Business news from Ukraine

VENICE COMMISSION PRESIDENT URGES UKRAINE TO ADOPT LAWS ALLOWING PARTICIPATION OF INTL EXPERTS IN SELECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES

President of the Council of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) Gianni Buquicchio called on the Verkhovna Rada to adopt laws that will allow the participation of international experts in the selection of judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on a competitive basis.
“In Ukraine, we have a serious problem of public trust in State institutions. Even when they do honest and good work, people do not trust them because so many corrupt practices have been revealed in the past. People do not know who they can believe,” Buquicchio has said at the Ukraine 30. Development of Justice forum on Wednesday.
“When this is not possible from the inside, trust has to be built with outside help, with the support of the international community who are ready to nominate international experts with high moral quality; experts who can ensure that candidates are properly vetted before they are appointed,” he has said.
International experts shall be working side by side with Ukrainians to ensure that your courts and judicial bodies are composed of people who live up to high moral and ethical standards, Buquicchio has said.
“Concepts and strategic orientation are on the table. Now, they should be implemented. I do hope that the Ukrainian Parliament will manage to unblock the discussions to adopt laws that enable these mixed bodies to work together for the benefit of the Ukrainian people. It is time to act and adopt the laws that will make a difference and to implement them. The Council of Europe and its Venice Commission are here to help and support you,” the Venice Commission President has said.
He has said that a key element of the December urgent opinion was the recommendation to establish a new system of competitive selection of judges, involving a screening body with international participation.
Buquicchio has said that an effective fight against corruption and respect for judicial independence and the Rule of Law have to go hand-in-hand. “There can be no effective fight against corruption without an independent judiciary and respect for the Rule of Law. Equally, there can be no independent judiciary and respect for the Rule of Law when corruption is pervasive. As long as corruption remains widespread the Ukrainians cannot enjoy the rule of law. Nor will you achieve public trust in institutions or confidence on the part of investors. Your country cannot prosper under those circumstances,” he has said.
The Venice Commission President has said that creating specialized institutions or adopting new laws will not in itself improve the ability to prevent and combat corruption. But effective, well-funded, and well-staffed anti-corruption institutions and courts that are left to do their work without undue interference will make a difference.

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ON WEDNESDAY KYIV’S BUSINESS COURT BEGINS TRIAL UNDER CANADIAN TIU CLAIM AGAINST NIKOPOL FERROALLOY PLANT

On Wednesday, the business court of Kyiv will hear a court case under a claim of TIU Canada, owned by Refraction Asset Management (Calgary, Canada), against Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant (NFP) due to the disconnection of its 10.5 MW solar power plant from the power grid in March 2020 year.
“Today’s hearing is the first date for the trial since the completion of the preliminary hearing last month,” TIU Canada said in a report, which is available to Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the report, the solar power plant with a capacity of 10.5 MW was disconnected by the NFP from the power grid on March 2, 2020 “despite the fact that only electricity producers have the right to initiate the disconnection of the plant from the power grid in accordance with Ukrainian law.”
TIU Canada aims to immediately restore the connection to the electric grid and plans to bring NFP and its shareholders to full responsibility in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, the company said.
The company said that NFP took advantage of the fact that the solar power plant was connected to a substation located on its territory, and explained the need for shutdown by carrying out repair work.
According to TIU Canada, the illegal shutdown caused over EUR 1.5 million in losses to the company, which “continue growing every day.”
At the same time, the company refers in the report to the high assessment of its activities by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto in July 2019, who noted the priority of developing green energy and thanked the company for its work in this area.
“Now this case is becoming a test of President Zelensky’s readiness to protect foreign investors in Ukraine,” TIU Canada said.

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GERMAN INVESTORS CONSIDER COURTS, NOT CORRUPTION AS MAIN PROBLEM IN UKRAINE

German investors believe that the main problem in Ukraine is not corruption, but the work of the judicial branch of power, German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen has said.
“What German investors really need is the same rules for everyone. What always scares our investors is bad examples when even large German companies in Ukraine are under pressure from law enforcement agencies, like the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The reason for this is not clear to us. Companies just want to work quietly in Ukraine, to give jobs and make a profit. This is closely related to the judicial reform. Our investors tell me that corruption is no longer such a big problem,” the ambassador said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to her, in order to attract German small and medium-sized businesses to Ukraine, they need to be given good examples that they can invest in Ukraine and be calm.
“When I used to work in Ukraine, there was always the issue of VAT refund, now it is not. Now the problem is the possibility that competitors go to court for completely incomprehensible reasons, and for large German companies it is still possible, because they have lawyers, money and time. Very often they win lawsuits, but it lasts a long time. The German economy is a medium and small business, and in order to attract them to Ukraine, they need to give them good examples that they can invest in Ukraine and be calm,” Feldhusen said.
At the same time, the ambassador said that a German pharmaceutical company recently bought the Biopharma plant in Bila Tserkva, Kyiv region. “This is a good example, because it did not happen in Kyiv, not in Kharkiv, not in Dnipro. This is a small city and it will be good for people,” she said.
“Another example is the Kostal company, which produces automotive electronics. They are already working in Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, and now they are opening a plant near Boryspil (both cities are located in Kyiv region). In this case, the question was about connecting the plant to the infrastructure. It is not at all clear why it was so difficult. They solved it with the help of the Ukrainian government. There will be a new plant and many new jobs,” the ambassador said.
Feldhusen said that German business has a desire to invest in Ukraine, only more good examples are lacking.

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UKRAINIAN COURT OF APPEAL OVERTURNS JUDGMENT ON SEIZURE POROSHENKO’S COLLECTION OF PAINTINGS

Kyiv Court of Appeal overturned the judgment of Pechersky District Court of Kyiv on seizure of 42 paintings of fifth President of Ukraine, Leader of the European Solidarity Party Petro Poroshenko, under the investigation into the alleged illegal movement of art treasures across the state border.
The Register of Judgments states that the decision to cancel the seizure was issued on July 27, 2020.
“The appeal of lawyer Holovan must be redressed. The decision of the investigating judge of Pechersky District Court of Kyiv dated May 27, 2020, who seized property of 42 paintings and one lithograph, which are material evidence in criminal proceedings has to be cancelled and new decision, which to refuse in sustaining the prosecutor’s motion for the seizure of property has to be made,” Kyiv Court of Appeal said in its decision.
As reported, on May 26 The Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) has summoned fifth president of Ukraine and MP Petro Poroshenko for questioning as a witness in two criminal cases (illegal transfer of the collection of paintings across the state border and illegal use of the technical means of obtaining the information).

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GRAND CHAMBER OF SUPREME COURT OF UKRAINE SENDS DISPUTE OVER CORVALOLUM BRAND TO COURT OF LOWER INSTANCE

The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of Ukraine has sent the dispute over the Corvalolum well-known brand to the court of lowest instance for repeated hearing and partially satisfied cassation claims of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine and PJSC Farmak, annulling the ruling of the appeal court and the ruling of the court of lower instance.
Earlier, the Kyiv business court of appeals under the counterclaim of PrJSC Darnitsa Pharmaceutical Firm revoked the decision of the Appeals Chamber of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade recognizing the designation Corvalolum as well-known.
“PJSC Farmak stands for civilized competition and for many years it has been defending its rights to the Corvalolum well-known brand. We defend our right only to the brand designation,” Farmak Legal Director Dmytro Taranchuk said.
He said that “the medicine itself and its components are not protected by a patent, and it is not protected in Ukraine from the point of view of intellectual property.”
“A similar medicine can be produced by any manufacturer who will prove its quality and effectiveness and undergo all the required licensing procedures. But under a different name, under its own brand,” the lawyer said.

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39 NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS TO CHALLENGE FORMATION OF SOCIAL POLICY MINISTRY’S PUBLIC COUNCIL IN COURT

Thirty-nine non-governmental organizations are going to take a legal action to declare unlawful a constituent assembly held on Monday, April 22, to form the public council under Ukraine’s Social Policy Ministry.
Head of NGO All-Ukrainian Platform of Donbass, head of the public council under the Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Hennadiy Borisichev announced this in a comment to Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, the initiative group on the formation of the public council under the Social Policy Ministry has “committed gross violations of the law, and the meeting itself [on the formation of the public council] was held behind closed doors.”
“The activity of the initiative group was not transparent, with undisguised abuse of authority. Thirty-nine representatives of NGOs were not allowed to participate in the constituent assembly. This is an anti-record for the entire existence of the institution of public councils in our country,” he said.
According to Borisichev, human rights activists and journalists who arrived at the meeting were also not allowed to take part. Representatives of NGOs had a scuffle with the guards.
Members of anti-corruption NGOs were also not let in for the meeting, he said.
“The NGOs are now preparing documents for the court to recognize the constituent assembly on the formation of the public council under the Ministry of Social Policy as illegal,” he said.

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