Business news from Ukraine


The adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the law, which provides for the reboot of the High Council of Justice (HCJ), will launch a real judicial reform in Ukraine, according to a statement posted on the website of the President’s Office on Wednesday.
According to the statement, relevant bill No. 5068, which was initiated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, provides for steps to ensure the independence of the judicial branch of government, namely the reboot of the HCJ, which is responsible for the selection and dismissal of judges. In the implementation of the judicial reform in Ukraine, the recommendations of Venice Commission’s experts, who provided their opinion on the draft law, were taken into account.
“This is without exaggeration a historic event for Ukraine. During the entire period of independence of our state, no government has carried out a real judicial reform giving nothing but promises. My goal is to restore trust and respect for the court. The servants of Themis will cease to be servants of the President, government, parliament or local authorities,” the President said.
Zelensky said that justice is one of the basic values of Ukrainians, but it cannot be ensured without an independent judiciary. In addition, domestic and foreign investors need a fair trial. The vote for the reform of the High Council of Justice laid the necessary foundation for effective changes in the judiciary.



Land reform in Ukraine without the timely adoption and high-quality functioning of the judicial reform, as well as without the development of infrastructure will have negative consequences for the Ukrainian statehood, director of the Ukrainian Barometer sociological service Viktor Nebozhenko believes.
“Ukraine needs land reform, but it must be complemented by a judicial reform that would regulate possible conflicts. This is important. There is a risk of banditry with landlessness in the future. For example, there is a farmer who owns fertile land, and tomorrow he is shown documents that the land is no longer his. And with the judicial system that is now in Ukraine, it will end badly,” Nebozhenko said at an online conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on the topic “Hot April 2021. Is Ukrainian politics entering perfect storm zone?”
Also, according to the political scientist, “in Ukraine it is necessary to develop a system of roads so that people and equipment can be brought or taken away to the fields.”
“Whatever land potential Ukraine has, it will not be realized without roads,” Nebozhenko added.
He noted that “an additional guarantee of a successful land reform would be the creation of land banks and land exchanges.”
“The figure of the prime minister, who would understand the issues of agrarian policy, is also important,” the expert said.
Political analyst Valentyn Hladkykh, in turn, noted that “there is a danger of excessive concentration of land in transnational companies or land oligarchs.”
“Land in no case should become an object of financial speculation. Conventionally, such an asset is bought with the hope of resale in case of a rise in its price, but it is not interesting as a resource for exploitation. I am a supporter of land reform from the point of view that land should be in the hands of private owners who will directly work on it. Since the land begins to be worth something only when human work is added to it,” he said.
“The Verkhovna Rada lifted the moratorium on the sale of land, but it is necessary to develop infrastructure so that everything can function in a civilized way. Otherwise, very negative consequences could occur not only for the Ukrainian government, but also for the Ukrainian statehood,” the political analyst added.



Reform of decentralization and judicial reform are important on the path of Ukraine’s European integration, German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen has said.
“This is already my 12th year in Ukraine, and I really want to make a contribution to bring Ukraine closer to the EU and, in my opinion, there are two very important topics. The first is the reform of decentralization. Last year we successfully completed the stage of unification of territorial communities, there were very successful local elections, and now we are still working on what legal status the communities will have, what kind of finance they will receive directly,” Feldhusen said at a virtual meeting, broadcasting on Facebook on Tuesday.
According to her, it is important that communities can now actively work in the interests of their residents.
“But this reform, indeed, is already at its final stage. There is another reform that has hardly started yet. This is judicial reform, and I think this will be my most important priority this year,” Feldhusen said.
The ambassador also said that Germany has already received an invitation to take part in the celebrations of the Independence Day of Ukraine in 2021, adding that high-ranking guests from Germany are expected to visit Ukraine to participate in the first summit of the Crimean Platform on August 23.

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The European Union welcomes Ukraine’s progress in reforms, but significant work still needs to be done in this regard, in particular, judicial reform, EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Olivér Várhelyi said.

“A significant part of the meeting today was devoted to reforms and their implementation. We see that Ukrainian government continues to take a number of very important steps in all directions. Despite this, there is still a lot of work to be done. This is very welcome, but we need to see further progress. This includes, in particular, the need for judicial reform. We are ready to help, and we continue to help Ukraine in this regard,” he said at a press conference after the seventh meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council in Brussels on Thursday, February 11.

Várhelyi said that the most important areas of reform for Ukraine are the establishment of the rule of law and judicial reform, the fight against corruption and economic reforms.



Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has decided to set up a team of experts to assess the results of the “judicial reform” conducted by his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko. “Recently we have been concerned by the situation with various courts (in particular the ‘reformed’ ones) proclaiming rulings which lawyers think were not based on the requirements of the Ukrainian Constitution and the law,” Ruslan Riaboshapka, deputy chief of the presidential administration, said.
The presence of such court rulings was a “glaring testament to the failure of the judicial reform” carried out on Poroshenko’s watch, he said.
“This led the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to decide to form a group of experts to assess the results of the ‘judicial reform’ and prepare legislative and practical steps to urgently resolve the problems of functioning of the judicial branch of government,” Riaboshapka said.
Both the public and Zelensky’s administration expect a swift and principled reaction from the Supreme Council of Justice to such court rulings, the official said.

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