Week's balance: Benefits and fines for drivers of EU-tagged cars, new taxes, and blackout threat in Luhansk region
The Verkhovna Rada, under the pressure of protesting drivers of vehicles with EU registration plates cut the customs clearance fees for such cars but sharply increased fines for those who fail to legalize their vehicles in Ukraine on time. MPs also discussed tax innovations, while President Poroshenko announced that Ukraine would shortly receive the first tranche of the EU aid in the amount of EUR 500 million. Meanwhile, the start of the heating season brought the first "surprise" as coal reserves at Luhansk TPP, owned by DTEK, have exhausted.
Will masterminds behind Kateryna Handziuk's murder be found
On Sunday, November 4, Kherson city council official, activist and anti-corruption whistleblower Kateryna Handziuk, who had been doused with acid near her house four months ago, died. Despite all the assurances of high-ranking officials about their “personal control” of the case, law enforcers have not even transferred the case file to court. Should we hope for a fair investigation and voicing the names of not only the executioners of, but also the masterminds behind Keteryna's murder after her death?
Week's balance: Russian sanctions, progress in Doing Business, and gas price hike
Ukraine has risen five positions in the Doing Business ranking, Russia imposed sanctions on Ukrainian politicians and a number of companies, while Germany's Angela Merkel during her Kyiv visit promised more economic assistance and wider bilateral trade.
Week's balance: Heating season start, Putin's sanctions, and eurobonds worth $2 bln
Ukraine has attracted $2 billion, placing eurobonds with a 5- and 10-years' maturity period and a yield of 9% and 9.75%. The Russian leadership, besides shelling and shooting in Donbas, is now rattling other types of sabers – personal sanctions against Ukrainian politicians. Meanwhile, the decrease in temperature forced the authorities to greenlight the start of the heating season against the background of the gas price hike and new tariffs for heat and hot water.
Sanctions against Ukraine Putin’s losing bet
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree with a very colorful title “On the application of special economic measures in connection with the unfriendly actions of Ukraine in relation to citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation.” UNIAN figured out who could be hit by sanctions and whether the restrictions would have an impact on the Ukrainian economy.
Shaky alliance in support of Ukraine
The more time passes since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the more our international partners, demonstrating in words their support for Kyiv, are trying to flirt with Moscow. Each EU country has its own reasons. But these “personal ambitions” can play a cruel joke on them, and on us.
Week's balance: gas price hike, IMF agreement, and budget battles
The Verkhovna Rada made the first step toward adopting the Budget 2019 and considered amendments to the Tax Code, which imply an increase in a number of excises and fees. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman keeps scolding his predecessors for the accumulation of “major debts,” while he himself follows the vicious practice of living beyond means. But perhaps the most important news of the outgoing week is the increase in gas prices for the households, followed by a new agreement with the IMF.
Week's balance: IMF's negative outlook, falling oil prices, and pleasant forex news
The collapse in global stock markets pulled down oil prices, which heralds a reduction in the cost of fuel in Ukraine. At the same time, the IMF has worsened the economic outlook for Ukraine in 2019, not ruling out unemployment growth. At the same time, the hryvnia seems to have stopped its plunge.
Week's balance: Economic outlook by World Bank, delay of large-scale privatization, and 100% readiness for winter
The government reported its readiness for the heating season and approved the starting price and terms of privatization of Centrenergo, while the sale of other state assets was once again postponed to the next year; the World Bank announced its outlook for Ukrainian economic growth and reiterated its call on the country's leadership to continue implementing reforms – these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Kurt Volker: Russia has a 100% command and control of the forces... it has control of the so-called people’s republics. So, this is a 100% Russian-led operation
Special Representative of the U.S. Department of State for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker in an exclusive interview with UNIAN explained why Ukraine needed to retain the special status of Donbas, told about the progress in negotiations with Russia on the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission, and revealed why he had met with Ukraine's opposition leaders during his latest September visit.
Week's balance: Awaiting gas tariffs, fighting corruption in construction sector, and new tax evasion schemes in exports
Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on the next bailout tranche are being delayed due to disagreements over the gas price for the population; the Cabinet declared war on corruption in the construction industry; while agrarians continue to increase trade with the EU, which calls into question the allocation of financial assistance to Ukraine because of the existing tax evasion schemes.
Week's balance: Groysman's budget, Yanukovych's debt, Arab "Mriya," and hunt for Omelyan
Volodymyr Groysman's Cabinet approved the draft budget for 2019, the year to become one of the most difficult ones for the national economy, while negotiations with the IMF are underway on the price of gas for the population; the court in London forwarded the case of "Yanukovych debt" for full-fledged consideration; experts argue about the benefits of IKEA entering the country's market and the purchase by the Saudi company of a Ukrainian agricultural holding Mriya. In the meantime, the public eye was focused on the NABU detectives' hunt for infrastructure minister Volodymyr Omelyan - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Deputy Minister Hrymchak: Projectile hit at Crimean Titan "most probable" version given composition of emissions
Deputy Minister for the temporarily occupied territories, Yuriy Hrymchak, sat down with UNIAN to speak about what happened in northern Crimea's Armyansk at "Crimean Titan" plant, as well as about other more potentially dangerous enterprises located in the occupied peninsula and parts of Donbas.
Week's balance: IMF mission arrives in Kyiv, Rada restarts its work, and Fiscal Service sees top reshuffle
After a long summer vacation, legislators returned to work and adopted a number of important laws; representatives of the IMF, the country's key creditor, flew to Kyiv to negotiate a new bailout tranche; while the State Fiscal Service saw its chief being replaced – these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Autumn of chances and populism
Exactly one year ago, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy called the fall session of the parliament "autumn of reform." The current session, according to him, is the "autumn of chances." But it is unlikely that people's deputies will be able to resist populism on the eve of two election campaigns. UNIAN learned which bills would become a litmus test this political season.
Week's balance: hryvnia continues its fall, while PM Groysman awaits IMF mission
The hryvnia keeps plunging, although the National Bank is trying to slow down its rapid devaluation, while Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman once again postponed the issue of raising gas prices for the population, this time until October, and, despite the alarming signals coming from the country's economy, remains optimistic about the arrival of the IMF mission - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
The abominable life of Kremlin puppets in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions usually ends with an inglorious death, that's regardless of the "status" they managed to achieve in various ways throughout the years of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Week's balance: New debt strategy, growth of industrial output, and turbulence in forex market
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a three-year strategy for managing public debt, aimed at its active reduction; the growth of industrial output has accelerated; while the foreign exchange market is still in fever - these are the key economic news of the outgoing week.
Ukraine's air shield: Taking off to 21st century
In recent years, the Ukrainian Air Force, together with the defense industry, was actively upgrading the fleet of combat and transport planes and helicopters, as well as air defense systems. Today, Ukraine's designers and manufacturers are ready to take the next step and move to the creation of new weapons.
Hundred days of hunger strike: "Sentsov case" timeline
Ukrainian political prisoner, film director Oleh Sentsov is on the brink of life and death. He was illegally imprisoned in the Russian colony in Labytnangi and has been starving for 100 days already.