This is a curated list of all the biggest stories on Ukrainian economy this week.
The past week has been a week shadowed by ever mounting problems with the COVID19 pandemic. Wednesday alone, 15,000 new cases of corona virus was registered in Ukraine, making it the highest number of daily cases so far this year.
This has moved local authorities to impose strict lockdowns in the cities of Kyiv and Lviv. Currently, no nationwide lockdowns are planned. The Kyiv lockdown will be much like the lockdown in January with closed shops, restaurants and bars et cetera.
A trench war fought with words have been going on for quite a while between local authorities and the central government. No one wants to be the guy to impose a lockdown, since the have been widely unpopular because of the economical and social consequences.
“Ukraine is now preparing for the third wave, and the third lockdown on a local level, because the prime minister and the government are not ready to take the responsibility of imposing all national lockdowns. Instead, they are pushing this to the local authorities,”
Kyiv Politechnic Institute.
According to him, Ukraine is also challenged by not being able to vaccinate enough people fast enough. First of all, because Ukraine lacks the necessary supply of vaccines, secondly because of rampant vaccine scepticism.
Ukraine picking side
Last week, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov, said that the preparations for nationalizing Motor Sich was under way. He has since rejected ever talking about nationalizing it.
“The word ‘nationalization’ was neither used in any way at the meeting of the NSDC, nor in the decisions adopted by the NSDC, nor at the briefing at which I spoke. Today we are involved in an information war with the Russian Federation, which has a direct relationship with China to attempts to seize the Motor Sich enterprise.”
“So, today we have such negative information regarding the nationalization. It was about the fact that the Motor Sich enterprise will soon be returned to the ownership of the Ukrainian people in a legal way in accordance with the current legislation,” Danilov said in the program Freedom of Speech on the Ukraina TV channel according to Interfax.
Essentially, the nationalization would stop the possibility of Chinese shareholders to gain control over the company, producing engines used for military jets and helicopters. Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump wanted Ukraine to stop the sale.
This has put Ukraine in a predicament, because they would have to chose between worsening relations with either the US, an important military partner, and China, a growingly important economic partner.
Though nationalizing is not on the table, Ukraine still wants to reclaim the company indefinitely, effectively sending a very clear sign, that Ukraine is prioritizing American cooperation.
Trying to sell off prison… again
In the attempt to privatize around 800 state owned companies, Ukraine is trying to sell off a prison for the second time.
Selling off the prison and other companies will close a hole in the state carapace that is bleeding money. Furthermore the sales could lead to foreign investors putting in the money and know-how needed to turn around the Ukrainian state companies.
More importantly than the money side of things, the companies are also problematic in terms of corruption. Some of the companies on the list are even losing money because of corruption in the management.
Zelensky supports sanctions against Kolomoisky
Zelensky has been asked to take a clear stance against the oligarch Ihor Kolomoiski, who is the former owner of Privatbank. That has happened now, as Zelensky has publicly supported the American sanctions against the oligarch.
Ihor Kolomoisky is motsly known for being the former owner of Privatbank, that he lost after charges of embezzlement. He is also the owner of the TV-channel 1+1, the channel that aired Zelenskys tv show, Servant of the People.
The TV show was the firing ramp for Zelenskys presidential campaign and gave name to the party of the president. Zelensky still owns a production company, that regularly sells TV-shows to 1+1.