This is a curated list of the most important economic news of Ukraine in the past week.
Everything is over shadowed by last weeks introduction of the new land reform that effectually creates some sort of private land market. Since last week, purchasing and selling farm land has been a possibility of Ukrainians, who can now acquire up to 100 hectares per person.
It also looked like Ukraine was on the way to new heights in football. Led by the national hero Andriy Shevchenko, one of the best strikers of all time, the Ukrainian national team headed to Rome to play England for the spot in the semi finals in UEFA Euros 2020 that was postponed due to the pandemic. The dream ended, when the three lions mercilessly pushed Ukraine out of the tournament.
A detailed overview of the history of the Ukrainian national team can be found here.
Leaders resigning from the national bank
In the past week, several employees and department heads have resigned from their jobs in the National Bank of Ukraine. This has made the concerns about the NBU independency and professionalism even worse.
According to the Kyiv Post, some of them said that the new governor of the NBU, Shevchenko, has an “autocratic” leadership style making it difficult to “fulfill its mandate of keeping the financial system stable,”
“We sincerely love the NBU and want to continue working there,” said Oleksandr Bevz, the now-former director of the licensing department. “However, it’s currently impossible to continue our work in the National Bank. The centralization of decision-making in one pair of hands, the replacement of collegiality with directive decision-making, are in our opinion, unacceptable.”
Infrastructure deals can help Chinese-Ukrainian relations
Last week, China and Ukraine announced that China will be making several investments in infrastructure in Ukraine, and new details have now been made public. The deal has taken three years to complete, and China is set to invest in Ukrainian bridges, highways, and railways, according to The South China Morning Post. It will make Ukraine a more significant part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is supposed to develop a better trade route between China and the European market, focusing on the EU.
The deal could mean better infrastructure in Ukraine, but it is not so much that which is attracting attention these days in the media. Instead, several sources point out that China decided to finally sign the agreement, only after Ukraine withdrew its statement criticizing China’s policies in Xinjiang and urging China to allow UN human rights chief access.
“Ukraine can only embrace China more since both the EU and Nato have not shown much interest in Ukraine joining for now,” said Li Lifan, a senior fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, “… China aims to have more high-quality overseas investment projects in this first year of the five-year plan, while Ukraine needs more infrastructure investment to support its economic development as well as the Chinese market to export its food.”
Anti-Monopoly looking at the energy
Price fluctuations in the day ahead energy market has made the eyes of the Ukrainian Anti Monopoly Committee look for dirt in the energy sector. The committee is launching the investigation because of a spike in the volume of Day-Ahead Energy trading, where energy is bought and sold at fixed prices one day ahead of delivery, meaning people buy energy today, that they intend to use and receive tomorrow.
Belarus closes borders with Ukraine
Belarus has closed it’s borders with Ukraine following orders from president Alexander Lukashenko. According to the president, it is because a “huge” amount of weapons are making their way from Ukraine to Belarus. It is still likely, despite the presidents words, that it is because of a increasingly strained relationship between the Belarusian regime and European countries including Ukraine.
But other doors open…
While the door to Belarus has been shut, other doors have opened. Specifically in the European Union, where vaccinated – and only vaccinated – Ukrainians are now allowed to travel to. Still, not a lot of Ukrainians have been vaccinated because of vaccine scepticism and low supply of vaccines, but for those with the jab, travel has become more convenient.
In other news, Denmark is to supply Ukraine with half a million doses of vaccines, which might further help the vaccination process in Ukraine.