KYIV. Sept 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Andriy Pyvovarsky has invited Swedish investors to build berths in Ukrainian seaports while speaking at a conference on the country’s privatization program during his working visit to Stockholm, the ministry said in a press release on Monday.
He said that by 2020, Ukraine plans to double grain exports to around 70 million tonnes, while the capacity of Ukrainian ports are restricted with around 36 million tonnes a year.
“Ukrainian ports have large prospects for attracting transit cargo flows. We invite Swedish companies to build berths at seaports, exchange technologies, realize construction investment projects at ports and organize safety on sea transport,” the ministry said.
Pyvovarsky said that Ukraine also plans to privatize state-run stevedoring companies.
“We understand that the port sector would be interesting for large investment when the ownership issue is settled. The government has submitted a draft law to the parliament, which would allow for starting the privatization procedure for state-run stevedoring companies,” he said.
He also raised the issue of railway transport, adding that the adoption of the new law that regulates this sector would open up the railway transportation market to private traction.
KYIV. Sept 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The European Investment Bank (EIB) is considering providing guarantees worth EUR 460 million ($520 million) to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to credit Ukraine under five projects.
“The guarantee will cover five IBRD loans supporting projects in the road transport, power and energy efficiency sectors against the risk of default by Ukraine,” the EIB said in a report on its website.
The bank said that the guarantee will release IBRD exposure to Ukraine, enabling the IBRD to support gas purchases by Naftogaz.
The total cost of the five projects is EUR 1.53 billion ($1.73 billion).
KYIV. Sept 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at a meeting of the National Reforms Council devoted to the anti-corruption reform, has said that the legal framework for fighting corruption had been created and currently the establishment of the required infrastructure and formation of anti-corruption personnel was being held.
“Basically, we formed a legal framework for fighting corruption. Now, we need to create appropriate infrastructure and, on the basis of rigid transparent competitive selection, form the backbone of honest and incorruptible law enforcers willing to go to the end. Their work shouldn’t be obstructed by any political pressure or lack of political will,” the press service of the head of state reported on September 18, citing Poroshenko.
“We must ensure a quick and efficient start of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, and form the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office as soon as possible,” the head of state said.
The Ukrainian president is confident that this will have been done by the end of the year, and the anti-corruption prosecutor will be appointed in November.
“Detectives can prepare relevant developments to have the first results of their work already this year,” Poroshenko said.
The president noted the importance of institutional steps taken – creation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Anti-Corruption Agency, formation of new prosecutorial staff.
The Ukrainian president commended the decision of the parliament, which delegated its representatives to the commission, which must determine the top managers of the specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office. Poroshenko noted the fact that the faction of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc had voted for representatives who often criticized him.
“In fact, it is easy to criticize, but it is the right step to unite and work together on a common result,” Poroshenko said.
Among successful anti-corruption steps, the president mentioned the work of volunteer troops in the Defense Ministry and transition to the pre-threshold electronic procurement system.
“The law on increasing transparency in ownership relations accelerates the creation of effective system aimed to prevent corruption. It enhances financial control over the assets and income of officials. Access to the registers of owners of movable and immovable property will be opened in early October, and we will not allow the delay,” he said.
However, he said, the war against corruption was started, but there are still no tangible victories.
“It is not enough to reveal, detain, dismiss and initiate criminal proceedings. We will no longer accept these reports. Ukrainian people require strict and inevitable criminal penalties for corruption. Corrupt officials must be in jail,” the president said.
In this context, he noted the role of judges who are often corrupt themselves. The head of state called on the MPs to submit the proposals of public organizations that provide for a radical renewal of the judiciary for consideration by the Venice Commission.
“The main thing is to ensure that corrupt officials are brought to justice. We must do everything to prevent the loss of faith in the effective fight against corruption and ensure an appropriate outcome,” he said.
The president urged the parliament to consider and approve the law that will prohibit the release on bail of civil servants, especially senior officials, suspected of corruption.
The president said that the anti-corruption reform should not be limited only to the punishment of corrupt officials. It also provides for the prevention of corruption, elimination of opportunities and reasons to take bribes.
Poroshenko said that the results of the anti-corruption reform must be noticed by Ukrainians, our foreign partners and investors who will actively invest in the Ukrainian economy, which will contribute to further economic growth.
The president also focused on the law on budget financing of political parties, stressing that if the parliament adopts this law, he will sign it without a delay.
“It is cheaper for the country to maintain the parties at the cost of the state budget than to bear huge losses from political corruption caused by the material dependence of the party projects on oligarchic structures,” the head of state said.
The Ukrainian president drew the attention of the economic development and trade minister to the need to accelerate the process of deregulation.
“The smaller the role of the state in the economy and human life, the smaller opportunity officials would have to demand bribes”, he said.
“I insist on speedy, fair and transparent privatization of state enterprises. I consider myself a follower of economic school, which believes the state a priori cannot be an effective owner. I am convinced that the government has the same views on privatization and there is no excuse that the parliament does not make relevant decisions blocking these extremely important processes,” the president said.
Speaking about the issue of wage of civil servants, Poroshenko said: “We are not a rich country to have cheap officials. Corruption risks of this policy are too high. We either learn to speak honestly with people, or move to this side of the shadow economy as well”.
Commenting on the abolition of parliamentary immunity, the president said that his draft amendments to the Constitution had been endorsed by the Constitutional Court and somehow disappeared in the archives of the Verkhovna Rada.
“I emphasize that every MP must be responsible for this. The same thing is with the judicial immunity. The Prosecutor General’s Office must do everything for Ukraine to have no more people protected from prosecution for offenses committed,” the president said.
KYIV. Sept 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin as a part of his official visit to South Korea met Chairman of Saenuri ruling party Kim Moo-sung.
“Attention was paid to the issues of further development of political contacts, ways to boost practical cooperation in all areas, first of all, trade and economic, investment, research and humanitarian areas,” the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine reported on September 18.
KYIV. Sept 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Germany’s KfW (Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau) Development Bank as of September 17, 2015 approved infrastructure development projects in Ukraine worth EUR 89.5 million that would be realized using the bank’s funds, Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Economy Minister of Ukraine Hennadiy Zubko has said.
“The sum is EUR 89.5 million,” he said asked about the cost of the approved projects at a meeting of the Ukrainian-German working group on the selection of projects to be financed by KfW held in Kyiv on Thursday.
Zubko also said that on September 16, negotiations between Germany, the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry and Infrastructure Ministry on the provision of loans by KfW in the amount of EUR 150 million and EUR 60 million to realize transformer substation reconstruction and electric locomotive modernization projects respectively were held.
He said that the projects approved on September 17 concern reconstruction and modernization of facilities in the essential services area, in particular, this concerns investment of EUR 48 million into the water supply station in Dnipropetrovsk.
Projects on switching 257 budget-funded institutions to use alternative energy in Zaporizhia, projects in the water supply area in Izium and Chuhuyiv (Kharkiv region) and in the heating supply area in Lysychansk (Luhansk region) and Mariupol (Donetsk region) were also approved.
KYIV. Sept 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Over 200 companies from 10 countries will present their products during the Arms and Security 2015 international exhibition, which will be held in Kyiv on September 22-September 25.
Beside Ukrainian companies, 21 foreign companies from nine countries will take part in the exhibition, the organization committee of the exhibition has told Interfax Ukraine. The U.S., UK, Israel, China, India, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Netherlands and Poland have confirmed their participation in the exhibition.
“Considering the fact that the Arms and Security 2015 is held under the conditions of continuing Russian aggression against Ukraine, its main events are focused on meeting the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine and other Ukrainian [military] forces. However, under the current conditions, Arms and Security 2015 is considered as a serious instrument for extending military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and foreign partners and increasing orders for the national military-industrial complex,” the organization committee said.
The total exhibition area is 18,000 sq. meters where over 40 full-scale models of national and foreign military and special equipment, including aviation models, will be presented.
As part of the military exhibition, arms and individual equipment for soldiers on battlefield will be presented, including equipment and weaponry for ground forces, law enforcement agencies, border control, and military aviation.
The capabilities of the national military-industrial complex at will be represented by 32 companies of Ukroboronprom state concern, including the leaders – PrJSC Motor Sich, PrJSC AvtoKrAZ, Makarov Pivdenny Machine Building Plant (Pivdenmash), Pivdenne State Design Office, PJSC Leninska Kuznia, and Arsenal State Enterprise of Special Instrumentation.
Ukroboronprom will be the central Ukrainian company at the exhibition and will present advanced armored vehicles, including the BTR-3E1, the Dozor-B APC, the Ovod APC, new artillery equipment, high-accuracy missiles and radio equipment. UAVs and small arms developed by Ukrainian manufacturers will also be presented.