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MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak: Developments in Ukraine’s parliament on economic reforms, international obligations — Issue 57

by Yaroslav Zhelezniak May 28, 2024 9:36 PM 4 min read
Ukrainian flag waving over Parliament (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Getty Images)
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Editor’s note: This is issue 57 of Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak’s weekly “Ukrainian Economy in Brief” newsletter, covering events from May 20–26, 2024. The digest highlights steps taken in the Ukrainian parliament related to business, economics, and international financial programs.

The Kyiv Independent is republishing with permission.

World Bank priorities

Parliament adopted a draft law on vehicle insurance.

On May 21, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, adopted draft law #8300 on mandatory civil liability insurance of land vehicle owners. The draft law is aimed to harmonize Ukrainian legislation with the provisions of Directive 2009/103/EU including the gradual increase of insurance sums to the level in the EU countries.

The draft law also suggests improving and fastening compensation mechanisms to injured persons and expanding the use of the "European protocol" which gives an opportunity to fill an application for insurance compensation without the involvement of the police.

The draft law also introduces direct settlement in all cases of road accidents in which damage is caused only to the vehicle, which will allow the injured person to apply for an insurance payment from his insurer, even if the culprit is not insured.

The Committee also agreed to add to the law a number of important amendments for the insurance industry in the near future.

Other key economic issues

Legal sales of tobacco goods started to increase in March and April, but not in all regions.

The amount of legal sales of tobacco goods reached Hr 8.85 billion ($219 million) in March and Hr 8.98 billion ($222 million) in April after the continued decrease since September 2023.

At the same time legal sales of tobacco goods continued to fall in several regions such as Zakarpattia, Lviv, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi and Cherkasy oblasts.

During March and April legal tobacco sales in these regions fell down more than a third from August 2023. This indicates the absence of any effective actions by law enforcement in countering the illegal tobacco market in above mentioned regions.

The government still hasn’t decided on a candidate for the position of the dismissed infrastructure minister.

Last week some representatives of the presidential faction expected that the Verkhovna Rada would appoint a new Vice Prime Minister for the Reconstruction of Ukraine - Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure. Let me remind that the predecessor Oleksandr Kubrakov was dismissed at the beginning of May.

The most likely candidates for the position of the Minister of Community Development were said to be Oleksiy Chernyshov, CEO of Naftogaz, and Oleksiy Kuleba, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. However, the government and the Office of the President still haven’t decided on a candidate and the position remain vacant.

Parliament dismisses Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov
Ukraine’s Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted to dismiss Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov on May 9.

Another one Ukrainian investment fund accused law enforcement of putting pressure on business.

Ukrainian investment company Dragon Capital owned Tomas Fiala reported that the Bureau of Economic Security puts pressure on its business. According to the official statement of the company, with the tax evasion case opened by the division in Kyiv, a parallel case was opened by the bureau's unit in Lviv which even interrogated the company's employees.

Dragon Capital firm complains about pressure from authorities, Bureau of Economic Security denies
The Dragon Capital investment group has come under undue pressure by the Bureau of Economic Security over activities of one of the company’s key assets, the company said on May 24.

On the same day Dragon Capital made its public statement, the bureau announced that the case opened by the Lviv unit is prepared to be closed.

Gizo Uglava is suspended from the position of the first deputy director of the NABU following allegations of investigations leakage.

On May 24, the first deputy director of Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) Gizo Uglava was suspended following allegations of leakage of information regarding high profile investigations, including investigation related to embezzlement of funds during the president's “Big Construction” road construction project.

The official investigation into the leakage of information is conducted by the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) initiated by the whistleblower within the NABU. There was an attempt by the suspects in the case to accuse SAPO of presumed procedural violations and potential conflict with the NABU, however later they were refuted.

More details about this situation will unfold in the upcoming weeks.

Ukrainian prosecutors search detective’s house over alleged leak in top corruption case
The Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) said on May 22 that it had searched the house of a detective of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). The case involves alleged corruption at the President’s Office, law enforcement sources told the Kyiv Independent. The Presid…
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