Week’s balance: Rada considering budget, creditor giving advice, and NBU waving goodbye to small coins
President of the World Bank Group Jim Jong Kim visited Ukraine and advised that the government speed up reforms, the Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading the government-offered law on the state budget for 2018, while the National Bank proposed to withdraw from circulation small coins - these are the key economic events of the outgoing week.
Road works booming: Ukraine plans to change its road map within 3 years
Ukraine's roads are among the worst ones in the world, with only Mozambique and Moldova lagging behind. However, in the coming years, the situation may change. The government plans to carry out a tremendous renovation of the country’s motorway infrastructure. UNIAN decided to find out where road construction and repair will start and what will be the cost for taxpayers.
Week’s milestones. Hustle in Rada, showing Congress, and exemplary appointment
The Verkhovna Rada took unexpected decisions and lost powers. The "Popular Front" held a party Congress that resonated strongly with the media. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying to win his struggle in absentia with the Ukrainian Migration Service. Mykhailo Zabrodsky was appointed Commander of the ATO forces.
Week’s balance: step toward big privatization, tighter control in public procurement, and slower inflation
Last week, the Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading a number of bills - on privatization, tighter monitoring of public procurement, and increasing transparency in utility tariffs – all really important for the reform of the country's economy, while the State Statistics Service reported on a slower inflation pace in October.
Head of Ukraine's Interpol, Europol Bureau Vasyl Nevolya: "We have a mechanism to turn down extradition requests"
Chief of the Ukrainian National Central Bureau of Interpol and Europol Vasyl Nevolya sat down with UNIAN to explain, why it is almost impossible to ensure through Interpol channels the extradition to Ukraine of some high-ranking officials - from Viktor Yanukovych to Oleksandr Onyschenko, why Ukraine continues to cooperate with the Russian NCB, and whether there are mechanisms to prevent to hand over to Russia participants of the Anti-Terrorist Operation with Russian citizenship.
Ukraine in global rankings: Should we expect a breakthrough
Government officials continue to declare the need to raise Ukraine’s positions in various international ratings - economic, investment, and regulatory ones - as the country seeks investment. However, there has not been any breakthrough yet – ascending to TOP-50, not to mention the TOP-20, remains in our dreams. It’s only decisive steps which could promote a transition to a new quality of life.
Week’s milestones. Echoes of shooting, political fighting in regions, and alarming backpacks
The attempt on Amina Okuyeva and Adam Osmayev expectedly resonated with the public. Several thousand backpacks for the National Guard almost became a stumbling block for the duo of parties in power. The results of the elections in the unified territorial communities were another high-profile event this week. The protest outside parliament walls did not put before the authorities any insoluble problems. Vladislav Kaskiv was returned to Ukraine against his own will.
Week’s balance: Poroshenko and Groysman's foreign tours, piled up complaints to business ombudsman, and Akhmetov blackmailing the government
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko acted as Ukraine’s promoter in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman worked to attract Canadian businesses, the business ombudsman received a record number of complaints, and DTEK's Rinat Akhmetov threatens the safe passing of the heating season - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Psychiatrist Semen Gluzman: Russians tend to believe the worst leaders they choose, unlike Ukrainians who turn to criticism right after election
On the eve of the centenary of the October Revolution, a former political prisoner and dissident, psychiatrist and human rights activist Semen Gluzman in an interview with UNIAN talked about how Russians manage at the same time to remain adherents of the Russian Empire and cherish the cult of Stalin, yearn for communism and be demonstratively pious, accept repression by government and worship its leaders.
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Netherlands: "The outcome of the referendum in the Netherlands showed that they knew little to nothing about us here, while the only things they know are of negative nature like corruption or Chornobyl"
The Ukrainian ambassador to the Netherlands, Vsevolod Chentsov, although appointed to the office just recently, is already aware, why the Netherlands did not want to (or could not) lay down the phrase about the recognition of Ukraine's European aspirations in the draft final declaration of the Ukraine-EU summit. In an interview with UNIAN, the Ambassador gave a sneak peek behind the diplomatic curtain.
Week's milestones. A bomb blast and blocked courtroom, Saakashvili in October, election polls
A bomb explosion outside the building of the Espreso TV Channel office has not only killed two persons, but also become the epicenter of many questions. The blocked courtroom in Kyiv's Svyatoshynsky court has hardly become a manifestation of any form of nationalism. President Poroshenko and PM Groysman are sure that decentralization cannot be stopped. Yulia Tymoshenko has overestimated the importance of local elections at integrated territorial communities for her positions. Mikheil Saakashvili is trying an October revolutionary's leather jacket on. Publications of latest presidential ratings have unexpectedly brought Viktor Yushchenko into the political arena.
Week's balance: Groysman the guardian, a gas transit challenge, and a 'clot' of Ukraine's economy
The president has criticized the public and journalists for highlighting only bad things in the development of Ukraine, the prime minister has called on law-enforcers to cease pressure on businesses, the finance minister is still hopeful of getting an IMF disbursement by the end of the year, while the Ukrainian railways operator Ukrzaliznytsia's management has presented an optimistic plan for reforming one of the country's most corrupt companies – these are the main economic events of the outgoing week.
Week's milestones. Real and virtual reforms, budget anticipations and crime manifestations
Early signs of the rally for "large-scale political reform" slacking off have signaled how farfetched its comparison with the Maidan was. Medical reform has been voted despite numerous fears and attempts by opponents to derail the voting process. Parliamentarians continue to resort to tactical tricks and refuse to leave their comfort zone. Boryslav Rozenblat again has an ankle monitor. The government is getting ready for a fight for the 2018 budget. Fatal incidents in Kharkiv and Kyiv have stolen the public's attention.
Week’s balance: Groysman arguing with IMF, Akhmetov stripped of Ukrtelecom, and deputies agreed to healthcare reform
The Verkhovna Rada passed a bill on health reform which will change the system of healthcare financing, the International Monetary Fund is in no hurry to decide on the allocation of the next bailout tranche for Ukraine, the court allowed to recover Gazprom’s assets to the tune of UAH 171 billion, while the government reported on its performance over the nine months of 2017 - these are the week’s main economic news.
Maksym Nefyodov: Most SOEs to be put up for sale are anything but a "gold mine". They are in a difficult condition
Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Maksym Nefyodov sat down with UNIAN to explain when exactly Ukraine should expect the arrival of big investors. He also elaborated on the new privatization legislation and the way the economy ministry is fighting fraud in public procurement.
Week’s milestones. Tymoshenko's decision, Groysman's prospects, and Kasko's somersault
The rest of the October promises to bring some real heat into the Ukrainian politics. Yulia Tymoshenko was the first among political heavyweights to announce her intention to run for president. Mikheil Saakashvili continues his game of cat and mouse with a Ukrainian passport. PM Volodymyr Groysman is pleased with the increase in pensions. Ukraine’s right-wing forces boasted their human resources over the weekend. The Prosecutor General's Office named the mastermind behind the Kyiv assassination of former Russian MP Denis Voronenkov. The latest NABU raid resulted in high-profile arrests in the defense ministry and even made one of the anti-corruption watchdogs to "change suits".
Renewable energy in Ukraine: step forward, two steps back
Ukraine has renewed its interest in "clean" energy. By year-end, it is expected that a record volume of alternative energy generating capacities will have been put into operation, that is some 500-600 MW. Even private households across the country have joined the trend by actively installing solar power stations. However, renewable energy still takes up an insignificant share in the country's overall energy balance.
Reasons why Ukrainian population shrinks
This year the population of Ukraine has already decreased by 100,000 people, while the figure may double by year-end. UNIAN has polled a number of experts on the trends and reasons for the demographic drop in Ukraine.
Week’s balance: price hikes, quiet discord with IMF, and Groysman inspecting road works
In Ukraine, prices are rising beyond forecasts, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman continues to inspect roadworks across the country, while infrastructure minister Volodymyr Omelyan complains over their insufficient funding and warns that this year’s repair plan will not be fulfilled. At the same time, anxiety is building up as Ukraine awaits news from Washington where the country’s delegation headed by Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk tries to convince the IMF to allocate another bailout tranche - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Nina Khrushcheva: In Russia, the attitude toward the authorities is obsequious – it’s "people for the government". In Ukraine, it’s more about "government for the people"
Nikita Khrushchev's great-granddaughter Nina Khrushcheva, who is Professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York, has told UNIAN of what she had gained from having family ties with the former first secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee, as well as of the way modern Russia is following the path of the Soviet government, and explained why she considers the Trump family "a malignant growth on American democracy."