Representatives of the shopping center development market of Ukraine have sent an open letter to authorities asking to start a dialog on consolidation of actions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 and taking steps aimed at reviving business activities after the end of quarantine.
“The shopping centers and the companies that are represented in them are among the largest taxpayers. However, today they are most affected by quarantine, because understanding the responsibility and gravity of the situation visitors have limited access to malls. Developers faithfully and promptly complied with the decision of Cabinet of Ministers No. 210 on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine,” they said in a collective letter sent on March 30, the text of which is available for Interfax-Ukraine.
In the letter, the developers drew attention to the need: to harmonize the content of the local protocols of the standing commissions of the fuel and energy complex and the emergency response with the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers; allow the sale of textile masks in malls; provide the opportunity to use public transport for employees of permitted groups of tenants; reduce the amount of VAT and defer the payment of income tax for three months after the end of quarantine; exempt from land fees, real estate tax and income tax; confirm holidays for bank loans; to keep the obligatory payment by the tenants for maintaining malls.
The letter is addressed to the President of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada, National Bank of Ukraine, Kyiv City Administration, the Bar Association and the European Business Association.
The document was signed by CEETRUS Ukraine Commercial Director Ganna Koryagina, Dragon Capital Property Management Commercial Director Nataliya Kravets, Arricano CEO Anna Chubotina, Chief Operation Officer of Budhouse Group Maksym Havriushyn, CEO of New Business Views (Odesa-based Riviera Shopping City mall) Andriy Brynzylo, representative of Terkury-2 (Podoliany mall in Ternopil) Mykhailo Ibrahimov, Operational Director of Davento Ukraine (network of the Equator shopping centers) Larysa Pervinenko, director of Smena (Hollywood shopping center in Chernihiv) Ruslan Zemliansky, and Commercial Director of Urban Oasis Center Ludmyla Vilischuk.
In November, the German-Ukrainian Fund (GUF) will present a new FinancEast program to support micro–, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the government-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, under which it is planned to reimburse up to 50% of the cost of investment projects of enterprises, GUF Executive Director Valeriy Mayboroda has said.
“This program is also co-financed by the EU and its amount is EUR9.5 million,” Country Manager to Ukraine of the KfW Development Bank Kurt Strasser said at a GUF press event in Kyiv on Wednesday.
According to him, these will be subsidies to help medium- and small-sized enterprises that lack access to money over the difficult economic situation, as well as those who are located in the Donbas region.
The FinancEast program is co-financed by the EU through KfW, the GUF Executive Director said.
“The stage of the finalization of contracts and operational guidelines is nearing completion, and from November we will begin the active phase of its implementation,” Mayboroda said.
FinancEast materials indicate that investment projects for MSMEs are medium- and long-term ones for more than 12 months that are related to the purchase, modernization or reconstruction of fixed assets. Under an investment project, financing of current assets up to 20% of its value is allowed.
In 2019, the assets of a current program for lending SMEs in the national currency, which is designed until 2030, grew to EUR14.7 million, or 47%, since the launch of the project in 2017. This program is implemented by the GUF and financed by KfW and the EU.
Since the beginning of the project, 217 enterprises have been funded for a total of about UAH 710 million with an initial budget of the program being UAH 370 million. The average rate is 15.5% per annum. According to Mayboroda, the financial resource of the program was used twice due to the reuse of returned loans.
Partners under the GUF’s program are Kredobank, Ukrgasbank, ProCredit Bank and Bank Lviv. The GUF’s Executive Director said that negotiations with CreditWest Bank were also ongoing on its joining the program.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he has no intention of interfering in U.S. internal affairs and elections in any way.
“I do not want to interfere in any way in the elections held by this independent nation, the United States, and I will not be doing it … Elect your own president and do not interfere in future elections of an independent Ukraine,” Zelensky said during a press marathon in Kyiv on Thursday.
“With due respect for the United States and America’s policy, we are not serving the latter’s purpose, as we are an independent country. However, we do not want to lose our relations, we wish to strengthen them instead,” Zelensky said.
Ukraine does not take sides in the U.S. domestic dispute, he said.
“We have no right to interfere in any elections in any country. We cannot back any candidates, I mean U.S. politicians,” he said.
It is a big mistake for the United States and bilateral relations to involve the Ukrainian president in these processes, Zelensky said.
Zelensky denied being acquainted and meeting with Ukrainian American businessman Sam Kislin.
“I could not tell who it was even from the photo,” he said.
Journalists asked whether Ukraine could count on U.S. President Donald Trump under the current circumstances.
“We count on support of the United States above all, including support of U.S. President Donald Trump. I’d rather not comment on what is going on in their domestic policy. It’s their domestic policy, and I do not see any change in their attitude towards us in international relations,” Zelensky said.
The problem of blocked deliveries of U.S. weapons to Ukraine has been solved, Zelensky said.
“This has nothing to do with Burisma [company],” he said.
“I do not anticipate any change [in Ukraine-U.S. relations] but if it happens, we will learn about that from Twitter,” Zelensky said jokingly.
Raiffeisen Bank Aval, ProCredit Bank and OTP Bank (all based in Kyiv) have signed a credit line agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) for the total amount of up to EUR 70 million in hryvnia equivalent under the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Finance Facility of the EU4Business initiative.
An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that the signing ceremony took place at the EBRD office on Tuesday.
In particular, Raiffeisen Bank Aval will receive a credit line with the limit of EUR 25 million in hryvnia equivalent, ProCredit Bank – EUR 20 million in hryvnia equivalent, and OTP Bank – EUR 25 million in hryvnia equivalent.
The total limit of the facility is EUR 120 million in hryvnia equivalent.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources Kent Logsdon has said at a meeting with representatives of the World Bank and the European Union that Washington is ready to support Ukraine’s energy reform programs together with international partners.
“During meetings with World Bank and EU officials, PDAS Logsdon underscored the U.S. commitment to supporting Ukraine’s energy reform agenda together with international partners,| the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said on Twitter on Monday, June 24.
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has assured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the EU will continue to support Ukraine.
“The High Representative congratulated President Zelensky on his election victory and underlined that the European Union continues to stand by Ukraine, supporting the country on its reform agenda and with respect to its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” an EU spokesperson said in a statement.
During their meeting in Brussels, Mogherini and Zelensky discussed possible ways to make progress in implementing the Minsk Agreements for Donbas.
“Federica Mogherini stressed that the European Union is ready to support the Minsk implementation with all available means. This can include the EU’s help in support of President Zelensky’s stated objective for an inclusive approach towards the Ukrainian citizens living in the non-government controlled areas in eastern Ukraine,” according to the statement.
“High Representative Mogherini also confirmed the EU’s socio-economic support to the Azov Sea region,” the EU spokesperson said.
“The European Union continues to expect that Russia will immediately release the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and return to Ukraine’s custody the three vessels,” the spokesperson said.
The sides also discussed the need to continue reforms in Ukraine.
“They look forward to continue the discussions and common work at the next EU-Ukraine Summit which will take place on 8 July in Kyiv,” the spokesperson said.