The Ukrainian Parliament has adopted a law designed to stifle the oligarchs and their influence on Ukrainian politics.
With a solid majority, the Verkhovna Rada has adopted a new law “On the prevention of threats to national security associated with the excessive influence of persons who have significant economic or political weight in public life (oligarchs),” reports Ukrinform.
First and foremost, the law is the foundation of a new register of people, who have a lot of economic or political weight in public life – in other words oligarchs. If a person meets one of these three criteria, he or she will be considered an oligarch:
The person is participating in political life, has a significant influence over the media, owns a company with a monopoly or a dominant position in the market and has assets exceeding “one million subsistence minimums established for able-bodied persons” that year. Currently this is around 89 million USD.
The decision to then recognize a person as an oligarch is made by the National Security Defense Council. The disadvantages of being on the list includes a ban on holding public office giving money to political parties and taking part in the privatization of state assets. All meetings with the oligarchs by senior government officials will have to be reported.
The law has received some criticism. First of all, many points out that the fact that it is a political committee that puts people on the list makes it uncertain who will be on the list and who will escape it. Secondly, especially former president Petro Poroshenko and his party, believes that it is designed to hit them. Poroshenko remains the toughest opponent against Zelensky in the presidential race.
Oligarchs like the pro-Kremlin Medvedchuk, who has already been subjected to several sanctions, that some have deemed unconstitutional, is also not happy about the new law on de-oligarchisation. The Venice Commission will come with their assessment in December.