This is a curated list of all the most important stories on the Ukrainian economy this week.
It has been a quiet week on the news front in Ukraine. But the news that did surface might prove to be very important for Ukraine as a country. First and foremost, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky enacted a law on deregulation of the land market which will finally lift the moratorium on the sale of farmland.
“This is a law which deprives a cabinet official of the function of registering the right to land, which he has never even seen in his life. Which finally returns to communities the right to dispose of their land. A law that clearly states that only Ukrainians can buy and sell land. The law, which I am happy to sign here and now,” Zelensky said at Ukraine 30. Land Forum, according to Unian.
The law secures a gradual land-reform, where citizens of Ukraine will be able to buy and sell farmland up to 100 hectares from July 1, 2021. From January 1, 2024, the cap will be raised to 10,000 hectares, where also legal entities can buy farmland.
The Minister of Agrarian Policy, Roman Leschenko, has put out a formula for the land reform in Ukraine, outlining how the future land market is going to work in Ukraine.
In line with the formua, land can only be sold to citizens of Ukraine, legal entities are not allowed, foreigners are not allowed, there is a maximum of 100 hectares per buyer, purchase is only possible if the source of the funds is clear, it has to go through banks and notaries.
The notarizing and the bank transactions are there to ensure that there will be no fighting over who owns what, while the transactions are also required to be made public – seemingly to make the market more transparent.
International crisis week
News this week have been dominated by the international partners of Ukraine and the less friendly neighbours, in particular Belarus. Naturally, the recent arrest of Raman Patrasevich following the forced landing of a RyanAir flight between Athens and Vilnius will also affect Ukraine.
In line with the European Union, Ukraine has decided to stop flights between Belarus and Ukraine. For Ukraine, this is a much harder decision than for most countries in Western Europe because of the frequent flights between Minsk and Kyiv.
While traffic between for instance Scandinavia and Belarus is very limited, a lot of Ukrainians travel to Minsk. Since the war broke out in 2014, there have been a ban on flights between Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, many Ukrainians fly to Russia via Minsk, but that stops now.
Speaking of Russia, Nord Stream 2 seems to meet less and less resistance. The gas line, which will cost Ukraine billions of dollars each year, is about to be finished, and recently US President Joe Biden decided to back away from sanctions against the pipeline.
Naturally this was a hard blow to the management in Kyiv, and there is not much standing in the way of the completion of the pipeline.
A talk with EveryMatrix
This week we interviewed the CEO of EveryMatrix, Ebbe Groes. The company is a Danish IT company specializing in building framework for gaming sites such as online casinos and betting sites.
“I don’t think that anyone should be nervous about doing business in the IT sector in Ukraine,” says Ebbe Groes, CEO of EveryMatrix, to Ukrainenu, “There is, of course, some corruption here, but it does not affect you in the IT sector. It is only if you need to go to the doctor or if you get a speeding ticket. It does not affect your business.”
“We have never been asked to pay for any favors. It might be a problem in other sectors or if you are getting government contracts, but not in the IT sector,” says Groes, “There are some bureaucratic problems in Ukraine, but it is smaller than in the US.
Read more here:
Good culture news
On the side of culture, there have been some positive news this week, too. First and foremost, Ukrainian band Go_A made it to top 5 in the Eurovision Song Contest. However, unlike a lot of their predecessors, they have managed to top the charts on Spotify.
Even though the song only got fifth place, it got second place among the viewers, and globally it has more listeners than the winning song from Italian Måneskin. Also, in the world of cinema, there are good news. Especially for the people in Kyiv.
In 1970 the Molodist film festival first opened its doors to the public. Now it does so for the 50th time next Saturday, where movie addicts can enjoy both Ukranian and international movies, workshops and parties for a full week.
“This year, we are not only celebrating 50 years of «Molodist», but also the 30th anniversary of independent Ukraine, so the focus of the film festival will be the promotion of Ukrainian cinema,” says Hib Rodchenkov, the Director of Development and Public Communications in a press release.
More Foreign Direct Investments, please
The government aims to increase the inflow of foreign direct investments, FDI, to 15 billion dollars per year by 2025, which is more than five times more than what is expected for 2021 – around 3 billion dollars. The new strategy also aims to double the Ukrainian GDP in the next ten years.
Kolomoisky still bothers companies
Last week we interviewed the Canadian business man Michael Yurkovich, who is the CEO of TIU Canada. The company is now in a legal battle with a company owned by none other than the infamous oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky.
The interview can be read here:
President Volodymyr Zelensky might have been a bit too eager in his attempt to combat the Ukrainian oligarchy. The recent sanctions against the Ukrainian national and oligarch, Viktor Medvedchuk, looks unconstitutional – at least in the eyes of expert on Ukrainian politics, Alexei Jakubin.
A nationwide survey made by Liberty Report shows that 23 percent of the adult Ukrainian population wants to live abroad. The most popular destinations are United States, Canada, and the EU, where Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic are the top choices.