Pulse of The Week 4: Ukrainian public opinion on the issues of the day

Pulse of The Week 4: Ukrainian public opinion on the issues of the day


Explanation of the list of reforms from the United States.

Ukraine was sent a new list of reforms from the White House as a condition for receiving further military aid. Such a letter was sent by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics. It was received by the Donor Coordination Platform. According to Ukrainska Pravda, this letter was also sent to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and to the Office of the President of Ukraine.

This list is provided as a basis for consultations with the Ukrainian side and key partners within the Donor Coordination Platform at the Multilateral Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine in Brussels. It is there that the discussion of the proposed changes with Ukraine is going to take place.

The proposed reforms concern the judicial branch of government: State enterprises, anti-corruption bodies such as SAP, NABU, NACP, the functioning of Supervisory Councils and the Supreme Council of Justice in general.

The next priority is changes in the work of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense and all law enforcement agencies during the year.

Sources: UNIAN, Suspilne Novyny

Frozen assets of the Russian federation should be used for the restoration of Ukraine, – the USA

With the beginning of the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, various economic and financial processes were launched around the world.

One of these was the freezing of sovereign Russian assets. At the moment, the amount frozen by the United States is $8 billion, most of the funds are in the EU and Japan.

One of these was the freezing of sovereign Russian assets. At the moment, the amount frozen by the United States is $8 billion, most of the funds are in the EU and Japan.

The White House says legal teams are currently working to determine where and how the frozen assets could be used. Penny Pritzker, the US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery, stated this.

In June of this year, it became known that a draft law on the confiscation of sovereign assets with the aim of transferring them to Ukraine for long-term recovery was submitted to the US Senate. However, in certain circles in the US and the EU there are doubts about this decision.

A total of $300 billion has been frozen by Western states since February 24th. Some allies expressed an opinion about using these funds as financing for Ukraine’s recovery.

However, the European Central Bank does not fully support this initiative, considering the legality issue and thinking about the consequences of such a step.

The Ukrainian side has always been calling for the creation of a mechanism for attracting funds as a direct contribution.

On September 27,th a meeting of EU experts was held regarding the options of profit transfer mechanism, including interest payments, from frozen assets. The three-stage plan that is being discussed involves first immobilizing these funds and setting them aside, and then using them for Ukraine.

Sources: UNIAN, Suspilne Novyny

Return of financial reporting for political parties.

The practice of reporting by Ukrainian parties for the use of party funds to the NACP was suspended in 2020 due to COVID-19, and later due to martial law.

The decision to write the draft law was made due to the fact that suspension of this procedure (the last reporting was in
the 3rd quarter of 2020) casts doubt and undermines the confidence of citizens in political parties.

It also complicates the state’s ability to respond to internal and external challenges related to the aggression of the Russian Federation and the excessive influence of oligarchs on political processes. This is what the explanatory note states.

The draft law stipulates the time frames for submitting the report. For parties that have state financing of their statutory activities, it is 90 days after the law enters into force. Including for the period when reporting was suspended. For other political parties, the term is longer – 120 days after the law enters into force.

The deadline for checking the reports by the NACP is up to 60 days, and the entry into force of the relevant provisions is postponed for another 60 days. It can take up to five months for the first reports to be submitted.

Sources: UNIAN, Suspilne Novyny

Accession to the EU: opportunities and realities for September 2023

In the first days of the invasion, Volodymyr Zelensky signed the application for Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. The initiative received support in the European Parliament and there were 7 recommendations provided.

The other day, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that at the government level, Ukraine has almost completed the implementation of all the recommendations of the European Commission. Their implementation is an important requirement on the way to the start of negotiations regarding the accession of our country to the European Union.

Regarding other provisions – the Cabinet of Ministers managed to start reforming the Constitutional Court and currently Ukraine is working in 25 permanent consultations with the Venice Commission; it managed to restart the Supreme Council of Justice and the High Qualification Commission of Judges; as well as act on the recommendations of the Venice Commission regarding the implementation of the anti-oligarchic law.

Legislation on media and advertising also came into force, and by-laws were developed to implement the new law on national minorities; regulatory framework for combating money laundering was developed within FATF standards.

The head of the European Union representation in Ukraine, Katarina Mathernova, said that if Ukraine maintains the current pace of reforms, then 2030 is a realistic deadline for joining the European Union.

The case of Ukraine is special because of the geopolitical location that “determines the vector”.

Let us remind that France and Germany insist on the option of slow integration – alternative membership. However, in an interview with Politico, Denys Shmyhal said that Ukraine will not agree to “second class” membership.

Sources: UNIAN, Suspilne Novyny

Unannounced visit and important discussions: Stoltenberg met with Zelensky

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Kyiv on Thursday, September 28th. The visit was not announced.

The first solution is to shorten Ukraine’s path to NATO by removing the requirement to implement the membership action plan.

The next step is to agree on a program that will make the Ukrainian armed forces fully compatible with the armies of NATO member states. The third is to strengthen political ties between NATO and Ukraine at an unprecedented level. We are talking about the creation of the Ukraine-NATO commission.

Assistance to Ukrainians for protection against Russian invasion will also be continued. The members of the Alliance distributed almost 100 billion euros of support for Ukraine. About half is the share of the United States.

It is known that the parties discussed strengthening Ukraine’s air defence.

Sources: UNIAN, Suspilne Novyny

Recommendations from Washington: are there wrong reforms proposed?

Last week, the attention of the expert community of Ukraine, as well as the public, was drawn to Michael Pyle’s letter regarding the reforms to be carried out immediately in the country.

The document outlines the changes that should take place in Ukraine within 18 months. Proposals for reform concern Supervisory Boards of State Enterprises, anti-corruption bodies (Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, National Agency for Corruption Prevention), the Supreme Council of Justice, courts, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and law enforcement agencies. The letter has the status of a working draft and is subject to consideration.

On almost all media platforms there has been discussion on the measures proposed in the letter to reform Ukrainian institutions. We present the main theses of this discussion to your attention.

Analyst Yaroslav Romanchuk believes that the recommendations proposed by Washington should be considered in the light of the most acute, most dangerous, destructive problems of Ukraine today.

The list of the recommended reforms for Ukraine is not about economic reforms that would drastically reduce corruption and abuse in the management of state assets and resources. It is about the authority in the country during the war. Yaroslav Romanchuk believes that this is the Ukrainian-American syndicates, which are not in power now, but would like to manage financial aid during the war and at the stage of post-war transformation, that have become more active.

His conclusion is that the provided recommendations are devoid of logic, systematicity and connection to real life. Taking into account the fact that this list appeared not on behalf of any think tank or state body, we are talking about behind-the-scenes pressure. Implementation of the recommendations will not fundamentally change anything in Ukraine.

2. Antimonopoly Committee. Update the procedure for considering applications for concentration and conducting inspections of anti-competitive actions. Appropriate claims.

3. Agency for search and asset management. Increase the efficiency and transparency of the management of seized and confiscated assets. Now there is a mess there and we need to put things in order.

4. Liberalisation of tariffs for natural gas and electricity. In negotiations with the IMF, this has always been one of the most painful issues. It is not taken well by the population no matter the income level.

5. Strengthen the Accounting Chamber and the State Audit Service. It is indeed necessary, because now the Accounting Chamber can make a thorough report on the inefficiency of the use of funds by some ministry, and then this report goes nowhere.

6. Customs reform: harmonisation of the legal framework with the EU, digitalization of customs rules, transparent competitive selection of managers. Unfortunately, this is hard to believe in, we remember how these selections used to be conducted in our country.

7. There is also a demand to reform the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine.

The letter is also being discussed in social media. Here are some of the most interesting comments:

https://www.kmu.gov.ua/npas/pro-zatverdzhennia-derzhavnoi-antykoruptsiinoi-prohramy-na-20232025-t40323

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