Oil transit through Ukraine by pipeline to European countries and Belarus in January-August 2020 increased by 7.6% (by 607,500 tonnes) compared to the same period in 2019, to 8.630 million tonnes, according to data from JSC Ukrtransnafta.
The volume of oil transportation to refineries of Ukraine during this period amounted to 1.707 million tonnes, which is 12.2% more than in January-August 2019. In particular, oil transportation along the Odesa-Kremenchuk route amounted to 747,100 tonnes.
Thus, for the eight months of this year, the share of transit volume in the total transportation of oil (10.337 million tonnes) amounted to 83.5%, the share of pumping to the country’s refineries 16.5%.
In August 2020, oil transit through Ukraine by pipeline decreased by 9.2% compared to the same month last year, to 1.262 million tonnes.
Pumping to Ukrainian refineries last month decreased by 0.9%, to 225,600 tonnes. In particular, transportation of Ukrainian oil amounted to 117,100 tonnes, Azerbaijani 43,000 tonnes, and American some 65,400 tonnes.
Events in Belarus have become a relentless object of attention of political scientists, analysts and ordinary citizens who care about the fate of this country. The presidential election left a large part of the country’s population dissatisfied and they came out to protest. Despite the fact that when and, most importantly, how it will end, everyone tries to predict exactly how these events will affect their personal life.
The current crisis has affected almost every sector of the economy, entire factories are on strike, many people leave their jobs and go to protest, businesses can not plan their activities and are wary of looking for methods to minimize the risks from the consequences.
The Belarusian economy is agricultural and industrial and the share of electronic technologies is insignificant within the state, but there is something to be proud of. For example, thanks to the active position of IT entrepreneurs, Belarus became the first country in the world to legalize smart contracts based on blockchain. It operates a high-tech Park – a special tax and legal regime for the development of IT business, which is a separate jurisdiction, which provides certain preferences to participants registered in it. This state of affairs allows the IT sector to develop rapidly and move the country forward.
It is important to say that the part of people who are employed in the IT sector is probably the most active, modern and erudite. It is these people who actively monitor trends, prospects and move progress forward. In the current conditions, a number of threats are hanging over qualified programmers and every IT specialist is trying to foresee the consequences and join the country’s assistance as much as possible, as they see it.
The political crisis did not pass by the participants of IT business and they expressed their position. On August 13, 2020, the founders, managers, and employees of IT companies wrote an open letter warning of the collapse of the entire sector if violence against protesters continued. They warned that if the violence continues, Belarus may lose all its digital assets. In addition, the letter says that in the near future there may be an outflow of specialists abroad, slowing down the pace of development of the IT sector and reducing investment in the industry. The letter was also signed by several representatives of Israeli companies whose branches operate in Belarus.
“Thousands of people have been detained and convicted. Peaceful protests were dispersed with inadequate use of force. Ordinary people are detained for no reason, beaten and arrested. Internet access was disabled for several days throughout the country, ” the message reads.
Today, the protests are not subsiding, but are growing every day. It is felt that the atmosphere in the country is electrified and no one knows what the final will be.
The IT sector is monitored abroad as well. For example, Israel, where the IT sector is one of the flagships of global digitalization, actively monitors what is happening in Belarus. The international IT company AllStarsIT Ukraine, which is one of the leading companies in the digital technology market, monitors everything that is happening in the world and events in Belarus have not been spared. President and founder of the Ukrainian branch of AllStars Group Solomon Amar says that according to his estimates, the situation is very difficult and he receives a lot of requests from Israeli companies to help and assist.
“We follow and worry about our Belarusian colleagues. We hope that everything will be settled and people’s rights will be protected, and employees of IT companies will get proper working conditions, ” said Solomon Amar.
He also added that he does not advise his colleagues to rush to move from Belarus, because the crisis is a natural process and can always occur. However, despite the fact that this situation is extraordinary, one should not lose vigilance and think about its future.
In addition, Solomon Amar noted that if the situation worsens, it can lead to serious negative consequences for both IT companies and software developers.
Belarus is going through difficult times and every country in its development is facing protests, revolutions or other crises, but time does not stop there, we should look ahead and take responsibility for ourselves. It is important to assess all the risks and consequences in time to protect yourself from the negative that can befall in the event of adverse conditions.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has offered 5,000 Belarusian IT specialists an opportunity to migrate to Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister, Digital Transformation Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov said.
“Some 5,000 quotas were distributed among Ukraine’s regions in which there is the largest number of IT companies. Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Lviv regions can attract 600 specialists each, Kharkiv region – 700 and Kyiv – 2,500,” the minister said on his Facebook page on Friday.
Recent serious disruptions to the Internet, mobile communication and banking services forced IT companies in Belarus to look for opportunities to move to another country, Fedorov said.
The minister also noted that Ukrainian companies can also offer jobs to such foreigners.
“Immigration within these quotas allows foreign IT specialists to find jobs with the same conditions as Ukrainian citizens,” he said.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic seriously affected the trade between Ukraine and Belarus, and in the first five months of this year, trade between the countries amounted to $1.675 billion, a decrease of 22.8% compared to the same period last year, Belarussian Ambassador to Ukraine Igor Sokol has said. “I would like the turnover to be bigger, but the situation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is a circumstance that does not depend on you or on us, and it seriously affected the turnover between Ukraine and Belarus. In the first five months of this year, our turnover amounted to $1.675 billion. Belarus exported to Ukraine [goods worth] $1.078 billion, and Ukraine exported to Belarus – $597 million. According to our statistics, compared with the same period last year, there is a decrease in trade by 22.8%,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the ambassador, personal contacts and logistics were interrupted.
“I have to say that Ukraine’s use of restrictive measures in relation to our products (cement, gas concrete block) also had a negative impact on the volume of mutual trade,” Sokol said.
The diplomat said that Ukraine is a significant, strategic trade and economic partner for Belarus.
“Ukraine is now in second place, but God willing that someday it will become our first trade and economic partner. Among Ukraine’s trade partners, Belarus is fourth along with such developed and economically strong states as Germanyвз. That says a lot,” he added.
Sokol also recalled that the Ukrainian-Belarusian trade is estimated in billions of U.S. dollars, and over the past year amounted to $5.8 billion.
“Now the task in the mutual trade turnover of our countries is to restore those positions that existed before the pandemic, to preserve everything that was о up in previous years,” he said.
At the same time, the ambassador said that Ukraine and Belarus did not stop working on the bilateral trade and economic track, even during the pandemic.
“Of course, at the initial stage in March-April, diplomats did not go anywhere, but gradually the work comes to life both in our country and in Ukraine. Our workers, who are involved in various projects in Ukraine, come to your country, our equipment arrives. Yesterday I was in Zhytomyr and participated in the transfer of five new trolleybuses for the city. Last week I participated in the launch of trolleybuses manufactured jointly by Ukraine and Belarus for Kryvy Rih,” he said.
Umanpyvo (Uman beer) LLC (Uman, Cherkasy region), the local producer of beer and soft drinks, will begin exporting its products to Belarus, and the first batch of 21.5 tonnes of products will be delivered in April.
“The first 21.5 tonnes of products will be delivered in April. We are constantly expanding the geography of exports. However, we only cooperate with partners who do not require changes in the recipe and increase expiry date of our products, as this contradicts the principles of Umanpyvo,” the company reported in a press release, citing the company’s CEO Ihor Kysil.
According to the company, Umanpyvo is trying to find new partners, negotiate, adapt packaging to the requirements of legislation of specific countries, and obtain all the necessary certificates during the quarantine period because of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Now the company is negotiating with potential new partners from Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, Germany, the United States, Canada, and also plans to expand its participation in the markets of Poland and Israel.
Umanpyvo representatives said that the company began to enter foreign markets in 2018. During this time, point deliveries were provided to ten countries, as well as regular export to Poland and Israel.
Umanpyvo (Uman beer) is a Ukrainian local producer of beer, cider and soft drinks with a closed production cycle.
Uman Brewery was founded in 1878.
Crude oil transit by pipelines across Ukraine to European countries and Belarus grew by 1.3% in January-March 2020 or by 44,600 tonnes year-over-year, to 3.448 million tonnes, according to information from JSC Ukrtransnafta.
The volume of crude oil transportation to oil refineries in January-March 2020 amounted to 592,100 tonnes, which is 17.2% (86,900 tonnes) more than in the same period last year, including oil transportation by the Odesa-Kremenchuk line amounted to 229,900 tonnes.
Thus, in the first three months of this year, the share of transit volume in the total transportation of crude oil (4.04 tonnes) amounted to 85.3%, the share of supplies to the country’s refineries – 14.7%.
In March 2020, crude oil transit through Ukraine by pipeline grew by 16.2% (by 194,500 tonnes) compared to the same month of 2019, to 1.396 million tonnes, while pumping to the country’s refineries increased 5.7% (10,500 tonnes), to 196,300 tonnes.