his statement:

Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to be with you today in Mariupol.
First of all, let me express my immense gratitude!
Thank you for your work!
Thank you for your responsibility!
And most importantly, thank you for the love towards your home city, its plants, and our home country!
Thank you!

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Why am I here on this day, Feb. 16?
Today, the entire world worries about us.
Today, everybody is writing that we are experiencing uneasy, dangerous, and anxious times.
I am here to share these worries and anxiety with you.
We have a COMMON GOAL – strong and successful businesses, a strong, peaceful, beautiful, and successful Mariupol, a strong, peaceful, united, beautiful, and successful Ukraine.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – happy people, happy Ukrainians.
My formula of success includes three components: to love, believe, and know.
We love Mariupol, we love Ukraine.
We believe in Mariupol, we believe in Ukraine.
I know for sure that together we will achieve a lot of success.
We will continue working, we will continue building, and we will continue investing.

This year we are going to invest $1 billion in new manufacturing capacity.

We are going to build a university.
We are going to do everything to ensure that Mariupol keeps developing and Mariupol residents have decent jobs, good salaries and a happy life.
We are just 120 km away from my home city Donetsk today. I haven’t been in my beloved home city for eight years.
I have a dream. It is to hear the Champions League anthem being played at Donbas Arena stadium.
It is to have an opportunity to speak before our fans, my fellow citizens.
I have said this many times and will say again: Donetsk, Donbas can be happy only in the united and happy Ukraine.
Thank you and be happy!

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