Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: NO DEFAULT EXPECTED

Ukraine will start preparing a new program of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
The press service of the President of Ukraine reported on Tuesday that Zelensky during a meeting with large- and medium-sized businesses in Germany confirmed the cooperation of Ukraine with the IMF, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
“We are starting an agreement with the IMF, we will prepare a new program in July, there will be no default,” the president of Ukraine said.
He also said that, as president, he would not influence the courts or the banking system.
As reported, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Oleksiy Honcharuk said in an interview with NV.Business ezine that Ukraine is preparing for a possible launch of the new three-four-year program of cooperation with the IMF at the end of 2019.
On June 13, 2019, IMF Spokesperson Gerry Rice said in Washington that the IMF expects the completion of parliamentary elections in Ukraine to continue negotiations on further cooperation with the country. Rice recalled that in May the IMF mission worked in Kyiv, which had initial discussions with Zelensky.
The IMF Executive Board, following a meeting on December 19, 2018, approved a new program of cooperation with Ukraine under the Stand-By Arrangement. The amount of the 14-month program is equivalent to SDR 2.8 billion, or about $3.9 billion. Some SDR 1 billion (about $1.4 billion) was provided immediately, while the remaining funds will be provided based on the results of the program reviews in 2019.
The IMF mission worked in Ukraine in May, but left without recommendations on the provision of the new tranche. Head of the mission Ron van Rooden said that the IMF mission is ready to return to Kyiv after the parliamentary elections and the formation of a new government. The IMF team found that fiscal and monetary policies remain on track.

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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY ARRIVES IN PARIS

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Paris on a one-day official visit. In accordance with the program, upon arrival, the head of the Ukrainian state will visit the world’s largest startup campus Station F opened by French President Emmanuel Macron on June 29, 2017.
At about 15:30 local time Zelensky is to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in the Elysee Palace. A joint press conference of the presidents is scheduled for 16:30.
Zelensky is also expected to visit the French Senate.
On Monday evening, the Ukrainian president will leave for Germany.
In addition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Zelensky in Germany will also meet with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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UKRAINE IS NOT ONLY AGRICULTURE, METALLURGY, FOOD, IT’S ALSO IT INDUSTRY – VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is convinced that Ukraine should be associated not only with agriculture, mines and metallurgy, beautiful people, nature and food, but also with the IT industry. “There has always been a vision for everyone in the world that Ukraine is, above all, agriculture, mines, metallurgists, and tourists have always said that Ukraine is very beautiful, food here is very tasty and people are very beautiful, especially women. Yes, that’s it and it remains our brand, but there are other figures that indicate that the IT industry, IT technologies and companies are developing very quickly in Ukraine,” he said during a visit to Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, in Paris.
According to Zelensky, more than 4% of Ukraine’s GDP is now formed through the IT industry. “We have about 150,000 IT specialists, startup initiators in Ukraine. I think that we will develop in this direction,” he said.
Zelensky noted that in Ukraine there is no such campus for startups yet, but they will work on it. “We have a lot of factories, which, unfortunately, do not work. We will definitely find such a large building,” he said.

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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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