Week’s milestones. Final e-declaration, Cabinet’s all-in, and deadline for prosecutor general
The process of filing e-declarations for those whose wealth is most interesting for millions of Ukrainians has completed without any stunning revelations. The Government intends to double the minimum wage starting January 1, 2017. The prosecutor general has less time left to efficiently and effectively prosecute fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.
Catharsis of electronic declaration of assets which hundreds of high-profile targets of public interest tried to delay until the last moment finally took place right on the eve of Halloween. Unprecedented transparency of data on assets and wealth of the Ukrainian officials gave rise to the desire to amend legislation in terms of the openness of e-declarations and also showed the IQ level of certain declarants. One of them "joked" about a "trillion hryvnias in cash" (as known, no such stash of cash hryvnia physically exists), another creative official said his luxury watches was a "present from St. Nicholas". It looks like moaning about the horrors of e-declaration make stronger the instincts of self-preservation of legislators and ministers, although cash savings and real estate of some "clean politics" correlate poorly with the fact that they’ve mostly been in opposition and the lack of evidence of any business activity in their CVs.
Petro Poroshenko proved consistent in his support of e-declaration process, though he made public his own e-declaration only late Sunday, October 30. There is plenty of property reported by the Head of State, as well as financial assets, however Poroshenko stressed he had got it all before his presidency and kept the money in financial institutions. Poroshenko also said he donated some UAH 400 million to the army, which looks an absolute record among those in power. Unfortunately, not all politicians were able to adequately assess the need for truthful reporting of assets, but it is now the law enforcers and civic activists who are to deal with it. Incidentally, some of the former anti-graft civic leaders raised some impressive sums after being elected the people’s deputies.
It should be noted that Poroshenko is gradually beginning preparations for the presidential campaign. On the one hand, he almost crossed the equator of his presidential cadence and on the other hand he must respond to the increased media presence of Yulia Tymoshenko, who is now working hard with the rural electorate, voicing promises of a bright future of farming. These calls somehow go in parallel lines on her agenda with the calls to adopt a moratorium on the farmland sale for five years. Meanwhile, he Head of State stressed that what has been happening in Donbas is not just an anti-terrorist operation, but Russian aggression. He pledged to contribute to the recognition of this fact by the European Union.
The president also advocated dearly for the proposal of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman to raise the minimum wage from January 1, 2017 up to UAH 3,200. Both the prime minister and minister of finance reported that this step would be reasonable and that the financial resources required are available. Moreover, the opposition factions jumped on a train, claiming they were also involved in the decision-making process on this issue. However, it is best for them to do so during the voting for the final version of the state budget for 2017.
Yuriy Lutsenko acknowledged the threat of EU lifting sanctions against the Yanukovych team and vowed a major probe against the former president. In this context, it is interesting, how the Constitutional Court will rule regarding constitutionality of decision to deprive Yanukovych of his presidential title. It seems crucial for the prosecutor general to have an indictment against Yanukovych ready ahead of the Euromaidan anniversary .
Nadia Savchenko is full of surprises, as usual: five months after her own release from the illegal detention in Russia in exchange for the Russian GRU officers she unexpectedly visited Moscow under the pretext of participation in the hearing at the Supreme Court in the case of Mykola Karpiuk and Stanislav Klykh. As it has become clear from the explanation that followed shortly, the initiator of her visit was Ilya Novikov, a lawyer of mentioned Ukrainians. It is doubtful that he did not know Karpiuk and Klykh would not be brought for trial to Moscow from Grozny, since the initial verdict and the ruling of the Supreme Court to uphold it seems logical for the Kremlin. Therefore, the arrival of Savchenko in Moscow drew more media attention than the citizens of Ukraine who remain behind bars.