- Zelenskiy Wants to Ban Oligarchs from Privatization Auctions
- Apple, Google, Netflix May Pay Ukraine’s 20% VAT Tax
- DTEK Wants to Sell Coal Mines, Power Plants
- ATB Is Top Revenue Earner in Ukraine
- Cameras Cut Speeding
‘Certified oligarchs’ will be forced to declare their assets, will be banned from funding political parties and from participating in the privatization of major state companies, under the “de-oligarchization” bill submitted to the Rada by President Zelenskiy’s supporters. A first step will be to draw up a list of about 12 businessmen who fit the criteria of an oligarch – through business monopolies, ownership of media, financing of political parties or by holding a high government position.
For the next 10 years, any government official who has contact with a registered oligarch or his agent, will have to report that meeting, the bill says. “We are building a country without oligarchs,” the president said at his 2-year anniversary press conference last month. “We are building a country where everyone is equal before the law.”
While popular with the public, the bill may not pass the Rada, a parliament where oligarchs loosely control blocs of votes. Critics say that Zelenskiy seeks to knock aside potential rivals in advance of an expected run for a second term, in 2024. This spring, he took away TV stations from one rival, pro-Russian Viktor Medvechuk.
If passed the new bill would render former president Petro Poroshenko, a candy and media magnate, ineligible to run for office. Poroshenko’s party said: “Zelenskiy is trying in every way to get rid of Poroshenko as the leader of the most powerful pro-European opposition party and to ban his political activities.”
Kira Rudyk, head of the liberal opposition party Golos, said: “The president’s initiative was submitted to parliament only as a PR stunt…Instead of reforming the judiciary and creating fair courts in the country, the president is submitting a populist bill that will not change anything fundamentally.”
The government-controlled Rada passed a law restoring prison terms for officials who hide assets – then President Zelenkiy said he would not sign it. “This isn’t what Ukrainians expect, and not what I promised them,” he said on the presidential website. Critics say the bill does not check assets held by family members, a classic dodge for officials seeking to hide ill-gotten gains. A law on assets is seen as key to restoring Ukraine’s $5 billion Stand-By Arrangement. This agreement stalled after Ukraine received the first tranche, one year ago next week.
Tech giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Bloomberg, Alibaba, and Booking.com would have to pay Ukraine’s 20% VAT tax when providing sales to customers in Ukraine, under a bill approved by the Rada at second reading. An explanatory note accompanying the bill says the current tax-free regime discriminates against resident companies that have to pay VAT. The note says: “Establishing special rules for VAT taxation of electronic services is becoming a common practice in other countries, for example, in countries of the European Union, as well as in Australia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia.”
DTEK is ready to “consider the sale of power stations and coal mines” as the company shifts towards green energy, DTEK CEO Maxim Tymchenko tells Ekonomichna Pravda news site. Ukraine’s largest private electricity producer is positioning itself to meet the EU’s net zero carbon target for 2050. Over the last three years, DTEK has invested $1.5 billion to build 1 GW of wind and solar capacity in Ukraine. In contrast, many of DTEK’s coal-fired power stations are “physically exhausted” and will have to close in the 2020s, Tymchenko says. He adds: “If nobody buys them, then we will close them – just like we do with coal mines.”
Last month’s restructuring of much of DTEK’s bank and bond debt can be traced back to debt taken on in 2012, before the Donbas war, Tymchenko says. Due to the war, DTEK lost control of mines and power stations, which cut the company’s electricity production in half. “In 2012, we produced 51 billion KWh – in 2020, 26.3 billion,” he says. “In 2012, we extracted 38 million tons [of coal]. In 2020 we extracted 19 million.”
Electricity storage for balancing power supplies will be the goal of a $211 million loan that Ukraine seeks from the World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund. According to Wednesday’s decision by the Cabinet of Ministers, the money would go for buying and installing 197 lithium-ion energy storage systems near hydroelectric plants operated by Ukrhydroenergo. Ukraine’s power transmission system is ill-equipped to handle the fluctuating electricity flows from wind and solar power plants.
Eight renewable energy producers have won a total of $29 million in judgements in Kyiv’s Economic Court against the Guaranteed Buyer, Finbalance reported. As of mid-May, Ukrenergo, parent company of Guaranteed Buyer, said it still owes $574 million in overdue 2020 payments to wind and solar producers. More bills went unpaid this year. PV Magazine reports that Lithuania’s Modus Group, the owner of three solar plants in Ukraine, is preparing to sue the government for €11.5 million in losses due to last summer’s 15% reduction in solar tariffs.
ATB, the supermarket chain, generated the most revenue of all companies in Ukraine last year, according to State Tax Service figures analyzed by Liga.net. About $4.5 billion flowed through the cash registers of the 1,200 stores of the national chain last year. Despite the recession, ATB’s net income was up 18% yoy. By comparison, Silpo ranked seventh in revenues, up 3% to about $2.3 billion. The Tax Service now posts revenue, profit and loss data for 18,600 Ukrainian companies and 386,500 small and micro businesses.
Azov Sea summer tourism is a far cry from the glory days when Soviet holidaymakers flew directly from Leningrad to Berdyansk. With half of Ukrainians saying they plan domestic vacations this year, an estimated 3 million tourists are expected to travel by car, bus and train to vacation in the warm waters of the Azov. Investment in promotion and in upgrading the region’s 12 health resort villages, would cause the tourism flow to nearly double, to 5.4 million, according to Oleksandr Liev, chairman of Ukraine’s Hospitality Industry Association. Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv, he said: “We see in the Azov region a great sanatorium-resort potential, health-improving potential.”
The first year of traffic cameras has yielded 1.7 million speeding tickets and a dramatic drop in recorded speeding, Oleksiy Biloshitskiy, the first deputy head of the Patrol Police Department, told reporters. Of the fines, 85% were paid, yielding the Treasury almost $10 million. As of last weekend, the cameras were catching 7,000 speeders a day, about 15% the number who getting caught when the system started last summer.
- Metal Production Up 9%
- Finance Ministry Sells $1 billion in Bonds
- Kharkiv Gets New Wheels
- Half of Ukrainians Have Biometric Passports For EU Travel
It costs $1 billion a year to operate Ukraine’s east-west gas transmission system, Serhiy Makogon, head of the pipeline operating company, writes on Facebook. “The Ukrainian GTS is a very complex, powerful and unique infrastructure that requires significant funds for daily operation,” he writes. Without long-term transit contracts the system becomes economically unviable, he writes. The Russian contract expires in 2024. In the late 2020s, part of the system could be used to transport hydrogen to the EU.
Responding to a world surge in metals prices, Ukraine’s dominant metals industry hiked production during the first five months of this year, compared to January-May 2020. Ukrmetalurgprom, the producer association, reports: pig iron +9.1%; steel +8.3%; rolled products: +7.9%.
EU moves to crackdown on ‘carbon leakage’ by curbing imports from polluting companies in non-EU countries will not affect Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna, the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, told relevant Rada committees. Stefanishyna said that “an agreement was reached in Brussels that Ukraine, as a country having a free trade area with the EU, could not be subject to direct trade restrictions,” reports Ukrinform, the state news agency. Prior to this agreement, she said, Kyiv think tanks estimated “the introduction of such a measure would actually block 20% of all exports of Ukrainian products of certain sectors to the European Union market.”
Faced with big bond redemptions, the Finance Ministry on Tuesday made the biggest bond sales of the year – $358.6 million and 15.9 million hryvnia, or $580 million. Interest rates were virtually unchanged on the hryvnia bonds, ranging from 8.42% for 3-month bonds and 12.3% on 3-year bonds. For dollar bonds, rates did not change: 3.7% for 1-year bonds, and 3.9% for 2-year bonds. The Ministry posted results of the auctions on its website and on its Facebook page.
Concorde Capital’s Evgeniya Akhtyrko writes: “The recent placements of new local bonds do practically nothing for financing government spending because of the growing load of local bond redemptions.”
By end of next year, reconstruction of the nearly 500 km Kyiv-Poltava-Kharkiv highway is to be complete, Ukravtodor officials said. The improvements will cut the drive between Ukraine’s two largest cities to four hours, from 6.5 hours today.
The European Investment Bank will loan €75 million to buy new electric trams for Kharkiv, reported Interfax-Ukraine. The first tram – a locally-assembled Czech Škoda – will be presented in September to Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhiv, the Acting Mayor, said last week at the UkraineInvest Talks in Dnipro. “We will completely renew the tram fleet in Kharkiv,” he said, referring to an estimated €100 million project.
Next month, the first of 150 Turkish Karsan buses are to appear on the streets of Kharkiv. Ultimately, 500 buses could come from Karsan with some local assembly, said Acting Mayor, Terekhov. Okan Bash, the General Director of Karsan, said: “Depending on the potential in the Ukrainian market, we will be evaluating to invest in a production facility in Kharkiv.” The most likely site for production would by Oleksandr’s Yaroslavsky’s Ecopolis KhTZ business park, a former tractor plant, where the Škoda trams now are being assembled.
France’s EuroCape inaugurated the first 80 MW stage of what could be a large scale 500 MW wind farm on the Azov coast of Zaporizhia, reports the regional government. Noting “10 years of bureaucratic struggle” the report hailed the commissioning of the first 27 wind turbines of a planned number of 167. If completed, the EuroCape project would be the fifth largest onshore wind project in Europe.
The first container train linking southern China with southern Ukraine is moving toward Odesa, reports Ecns.cn., or English China News Service. On Saturday, the train left Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, for a 25-day, 8,408 km trip to Odesa. The train’s 100 containers largely carry a cargo of tealeaves, mowers and rice cookers.
Lufthansa’s discount airline, Eurowings will start flying to Ukraine on September 1 with flights three times a week between Kyiv Boryspil and Dusseldorf, Eurowings reports. The airline was to start flying to Ukraine in 2018, but that entry never materialized.
Landlocked Uzbekistan opens up to tourism from Ukraine with inaugural flights this summer to the nation’s two largest cities. In June, SkyUp plans to launch a weekly flight between Kyiv Boryspil and Tashkent, the capital. In July, Bees Airline starts weekly flights between Kyiv Sikorsky and Samarkand, the nation’s cultural capital.
Belavia, Belarus’ state airline has stopped flying to 21 European cities. It now flies through Russian airspace to nine countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and UAE. Belarus plans to appeal the European overflight ban to the International Civil Aviation Organization, according to the Transport and Communications Ministry in Minsk. In Kyiv, Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar tells Ukrinform that more sanctions will follow if Belavia acts on President Lukashenko’s threat to start Minsk-Crimea flights.
Half of Ukrainian adults – 17 million people – now have biometric foreign passports. Since June 2017, these passports allow the bearers to visit the EU visa-free for 90 days. In the first five months of this year, 701,032 biometric passports were issued in Ukraine.
- OECD Ups World Growth Forecast
- Metinvest: Ukraine’s Cash Cow
- Donbas: Destruction and Investment
- Zakarpattia Integrates Rail With EU
- Zelenskiy’s National Airline Plans To Fly to US, China
The OECD has radically raised its forecast for world economic growth this year to 5.8%, from a forecast of 4.2% from December 2020. Large scale stimulus spending in the US combined with aggressive vaccination campaigns have turned developed countries, China and India into world locomotives for growth. The world leaders are: India +9.9%; China +8.5%; UK +7.2%; US +6.9%; France +5.8%; and Turkey +5.7%. Ten days ago, Ukraine’s Economy Ministry downgraded its 2021 growth forecast to 4.1%, from 4.6%.
Metinvest, Ukraine’s largest private company saw its EBITDA increase almost four times in the first quarter yoy, to nearly $1.5 billion. Rising high iron and steel prices, saw revenues in the vertically integrated steel company increase by 43% yoy, to $3.6 billion. In a sign that the world recovery is spreading beyond China, sales to Europe increased by 10% yoy to 1.48 million tons. Prices continued to rise in March, compared to February: +11% for pig iron; +9% for slabs and flat products; +1% for billets.
The EU and its European Investment Bank are investing €460 million to repair damaged infrastructure in Donetsk and Luhansk, reports Jean-Erik de Zagon, the bank’s resident representation in Ukraine. A first tranche of €120 million will be used to repair 168 buildings – largely schools, kindergartens, libraries, culture houses, medical clinics and apartment buildings for internally displaced people. Building on the success of this ‘Ukraine Early Recovery Program,’ the EU and Bank recently agreed to a second €340 million loan, largely targeting Donetsk and Luhansk.
With Luhansk region suffering some of the nation’s worst roads, Ukravtodor is repairing and rebuilding about 525 km of roads. This is four times the amount spent on road construction and repairs over the last decade, wrote Alexander Kubrakov, Infrastructure Minister, on Facebook after a driving tour of the Donbas.
In Donetsk, the state highway agency is rebuilding 12 bridges and the access road to the front line city of Avdiivka. In a multi-year project, Ukravtodor is rebuilding this summer the 625 km stretch of the M-14 between Odesa and Mariupol. This east-west road links the ports of the Azov and Black Seas, giving exporters increased flexibility if Russia closes the Azov to Ukraine-bound cargo ships.
Ukraine’s broad gauge tracks have been extended to a new intermodal terminal under construction in Fényeslitke, Hungary, 25 km south of Chop, Ukraine’s Zakarpattia border town. Billed as the largest truck-train terminal in Europe, Hungary’s €61 million East-West Gate will have several sets of parallel Euro gauge and broad gauge tracks. Lifts will straddle the tracks shuttling containers from one train to another. For trucks, Hungary is improving highway access from Budapest.
Switzerland’s Stadler Rail has chosen a site in Ukraine to produce electric trains, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Presidential Chief of staff, tells Interfax-Ukraine. The goal is to replace Ukraine’s Soviet era ‘elektrichkas,’ or suburban commuter trains. Baptized ‘City Express’ this suburban rail project is to start in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro. A memorandum of understanding was signed last month with Ukrzaliznytsia. In coming months, Stadler is expected to deliver one or two trains for testing. In Eastern Europe, Stadler has manufacturing plants in Hungary, Poland and Belarus.
The national airline that President Zelenskiy intends to create would carry out trans-Atlantic flights and flights to China, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, his Deputy Chief of staff, told Interfax-Ukraine. Airline representatives are negotiating with Boeing and Airbus for long haul jets. “These are for flights to Europe, transatlantic flights and long-haul flights – China, Asia,” he said. UIA has suspended flights to North America and Asia.
For the state airline, the core aircraft would be Ukrainian-made An-148 regional jets. With a range of up to 2,400 km, these Antonov planes carry up to 85 passengers. They would be used for domestic flights, to Moldova, Belarus, Georgia and Turkey.
Ukraine is negotiating with investors to build a new oil refinery and will be a partner in the project, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Presidential Chief of staff, tells Interfax-Ukraine. Ukraine’s only working oil refinery, in Kremenchuk, cannot make up for this month’s shortfall in gasoline imports from Belarus, nor can it meet the government’s increased demand for bitumen for the ‘Big Construction’ road building project. Two months ago, on a visit to Qatar, President Zelenskiy reached preliminary agreements on the construction of new oil and gas terminals in Odesa.
A bill to ban most plastic shopping bags by next spring passed the Rada. Following EU eco standards, Ukraine would ban stores from distributing thin plastic bags commonly used to carry groceries. Small bags used to wrap fish and raw meat would be exempt through 2022. The bill’s explanatory note says: “Every year, every Ukrainian uses about 500 plastic bags. In the EU this figure reaches 90 bags on average.”
- IT Cities Rise in Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv
- Belarus Cuts Gasoline Deliveries by 80%
- Electricity Consumption to Drop by 25% in the 2020s
- Average Salaries up 30%
- Windrose Now Flies from Kyiv to 11 Ukrainian Cities
UDP developers are moving ahead with three ‘IT cities’ – in Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv, said the company vice president, Vitaliy Melnyk. In September, the company will open its 18,000 square meter ‘business campus’ at LvivTech.City. With a total planned buildout of 110,000 square meters, the company plans to start residential construction this fall.
UNIT.City Kharkiv is to be twice as big, with 250,000 square meters of space, Melnyk told the press office of UFuture, the parent company. On this 9-hectare site, 3,000 square meters of school and office premises have opened.
At Kyiv’s UNIT.City, 100,000 square meters of office and residential space are under construction or completed. In coming weeks, Japanese-Dutch architect Hiroki Matsuura plans to open his Main Plaza, a 5,500 square meter central square for UNIT.City.
Belarus is cutting its shipments of premium unleaded gasoline by 80% for June, Serhii Kuyun, director of the A-95 consulting group, writes on Facebook. Ukraine will get 10,000 tons, instead of the normal 50,000. Ukrainian traders have bought all free gasoline from Lithuania’s Orlen Lietuva, the only refinery in the Baltics, and have contracted gasoline for sea delivery. Drivers can expect price rises at the pumps.
Behind the Belarus cuts are not politics, but domestic needs, writes UNIAN. Anna Bredikhina wrote that Russia’s Rosneft and Surgutneftegaz are refusing to supply oil to Naftan, Belarus’ second refinery because of US sanctions that hit Naftan on Thursday. Bredikina writes: “Accordingly, our northern neighbors decided to screw on the tap with fuel for Ukraine in order to meet, first of all, the needs of their country.”
Ukraine’s electricity consumption is forecast to fall by one quarter during the 2020s, predicts GlobalData, a London-based data provider. During the last decade, electricity consumption fell by 9%, to 127.3 terawatts, GlobalData says. Looking ahead, Pavan Vyakaranam, a GlobalData executive, cited several factors for the big drop in the 2020s: “One of the most prominent is its declining population. A slowdown in the commercial and industrial sectors will continue to impact demand in future.”
The average nominal salary in April 2021 was up almost 30% yoy, reaching the hryvnia equivalent of $493, reports that State Statistics Service. This is 2.3 times the minimum monthly wage of $218, a level largely used to set pensions. With Ukraine’s average salary expected to cross $500 in May, Russia’s average salary is stalled at $713. In Ukraine, the fastest growing sectors were IT and science, where salaries were up 48% yoy in April.
Concorde Capital’s Evgeniya Akhtyrko writes: “The growth of wages will be boosted by economic revival and rising demand for labor.”
Of the 109 companies managed by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, 20 state companies are to be liquidates, 15 are to be reorganized and three are to be prepared for privatization, Deputy Defense Minister Ihor Khalimon tells Interfax-Ukraine. By the end of this year, he has predicted that the number of companies under the Defense Ministry will be cut to 42.
Ukraine made it first payment – $41 million – for GDP warrants issued as part of the public debt restructuring in 2015. The trigger for last week‘s repayment was Ukraine’s GDP growth of 3.2% in 2019. Last summer, seeing the 3% barrier falling, the Finance Ministry bought back $330 million of the warrants, about 11% of the outstanding total. Ukraine is liable for paying on these warrants through 2040.
Svetlana Zalishchuk, the former journalist and Rada member for the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, has become an international affairs advisor to Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko. Targeting Nord Stream 2, she told the oil and gas company’s press department: “Ukraine still needs to win its battle against the Russian geopolitical pipeline. We are currently working on several scenarios to stop Nord Stream 2.” In the Rada, Zalishchuk ran the Subcommittee on Euro-Atlantic Cooperation and European Integration.
Yulia Svyridenko, Deputy Presidential Chief of staff, has been chosen by the Cabinet of Ministers to represent the government on the Naftogaz Supervisory Board. She succeeds Robert Bensh, a Houston oil and gas executive. At the same Cabinet session, three foreign members were reelected for new, 1-year terms: Clare Spottiswoode (Britain), Bruno Lesqua (France) and Ludo Van der Heyden (Belgium), as well as two Ukrainian state representatives: Natalia Boyko and Yulia Kovaliv.
Winner Group, the US-owner car importer, has been awarded a €20 million loan from the EBRD to move into electric vehicles and to build Renault and Volvo dealerships. The low interest loan comes on the heels of Winner adding MG last month to its lineup of imported cars: Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Bentley and, now, MG.
Of Ukrainians who plan to take a vacation this year, about half plan to vacation in Ukraine, according a telephone survey of 2,104 people taken in mid-May. With summer approaching, 53% said they planned to take a vacation in Ukraine. Of this group, 44.5% plan to travel outside their home region. The top regions cited were: Odesa, Zakarpattia, Zaporizhia and Lviv. The survey was conducted by Operative Sociology company and presented at a press conference with Oleksandr Tkachenko, Culture and Information Policy Minister.
Targeting regional airports, SkyUp is offering flights this summer from Zaporizhia to Batumi, Georgia; Istanbul, Turkey; Tirana, Albania; and Tivat, Montenegro. The discount airline also offers flights to Tivat from Kharkiv and Lviv. Before coronavirus disrupted travel patterns, UIA followed a spoke and hub strategy, forcing residents of regional capitals to fly to Kyiv Boryspil for external flights.
Windrose airlines starts flying three times a week from Kyiv Boryspil to Uzhgorod. With this 2-hour, 627 km flight to the capital of Zakparpattia, Windrose emerges as Ukraine’s dominant domestic carrier, flying from Kyiv to 11 Ukrainian cities. The flight – ending a one-year suspension of air links to Uzhgorod – is expected to boost summer tourism to the Carpathian Mountains.
Aiming to return river cruises to the Dnipro, Kaniv, a port 130 km downriver from Kyiv, is to be reopened as a working port, Oleksandr Skichko, head of Cherkasy region, said after a meeting with Oleskandr Kozlovsky, head of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority. The Infrastructure Ministry seeks to revive day boat trips from Kyiv – north to Chornobyl and south to Kaniv. Kyiv City is working to start ferry service between Podil’s River Station and two left bank districts – Rusanivka and Berezniaki.
- Will Belarus Cut Off Gasoline to Ukraine?
- Trade War Bubbles
- US Bechtel Wants to Build Kyiv Bypass Highway
- DTEK Moves Ahead with Wind Investment
- World Bank + US Aid = $355 million
- UZ Starts Trains Again to EU
Oil traders worry that Belarus will cut off supplies of A-95 gasoline to Ukraine this week, enkorr, or energy correspondent news site, reports from Kyiv. Belarus supplies half of Ukraine’s needs for this premium unleaded gasoline. “Today we were advised that there would be no supplies of the A-95 at all,” one trader reportedly told enkorr. Referring to a refinery in Mazyr, just north of Ukraine, another trader said: “According to our data, the Mozyr plant is flooded with gasoline.”
Serhii Kuyun, director of the A-95 consulting group, wrote on Facebook that the cut off is starting. “The worst decision that Belarusians could have taken in the current situation is to close the supply of A-95 gasoline to Ukraine, where their product has 50% of the market,” he wrote, noting that Ukrainian drivers, truckers and farmers need 50,000 tons of this fuel monthly. The uncertain mood is captured in a UNIAN headline: “Fuel lesson from Belarus: should Ukrainian motorists to stock up on gasoline?”
In response, officials for both sides said any shortages will be caused by scheduled repairs to the Mazyr refinery. Ukraine’s “policy of diversification of supplies will be strengthened,” Taras Kachka, Ukraine’s Trade Representative, promised on Facebook. “Don’t panic yet!”
For Belarus, an official told LB.ua: “There is no ban…but the volume will probably be reduced.” Sergei Melknikov, Deputy Director General in Ukraine for the Belarusian Oil Company, added: “This is due to the scheduled repair at the Mazyr refinery, which will start on June 1. There is no political motive either.”
Worries over gas lines come as Belarus imposed on Friday licensing restrictions on a series of imports from Ukraine – ranging from toilet paper and beer to farm machinery and washing machines. With the curbs to take effect this weekend, Kachka, Ukraine’s Trade Representative: “Individual licensing regime means manual control of the import of Ukrainian products to Belarus.”
Belarus will lift the restrictions if Ukraine reciprocates by lifting its trade restrictions and its new ban on over flights by airplanes from Belarus, Alexander Guryanov, Belarus’ First Deputy Foreign Minister, told Radio Free Europe. He said: “We are ready to completely repeal all our decisions, we are ready to restore the free trade regime in full.”
Ukraine banned over flights by planes from Belarus. Belavia, the state airline, says this ban adds 30-90 minutes to its flights south – to Israel, Turkey and Egypt, reports Avianews. The ban prompted Belavia to drop its flights to Moldova and Hungary as impractical. Due to over flight bans by Ukraine and EU nations, Belavia can now only fly east, to Russia.
Bechtel Corporation, the largest construction company in the US, signed a memorandum of cooperation with Ukravtodor on construction of the 150-km Kyiv Bypass Road. This confirmation of interest caps several recent meetings in Kyiv and Washington between Bechtel executives and Ukrainian officials. Ukraine’s state highway agency has divided the project into six sections. Three are already in the design stage. One 25 km segment includes a 6 km bridge over the Dnipro, near Ukrainka, about 40 km south of the Kyiv Ring Road.
DTEK’s Tiligulska wind power project, with a capacity of 126 MW, is under construction this summer and should produce power next year, DTEK reports. Located in southwest Mykolaiv, the project is largely financed with money from a green Eurobond that DTEK issued in the fall of 2019. If the government catches up with overdue payments to wind and solar producers, DTEK could proceed with plans to increase the Tiligulska plant 4.5 times, to 564 MW, for a total of $640 million, Maris Kunickis, CEO of DTEK Renewables, said in March 2021.
Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S is making the turbines for the DTEK project and for a project by YUFB Engineering in Ternopil. Located about 150 km east of Lviv city, the Ternopil project is to be 25 MW. Vestas says it has 18% of the world wind turbine market. The 6 MW turbines it is making for the DTEK project are some of world’s largest onshore turbines. Their rotor diameter is 162 meters.
Austrian banker Gerhard Bösch has been appointed chairman of the management board of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest and most profitable bank, the bank reports. For the last 15 years, Bösch has worked in high positions for Raiffeisen Bank Aval, the Ukrainian unit of the Austrian bank. As head of PrivatBank, Bösch is expected to prepare the bank for privatization and to fend off lawsuits by the former owners, Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov. The pair were believed to be behind a lawsuit that held up Bösch’s appointment for four months. Petr Krumphanzl, a Czech banker, stepped down as PrivatBank’s CEO on Jan. 23, when his 3 year contract expired.
To inject $100 million into Ukrainian small and medium sized business, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved additional financing for its COVID-19 response project first approved one year ago. Ukreximbank will be the borrower and implementing agency for the money, which is reserved for export-oriented companies.
US State Department is asking Congress for $255 million in aid to Ukraine for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. “U.S. assistance will strengthen Ukraine’s ability to counter Russian aggression, reads the Ukraine section in the 168-page Congressional Budget Justification. “Funding will accelerate reforms to address corruption, enhance transparency and accountability, including by expanding e-government initiatives, advance institutional reforms and training necessary for European integration.” US taxpayer money will also focus on reforming Naftogaz, supporting the OSCE mission in Ukraine, and Covid-19 ‘vaccine hesitancy.’
Developing Ukraine’s stock market infrastructure will be the goal of an agreement to be signed this week by Ukrainian authorities with EBRD, USAID and the American Chamber of Commerce. “We are working on the development of the stock market infrastructure,” Prime Minister Shmygal said last week at the UkraineInvest Talks Dnipro International Investment Forum. “There is quite a lot of money provided for the clearing system for stock market development in Ukraine.”
“US diplomatic signals go unheard in Ukraine,” headlines an Atlantic Council blog by Oleksiy Honcharuk, President Zelensky’s first Prime Minister. Alarmed over the government’s bypassing of the Naftogaz Supervisory Board to switch CEOs, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cut his face-to-face meeting with Zelensky on May 5, from one hour to 15 minutes. “This strong signal was backed by equally firm rhetoric identifying domestic corruption alongside Russian aggression as the two key dangers facing today’s Ukraine,” Honcharuk wrote from Washington. “Ukraine’s actions following the Blinken visit create the impression that President Zelensky is looking to test the country’s Western partners and see how far he can go.”
Ukrzaliznytsia restarts international service with a daily Kyiv-Budapest-Vienna train, the state railroad reports. The 21-hour train comes after Ukraine’s third coronavirus wave has receded to about 3,000 new cases a day – one third the level of one month ago. Before buying tickets, travelers should check the rules of entry of their ultimate destination country.
JCC Ukraine Chapter Webinar
“Ukraine’s Agriusiness: New Opportunities”
June 17, 2021 (14:00-15:00 CET)
- Gebhard Rogenhofer, Wurzelwerk GR GmbH
- Alex Lissitsa, President of Ukrainian Agribusiness Club, CEO of Warsaw Stock Exchange listed agricultural company IMC
- Sven Henniger, Partner, Henniger Winkelmann Consulting
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