Over the two years of the “Great Privatization” and the “Small Privatization”, the budget of Ukraine received a boost in revenue valued at 4.5 bln hryvnias ($165 mln)

. Speaking with TV channel DOM, the Deputy Chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, Kostiantyn Koshelenko announced. Legislatively, privatization is divided into large and small. “Large-scale privatization” relates to assets with a starting price of UAH 250 million ($9.2 mln), and “Small-scale privatization” refers to assets with a starting price below UAH 250 mln ($9.2 mln). This year only within the framework of “Small privatization” auctions were held to sell over UAH 2 bln ($74 mln) of government-owned

Large-scale privatization is underway

. The process was unlocked by the parliament in March 2021.  According to Deputy Head of the President’s Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, a four-fold increase in state budget revenues from privatization is expected in 2021 compared to 2020. “In 2018, the growth of revenues from privatization amounted to 1.2%, in 2019 – 3.1%, in 2020 it was 350%,” and this year it is planned to keep boosting them.

‘Small’ privatizations – the sale of state assets that litter Ukraine 30 years after the collapse of communism – netted the government $61 million during the first half of this year.

This is four times the amount of the same January-June period last year, the State Property Fund writes on Facebook. Increasingly popular, the sales are online, are open to bidders from across the nation and are designed to put to productive use long dormant properties, largely real estate.

President Zelenskiy said that two large state companies – power producer Centrenergo and chemicals producer Odesa Port Plant – will be auctioned online auction in the coming months

. “Centrenergo is completely ready,” he told reporters, speaking of a company that has 23 power plants across the country. Centrenergo has an installed capacity of 7,690 MW – equivalent to half the capacity of all renewable power producers in Ukraine.

The Rada passed a bill yesterday to resume privatization of large state owned corporations – one year after sales were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Property Fund hopes to raise as much as $430 million this year by selling six large state companies, including Kyiv’s President Hotel, Kyiv Bolshevik Plant, the Odesa Portside Plant and United Mining and Chemical Company. Dmytro Sennychenko, head of the Fund, wrote on Facebook: “The Fund will bring the budget, through transparent privatization auctions in 2021, 4 times more than last year!” Included in the auction earnings goal is $110 million from small-scale privatizations. So far this year,

Private investment will breathe economic life into dead state assets,

 Economy Minister Ihor Petrashko wrote on the Ministry website. He said: “Removing restrictions on the sale of large state-owned enterprises will not only fill the state budget, but also attract large amounts of private investment in the development of these companies and the economy of Ukraine.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken couched the Kolomoiskiy bans in the framework of getting Ukraine back on a Western-style free market, low corruption track.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken couched the Kolomoiskiy bans in the framework of getting Ukraine back on a Western-style free market, low corruption track. “The United States continues to stand with all Ukrainians whose work drives reforms forward,” Blinken said. “The Department will continue to use authorities like this to promote accountability for corrupt actors in this region and globally.” Last month, Blinken singled out Zelenskiy’s ousted Prosecutor-General, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, as an “anti-corruption champion.”

In response to the Kolomoiskiy bans, Zelenskiy’s office said

In response to the Kolomoiskiy bans, Zelenskiy’s office said: “The battle with the oligarchs lies not only in the realm of criminal responsibility. It is also about creating the conditions in Ukraine, in which business can grow in a transparent and competitive environment, and large financial groups will not be able to dominate the market or influence the media and political decisions.”

On Thursday, the day before the Kolomoiskiy family bans were announced

On Thursday, the day before the Kolomoiskiy family bans were announced, the Washington-based Atlantic Council posted an essay headlined “Zelenskiy Aims to End Ukraine’s Oligarch Era,” written by Yuliia Mendel, Zelenskiy’s spokeswoman.  “President Zelenskyy is now making good on his election promises and combating oligarch influence in ways that eluded his predecessors,” wrote Mendel. Listing a string of recent measures, including the closing of three TV stations owned by pro-Russian oligarchs, she concluded: “As events in recent weeks have shown,

Denmark’s Maritime Authority expects Nord Stream 2 to be completed by the end of September 2021, several months later than forecast completion date.

Denmark’s Maritime Authority expects Nord Stream 2 to be completed by the end of September 2021, several months later than forecast completion date. Reuters reports that a Russian pipe-laying vessel, Akademik Cherskiy, left Wismar, a German Baltic port, yesterday to join another Russian vessel, the Fortuna, in laying 120 km of pipe through Danish waters. The new gas pipeline is designed to double the capacity of the existing undersea Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, to 110 billion

Baker Hughes Co and AXA Group and 16 other international companies have withdrawn from the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to avoid US sanctions

Baker Hughes Co and AXA Group and 16 other international companies have withdrawn from the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to avoid US sanctions, Reuters reported. Washington has sanctioned the Fortuna’s owner and other Russian companies. Yet Russian companies are expected to try to complete the $11 billion Russia-Germany project despite US opposition. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is leading a Republican effort to pressure President Biden to widen sanctions against the project, Bloomberg reported from Washington.

Bidding in an online auction of a Ukrspirt distillery drove the price up almost five times, to $3.6 million

Bidding in an online auction of a Ukrspirt distillery drove the price up almost five times, to $3.6 million, reported the State Property Fund. Thursday’s sale of the Vyshiakivka, Poltava is part of a plan to sell all 41 unites of Ukrspirt. In the second half of this year, major privatization will commence, notably the sales of: Kyiv’s President Hotel, the Bolshevik enterprise, the Odesa Port Plant, and the United Mining and Chemical Company.

By the end of this decade, Ukraine’s goal is to sell all state companies not protected from privatization

By the end of this decade, Ukraine’s goal is to sell all state companies not protected from privatization and to transfer to concession 90% of companies enterprise protected from privatization. These goals are stated in the National Economic Strategy of Ukraine until 2030, approved last week by the Cabinet of Ministers. The plans include corporatizing all state-owned companies, introducing supervisory boards, ensuring the financial self-sufficiency, increasing the average return on equity of state-owned enterprises to 10%, and carrying out IPOs

With new coronavirus cases hitting 10,000 a day last week – double the rate of one month ago – over half of Ukrainians told pollsters they would support a new lockdown

With new coronavirus cases hitting 10,000 a day last week – double the rate of one month ago – over half of Ukrainians told pollsters they would support a new lockdown. If cases keep surging, 56% would back a lockdown, and 41% would oppose, respondents told the Rating Sociological Group last Tuesday and Wednesday. Two-thirds of respondents were in favor of closing restaurants, cafes, and cinemas during a lockdown. Support for other measures were:  shutting down gyms – 58%; closing

In a separate poll, only one quarter of respondents told

In a separate poll, only one quarter of respondents told the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology that they would take a coronavirus vaccine. Of the 1,207 respondents, 60% said they would not take the vaccine. The poll concluded on Monday, before President Zelenskiy and Health Minister Maksym Stepanov were filmed taking the vaccine.

Under pressure for a slow start to vaccinations

Under pressure for a slow start to vaccinations, Minister Stepanov told the Rada on Friday that all Ukrainian adults will be vaccinated by the end of this year. As of Thursday, only 10,000 people had been vaccinated – 10 days after the arrival of 500,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from India. A second load of 1.9 million Sinovac vaccines from China are expected to arrive one week from now.

Ukraine will open full-fledged embassies in Chile, Ghana and the Philippines this year

Ukraine will open full-fledged embassies in Chile, Ghana and the Philippines this year, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters on Friday. In addition to these new diplomatic posts, Ukraine will open consulates general in Mumbai, Wroclaw, Poland and Sighetu-Marmatiei, the Romanian city across the border from Zakarpattia.

Ukraine will allow dual citizenship with EU and “friendly countries,”

Ukraine will allow dual citizenship with EU and “friendly countries,” Foreign Minister Kuleba said on Friday when he announced plans to allow dual citizenship in Ukraine with the EU countries. One goal is to reconnect Ukraine with Ukrainians who have emigrated since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  As for Russia, he said: “This is an aggressor state, there can be no talk of any dual citizenship with it.”

Ukraine’s grain harvest is expected to rise by 15% to 75 million tons this year, returning to the bumper crop levels of 2019,

Ukraine’s grain harvest is expected to rise by 15% to 75 million tons this year, returning to the bumper crop levels of 2019, Deputy Economy Minister Taras Vysotskyi wrote on Facebook. While the amount of grain planted is virtually unchanged, moisture levels in the ground lead government experts to forecast the following increases in output: corn +10% to 33 million tons; wheat +17.5 % to 29.5 million tons; and barley +18% to 9 million tons.

The State Department has barred Ihor Kolomoiskiy and his immediate family from entering the US.

The State Department has barred Ihor Kolomoiskiy and his immediate family from entering the US. The bans come as the US Justice Department pursues a civil case alleging Kolomoiskiy and his business partner Hennadiy Boholyubov stole billions of dollars from PrivatBank and laundered the money by buying office buildings and steel companies in the US.

After Ukraine’s government nationalized PrivatBank in 2016

After Ukraine’s government nationalized PrivatBank in 2016, Kolomoiskiy left Ukraine for Switzerland and then for Israel, where he also holds citizenship. In 2019, Kolomoiskiy backed Zelenskiy in the Presidential campaign. After Zelenskiy won the first round, Kolomoiskiy returned to his native Dnipro. The US entry ban applies to Kolomoisky’s wife, Iryna Kolomoiska, his daughter, Angelika Kolomoiska, and his son, Israel Zvi Kolomoiskiy.

Kolomoyskiy and Boholyubov, who are both under investigation by the FBI for money laundering, are suing the US Government for attempting to seize their Texas commercial building worth $23 million

Kolomoyskiy and Boholyubov, who are both under investigation by the FBI for money laundering, are suing the US Government for attempting to seize their Texas commercial building worth $23 million, RFE/RL reported in a 1,000 word article from Washington. They say the US government’s actions violate the sovereignty of Ukraine. Last week, Optima Ventures, a U.S. real-estate holding company controlled by the pair, informed a Florida court that it will file for arbitration against the United States in the World

Millions of Ukrainians signed up in the first year of the government’s Diya mobile app for digital services.

Millions of Ukrainians signed up in the first year of the government’s Diya mobile app for digital services. As a result, the number of partner agencies and companies is expected to increase 10-fold this year, to 1,000, reported the Digital Transformation Ministry. Under the ‘State in the Smartphone’ program, users can store: a child’s birth certificate, a certificate of an internally displaced person, a digital tax number, digital internal and foreign passports, driver’s license, registration certificate and car insurance. Users

By the end of next month, Diya users will be able to change their registered places of residence, use electronic signatures, and interact with government for taxes

By the end of next month, Diya users will be able to change their registered places of residence, use electronic signatures, and interact with government for taxes, medical records and construction permitting. “In 2021, Ukraine will enter into what we term as ‘paperless mode,’” Mykhailo Fedorov, Digital Transformation Minister wrote in an Atlantic Council blog.  “In other words, if a service is not available online, this means it is not available offline.”

This year, five years after the Ukraine-EU free trade agreement went into force, both sides “are ready to start the review of trade liberalization for goods

This year, five years after the Ukraine-EU free trade agreement went into force, both sides “are ready to start the review of trade liberalization for goods,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s Vice President for Economy, said on Wednesday at a press conference in Brussels with Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal. “This will be an important step towards further improving access to our respective markets,” Dombrovskis said. “We hope that this positive trend between Ukraine and the EU will also strengthen the

In a blunt resolution approved Wednesday by 526 European Parliament members – three quarters of the total

In a blunt resolution approved Wednesday by 526 European Parliament members – three quarters of the total – the Euro Parliament criticizes Ukraine for weak progress on cleaning up the courts, for putting political pressure on the Central bank, for slow progress on bringing power plants up to EU standards, for profiteering attempts during the coronavirus attempts and for making “no visible” progress “in the de-oligarchisation of the country.” On reports of “attempts to purchase medical equipment at a disproportionately

Ukraine’s

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, or NABU, is investigating corruption reports surrounding the vaccine, Maksym Hryschusk, acting head of the unit told reporters Wednesday. Separately, a civil society watchdog group, NABU Public Control Council, charged that talks were underway to buy China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine at $3 a dose, “however, subsequently, the Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov manually stopped this process and instructed to start negotiations on the purchase” at $17.85 a dose. Stepanov has said that different companies charge different

Before the Euro Parliament vote, Josep Borrell the Commission’s de facto foreign minister, warned:

Before the Euro Parliament vote, Josep Borrell the Commission’s de facto foreign minister, warned: “Despite notable progress, widespread corruption continues to hamper Ukraine’s reform process. Its key institutions must have strong and independent leadership and the chance to do their work free of political, economic or other interference.” The speech, delivered by Dombrovskis, concluded: “We urge all reform-oriented political factions to come together and give a clear signal of Ukraine’s determination to make its reform path irreversible.”

To speed up privatization of Ukraine’s 3,500 state companies

To speed up privatization of Ukraine’s 3,500 state companies, Mikheil Saakashvili’s Office of Simple Solutions and Results has sent to the Rada a package of bills that would deprive courts of the power to freeze sales, to give local communities 30% of sales proceeds, and to channel all other sales proceeds to improving state services. By creating these incentives, Saakashvili argues in a Kyiv Post opinion piece, Ukraine will find the will to cut the state companies which cost the

The EU and the WHO

The EU and the WHO said yesterday that they will spend €40 million over the next three years to help Ukraine and five other former Soviet republics to roll out vaccinations against Covid-19. WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge said progress is slow in the EU. Vaccinations are taking place in only 29 out of the 37 countries in the European region. He said: “Today, 7.8 million people have completed their immunization series. That is equivalent to only 1.5% of the

With snow forecast for all day today and into tomorrow, trucks are restricted from entering Kyiv City and from moving on many highways in Western Ukraine

With snow forecast for all day today and into tomorrow, trucks are restricted from entering Kyiv City and from moving on many highways in Western Ukraine. Ukravtodor is using almost 1,000 snow plows to keep roads open. Ukrzaliznytsia is clearing tracks with 27 locomotives equipped with snow plows. Without counting snow drifts, snow depths have ranged from 50 cm in Hrebinka, Poltava, to 35 cm in Kyiv, to 25 cm in Lviv.

Foreign purchases of Ukrainian government bonds are returning to their peak levels of late 2019

Foreign purchases of Ukrainian government bonds are returning to their peak levels of late 2019, reported Dragon Capital. Over the last month, foreign purchases totalled $526 million, “close to peak monthly inflows of $560-610m in September and December 2019,” Dragon wrote. “Recent appreciation pressure on the hryvnia (+1.4% w-o-w) is likely to support interest in local bonds. We expect yields on medium-term hryvnia debt to remain close to current levels in the coming months unless an upsurge in foreign demand

State-owned PrivatBank was the most profitable bank in Ukraine last year

State-owned PrivatBank was the most profitable bank in Ukraine last year, recording $910 million in net profit. The next four most profitable banks were: Raiffeisen Bank Aval – $145 million; state-owned Oschadbank – $101 million; FUIB – $94 million; and OTP Bank – $62 million. The biggest loss was recorded by state-owned Ukreximbank — $200 million.

The net profit of all Ukrainian banks amounted to $1.475 bln last year, or 29% less than 2019

The net profit of all Ukrainian banks amounted to $1.475 bln last year, or 29% less than 2019, reports the National Bank of Ukraine. Out of 73 banks operating in Ukraine last year, 65 were profitable, reported the Central Bank. The former owners of PrivatBank, billionaires Ihor Kolomoyskiy and Hennadiy Boholyubov, are undertaking court actions to return ownership of the bank. It was nationalized in December 2016 after auditors found a $5.5 billion hole in its accounts.

The US Embassy applauded the move yesterday

The US Embassy applauded the move yesterday, saying: “The United States supports Ukraine’s efforts yesterday to counter Russia’s malign influence, in line with Ukrainian law, in defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We must all work together to prevent disinformation from being deployed as a weapon in an information war against sovereign states.”

Timothy Ash writes from London

Timothy Ash writes from London: “It was notable over the past 24 hours that President Zelenskiy went after Russian interests in Ukraine…Don’t think that Zelenskiy did this off the hoof. This was clearly in coordination, perhaps at the behest of the US. Zelenskiy is simply not strong enough to take on these interests without US backing.”

The European Investment Bank increased its new investments in Ukraine last year by 50% yoy, to more than €1 billion

The European Investment Bank increased its new investments in Ukraine last year by 50% yoy, to more than €1 billion, bringing total EIB investment in Ukraine to €7.5 billion, Jean-Erik de Zagon, the bank’s resident representative for Ukraine, told reporters yesterday. Bank Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska said Ukraine now receives 60% of EIB money destined for the Eastern Neighborhood, a group of 16 countries to the east and the south of the EU. She said: “We delivered record investment of over €1 billion

For this year, the EIB has agreed

For this year, the EIB has agreed to repurpose €50 million from an existing facility to finance buying corona vaccines for Ukraine. Yesterday, the Cabinet of Ministers approved taking a €270 million loan for Boryspil International Airport. The money is to go to replacing the 40-year-old main runway, and adding new lights, de-icing facilities and an emergency rescue station. The EIB also is discussing with the government a major loan to improve rural drinking water across the country, reported the government portal.

Last month, a record 14 Chinese container trains rolled across Ukraine

Last month, a record 14 Chinese container trains rolled across Ukraine, reports Ukrzaliznytsia. The top destinations were: Poland – 7; Hungary – 6; Slovakia – 1. Two container trains from China finished their 2-week trip at UZ’s logistics center in Liski, on the left bank of Kyiv.

Kyiv’s tourism tax collections nearly dropped in half last year, falling to $1.2 million

Kyiv’s tourism tax collections nearly dropped in half last year, falling to $1.2 million, according to the State Tax Service. Never a major source of revenue, the tax is a good barometer of tourism activity.

In a potential boon for Ukrainian IT startups, unused university real estate may be privatized three years of abandonment,

In a potential boon for Ukrainian IT startups, unused university real estate may be privatized three years of abandonment, according to a bill that has won preliminary approval of the Rada. In the US, several IT hubs, including California’s Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128 ‘Technology Corridor’, grew up around universities strong in science and engineering.

Leases to rent more than 2 million square meters of vacant government real estate across Ukraine will come up for online auction

Leases to rent more than 2 million square meters of vacant government real estate across Ukraine will come up for online auction, the State Property Fund reports. In the first year of online auctions, 991 leases were sold and rents averaged 54% higher, says Leonid Antonenko, first deputy chair of the Fund. In coming weeks, 621 more leases will come up for auction. As leases expire, terms on about 10,000 more will be decided through public auctions.

The sale of prisons will start this month

The sale of prisons will start this month, Justice Minister Denis Malyuska tells Ukrainian Radio. This year, four abandoned prisons are to be sold through ProZorro.Sale, the online auction house. Over the last decade, Ukraine’s prison population had gradually reduced to 50,000 today. Reasons include: a declining population of young men, government policies to promote releases on parole, and a reluctance to incarcerate white collar criminals.