Business news from Ukraine

ZELENSKY SETS TASK TO CUT BUDGET EXPENSES ON MAINTENANCE OF OFFICIALS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a meeting with top managers of the government and lawmakers has set a task to cut budget expenses on maintenance of officials by 10%. “We held a meeting to prepare the 2020 national budget for second reading. I listened to the Minister of Finance on the main indicators. I set the task to reduce national budget spending on officials for the next year by 10%,” Zelensky said in his Telegram channel on Friday.
The president said that this would save money and allow channeling funds to socially important budget items.
“This reduction should not affect teachers and doctors, those on whom the future of Ukraine depends,” Zelensky said.

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ZELENSKY ON IMF: IT IS NECESSARY TO FIND THE RIGHT CONTACT WITHOUT ‘LOSING ONESELF’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is trying to find a fruitful friendly format for relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without damaging Ukraine’s interests.
“I don’t think that the IMF should impose any other conditions other than economic ones. Is this happening? Not really. I think that we need to try to find the right contact with everyone, friendly contact, a profitable one without losing ourselves,” Zelensky said during a press marathon with journalists in Kyiv on Thursday.
“But at any moment you know what can be done. Just stand up and hit the table with your fist. Dialogue does not start from this, but it’s where dialogue can end,” he said.
Zelensky noted that the IMF “is more about money,” and he is “more about emotions” and thinks dialogue should begin with the latter.

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ZELENSKY: WE WILL BUILD AIRPORTS IN UKRAINE

The issue of building airports is a priority for 2020, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“We will build an airport in Dnipro. We are not postponing anything: we will build airports in 2020. And not only in Dnipro,” he said during a press marathon in Kyiv on Thursday.
According to the head of state, funds for the construction of an airport in Dnipro may not be available in the current draft national budget, since the document has not yet been finalized and all amendments have not been made to it.
“We agreed that we are one team, and we will discuss the final budget together with the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister. They have not yet come to me with the final budget,” Zelensky said.
The president also said that a report from an independent commission on the construction of a bridge in Dnipro was almost ready. In a week, he plans to get it and consider it, after which he will be ready to talk about this construction project with Dnipro City Mayor Borys Filatov.

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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY MEETS WITH AMERICAN ACTOR TOM CRUISE IN KYIV

American actor Tom Cruise has arrived in Kyiv at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Zelensky met with Cruise in his office on September 30, according to the website of the President’s Office.
“During the meeting, Cruise told Zelensky that he was interested in Ukrainian locations for the filming of one of his new film projects. This was another reason to visit our country,” the website said.
Zelensky, in turn, told Cruise about his experience working in cinema.
He noted that recently the Ukrainian parliament passed a law on compensation to foreign producers who make films in Ukraine. Zelensky said the law law would make Ukraine attractive for to international filmmakers for investment.

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DONALD TRUMP ON BIDEN CASE: I WANT ZELENSKY TO “DO WHATEVER HE CAN IN TERMS OF CORRUPTION” IN UKRAINE

U.S. President Donald Trump has explained that during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, he talked about a probe into the case of a company related to former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in the context of Zelensky’s promise to fight against corruption in Ukraine.
“I want him to do whatever he can. This was not his fault; he wasn’t there. He’s just been here recently. But whatever he can do in terms of corruption, because the corruption is massive. Now, when Biden’s son walks away with millions of dollars from Ukraine, and he knows nothing, and they’re paying him millions of dollars, that’s corruption. When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund. <…> I think that’s a horrible thing. I think it’s a horrible thing,” he said during a bilateral meeting with Zelensky in New York City on Wednesday, September 25.
“I know the President, and I’ve read a lot about Ukraine. I’ve read a lot about a lot of countries. He wants to stop corruption. He was elected – I think, number one – on the basis of stopping corruption, which unfortunately has plagued Ukraine. And if he could do that, he’s doing, really, the whole world a big favor. I know – and I think he’s going to be successful,” Trump emphasized.
The U.S. president also spoke about the need to fight corruption in response to Zelensky’s call to invest in Ukraine.
Zelensky told Trump about the large number of laws currently being adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which are aimed at reforming the law enforcement system to combat corruption and the economy.
Then, in a conversation with the media, Trump, recalling the scandal with deleted emails of ex-head of the Department of State and former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and addressing Zelensky, said: “We have corruption also, Mr. President. We have a lot of corruption in our government.”

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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY INVITES NORWEGIAN INVESTORS TO PRODUCE GAS IN UKRAINE

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has invited Norwegian investors to produce gas in Ukraine.
Zelensky’s office said the president met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and discussed with her the importance of maintaining a high level of cooperation between the two countries.
Zelensky “thanked Norway for its staunch support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The sides agreed to work on “bringing Norwegian investors into infrastructure and humanitarian projects to restore Donbas,” his office said.
Norwegian business are expressing a significant interest in Ukraine in light of reports about improved transparency and anti-corruption initiatives, Solberg said.
“We are reforming our law enforcement bodies, we will have privatization, we will conduct reforms that help overcome corruption,” Zelensky said.
He noted the importance of support in the energy sphere.
“We would be pleased to invite you there to produce gas. We have gas fields but we do not have enough technology. This is not simply a business interest but as geopolitical issue,” he said.
The two also discussed alternative energy.
Zelensky briefed Solberg on the situation in Donbas. At the end of the meeting, Solberg presented Zelensky with a football, on which sustainable development targets were depicted.

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