Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ENLARGES DEFENSE SPENDING WITH 1.7-BLN-POUND LOAN FROM UK

Ukraine’s spending on the development and procurement of weapons and military hardware in 2022 has been increased by UAH 67.57 billion with UK loans totaling 1.7 billion and aimed at bolstering capacities of the Ukrainian Navy.
The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada adopted the respective bill by 342 votes on Tuesday.
The bill enlarges this year’s budget expenditures from UAH 1,525.930 trillion to UAH 1,593.5 trillion with the special fund’s growth to UAH 221.11 billion.
Meanwhile, the budget deficit ceiling was raised from UAH 188.8 billion to UAH 256.36 billion, including UAH 96.1 billion for the special fund.
In addition, the budget no longer has restrictions at the amount of 3% of the planned revenue for the provision of state guarantees, as well as restrictions at the amount of UAH 10 billion and UAH 20 billion, respectively, for the provision of portfolio guarantees and loan guarantees, in order to increase the national defense capacity.
The bill limits road fund expenditures. “The money will be primarily spent on repaying the state debt, defense, and the development and maintenance of roads,” the Servant of the People faction said in comment on the bill.
An explanatory note says that Ukraine will be implementing state investment projects to purchase two minesweepers from British suppliers, to deliver and service these minesweepers, to ensure the joint construction of eight missile craft, and to deliver and install weapons on the available ships. It is also planned to jointly build a frigate and to receive advisory and technical support for the construction of naval infrastructure, including the delivery of equipment.
At the end of January, the Verkhovna Rada ratified a framework intergovernmental agreement on loan funding of the development of the Ukrainian Navy. The agreement was signed in London on November 12, 2021, to envisage allocations for the construction of eight missile craft, the procurement of two minesweepers from the UK, and the opening of two naval bases in Ukraine.

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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT EXTENDS MARTIAL LAW UNTIL APR 25

The Verkhovna Rada has extended martial law in Ukraine until April 25, 2022, MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak (the Holos parliamentary faction) has said.
“Today, the parliament has gathered again at the Verkhovna Rada… a number of important… decisions have been made,” Zhelezniak wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday.
According to him, the extension of the martial law in Ukraine is stipulated in bill No. 7168 on the extension of the martial law in Ukraine, which was backed by 343 MPs.
“The period of martial law in Ukraine is extended from 05.30 on March 26, 2022 for a period of 30 days,” the bill says.
On February 24, after the Russian attack and the shelling of all regions, martial law was introduced in Ukraine.

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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT NEEDS DEFINITION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS WITH GMOS

The Ukrainian parliament needs to resolve an issue of uncertainty in biotechnological activities and production of agricultural products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) at the legislative level, if the country chooses a course towards the liberalization of such products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is ready to help it.
“This is an initiative of Americans themselves. In Ukraine, there is uncertainty with GMOs and biotechnologies. That is, we have a law, but there are no by-laws, and this, in fact, creates a legal vacuum in this area. On the other hand, we have partially grown GMO crops – soy and rapeseed. So there needs to be some order. It is necessary to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to GMOs,” Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy Mykola Solsky said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, the USDA has offered its assistance to Ukraine if the parliament decides to liberalize the issue of GMO production in the country.
“Progress in this direction was planned even before the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, for three days we arranged a meeting at the USDA with specialists leading all these programs,” Solsky specified the details of the trip of the Ukrainian delegation to the United States at the end of November 2021.
Solsky also said that about 80% of meat in the EU countries is produced from animals raised on GMO-containing feed, while GMO-containing fruits and vegetables are practically non-existent due to lack of demand.
“In Europe, there is no special philosophy about this. Americans do practical things that bring more money. It’s later, if the technology is so cheap that it can be used for eggplants, they will do it too. Therefore, GMO corn and GMO soybeans are the most consumed now – main carbohydrate and main protein, from which its development began. Now they are already working on GMO wheat,” the head of the committee said.
As reported, in August 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the submission to the Verkhovna Rada of a draft law on state regulation of genetic engineering activities and control over the circulation of products with GMOs, this initiative is aimed at conducting a comprehensive review of existing legislation in the field of handling GMO products, and also allows to implement in Ukrainian legislation the normative acts in force in the EU.

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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS LAW ON FINANCIAL SERVICES AND FINANCIAL COMPANIES

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted law “On financial services and financial companies” (No. 5065) at the second reading.
The corresponding decision was supported by 248 deputies at a parliamentary meeting on Tuesday.
As reported, the draft law on financial services and financial companies was adopted as a basis on April 27.
The document expands the terminology used in the legislation on regulation of financial services markets, enshrines the principles of providing financial services and protecting the rights of customers (consumers) in order to ensure the functioning of a transparent and competitive market environment.
In addition, the provision on the obligations of a financial service provider to provide complete and comprehensive information has been expanded, to establish requirements not only for advertising of financial services, but also for any other form of dissemination of information about financial services in order to maximize the protection of clients from false or manipulative information.

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FOUR PARTIES PASS TO UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT – POLL

The political parties Servant of the People, Opposition Platform – For Life, European Solidarity and Batkivschyna would overcome the five percent barrier if elections to the Verkhovna Rada were held on Sunday, according to the results of a survey conducted by the NGO Kyiv Institute of Sociology of Civil Society from July 15 to July 19, 2021.
According to the poll, which was presented at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Wednesday by chairman of Kyiv Institute of Sociology of Civil Society, MP Oleksandr Kovtunenko, among those who will vote and have made their choice, 23.1% are ready to support the Servant of the People party, 17.5% – Opposition Platform – For Life, 15.4% – European Solidarity, and 11.8% – Batkivschyna.
At the same time, there are still chances of getting into parliament for the political force of Strength and Honor, which would receive the support of 4.9% of Ukrainians, Oleh Liashko’s Radical Party (4.1%) and Groysman’s Ukrainian Strategy (3.8%).
Civic Position would have won 2.8% of the votes cast, Shariy Party – 2.1%, Holos – 1.5%, Svoboda – 1.2%, Opposition Bloc and National Corps – 0.8% each, For Maybutnie group (For the Future) – 0.3%, People’s Front and Samopomich – 0.1% each. Two percent of respondents would vote for another party, and 7.7% of respondents would spoil the ballot or cross out all candidates.
The poll was conducted by Kyiv Institute of Sociology of Civil Society, commissioned by the American company West Market Industrial LLC (U.S.). Some 3,000 respondents were interviewed using the CATI method (computer-assisted telephone interview). The audience is the population over the age of 18, living in all regions of Ukraine, except for the temporarily uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea. The error in the representativeness of the study does not exceed 2.8%.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT CANCELS CRIMEA FREE ECONOMIC AREA

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has canceled the Crimea free economic area, which was introduced by law in August 2014.
The adoption of relevant bill No. 5502-d on recognizing as invalid the law of Ukraine on the creation of a free economic area “Crimea” and on the specifics of performing economic activities in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and on amending some legislative acts of Ukraine was supported by 328 MPs.
“Taking into account the circumstances that operated in 2014, the law, in fact, introduced preferential conditions for the continuation of economic activities in the temporarily occupied territory. At the same time, the law regulated the implementation of the rights of Ukrainian citizens who remained to live in the temporarily occupied territory and introduced additional restrictions (in particular, customs), in the tax legislation such citizens were equated to non-residents,” the government said in the explanatory note.
The authors of the bill said that such restrictions have led to discrimination against citizens of Ukraine who have remained to live in the temporarily occupied territory or are registered in this territory.
In particular, the status of non-residents led to restrictions on access to banking services in the territory controlled by Ukraine. International and national human rights organizations have repeatedly stated about the negative consequences of the law for the observance of human rights and freedoms.
In addition, bill No. 5502-d proposes to regulate the procedure for persons entering and leaving the temporarily occupied territory, securing the right to free secondary legal aid for Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territory and ensuring the implementation of the right to inheritance for such persons.
The Verkhovna Rada at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday also supported bill No. 5501, which amends the Tax Code regarding the administration of taxes and fees in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and bill No. 5503 on amendments to the Customs Code in connection with the adoption of the law on the abolition of the Crimea free economic area.

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