Candidates in search of allies ahead of upcoming elections in Ukraine
Disastrously low ratings of all key players who will next year try to compete both for presidency and parliament seats are forcing them to feverishly seek allies and merge. But it remains unclear whether any of them will manage to find common ground and come up with a "single candidate".
Week's milestones. Zealous testimonies, new format for Donbas, and irrepressible Moskal
The anniversary of the Maidan deadly shootings became another occasion to recall the impunity of murderers. Presidential testimony in the Yanukovych treason case was accompanied by excessive zeal by law enforcers. Law "On special aspects of state policy to ensure state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk regions" came into force. Polls of presidential candidates by "Rating" pleased Yulia Tymoshenko. Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy promised to enhance parliament's performance. Gennady Moskal did not choose words too carefully.
Week's balance: American locomotives to get on Ukrainian tracks, IMF demanding anti-corruption court, inspections of Ukrainian businesses returning
Ukraine plans to purchase several hundred American diesel locomotives over the next decade, the IMF insists that the country create an Anti-Corruption Court and implement reform of the energy sector, while the government unexpectedly lifted the moratorium on business inspections, and the NBU reported on disappointing performance by banks in 2017 - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Operation "Crimea is Ours"
The Yanukovych trial was anticipated for these four long years only because everyone wished to hear the truth about how the Russian annexation of Crimea had actually taken place since high-ranking witnesses are likely to voice facts under oath rather than some speculations.
Ukraine and IMF: Critical point
Without external financial support, Ukraine will in the coming years not be able to pay back its debts. UNIAN clears up why the country's key creditor, the International Monetary Fund, insists on raising gas prices and creating an independent anti-corruption court in order to continue providing assistance to Kyiv.
Week's milestones. Forced departure, counterattack in court, and anti-corruption turbulence in Odesa
Mikheil Saakashvili's experience shows that the readmission deal between Ukraine and EU is fully functioning. NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov battled in court a rather confident group of Viktor Yanukovych lawyers in a high-profile treason case against the former president. The situation in Donbas remains complicated. Odesa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov is safely back in office despite an ongoing investigation of his alleged complicity in embezzlement.
Week's balance: IMF mission's visit, government report, Ryanair's second coming
The IMF technical mission visited Kyiv, the Cabinet of Ministers reported on its performance in 2017, while the European discounter Ryanair announced its intention to undertake a second attempt to enter the Ukraine market - these are the key economic news of the past week.
Same-sex marriage in Ukraine: accept or deny?
When on Valentine's Day the Minister of Justice personally greets Ukrainian newlyweds who decided to bond on this romantic occasion, perhaps it will also be great to recall that there are also many same-sex couples in Ukraine who, unfortunately, are deprived of the right to create a formal family.
No investment boost for Ukraine despite interest
The investments so necessary for the stable growth of the Ukrainian economy leave much to be desired. Investors are in no hurry to enter the Ukrainian market, and it’s not so much because of the situation in the east of the country, but because of corruption, poor business climate, and a slowdown in reform. Experts are convinced that if nothing changes in the near future, no investment growth is to be expected.
Week’s milestones. Ball in Austria, breakfast in U.S., and initiatives in Ukraine
Petro Poroshenko’s participation in the Vienna Ball sparked a harsh reaction in social networks. The overseas trip of dozens of parliamentarians to take part at a prayer breakfast in Washington complicated the operations of the Verkhovna Rada. PM Groysman tried on himself a toga of a constitutionalist. Mikheil Saakashvili lost the appeal for a refugee status. Ex-MP Oleksandr Shepelev returned to Ukraine rather unexpectedly. A number of politicians came up with a number of initiatives in the context of the presidential campaign. NABU Director Artem Sytnyk called his agency ineffective without an Anti-Corruption Court.
Week’s balance: IMF is back, Naftogaz announces gas purchase from Gazprom, hryvnia growing
IMF’s technical mission is expected to arrive in Kyiv on Feb 12, Naftogaz reported it would soon start purchasing gas from Gazprom, the Verkhovna Rada resumed its work after the New Year holidays, adopting a number of important laws, while the hryvnia rate pleased with the latest strengthening - these are the main economic developments of the outgoing week.
Week’s milestones. Groysman’s spring, renaming by Lutsenko, and Saakashvili return
Ukraine’s prime minister promised "a spring of reform", while his Cabinet laid off fiscal chief Roman Nasirov. The prosecutor general while in Brussels spoke about anti-corruption efforts and while in Kyiv – about the reasons to rename "Boyko’s drilling rigs". The NSDC secretary announced the creation of cyber warfare units and successful tests of Ukrainian-made cruise missiles. The newly-created "National Squads" caused quite a stir in social media. Mikheil Saakashvili, whom the court earlier put on a curfew, resumed mass rallies of his supporters.
Week’s balance: Cabinet sacks Nasirov, raises UAH 2.5 bln on 4G license sales, while Ukraine’s balance of payments retains surplus
Following a long saga of scandals, the government finally fired head of the Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov. Mobile operators paid UAH 2.5 billion for 4G licenses. The inflow of foreign currency to Ukraine exceeded the outflow. That’s what made the main news this week.
Head of the British Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce Bate Toms: Ukraine already has the largest IT outsourcing sector in Europe and third largest in the world, Ukraine is going to beat the Indians the way you are going.
In an interview with UNIAN, Chairman of the British Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, Bate Toms, spoke about the factors, besides general corruption, scaring off investors, and on how the problem could be tackled. He also named the areas of Ukrainian economy most attractive to foreign investment and talked about the aspects Ukraine should focus on when cooperating with Britain following Brexit.
Yuriy Lutsenko: I don’t support the "jail three of your friends" formula. I think it’s better to choose friends more carefully not to face the need to jail them
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine told UNIAN whether the PGO would be opening cases against Russian deputies and judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, whose actions led to the annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s subsequent aggression against Ukraine. He also spoke about the developments in the cases of Yanukovych allies Kurchenko, Klymenko and Stavytsky, and whether the prosecutors withdrew tax evasion claims to Finance Minister Danyliuk.
Pressure of sanctions: what awaits gang of "swindlers and thieves"
Sanctions against Russia are not the first and definitely not the last case when restrictive measures are applied in world history. And as the Kremlin is flaunting its alleged global influence, the sanctions simply do their job.
Week’s milestones. Significant anniversaries, revival of Central Election Commission, and updates from political parties
Ukraine marked the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of independence and the 99th anniversary of the Unification Act. Popular ratings don’t let any contestants in the upcoming presidential race relax. The president suggested that the composition of the Central Election Commission be renewed, forcing Yulia Tymoshenko to cut her winter vacation. The Yanukovych treason trial continues. Reshuffles stroke several parties at a time.
Week’s balance: Poroshenko vows reform to IMF and investors, NBU ups outlook for economy growth and fights inflation
Last week, President Petro Poroshenko led a delegation of Ukrainian officials to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he persuaded IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and potential investors in the country’s readiness to continue reforms and fulfill conditions for receiving another tranche of the loan, the National Bank improved its outlook for economic growth for 2018, at the same time pumping up its key rate aiming to tackle inflation, while Naftogaz in an attempt to push the government to accelerate the gas market reform, requested a UAH 110 bln compensation from the budget.
Week’s milestones. Change of approaches in Donbas, growth forecasts by Groysman, and "schemes" for President
The Verkhovna Rada this week adopted a law "On the special aspects of state policy to ensure state sovereignty over the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions." The prime minister believes that the average salary in 2018 will grow to UAH 10,000. The Prosecutor General reported to the Rada national security and defense committee on the Yanukovych assets seizure. Investigation journalists from Schemes TV show reported on the overseas vacation of the Ukrainian president.
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.