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MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak: Developments in Ukraine’s parliament on economic reforms, international obligations — Issue 59

by Yaroslav Zhelezniak June 12, 2024 6:51 PM 5 min read
A sitting of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's Parliament is livestreamed from the session hall in the media room, Kyiv on June 5, 2024. (Eugen Kotenko / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Editor’s note: This is issue 59 of Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak’s weekly “Ukrainian Economy in Brief” newsletter, covering events from June 3–June 10, 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.

The IMF benchmarks in focus


Time running out for Ukrainian authorities to adopt a draft law on relaunching the Bureau of Economic Security.

The deadline for adopting of draft law #10439 on restarting the Bureau of Economic Security Bureau is set for the end of June. There is only one plenary week scheduled till the end of the month for June 18-21. However, the draft law is still waiting to be considered in the second reading. Moreover, the Tax Committee still hasn't made any discussions on the matter and the draft law isn't included in the agenda of the recent Committee's meeting scheduled for June 12. The adoption of the draft law on the bureau's restart is a conditionality for financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU.

The Finance Ministry asked the Parliament for permission to postpone the submission of the budget declaration.

According to Serhii Marchenko, the finance minister, the ministry sent a request to the Verkhovna Rada to postpone the deadline for submitting the Budget Declaration due to changes in certain factors which affect the document. During the Hour of Questions to the Cabinet of Ministers in the Parliament last Friday the minister informed lawmakers that they will be ready to submit the Budget Declaration when all main macroeconomic indicators for 2025 will be agreed with the IMF.

Ukraine, Germany sign declaration to boost cooperation in business sector
Ukraine’s and Germany’s finance ministries signed on June 11 a joint declaration of intent on plans to strengthen bilateral cooperation to support Ukraine’s recovery after the end of Russia’s full scale war, Reuters reported.

Obligations to the EU

The Verkhovna Rada ratified the Ukraine Facility.

The Verkhovna Rada ratified the agreement between Ukraine and the EU regarding special financing mechanisms under the Ukraine Facility. The ratification of the Framework Agreement will allow the use of necessary mechanisms of monitoring and auditing how the Ukrainian government will spend a financial support of 50 billion euros during 2024-2027 period of the program.

Parliament ratifies EU Ukraine Facility framework agreement, Ukraine to receive more than $17 billion in 2024
Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, ratified on June 6 the terms for which Kyiv will receive 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in macro-finance support from the EU until 2027, known as the Ukraine Facility.

Other key economic issues

The Parliament adopted in the first reading draft laws to increase excise taxes on tobacco and fuel.

The Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading the draft law #11090 on increasing excise tax on tobacco goods submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers. The draft law suggests linking the excise tax rates on tobacco goods to euro and gradually increasing them to the minimum level according to the European Union Directive 2011/64/EU. Nevertheless, the Committee has to discuss excise tax on heated tobacco products.

The Parliament also adopted in the first reading a draft law on gradually increasing excise taxes on fuel. However, the Rada didn’t support the draft law which contained a provision to increase an excise tax for liquefied gas to 277 euros suggested by Ukrnafta under the influence of the Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Rostyslav Shurma.

The Anti-Corruption Committee will initiate a public meeting regarding the information leaks in NABU.

Anastasiia Radina, head of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, announced a public meeting of the Committee regarding the potential information leaks in National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which were exposed in particular by Bihus.Info journalists (see the quick recap of the report here). The meeting should take place next plenary week. The Committee is going to call the director of the NABU.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau makes progress yet doesn’t take on top presidential allies
As Ukraine’s civil society and the country’s Western partners call on the authorities to fight corruption amid Russia’s full-scale invasion, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) is showing mixed results. A year has passed since Semen Kryvonos became the head of the NABU in March 20…

As we reported in Issue 57, 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 road construction project within the “Big Construction."

Ukrainian expert NGOs call on the Economy Ministry to abandon the idea of cash back for purchasing Ukrainian-made goods.

Key Ukrainian analytical NGOs signed a public statement calling the Economy Ministry and Ukrainian authorities to abandon the idea of introducing cash back for the purchase of Ukrainian goods. They believe that the idea will create too much burden for the state budget, will be too difficult to administer, and will violate competition.

Instead, NGOs ask to focus on institutional improvements, in particular, to restart the Bureau of Economic Security (draft law #10439) and State Customs Service (draft law #6490-d).

Russian attacks pushing Ukraine’s energy system toward ‘worst-case scenario,’ largest private energy company says
Ukrainians could face up to 20 hours of blackouts a day under a “worst-case” scenario if the country cannot repair and properly defend its energy infrastructure from Russian attacks, Executive Director of Ukraine’s largest privately-owned energy company DTEK Dmytro Sakharuk told the Kyiv Independent…

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