Week’s balance: president selects candidate for top NBU post, Naftogaz says ready to buy gas from Gazprom, and privatization without Russian bidders
Naftogaz confirmed the intention to resume gas imports from Russia, the president finally found a replacement for Valeriya Gontareva at the post of the country's chief banker, the parliament passed a law on privatization barring Russians from purchasing Ukrainian state property, while the IMF criticized pension reform - these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Ukraine's key to NATO
When Ukrainian officials talk about possibilities for the country to join NATO, they mostly face criticism toward such an initiative. And this criticism is not unfounded as Ukraine has long lost its Membership Action Plan (MAP). However, Kyiv does have a key to NATO. It’s just that this key should be applied properly.
Reintegration for the sake of it
The further the discussions on the bill on the reintegration of Donbas go, the less understanding why it was at all necessary to submit the draft for the second reading in its current "finalized" form, especially if we take into account what risks it carries.
Week’s milestones. Breakthrough of National Police, Groysman’s economy, and elements of influence
The national police said they apprehended the suspect in the murder of lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska. Petro Poroshenko met with Ukraine’s delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk. PM Volodymyr Groysman focused on the economy. Mikheil Saakashvili is changing tactics. Ukraine is attacked by “exposing” fake news.
New Year's hryvnia fever
The Ukrainian hryvnia continues to plunge, approaching the historical minimum of UAH 30 to the U.S. dollar. The National Bank considers this New Year's turbulence a seasonal symptom, with which experts agree, predicting the strengthening of the national currency. And the only question is how soon this will happen.
Week’s balance: inflation and petrol prices rising, hryvnia dropping, teachers receiving gift from Cabinet
The State Statistics Service reported on a higher inflation rate in 2017, the hryvnia continued its descending path, while the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel jumped against the background of rising global oil prices, and the government at its first meeting this year announced an increase in teachers' salaries - these are the main economic news of the year’s second week.
Compensation for looting. How the state allows Akhmetov to profit twice on Ukrtelecom
As early as in the first quarter of 2018, Ukrtelecom may be re-privatized. However, it will be a Pyrrhic victory for the country as the government will have to pay a huge compensation to the current owner of fixed-line communication monopoly, Rinat Akhmetov. At the same time, the company will return to the state ownership as a robbed bankrupt: today we are seeing a full-blown sale ongoing of the company’s valuable assets.
Ukrainian energy industry: thorny road of reform
Ukraine in 2017 was learning to live without Donbas anthracite, continued construction within the Chornobyl disaster zone, engaged on renewables, and also argued about the impact of the "Rotterdam +" pricing formula on the cost of electricity. In 2018, we should expect some new series in a thriller starring Ukraine’s energy sector and a fierce struggle around the creation of a new electricity market.
Week’s milestones. Resonant murder, Themis’s stepson, and Orthodox trends
The murder of a Ukrainian lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska sparked public outrage. Mikheil Saakashvili resembles a stepson of Themis, which seriously limits the boundaries of his political activity. The behavior of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Zaporizhia once again restarted the process of forming a separate Ukrainian Orthodox church. The government decision to impose a lower speed limit in populated areas has become a real test for the perception of transformations by Ukrainian society.
Week’s balance: economy on the rise, energy industry setting records, ports finding investors
The Ukrainian President assured that the worst days for the Ukrainian economy are already behind, the world’s major port operator, UAE-based DP World, has entered the Ukrainian market, while the oil and gas sector boasted their record results - these are the main economic news of the first week of 2018.
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.