Foto: Emil Filtenborg.

This is a curated list of the biggest economic news in Ukraine for the past week.

Razumkov is back. About a month ago, the Economic Overview was spearheaded about the story of former Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Dmytro Razumkov, who was cast down from his position. Now, it seems he strikes back at the government by forming a new coalition in parliament consisting mostly of members from the Servant of the People Party, which is the very same party that threw him out, and of course the party of president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy remains the most popular for the presidential office. Though his rating has dropped almost violently, 18.6 percent of the voters would vote for him, if there was a presidential election today. The second most popular candidate for the presidency is former president Petro Poroshenko. Should the two end in a second round of elections, Zelenskiy would win a narrow victory.

This week, Ukraine Nu has largely steered away from COVID-19 news, but it is not because there haven’t been any. In fact, Ukraine beat another record of daily deaths once again this week. The new red zone does seem to have an effect on the number of daily registered new cases, but as always, the numbers come with a lot of uncertainty due to the low test rates.

The European Union has also noticed this. Ukraine has been removed for the green list countries. This means that Ukrainians will no longer be able to travel to the European Union without proving, that they are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Higher demand on Ukrainians

It is a shame that travelling to the EU has become harder for Ukrainian citizens. As labourers, Ukrainians are becoming increasingly popular, says Gennadiy Rusanov who is the owner of the Ukrainian recruitment company ‘International Labour Centre.”

The average salary in other Eastern European countries such as Poland is growing rapidly these years as Ukraine’s neighbors are experiencing substantial growth. Historically, Polish workers have played a big role in Scandinavia, where about 35,000 Polish people for example are said to be working in Denmark at the moment.

“We are seeing that Polish workers, for example, are getting too expensive for foreign companies, looking for employees and we are hearing that some Polish workers are also ready to go home,” says Rusanov to Ukrainenu, who doesn’t expect that to change, “Workers from Poland can now earn nearly the same at home as they can in countries such as Denmark when tax and living costs are taken into consideration.”

“The result is that companies are now looking towards Ukraine,” says Rusanov, whose company works with several companies in Scandinavia, Europe, and North America overall in areas such as construction, processing, truck driving, and other professions.

Kyiv Post shuts down

Another English language media has been shut down – at least temporarily. This week, owner of Kyiv Post, Adnan Kivan, fired all the journalists and shut down the newspaper temporarily.  The plan is to open the site again, but many fear that the new editorial policy will not be as independent as Kyiv Post used to be.

There are not many places to get news about Ukraine in English anymore. In June, the news agency Unian also closed down “temporarily,” and the English site is still not running. This leaves few outlets in English. Among them are Interfax-Ukraine, Ukraine Business News and, humbly, Ukraine Nu.

Loan policy was a failure

As Covid-19 hit Ukraine last year, the Ukrainian government introduced cheap loans aiming at helping entrepreneurship in Ukraine. With interest rates as low as five to nine percent, the loan program set out to help the small and medium-sized companies expand their business and hopefully make them decide to stay in Ukraine.

However, recent numbers show that the money ends up in the wrong pockets. Ukrainians have loaned more than 2.6 billion dollars through the program, but Kyiv Post wrote that it isn’t helping the ones it was intended to. In fact, most end up in established firms.

An expert talking to Kyiv Post said that the program’s conditions for getting a loan are too harsh and demand too much collateral.

“They would have been better off giving the money to pensioners,” said financial expert Oleksiy Kushch to the paper and said that while more than $2.6 billion has been loaded out through the program, only $300 million went to the small and medium-sized companies that it was intended to.

Ukrainian promises

At COP 26, world leaders met to discuss the climate. Ukraine was one of many nations who pledged to stop using coal for energy. Ukraine’s transition to green energy is challenged by several different factors. First of all, 30 percent of the country’s energy comes from coal. Second of all, entire cities in Eastern Ukraine are dependent on their local coal mines. Though they are unprofitable, closing them would displace thousands of people.

River transport grows

New numbers by the River Information Service of Ukraine, RIS, show that freight traffic on the Dnipro River in Ukraine has increased by 35 percent for the first ten months this year to 11.62 million tons. It is 3.01 million tons more than in last year.

The RIS informs that most freight is for the construction sector, which reached 7.93 million tons and grew by 84.4 percent compared to last year. The authorities don’t explain the vast increase, but the previous year’s economic slowdown at the pandemic’s beginning may have had an effect.