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."
Games of Democracy
While the attention of many Ukrainians remains focused on the vicissitudes of big politics in the EU, some curious things are happening in the opposite direction, in Asia. This autumn, fateful elections were expected not only in Germany and France but also in ... Kyrgyzstan.
Week’s milestones. Stratification in Rada, inter-party intrigue, and dismissal in Mykolaiv
The adoption in the first reading of the law "On the specifics of state policy for ensuring state sovereignty over temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" and the passing of the law "On the creation of the necessary situation for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" made parliamentarians work hard throughout Friday. Not only millions of pensioners, but also PM Volodymyr Groysman rejoiced over the successful vote for the pension reform. The Mykolaiv City Council rebelled against the local mayor.
Week’s balance: progress on pension reform, World Bank’s forecast, and reassurances ahead of heating season
The Verkhovna Rada adopted a long-suffering pension reform and continued to perform rather decently, having adopted a number of important laws; the World Bank announced a macroeconomic forecast for Ukraine; while the government reported on the country’s readiness for the heating season - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
EBRD's Francis Malige: For Ukraine's judiciary it's "catch and release"… That needs to stop.
Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Francis Malige in his interview with Ukrainian journalists spoke about the key obstacles to the inflow of foreign investment to Ukraine and prospects for the EBRD to finance natural gas purchases. He also assessed the ongoing privatization process and shared EBRD’s plans on investing in the capital of state-owned banks and other companies.
A bill on the reintegration of the occupied territories of Ukraine, which politicians have been discussing for over a month, remained a cat in the box for a long time but many heads have already been busted over it. copies have already been broken around it. This week, scuffles surrounding this new legislation resumed with more vigor.
Zhanna Nemtsova: "There is no such thing that every Russian wakes up in the morning and thinks: ‘Oh, it's so great that Crimea is ours’… Everyone thinks about how to get by"
Daughter of Russia's murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Deutsche Welle journalist Zhanna Nemtsova sat down with UNIAN to talk about the time she interviewed her father, explain what "Putinism" is holding on to these days, and reveal her life pursuit.
Week’s milestones. Kalynivka fire, twists and turns in Rada, and test of education
The explosions at the artillery depots in Kalynivka resulted in an unexpected political resonance. Parliamentarians in their non-plenary week are desperate to attract public attention to their personas. PM Groysman continues to promise a significant economic improvement. The new law on education came into force and now requires protection.
Week’s balance: aid to affected in arms depot blast, NBU forecasts, and preparation for winter
The Ukrainian government allocated UAH 100 million to eliminate the consequences of the explosions at the military arsenal in Vinnytsia region and responded to the onset of the first wave of autumn colds by intensifying preparations for the heating season. The National Bank improved its outlook for the growth of the Ukrainian economy. The Antimonopoly Committee, responding to a sharp increase in petrol prices, started a probe on the market of petroleum product. These are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Lithuanian MP Egidjius Vareikis: If we want peace in this region, Ukraine should be a Western-type state
The deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an acclaimed political scientist and expert on international security, a fellow at Vilnius and Kaunas universities Egidjius Vareikis has told UNIAN, how he sees a UN peacekeeping mission in Donbas, how Russia could be forced to change its objectives, and why the economic component of the so-called "Marshall Plan" for Ukraine is just not enough.
Ukraine’s Trade Envoy: Our goal is to review the terms of our free trade with the EU
Trade Representative of Ukraine Nataliya Mikolska sat down with UNIAN to elaborate on the reasons for the growth of Ukrainian exports in 2017, the launch of more free trade areas, the main export trends toward Europe, and to tell us why Ukraine wants to review the terms of its free trade with the EU.
Week’s milestones. Capricious Rada, exhorting PM, and multi-faceted Themis
Ukrainian legislators worked in line with the letter of Rada’s regulations with the perseverance worthy of a much better application. With no efficient whips available, the prime minister tried to persuade lawmakers and exhort his fellow citizens with the help of a carrot image. Mikheil Saakashvili was fined for illegal border crossing. Ex-SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko tried on a role of a victim of political repression. The Ukrainian Themis appeared in all its glory.