• Farmland Bill: E-Auctions, Limits on Size of Holdings, Restricted to Ukrainians and Ukrainian Cos
  • Central Bank Cuts Prime for Third Time in Four Months
  • Anti-Corruption Court Opens
  • Kernel and Louis Dreyfus Investing $250 million in Black Sea Ports, Rail Wagons

With three weeks to go for the Rada to receive a farmland market bill, posts what it calls the agreed-upon legislative draft. The parameters are: only Ukrainians and Ukrainian companies are to buy farmland; all sales are to be through e-auctions, and sales prices must be made public. Caps on ownership by a person, entity or related parties would be 35% of farmland in a local community, 15% in a province, and 0.5% on a national level. Since Ukraine has a total agricultural land area of 41.5 million hectares, this last cap would limit one company’s ownership nationwide at 207,000. This would mean that Kernel could only own 39% of the land it currently operates.

Dragon Capital writes: “The disclosed farmland market model is quite liberal, making the prospective market accessible for both small and large farmers as well as foreign investors through locally set-up legal entities. Mandating sales through electronic auctions with mandatory price registration would help the market’s transparency…If properly implemented, land reform would attract sizable capital inflows and boost GDP growth via higher private consumption and increased agricultural sector productivity.”

The World Bank says $500 million will be needed to help 2,200 small and medium farmers buy the land they currently lease. Satu Kahkonen, the Bank’s regional director, says the government should set up a Partial Credit Guarantee Agency to help farmers make the transition from leaseholders to landowners. As used in countries like Colombia and Mexico, the Fund guarantees up to 50% of a loan, often up to seven years. Under discussion in Kyiv for over a year, the concept has the support of the Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Ukraine.

Citing slowing inflation, the central bank cut its key interest rate for the third time this year. Effective today, the rate is 16.5%, down from 17%. Ukraine started the year with the rate at 18%. Cuts were made on April 26 and on July 19. One or two more cuts are expected before the end of this year. “The National Bank continues the cycle of easing monetary policy, as it expects inflation to slow to the target of 5%,” the central bank said Thursday. The bank has promised to reduce the interest rate to 9% by the end of the next year 2020.

The central bank should speed up the rate cuts in order to meet the new government’s goal of 40% GDP growth by 2024, Bogdan Danylyshyn, council chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine, writes on Facebook. “This is a continuation of the half-measures policy that the NBU has been adhering to for a long time,” the bank advisor complains. To justify faster easing, he cites three factors: the 10% rise of the hryvnia against the dollar this year, low gas import prices and reasonable prices for Ukraine’s commodity exports, and another bumper grain harvest this year.

The Deposit Guarantee Fund has completed the liquidation of another bankrupt bank, Axio. Still cleaning up after the 2014-2015 banking crisis, the Fund plans to complete the elimination of 83 banks by the end of next year. In the crisis, 96 out of 182 Ukrainian banks failed.

Opening a new front in the war on corruption, President Zelenskiy opened the Supreme Anticorruption Court Thursday saying its goal is to punish corrupt officials and to “return of the feeling and belief that there is justice in Ukraine.” He added: The task of the Supreme Anticorruption Court is very simple: the corrupt official is punished, while the state, society and investor are protected.”

Last week, Zelenskiy submitted to the Rada a bill to clarify the court’s jurisdiction so it does not get sabotaged with thousands of minor cases.Someone really wanted you to consider cases when the village head did not spend several hundred hryvnias in a proper way. This was done to keep the resounding cases of corrupt officials in the shadows,” he said at the new court, on Peremohy Avenue.  Addressing the new judges, he said: “You expect more than 200 big cases of plundering, shameful actions of corrupt officials – top officials. And we will help you consider these cases freely so that all these people are punished.”

Kernel, the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, and a syndicate of European banks agreed Wednesday to extend a $290 million credit line by one year and to add another line, for $100 million, maturing Aug. 31, 2021. Traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2007 as KSE, Kernel has a land bank in Ukraine of 550,000 hectares.

In a big signing timed for the new government, Kernel committed Wednesday to invest $120 million to build a new grain terminal in Chornomorsk. In return, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority commits to spending $10 million to dredge deep access channels to the terminal. Kernel CEO Yevgeny Osipov, said: “Our strategic goal by 2020 is to increase grain exports to 8.8 million tons by launching a new terminal at the port of Chornomorsk.” This volume is 18% of Ukraine’s forecast exports through June – 50 million tons.

To feed the port, Kernel is working with Ukrzaliznytsia to increase the handling rail wagons by 50%, to over 1,000 a day. During the first eight months of this year, Chonomorsk railway station handled 106,959 freight cars, up 16% y-o-y. With the railroad struggling to cope, truck traffic to the port shot up 73% during the same period. Of the 81,385 trucks so far this year, 78% carried grain, reports the Center for Transportation Strategies.

The EBRD is loaning up to $35 million to global grain trader Louis Dreyfus Company to buy up to 1,000 rail grain hopper wagons. Headquartered in Rotterdam, Louis Dreyfus plans to start its own rail logistics business in Ukraine. With Brooklyn-Kiev LLC, the company is building a $100 million grain transshipment complex at Odesa Port with an annual capacity of 4.5 million tons.

  • Kyiv’s Klitschko Loses Powers
  • EU Invests €100 Million in Energy Efficiency
  • IT Sector Grows Faster Than Workforce
  • Poland’s Squeeze on Trucking Permits Could Cut Ukraine’s Exports to EU

Casting a cloud over Kyiv, Ukraine’s business and governmental capital, Ukraine’s new cabinet is stripping Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko of his powers at the head of the city administration. Traditionally, the capital’s elected mayor has held both posts. With local elections not expected until 2020, the divorce of the two jobs may further degrade public administration. After five years as Mayor, Klitschko is increasingly criticized for failing to tackle traffic jams, cars parked on sidewalks, graffiti on buildings, and dangerously icy sidewalks in the winter.

While the world financial press has been largely mute about the free market initiatives announced in Kyiv in recent days, investors responded to the new government’s plans to achieve 40% GDP growth over five years by bidding Ukraine’s GDP-linked warrants up by 4.6% to a new historic high of 92.4% of face value, reports Interfax-Ukraine.

An Oklahoma company’s proprietary online auction system is helping Ukraine eat through its mountain of nonperforming bank loans, reports The Wall Street Journal. Oklahoma City’s First Financial Network, run by John and Bliss Morris, veterans of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., is helping Ukraine’s Deposit Guarantee Fund sell leftovers from the 2014-2015 banking crisis. That crisis forced half of the nation’s banks into bankruptcy. Today, the banking system has an NPL rate of 51%, largely in state banks. Last month, First Financial auctioned off 290 nonperforming loans collateralized by real estate, vehicles and equipment. With a face value of $416 million, this portfolio sold for $3.5 million, less than one cent on the dollar.

With Ukraine’s IT industry growing faster than the nation’s qualified workforce, the new government plans to launch the IT Creative Foundation, with funding to build new IT campuses and courses to meet private sector needs of the 2020s. “One of the problems holding back the development of the IT industry today is the lack of staff,” Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk told IT company executives on Wednesday. “The industry is growing by 25-30,000 specialists each year – and universities are enrolling only 16,000 students.” This public-private venture will be funded largely by a special tax on IT companies that will grow from 1% in 2020 to 5% in 2024.  Enabling legislation is to be passed this fall by the Rada.

Dominique Piotet, former CEO of a French computer company, is the new general director of UNIT.City, Kyiv’s largest IT hub. Piotet, former head of Fabernovel Innovat, will oversee up to $60 million in investments this year by Vasily Khmelnitsky, founder of UFuture investment group and owner of UNIT.City.

As Ukrainians move from print to screens, one of the nation’s largest newspapers, Segodnya, ends its 150,000 copy print edition on Sept. 27. The owner, Rinat Akhmetov’s Media Group Ukraine, says the Segodnya brand will live on as a news site and a TV news show. Rising printing costs, disappearing kiosks and the phasing out of postal discounts, make newspapers unprofitable in modern Ukraine, media analysts say.

Ukraine’s exports to the EU may drop in October if Poland does not quickly issue more permits for Ukrainian trucks, logistics experts say.  Poland, Ukraine’s second largest EU trading partner after Germany, is the main port of entry for Ukrainian goods sent by truck to the EU. This year, in a bid to bolster Polish trucking, Poland cut its permits to Ukrainian truckers by 28%, to 160,000. But Polish trucking companies are short of drivers and do not want to come to Ukraine. In Warsaw last weekend, President Zelensky and aides asked for immediate talks. “We do not want to wait for the moment when we use all permits – all this must be done in advance,” Oleksandr Danylyuk, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, tells Ukrinform.

Measured for tourism competitiveness, Ukraine registered the best improvement in its region over the last two years, rising 10 places in the World Economic Forum’s biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Compared to 2017, Ukraine now is firmly in the middle of the pack, scoring 78th out of 140. Ukraine was most competitive for the low cost of vacations – ranking 19th. Top improvements over two years were for: business environment – from 124 to 103; security – from 127 to 107; and international openness – from 78 to 55.

  • US LNG To Help Poland Up Gas Sales to Ukraine 4-Fold
  • First US Gas to Ukraine in December
  • Modern Ukraine, the Patisserie Pannier of Europe
  • Central Bank May Cut Prime Rate
  • Ze Flexes Political Muscles and Easily Wins Rada Vote to End Parliamentary Immunity

US liquefied natural gas will help Poland quadruple its gas exports to Ukraine in two years, to 6 billion cubic meters. Last year, Ukraine imported 10.4 bcm paying $3.12 billion. Most of this was Russian gas, bought from European traders, that either made a round trip through Slovakia or Poland or was taken out of the pipeline as it crossed Ukraine and swapped for gas bought in Europe.

Under a 3-country blueprint unveiled in Warsaw, Ukraine will follow Poland’s lead in starting to use US gas to phase out purchases of Russian gas. “We will take every effort to diversify gas supplies to Ukraine, which is now completely dependent on Russian deliveries,” said Piotr Naimski, the Polish official responsible for energy infrastructure.

The first US gas will flow to Ukraine this winter. A shipload of US LNG earmarked for Ukraine is to be unloaded in November in Świnoujście, according to a deal signed last week by Kyiv’s Energy Resources of Ukraine and Polish Oil and Gas Company, or PGNiG. After gasification, the US gas will be injected into the Polish pipeline system and shipped 1,000 km to the southeast, to the Hermanowice interconnector point, on the Lviv region border.

Dale Perry, president of ERU, said: “We are making tangible breakthroughs in building a transatlantic gas supply corridor from the USA to Ukraine.”

Looking ahead, Piotr Woźniak, president of  PGNiG management board, said: “Currently, the only limitation in the development of exports to Ukraine on an even larger scale is the capacity of gas pipelines in Poland in the direction of Silesia–Podkarpacie. We expect the capacity of these gas pipelines to be expanded by 2021 at the latest.”

Three-way talks – EU, Russia, Ukraine – are to start in two weeks on renewing Gazprom’s gas transit contract with Naftogaz. With about one-third of Russia’s gas exports to the EU crossing Ukraine, the EU wants a minimum future flow, probably 40 bcm a year. To prepare for the talks, Ukraine has doubled its gas stocks since last spring. The current storage level of 18.3 bcm is almost enough to get through a normal winter heating season. Natural gas prices in Europe are at a 10-year low.

In July and August, Ukraine increased its ‘soft wheat’ exports to the EU six-fold, becoming the largest supplier to the EU, Ukragroconsult reports, citing European Commission statistics. ‘Soft wheat’ is a low gluten, high starch wheat used for pastry and cake flours. By exporting 189,000 tons to the EU, Ukraine accounted for 42% of supplies this summer. By contrast, EU imports of soft wheat fell to 42,000 tons, falling from one-third of EU imports to 10%.

Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, expects to see sales down 15% y-o-y for August, to 4 million tons, Reuters reports from Moscow, citing SovEcon. By contrast, Ukraine’s wheat exports hit 4.1 million tons – up 55% – for July and August, the first two months of the marketing year. Russian sales are down as farmers wait for better world prices and the government slows export certificates, fearing the political cost of a rise in bread prices.

With the central bank reviewing the prime interest rate on Thursday, investors on Tuesday bought 7.5% more hryvnia T-bills, at reduced yields. Investors at the weekly auction bought the hryvnia equivalent of $76 million in bonds, accepting a reduction of 19-25 basis points, from last week. Maximum yields Tuesday were: 16.25% per annum for 3-month bonds; 15.95% for 12-month bonds; and 16% for 3-year bonds. On July 18, the National Bank of Ukraine lowered the prime rate 50 basis points to 17%.

If Ukraine’s economy does grow by 40% over the next five years, the nation will have to face paying about $9 billion on the GDP warrants issued under the 2015 restructuring deal, calculates Concorde Capital. The warrants currently trade at 92% par. Analyst Alexander Paraschiy writes the new government shouldoffer an exchange of the warrants into some fixed-income instrument. Recall, Danylo Hetmantsev (current MP and head of the parliamentary finances and taxation committee) said in early June that the government should consider such an exchange.”

Taking a key anti-corruption step, the Rada voted overwhelmingly to change Ukraine’s Constitution to end parliamentary immunity from prosecution. President Zelenskiy is to sign the amendment. Before the vote, he told MPs that a parliament is a legislative body, not a place to hide for five years. He said: “If a deputy hits a person when driving, or ‘covers’ the production of amber, or commits any other criminal offense – he must be brought to justice.”

In a sign how the president’s ambitious economic legislative agenda may fare this fall, the change drew 373 favorably votes, far more than his 252-member party group. Only the pro-Russian Opposition Platform – For Life faction did not vote for the amendment.

To prepare for a global recession, Ukraine needs to negotiate now a long term agreement with the IMF and to maximize trade with its main trading partners, preferably the EU, Timofei Milovanov, the new Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture, said in a TV interview. “We really need an anchor, like the IMF, because many investors are guided by it,” he said Monday night, responding to a question about the US-China trade war. “We need serious investors who will work with us and give us long lines of credit…they will allow us to have access to capital during the crisis itself.”

  • Revolution by Deadline
  • Ze Spells Out his 100-Day Path Toward a Libertarian Ukraine
  • Target: 7% GDP Growth 2021-2024

Ukraine’s new government targets 5% GDP growth next year and at least 7% each year from 2021 to 2024. Over the next five years, we must work to ensure that the economy grows by at least 40%,” Oleksii Honcharuk, the new Prime Minister, said Monday on a government meeting televised nationwide. “For this, next year we must grow by 5% and in all subsequent years by at least 7% per year.”

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Addressing Ukraine’s new cabinet, the leaders of parliament and the nation, President Zelenskiy said in a televised meeting: “We’re here to set strategic tasks, with deadlines and with people who will be responsible.”

The Deadlines:

  • A new law for a private farmland market drafted by Oct. 1, by the Cabinet of Ministers
  • Abolition of the 2001 moratorium on private farmland sales, by Dec. 1, by the
  • Start of a farmland market next summer, overseen by the new Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture. State registry of land plots to be completed by 2021.
  • Honcharuk: “We will model it in such a way that no one loses the land, that people become richer as a result of this reform, and not vice versa. We will carefully plan and the market will be introduced when we will be ready for this, and we plan to do it in the middle of next year.” Zelenskiy: “Farmland reform will promote small and medium farms and protect interests of landowners.”
  • Fully free foreign exchange regime, prepared this year, implemented next year. Honcharuk: “Full currency liberalization is very important. It is important to ensure free capital flow so that investments come in, that people are not afraid that they will not be able to get them out of here.”
  • Bills on legalizing casinos and amber mining presented to the Rada by Oct. 1, passed by Dec. 1. Concentrated in northwest Ukraine, amber mining makes an estimated $500 million a year, but generates no taxes and creates moonscapes. Casino gambling was illegalized in Ukraine in 2009. Under the guise of lotteries, illegal gambling halls turn over billions of dollars annually.
  • Concession laws to allow for private-public partnerships in infrastructure – to the Rada by Oct. 1.
  • Transfer cargo handling at Kherson and Olbia ports to private stevedore companies chosen through open tenders, by Jan. 1. About 20 foreign and national companies have expressed interest in these contracts. Under guidelines set earlier by the Infrastructure Ministry, the contracts stipulate $8 million investments in Kherson and $60 million in Olbia.
  • Prepare a list of 500 small and medium-sized state-owned companies for privatization through ProZorro electronic auction by Dec. 1. Ukraine has about 3,600 state companies.
  • A law to stimulate investments and strengthening protections of foreign investment – passed by Jan.1.
  • A bill to counter corporate raiding, protect property, increase data protection for real estate registries, and provide for automatic monitoring of risky transactions with extra confirmation by participants, drawn up by Rada by Oct. 1
  • Draft a labor liberalization bill for the Rada to evaluate by Jan. 1. This should reduce informal employment by making it easier to hire and fire.
  • To revive the shipping on the Dnipro, a long-delayed bill on inland river shipping should be passed by Nov. 1. The latest version in the Rada had a single river tax designed to fund the rebuilding of locks, all installed in Soviet times. In 1991, 65 million tons of cargo went down the river, five times the 13 million tons forecast for this year.
  • Private locomotives on state railroad’s tracks, Rada to pass the bill by Dec. 31. Zelenskiy: “Elaborate a restructuring plan for Ukrzaliznytsia, in particular with a view to liberalizing the locomotive market and improving the transparency and efficiency of Ukrzaliznytsia.”
  • The National Police has started to dismantle its Department of Economy Protection, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Monday. The State Security Service and the State Fiscal Service should abolish their units, he added. In the past, business executives complained that these units extorted bribes.
  • Prepare and pass the bill for a successor agency, the Financial Investigation Service, by Dec. 1, by Rada.
  • The 2020 state budget presented to the Rada by Sept. 15.
  • Abolish the current list of state companies not eligible for privatization and draw up a new, shorter list, by Oct. 1 – the Rada.
  • Start preparing big state-owned companies for privatization with investment advisers, by Dec. 1. First tender no later than April 1, by Tymofei Milovanov, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture.
  • Sign gas and oil production sharing agreements with winners of competitions for subsoil use, by Dec. 1. Oleksei Orzhel, the new Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection, tells reporters Monday: “There will be legislative initiatives to increase gas production. There will be reforms in the market, we are inviting everyone to invest.” He says Ukraine produces 1.2% of its known reserves each year, well below the global average of 4-5%.
  • Cut costs for connecting to electricity and gas networks.
  • Start reducing commercial and mortgage interest rates by Oct. 1.
  • The 30 most popular government services for citizens and businesses must be switched to electronic form by Jan. 1.
  • Establish unique e-identities for every citizen for enrollment in a Unified State Demographic Register. This would become a single portal of electronic services or a citizen’s e-cabinet. Honcharuk said: “2020 will be the year of total digitalization of the country. In 2020, we will digitalize everything that we don’t have time for…This means that after 2020 Ukraine should be completely in digital, on a smartphone.”
  • Launch of the new State Customs Service by Dec. 1. Launch of the single-window system at Customs by Jan. 1.
  • Purge the judiciary – vet and hire 2,000 new judges by Jan. 1. 
  • Purges by Jan. 1 of “the most corrupt state agencies” – Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre, Geology and Subsoil, Architectural and Construction Inspectorate, Environmental Protection, Transport Safety, and Highway Agency. Turning to his prime minister, Zelenskiy said: “If possible, please, do it faster.”
  • Summing up, Ze told his government:Now we have a unique situation, a truly unique chance to implement all the necessary reforms. I really want that. We have everything: political will of the President, the majority in the Verkhovna Rada, government and Prime Minister that are willing to work. The only thing we lack is time. Society won’t wait for something to start working in Ukraine in several years.”

Ukraine’s new Trade Representative will be a familiar face for many foreign investors: Taras Kachka, who ran the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine 2014-2015. Most recently deputy executive director of the International Renaissance Foundation in Kyiv, he is to become a Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture.

  • New Government Outlines Free Market, Pro-Business Blueprint for Economic Growth in the 2020s
  • With Ruling Party Lock on Parliament, Passage of Transformative Bills is Guaranteed

Doubling economic growth, lower interest rates, privatization, labor law liberalization, road repairs, one-time tax amnesty and “a smaller state,” are the new government’s goals cited by Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk in a wide-ranging interview with Ukrainian media.

My answer to all the important questions is: economic growth,” the 35-year-old Prime Minister tells six reporters gathered in the garden of the Cabinet of Ministers. As transcribed by Ukrainska Pravda, here are the highlights:

  • Cut consumer interest rates in half, to 12-13%. “We need cheap money in the economy,” he says.We know how to do it.” He calls for the working “in partnership” with the central bank, which already has set a goal of cutting prime in half, to 9% at the end of next year. A key to bolstering the property rights of banks, he says. “We have very expensive money because…we have a total mistrust in each other: banks and borrowers.”
  • Abolishing labor rules – many carryovers from the Soviet era – will boost official hiring. We have such a high unemployment rate, partly because hiring legally is very dangerous for business,” he says. “Sorry, but it’s easier [in Ukraine] to divorce than to fire someone.”
  • Double the Road Fund next year. The moneywould come partly from a crackdown on the ‘hundreds’ of ‘gray’ gas stations that do not send to Kyiv excises taxes on sales of gasoline, diesel, and oil. The goal is to repair or rebuild all 24,000 km of ‘main’ roads, those connecting regional capitals and key districts.
  • Billions of dollars for infrastructure spending also will come from cracking down on smuggling, he says. Placing his faith in Max Nefyodov, head of the new Customs Service, the Prime Minister says: “This year, smuggling as a systemic phenomenon will go into the past.”
  • More money will come next year from a one-time amnesty on tax bills, he predicts. Finance Minister Oksana Markarova has been instructed to simplify the tax system. “It takes hundreds of hours for a business to fill in the paperwork that no one needs – a thing of the past,” he says, promising to speed up digitizing taxes. “Taxation should be so simple that it is not burdensome for anyone.”
  • A national census, the first since 2001, could be held in December. “We really want to have a census this year,” he says. “This will save the state huge sums of money next year. The ‘dead souls’ will disappear. We need to see how many of us are.”
  • “Big privatization is neededthe smaller the state in the economy, the better,” he says. Although “a natural monopoly [like Ukrzalinytsia] can in principle be left to the state,” there will be room for private investment in the state railroad.
  • An illicit enrichment bill, long a demand of the IMF will be voted by the Rada this month. The Prime Minister says an IMF mission arrives in Kyiv on Sept. 10 and stay for two weeks.

Separately, Oleg Ustenko, Zelenskiy’s adviser on macroeconomic policy, writes on Facebook that a crackdown on smuggling will yield “several billion dollars” a year. “With such money, you can create the necessary fiscal space to stimulate the economy…to the desired 5% -7% annual growth that the President and the Prime Minister are talking about.”

Privatization of state companies, a private farmland market, liberalized labor legislation, and matching vocational education to employer needs are among the goals of Timofei Milovanov, the US-trained economist who is now Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture. Writing on Facebook, he says deregulation and digitalization will be keys to fighting corruption in approvals and licensing.

The Rada approving a streamlined system for passing bills and tabling a bill to cut the size of Ukraine’s unicameral parliament by one third, to 300. The members would be elected on a strictly proportional system. The Rada now has 450 seats. Only 424 are occupied because elections were not held in July in Russia-controlled areas.

With 37 economic liberalization bills already drafted, they are expected to sail through parliament this month. The President’s Servant of the People Party controls 60% of occupied seats. The President’s party controls the speaker and first deputy speaker positions, and chairmanships and majorities of all important committees.

Six ruling party deputies have registered a bill to overturn a law listing state companies deemed too big or too ‘strategic’ to privatize.  The goal of the new bill is: “attracting domestic and foreign investment in Ukraine’s economy, increasing its productivity, creating new effective jobs.”

To draw 250,000 purchases ‘out of the shadows,’ a bill has been submitted to slash the mandatory level of ProZorro electronic tenders from $10,000, to $2,000. The bill contains new measures for detecting fraud in government procurements and increases fines five-fold, to $6,800.

With Estonian advice, 37 new draft laws for Ukraine’s tech industry and e-government are being drafted, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s new deputy prime minister and minister for digital transformation, tells the Kyiv Post. The 28-year-old IT businessman says these are laws on cybersecurity, e-residency, extending 4G internet to rural areas and converting Ukraine’s 250 paper registries into electronic registries accessible online.

“Zelenskiy Sets Up a Wild Ride for Ukraine,” Bloomberg Opinion columnist Leonid Bershidsky writes from Berlin. Zelenskiy “is aided by the enthusiasm within his young, ambitious team, which was pulled seemingly out of nowhere,” writes the Russian journalist, who at age 47 is older than almost all of Ukraine’s new 17-member Cabinet.


The original English version is from our partner UBN – Ukraine Business News. For more information and news archive, go to: