New Year's wish to Ukrainian banks: get off your knees and lend
In 2017, the National Bank of Ukraine was beheaded and waved goodbye to a dozen financial institutions, while the hryvnia stepped on the same rake again. But all this did not halt the country’s movement along the path of liberalization of the financial market and overall banking revival.
Infrastructural renaissance in Ukraine: in the sky, on land and water
Large-scale road construction, record results by ports and airports, and the emergence of discount air carriers – these are the main success stories in the transportation industry in 2017, which cannot be overshadowed even by that Ryanair row and corruption corroding Ukrzaliznytsia [Ukrainian Railways]. Although resolving these issues, as well as setting new records in the sky, on land and water will be the main challenges for the Ukrainian government this year.
Year of gas "wins" and energy "fails"
Many Ukrainians will remember 2017 by another attempt of the country’s authorities to raise gas tariffs, adding a monthly fee to its cost, as well as by a rise in gasoline prices. But among all these mishaps, there were some undoubted victories such as Ukraine’s own gas extraction boost and Naftogaz’s historic victory in the Stockholm Arbitration over Gazprom, the Kremlin’s major blackmail tool.
Ukraine's economy-2018: faster growth amid higher inflation
In 2018, the Ukrainian economy will see growth for the third consecutive year after the fall in 2014-2015. A number of leading experts polled by UNIAN say they expect that positive dynamics will be achieved in all major macroeconomic indicators, while the key factors in accelerating growth will be strengthening of the fight against corruption and attracting investment. Here is a macroeconomic consensus forecast for 2018.
Year's milestones 2017. Multi-faceted Donbas, dialectics of power and opposition, and "autumn of reform" in Rada
The situation in Donbas was the most determining factor of Ukraine’s life in 2017. The blockade of transport communication with the occupied parts of eastern Ukraine and the increase in the minimum wage became the main economic events. The confrontation between the government and the opposition last year largely remained within a civilized field, although Mikheil Saakashvili introduced new nuances into the political struggle. Losses-2017 have become a good illustration for overall situation in the country. "Autumn of reform" in the Verkhovna Rada was one of the year’s pleasant surprises. The anti-corruption component of social and political life turned out to be fairly hypertrophied. The Prosecutor General's Office charged Viktor Yanukovych with high treason and confiscated more than UAH 50 billion from his team. The state boosted its efforts to win minds of its citizens.
Year’s balance: thorny road to bright economic future
In the outgoing year, the economic situation in Ukraine continued to improve. And although the growth rates corresponded to the "swiftness" of reforms and remained modest last year, the government managed to maintain macro-financial stability and conquer some important foreign economic bridgeheads, which allows Ukraine counting on acceleration next year.
National Police Chief: Number of mob bosses in Ukraine has increased many-fold... Russia’s FSB is often behind this
Head of the National Police of Ukraine Serhiy Knyazev in an interview with UNIAN told why protesters managed to erect tents on Hrushevskogo Street but failed to occupy the Zhovtnevy Palace, why current times should not be compared to 1990s, and whether Ukrainians should beware of a higher crime rate in 2018.
Year of agrarian contrasts
Ukraine’s agrarian sector saw plenty of contrasts this year. Despite a good harvest of cereals, an export boost, and revival of livestock farming, unpredictable tax policy, imperfect mechanism of state support, and reduction of profitability of crop production remain a significant problem.
Economy in 2017: TOP 10 game changers
The year of 2017 was filled with surprises and unrest in the global economy. It will be remembered for the escalation of many threats that we can encounter in 2018. This is the first year in office of a status-quo breaker Donald Trump, the year of an active phase of Brexit negotiations as EU remains full of contradictions and unresolved issues, the year of rising prices for oil and raw materials, and the year of striking innovation breakthroughs and stunning human greed that has affected the inflation of a crypto-currency bubble. In the era of globalization, large-scale events, one way or another, affect all corners of the planet. Ukraine was not an exception and will not be an exception in the future. UNIAN recalled the key moments of the outgoing year in global economic life and made an attempt to take a sneak peek into 2018.
The fact that 74 Ukrainians will celebrate the New Year in their family circle, not in the dungeons of "DPR" and "LPR" militants, can perhaps be considered one of the main positive news of this whole year. At the same time, it is very unfortunate that an "all for all" exchange is not yet on the agenda.
Emine Dzhaparova: Our main success story in Crimea is Chonhar tower broadcasting 4 radio stations and 5 TV channels across occupied territory
First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova sat down with UNIAN, speaking of how the information space is being redrawn in Crimea for the sake of Russian propaganda, why the occupation forces accuse Crimean Tatars of extremism and terrorism, and what the horrors of the "Russian world" have to do with the repressions carried out by its adepts.
Week’s milestones. Russian spy in PM team, pacified Saakashvili, and deferred reintegration
Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman summed up the government’s work this year against the backdrop of an espionage scandal. The Verkhovna Rada showed no rush with considering the Donbas reintegration bill amid the latest escalation on the ground. Ex-Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili slowed down the pace of his current political efforts in Ukraine. New public opinion polls put Yulia Tymoshenko on the top of presidential rating lists.
Week’s balance: easing for businesses, hryvnia drop, and slap in Gazprom’s face in Stockholm
The government canceled more than 300 regulatory acts to facilitate doing business, while the prime minister called on representatives of fiscal bodies who disagree with such a "philosophy" to resign; the National Bank tames the hryvnia with market methods; and the Stockholm Arbitration has announced its final decision on the mutual claims of Naftogaz and Gazprom regarding the contract for the purchase of gas in favor of the Ukrainian side - these are this week’s main economic news.
Conflict over unbundling
Ukraine should in the near future resolve the issue of setting up a consortium for managing its gas transmission system; otherwise, its pipelines will turn into scrap by 2020. The action plan has long been developed but the conflict between the government and Naftohaz hinders its implementation. Experts warn that if they do not stop pulling a blanket, it is Russia who will win.
Flood in Zakarpattia: when currents change flow
This winter, Ukraine’s western Zakarpattia region was hit by a natural disaster, non-typical for this season. The flood saw water level in some rivers exceeding the historical maximum of 2001, while one river’s current even changed the direction of its flow… While rescuers pumped water from flooded households and evacuated villagers, some local men formed into groups to protect dams from terrorist attacks.
Week’s milestones. Saakashvili’s metamorphoses, Tymoshenko's record, and Samopomich’s drift
Mikheil Saakashvili went a path from a "war prisoner" in a courtroom to the one who led the crowd storming the Zhovtnevy Palace concert hall. Yulia Tymoshenko set a record, which she can hardly be proud of. Petro Poroshenko has launched the new Supreme Court. Volodymyr Groysman has sharply reduced his public presence after the Rada adopted the 2018 Budget. "Samopomich" party seems to be getting engaged in a presidential race.
Week’s balance: hope for cheaper air tickets, unrestrained inflation and hryvnia drop
The Ministry of Infrastructure said a national low-cost air carrier would launch operations soon, the European Union postponed its next EUR 600 million tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, the National Bank warned that the inflation rate by year-end and in 2018 may turn out to be higher than expected, while the hryvnia once again feels tipsy - these are the week’s main economic news.
Week’s milestones: Saakashvili detained, anti-graft bodies attacked, Vakarchuk speaks out
The dynamics of political developments last week overshadowed the adoption of the State Budget for 2108. Mikheil Saakashvili was acting weird, constantly surprising the public and attracted general attention. Yuriy Lutsenko tried to prove financial participation of Ukraine’s fugitive tycoon Serhiy Kurchenko in Saakashvili's political activity. The attack by the leaders of coalition factions on NABU has choked but MP Yehor Sobolev was dismissed from the post of head of Rada’s anti-corruption committee. Ukraine’s rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk reminded of himself in a pre-election format.
Week’s balance: budget and new taxes adopted, ProZorro under attack, land sale moratorium extended
For the first time in several years, the Rada managed to pass the state bidget for the next year well ahead of the New Year’s holidays. At the same time, the deputies traditionally made serious changes in the tax legislation, while their attempt to cancel the achievements in the sphere of public procurement and postponement of land reform sparked public outrage - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Transcripts and audio obtained through wiretapping, made public on December 5 in the Verkhovna Rada session hall by Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, delivered a hard blow not so much to their very target, Mikheil Saakashvili, but his associates and allies who have long been struggling against corruption and constant delays in required reforms. UNIAN asked some of them, how they reacted to the latest developments.