Business news from Ukraine

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY INTENDS TO REVIEW POROSHENKO’S “JUDICIAL REFORM”

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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MERKEL TO DISCUSS MINSK AGREEMENTS WITH UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 18 will discuss Minsk agreements and reforms in Ukraine with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, official representative of the German government Ulrike Demmer has said. “During the working lunch, politicians will talk about bilateral relations, the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the conflict in the east of Ukraine and the reform process. Then a press conference will be held,” Demmer told reporters.
According to her, for Germany the “Minsk process” to settle the situation in Ukraine is very important.
“You know how important the Minsk process is to us,” she said. Despite the fact that work within the framework of the format at different levels is ongoing, Demmer did not specify the dates of the summit of the leaders of the Normandy Four or a meeting of foreign ministers.
“Work under the Normandy Four is under way, and I cannot tell you about specific events now,” the spokeswoman for the German government said.
Zelensky will also meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Germany.

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ZELENSKY LOOKING FOR WAYS TO CUT UTILITY TARIFFS FOR CITIZENS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is looking for ways to cut the energy tariffs for households, but it should be done in a way so not to devaluate the hryvnia, arouse additional inflation or economic crisis, representative of the head of state in the government Andriy Gerus has written on his Facebook page. According to him, work in this direction is underway. The president has already held two meetings devoted to this issue, and to fulfill the task, an efficient parliament and new laws are needed.
Now, Zelensky’s team is developing a comprehensive plan to reduce housing and utility tariffs for households, where possible, without negative side effects, the presidential envoy to the Cabinet of Ministers said.
One of the necessary conditions for this plan is the demonopolization of energy markets, Gerus said, expressing the hope that the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine will eventually begin to work fully.
According to him, it is also necessary to achieve growth in gas production (for which it is necessary to attract foreign investors to this area). At the same time, Gerus added that the stoppage of gas imports, according to the calculations of the Zelensky’s team, will reduce its price for households by 20-30%.
The president’s team also understands that some categories of the population are unfairly deprived of subsidies, the rules should be reviewed. To find funds in the budget for their payment, some oligarchs will have to be deprived of tax breaks and preferences, Gerus said.
He also said about unofficial information in the press about the increase in gas tariffs for households by 10-15% and electricity tariffs – by 150%.
“Our opinion was: these steps cannot be done without trust and understanding of society. Before this, there is a need to demonstrate to Ukrainians firm and fair actions of regulators regarding energy monopolies, and also show that punishment is incurred for stealing tariff funds. As I understand, our opinion has been taken into account,” Gerus said.

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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO VISIT FRANCE AND GERMANY

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will pay an official visit to France on June 17 and to Germany on June 18, the Presidential Administration has reported.
“The program of the visits envisages meetings of the head of state with the leadership of France and Germany, the heads of parliaments, as well as with leading French and German business representatives,” the administration said on its Facebook page on Thursday.

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EBRD STRATEGY IN LINE WITH PRIORITIES OF UKRAINE CAN WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY – VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at a meeting with the delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), led by its president Suma Chakrabarti, has assured that bilateral cooperation will be intensified and will become more efficient. “We thank you for being here and thank you for being the largest investor in Ukraine. I want to assure that we will extend our cooperation,” Zelensky said at the meeting.
He stressed that the strategy of the EBRD is fully consistent with the priorities of Ukraine, and expressed conviction that Ukraine and the bank together can work more efficiently. Zelensky noted that the country appreciates cooperation with the international partners: the EBRD, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The president noted he had already met with the representatives of the IMF, at which Ukraine’s progress in fulfilling its obligations under the Stand-By Arrangement was noted. According to Zelensky, the parties discussed the issue of continuing cooperation.

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ZELENSKY DISMISSES 15 GOVERNORS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed 15 heads of regional state administrations, deputy head of the Presidential Administration Ruslan Riaboshapka has said.
“The first part of motions has arrived from the Cabinet of Ministers today for the dismissal of the heads of regional state administrations. So, governors have been dismissed in such regions as Chernihiv, Khmelnytsky, Kherson, Ternopil, Sumy, Poltava, Odesa, where the acting head has been suspended, as well as Mykolaiv, Lviv, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporizhia, Zakarpattia, and Volyn,” he said at a briefing on Tuesday outside the Presidential Administration’s building in Kyiv.

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