Economy Minister Darko Horvat said on Thursday he had met with Ukrainian investors interested in investing in Croatia's troubled Uljanik and 3. Maj shipyards, and added that more details about their potential involvement would be known after they visit the two docks based in the northern Adriatic cities of Pula and Rijeka.
"The first meeting and the first contact has been made. The investors from Ukraine are in Rijeka today, and they will be in Pula tomorrow. We'll have a summary (of what they saw) after they visit both shipyards, and then we'll be able to release publicly more details," Horvat told reporters.
Asked when more than 4,000 workers of the Uljanik shipbuilding group could expect their wages for September - due to be paid on October 15 - Horvat said that that was a question that should be addressed to the company's management board.
The management had said this week that it did not have the funds needed to pay salaries, after previous two salaries for July and September were paid out of a re-programmed earlier loan at the state-owned HPB bank upon government's decision.
The Novi List daily said on Thursday that Horvat had met on Wednesday with executives of Smart Holding Group, a company owned by Vadym Novynskyi, one of the richest Ukrainians. Smart Holding owns companies in metallurgy, shipbuilding, oil and gas sectors.
Ukraine's honorary consul in Croatia's second city of Split and former footballer, Ivica Piric, told Novi List that the Ukrainian company's intentions included developing the shipbuilding business at both docks, and that its executives would meet with the docks' management boards to find out more about their plans and potential cooperation.