Week’s milestones. President’s hints, parliamentary vectors, and premonition of destabilization
Petro Poroshenko hinted that the country would be very interested to see reports on the origin of assets the Ukrainian officials showed in their e-declarations. The Verkhovna Rada remains traditionally far from internal stability, failing to show any will for constructive work. SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak talked about scenarios of destabilization in a number of Ukraine’s regions, plotted by Moscow.
Electronic declaration of income of senior officials and holders of elective offices was met with sincere approval by top officials in the United States and the European Union. The latter were expected to see the implementation of this reformist procedure as the last argument for granting Ukraine a long-promised visa-free regime. But while the EU officials continue to reflect on the visa waiver suspension mechanisms, Ukrainian politicians are actively commenting on the results of the e-declaration campaign.
Petro Poroshenko during his visit to Lviv noted that the Ukrainian officials should be ready to report on the sources of the funds they declared. It should be noted that the president is pushing the situation a bit too fast in this regard, as neither the National Anti-Corruption Bureau nor the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption is easy to bring perpetrators to justice. At a time when the president calls the enemies of Ukraine Russian aggression and poverty, a frank talk about the income of those in power will be just right to the society. In fact, it will spark wild interest. It seems that it will be good for Ukraine’s political elites to be cleansed of those who have grown inadequate in their pursuit of profits.
Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko joined the spree of investigations that followed the submission of e-declarations. He vowed to check those officials with especially significant savings in cash. Incidentally, PM Volodymyr Groysman denounced any accusations of mistrust in the Ukrainian banking system. Last week he also advocated the idea of raising the minimum wage twofold and tabled the amended draft state budget 2017 in Parliament for its second reading. Meanwhile, NBU Governor Valeria Gontareva spoke about the problems with credit resources of the people who earlier criticized her work at the post.
But back to the Prosecutor General, who met with the relatives of the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred [Maidan protesters killed during the popular uprising Euromaidan], continuing to promise some massive case against Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. An experienced politician, Yuriy Lutsenko is well aware that the public craves for the actual verdicts against former members of Yanukovych team. Perhaps this explains Lutsenko’s sharp focus on MP Vadym Novinsky (Opp.Bloc), who had been granted Ukrainian citizenship during Yanukovych cadence. The PGO accuses Novinsky of pressure on the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate Volodymyr. While the representative of the Opposition Bloc flew to Athos to seek some fresh paint to draw an image of the martyr, the question remains whether the Parliament will give consent to allow bringing Mr Novinsky to justice.
It must be noted that the atmosphere under the dome of the Verkhovna Rada is anything but constructive. The calls by Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy to adopt a work plan for the session and launch the process of reforming the Rada’s work hung in the air. The tone of statements by political rivals is as if the electoral campaign in Ukraine is at the homestretch. The efficiency of people's deputies remains very low, and Fridays usually are not any different from a weekend for the people’s deputies.
Frankly, such idleness of Ukraine’s legislators is rather surprising for the simple reason that the political situation in the country remains unstable, and the MPs should play the role of a tuning fork of stability in such difficult conditions. Meanwhile, SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak has already stated that his agency is well aware of scenarios to destabilize the situation in several regions of the country in November.