Head of the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative Eka Tkeshelashvili has said she is convinced that without an Anti-Corruption Court the system of fighting corruption in Ukraine cannot be as effective as possible and justify all expectations. She said in an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that the Anti-Corruption Court is a key link in the fight against corruption and that the need to create it in full accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission had been repeatedly stressed by European partners.
Tkeshelashvili noted that the recommendations of the Venice Commission still remain a “stumbling block” in the drafting of a respective bill for second reading.
This is not just any wish on the part of Ukraine’s partners, this is a well-balanced vision of what elements must be included in this law so that the court could be really independent, effective and fulfill its role, she said.
Tkeshelashvili stressed that the fight against corruption was important, including to ensure security in Ukraine.
Ukraine in January-March 2018 increased goods flow with the European Union (EU) countries by 17.7% year-over-year, to $8.581 billion, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has said on its website. The central bank said that both exports grew by 26.5%, to $4.058 billion and imports rose by 10.7%, to $4.523 billion. The deficit of balance of trade with the EU narrowed to $465 million from $878 million.
In addition, goods flow with Russia grew by 14.9%, to $2.615 billion. Imports rose by 28.4%, to $1.906 billion, while exports fell by 10.1%, to $0.709 billion. The deficit of balance of trade with Russia grew to $1.197 billion from $692 million.
The share of goods flow between Ukraine and the EU of total Ukraine’s foreign trade in January-March 2018 grew to 37.7% from 35.3% and with Russia to 11.5% from 11%.
In general, exports of goods from Ukraine in January-March 2018 grew by 10.4%, to $22.782 billion, imports – by 11.9%, to $12.359 billion and exports – by 8.6%, to 410.423 billion.
Ukraine will discuss development of strategic cooperation in the space sector with European partners at the ILA 2018 aerospace exhibition held in Berlin (Germany) on April 25 through April 29. The press service of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister, Head of the interagency commission for defense industry at the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Yuriy Brovchenko, who heads the Ukrainian delegation to ILA 2018, will hold some meetings strategically important for the development of the Ukrainian aerospace sector with top managers of European agencies on the issues of partnership in the aerospace sector.
Brovchenko is to meet with top officials of the Economy Ministry, Defense Ministry of Germany, German Aerospace Center (DLR), French Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES) and the European Space Agency (ESA). ILA Berlin Air Show is a large exhibition in Europe. Leading Ukrainian enterprises of the aerospace sector – Pivdenne Design Bureau, Pivdenmash and Antonov State Enterprise (part of the Ukroboronprom State Concern) are among Ukrainian participants of ILA 2018.
Potential European partners-visitors to the Ukrainian stand at ILA 2018 are able to study themselves, among other things, the Cyclone-4M, Zenit-3SL, Mayak-33-4H promising Ukrainian launch vehicles (LV) and the Sich-2M spacecraft.
Ukraine, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Union and Germany have signed an agreement on the establishment of a fund to improve energy efficiency in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Finance Ministry has reported on its website. “In accordance with the agreement, up to EUR 53 million of financing provided by the EU and Germany will be under the management of IFC at the initial stage,” the Finance Ministry said. The multi-donor fund with the Ukrainian Energy Efficiency Fund will jointly finance energy efficiency projects in apartment buildings in Ukraine and provide expert support for the development of the market, the Finance Ministry said.
According to Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk, the project will contribute to the creation of about 75,000 new jobs for engineers, builders and workers in the energy sector.
Exports of Ukrainian agrarian products to European countries in January-February 2018 increased by 28.1%, or by $224.7 million, and amounted to $1.025 billion compared to the same period of 2017, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food reported referring to the deputy minister for European integration, Olha Trofimtseva. “Thus, at the moment, the EU accounts for 36.5% of our agricultural exports,” she said.
On the whole, the foreign trade in agricultural products in the first two months of 2018 amounted to $3.7 billion, of which $2.8 billion fall for the export of Ukrainian agrarian and food products.
“In the first two months of this year, Ukrainian agrarian exports increased by $102.1 million compared to the corresponding period of 2017 and reached $2.8 billion. Our traditional export leaders are cereals with a 35.3% share, vegetable oil with 24.1% and oilseeds with 12%,” the deputy minister added. During this period, export of Ukrainian poultry meat grew by $29 million, eggs by $11.4 million, butter by $20 million, chocolate by $7.5 million, grape wines by $6.1 million, she said.
According to Trofimtseva, in January-February 2018, the largest importer of Ukrainian agrarian and food products was India, which imported Ukrainian products worth $335.9 million. The top five trade partners included Spain with $201.1 million worth of imported Ukrainian products, the Netherlands with $199.3 million, Egypt with $189.6 million and Italy with $185.6 million.
Ukraine can increase the supply of cherries to the markets of the EU and Asia in 2018 and expand the geography of exports of melons, the fruit and vegetable market analyst, Tetiana Hetman, has said.
“There will be attempts to enter the EU (Poland, the Baltic states) market with strawberries in May and autumn 2018. It is expected that exports of cherries to the EU and Asia will increase, as well as melons supplies would be expanded to new directions. For example, Kherson watermelons can go to the UK. The attempts were made in 2017,” she was quoted on the website of the Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP).
According to the expert’s forecasts, this year exports of frozen raspberries will increase.
“Family farms bought poor quality planting material, and low-quality berries will be supplied to the market, low-grade raw material prices will be at or below cost, while Poles in the border zone are now building a lot of bases and they will demand quality raw materials, so the price will be kept for high-quality raw materials,” Hetman said.