Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal believes that Ukraine has fulfilled the conditions necessary for the disbursement of the second tranche of macro-financial assistance from the European Union, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers said on Sunday.
“Indeed, an important step in supporting us will be the allocation of the second tranche of macro-financial assistance before the completion of the current program in September this year. Ukraine has met all the conditions for receiving it,” Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal said during a meeting with Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis.
According to the Prime Minister, Ukraine has increased the transparency and efficiency of medical procurement, continued pursuing the reform of tax and customs services, and resumed the competitive procedure for selection for civil service positions.
Shmyhal also noted that the government has taken important steps to improve the anti-corruption infrastructure. Also, the Bureau of Economic Security was created, the functioning of the natural gas market was improved, and the reform of the corporate governance system of state-owned enterprises continues.
For his part, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission noted that the European Union has mobilized unprecedented financial and technical assistance for Ukraine. And the provision of the first tranche of macro-financial assistance in the amount of EUR 600 million in 2020 had been a sign of solidarity between the EU and Ukraine.
“Ukraine has made significant efforts towards implementation of the EU macro-financial assistance conditions and based on the preliminary analysis we can consider conditions as broadly met,” Valdis Dombrovskis said.
In addition, the Prime Minister noted that Ukraine had ensured the implementation of structural “beacons” and within the framework of joint stand-by arrangement with the IMF, which are necessary for the first revision of the program.
Some 54.6% of Ukrainians consider it harmful for Ukraine to receive a loan from the EU in the amount of EUR 1.2 billion under obligations to allow huge salaries for members of the supervisory boards of state-owned companies, which include many foreigners, to give foreigners an opportunity to procure medicines for Ukraine, to appoint approved people as heads of the tax, customs and judicial system, according to the results of the monitoring survey of the population of Ukraine “Dynamics of socio-political attitudes and assessments of the population of Ukraine” by the Social Monitoring Center. According to the survey presented at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Tuesday, 19.3% of respondents consider this to be neither useful nor harmful. Some 13% called it useful, and 13.1% did not answer the question.
Some 75.5% of respondents do not support the obligations that the Ukrainian authorities undertook in the agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the introduction of market prices for gas and heat for the population. Some 14.7% support the initiative, and 9.8% found it difficult to answer the question.
Some 82.7% indicated that they do not agree that the Ukrainian authorities, within the agreements with the IMF, undertake an obligation to reduce the number of schools and teachers. Some 9.4% agree with this and 7.9% did not answer the question.
Some 65.8% of respondents noted that they do not agree with the fact that, within the agreements with the IMF, the Ukrainian authorities undertake obligations to continue the reform of the health care system, known as the “Ulana Suprun Reform.” Some 20.4% of those surveyed agree with this and 13.8% found it difficult to answer.
Some 7.7% of respondents believe that the Ukrainian government is completely independent in its economic policy, 42.6% – “in some issues – independent, in others – it is influenced by other countries and international organizations,” 42.8% – “completely dependent on the influence of other countries and international organizations.” Some 6.9% found it difficult to answer.
Some 15.2% answered that inviting foreign citizens to work at Ukrainian authorities (Cabinet of Ministers, regional heads) and to manage Ukrainian state-owned companies (Ukrzaliznytsia, Naftogaz, etc.) was useful (15.2%). Some 28.4% indicated that neither useful nor harmful and 46.6% – harmful. Some 9.8% did not answer the question.
The survey was conducted from August 2 to August 11, 2021. Some 3,012 respondents took part in it. The method of collecting information is a personal interview at the place of residence of the respondent, the standard deviation is from 1.1% to 1.9%.
The EU will mobilize EUR 17 billion in investments for the Eastern Partnership countries to develop a more dynamic economy and society in the region, said EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Oliver Várhelyi.
Várhelyi said at a conference on Ukraine reforms, which is taking place in Vilnius on Wednesday, that he is in Georgia today, but glad that he can join the conference via video link. He said he was engaged in delivering a very positive message for the Eastern Partnership countries, including Ukraine, about a significant new economic and investment plan for the region, adding that they are mobilizing EUR 17 billion investment for the region, in order to build new, more sustainable and more dynamic economies and societies in the region.
From July 1, key trading platforms of the world will be able to act as a tax agent for sellers, including sellers from Ukraine, thanks to which the procedure for registration of shipments to EU countries will be significantly simplified for the latter and, provided that the shipment is correctly processed, the time for passing through customs control will be reduced.
The press service of Ukrposhta reported on Wednesday that key marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, Wish, Amazon and others, in particular, will independently calculate VAT on goods sold that are sent to Europe, and will directly settle with the tax authorities of the countries of delivery.
“For Ukrainian entrepreneurs, this means that all parcels to Europe with goods worth up to EUR 150, which will pass the correct registration in the personal account of Ukrposhta, will be delivered as quickly as possible and automatically go through customs in a few seconds. Previously, customs clearance of parcels could take from one day to a week, depending on the workload of customs inspectors,” the company said.
Ukraine hopes the EU will add it to the list of countries from which free entry is allowed in two weeks, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleh Nikolenko said.
“There is no policy in the recommendation of the European Commission. Every two weeks, the EU member states revise the list of third countries for free entry into the EU. The recommendation is formed, in particular, based on four factors: the rate of new cases of COVID-19 reported per 100,000 population over the previous 14 days, the number of tests in seven days, the level of positive tests and the nature of the virus, in particular the presence of more dangerous strains,” Nikolenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.
He said the indicators in Ukraine for the period when the European Commission conducted the assessment, even exceeded the norm.
“It should be borne in mind here that the assessment of indicators was conducted not over the past days, but over the previous several weeks, when they were higher. Since we are now more and more approaching the norm established by the European Commission, on behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Delegation to the EU is interacting with the European side to include Ukraine in the list during its next review,” the spokesperson said.
At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that the recommendation of the European Commission to open the EU borders for a certain list of countries is not legally binding.
“EU member states individually approve final decisions to weaken or strengthen travel restrictions. Accordingly, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is working with European countries on a bilateral level to simplify travel conditions for Ukrainians, in particular the recognition of vaccination certificates and digital COVID-19 certificates,” Nikolenko said.
The European Union has decided to prolong the economic sanctions against Russia, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday.
“We have rolled over our economic sanctions against Russia: Moscow must do its part to ensure full implementation of Minsk Agreements,” he said on Twitter.