The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky pointed out the problem with the drop in net profit in the Odessa sea port and the high level of smuggling.

“I understand that all the problems is difficult to solve. But I propose to solve them on the spot. This is the strategy of our team,” he said during a meeting on issues of development of seaports of Ukraine on Saturday in Odessa.

The President pointed out that in 2015 the net profit of the port of Odessa amounted to 397 million UAH, in 2016 – UAH 320 mln, in 2017 – UAH 15.7 million in 2018 – 19 million UAH. While the administrative expenditure in 2015 amounted to 26.2 million UAH, in 2016 – UAH 31,8 mln, in 2017 – UAH 69 million, and six months after 2018 – UAH 24.9 million. The salary of the Directorate has increased over this period from 14 to 192 million UAH.

In turn, the Deputy head of the Office of the President Alexey Goncharuk pointed out that the figures show negative trends in the work of the port during the last three years.

“There are figures that show that the net profit of the port fell by 16 times. There are many signals that the port activities are not always in the interests of the state. State tug boats can be rented hourly for private companies for half the price. We are very interested in the fact that a single entry to the state port is controlled by a private company,” he said.

According to him, over the past three years the port of Odessa has lost more than 15% of the traffic.

Goncharuk also stressed that another serious problem is the smuggling, the level of losses which is about $1 million a day.

Zelensky urged to find legal ways to dismiss the employees of the local customs, for which information is available about participation in smuggling schemes, and to find a replacement among honest people.