German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his inauguration, German Cabinet official Martina Fitz said.
“The chancellor congratulates Mr. Zelensky on his inauguration. He is taking office in accordance with a democratic mandate,” Fitz told reporters in Berlin on Monday in response to a question from Interfax.
Relations between Germany and Ukraine “remain close” and Germany will continue providing support to Ukraine in its development and reforms, she said.
Fitz was unable to name a date for the upcoming meeting between Merkel and Zelensky, however. The meeting will take place “soon,” she said. “I can’t give an exact date as of yet,” she said.
The resumption of obligatory personal vehicle inspection initiated by the Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine would not improve their safety, although it could result in the resumption of corruption schemes applied earlier, according to lawyers polled by Interfax-Ukraine.
“This bill, in our opinion, is a purely commercial project that will not affect road safety in any way. Infrastructure associated with the passage of MOT tests will appear and quickly develop, including without the inspection of a vehicle. In this area corruption and illegal turnover of cash will develop,” says Alexander Keer, managing partner of the DTP Expert law firm.
He also predicts that “mandatory inspection will lead to the fact that all cars, including cars with European license plates, will be somehow registered.”
“In Ukraine at present, according to various estimates, there are several tens of thousands of cars that drive not entirely legally. Cars with foreign number plates are only part of them, and there are still stolen, confiscated and other cars. If mandatory inspection is introduced, then when these cars pass through, they will be identified. Some of these cars were resold, then their owners, who purchased cars as a result of a legal transaction, will be in a difficult situation,” he said.
The lawyer predicts that “for the inspection of illegal cars will also apply illegal schemes that will not guarantee a good technical condition of the vehicle.”
“You can also expect a decrease in the number of “clone cars,” but the number of fictitious data on the passage of vehicle inspection may increase,” he said.
At the same time, Keer predicts that “mandatory inspection will improve the detection of crimes related to cars illegally located on the territory of Ukraine.”
At the same time, the lawyer said that “technical failure of cars is very rarely recognized by the court as the cause of an accident, especially when it comes to commercial vehicles, in particular, heavy trucks, special vehicles and carriers of dangerous goods.” Nevertheless, the consequences of such accidents can be very serious both in material terms and in terms of the number of casualties (injured and dead citizens).
“Very few road accidents initiated after a technical malfunction of the car reached the courts. In such cases, it is much easier for the parties to place the responsibility on the driver than directly on the technical condition of the vehicle, because if the court recognizes the malfunction of the car, the head of the transporting company will be responsible. The company may lose the license for transportation, therefore, most of the responsibility is shifted to drivers,” he said.
At the same time, Keer believes that the adoption of this bill could significantly increase the number of appeals to court. In particular, service stations that do not receive the licenses to conduct a technical inspection will file lawsuits.
In turn, lawyer of the K.A.C. Group law firm Dmytro Polischuk said that the proposed bill, first of all, is aimed at cars with mileage and will increase the level of protection for buyers of used cars from unscrupulous sellers, which has already been confirmed by the experience of European countries where buying a used car is not a “cat in a bag” purchase.
In turn, K.A.C. Group lawyer Hanna Kuznetsova said that in the period from January to April 2019, there were 2,445 road accidents in Ukraine, in which 7,804 people had injuries of varying severity and 822 people were killed. At the same time, the share of accidents as a result of speeding is 35%, violation of maneuvering rules – 20%, violation of intersections rules – 8%, violation of crossing rules – 8% and non-observance of a safe distance – 6%.
“These data indicate that technical failure of cars is not a very common cause of an accident,” she said.
For her part, lawyer of Ario Law Firm Natalia Shvets said that the introduction of mandatory vehicle inspection for cars will not cause a burst of lawsuits by car owners and organizations that will conduct this inspection.
“For law-abiding drivers, there will be no problem to pass a technical inspection of their vehicle,” she said.