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UBJ AM News: Feb. 28, 2017
Ukrainians' dream of visa-free travel in the EU is on Brussels' lips, the Dnipro subway system receives EU backing, and the World Bank looks to help beef producers.
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

The European Union will begin talks today with the intention of abolishing the visa system it has for Ukraine, according to Ukrinform. If the EU approves the proposal, Ukrainians will become eligible for visa-free travel in the Schengen zone. On Monday, the EU ended its visa requirement for Georgia, a decision that will take effect in late March.

President Petro Poroshenko hopes construction on three subway stations in downtown Dnipro will be done within four years, Interfax Ukraine reported. Loans from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank are financing the $300 million project. Poroshenko said the work is a symbol of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

A World Bank program to prepare Ukrainian beef producers to enter EU markets is slated to kick off in April, according to Ukrinform. Between 10 and 14 companies are authorized to take part in the training sessions. The program will run throughout the year.

Investment firm Dragon Capital foresees a sustained revival of investor activity in Ukraine and believes that the momentum will carry over to individual businesses and the overall economy, multiple sources reported. In 2016, outside investment in Ukraine grew 41 percent in annual terms.

In contrast with the five EU countries that have Russian-built nuclear power plants, Ukraine has implemented EU requirements for energy portfolio diversification, Westinghouse official Michael Kirst told Euractiv.com, Unian reported. Ukraine, which is not an EU member, better implements EU policy for ensuring supply diversity at Russia-built nuclear power plants, Kirst said, noting that this fact is one of the biggest ironies in power generation among countries of the former Soviet Union.

Russia’s VTB Bank said it has found four potential buyers for its Ukrainian subsidiary BM Bank and will resolve its situation in Ukraine by the end of March, according to RIA Novosti. VTB Group has two Ukrainian subsidiaries, BM Bank and VTB Bank Ukraine. It is seeking buyers for its Ukrainian assets amid a push by the National Bank of Ukraine to get Russian financial institutions out of Ukraine’s banking sector.

Ukrgazvydobuvannia is expressing dismay at the Kharkiv regional government’s failure to approve development of gas fields in the region, according to Interfax Ukraine. The company is seeking permits for gas extraction at six fields.

Fish companies could have some extra funding at their disposal come May, which is when financing from a $400 million loan by the European Investment Bank is expected, Interfax Ukraine reported. The 2017 federal budget has an outlay for a fish breeding program in the Azov and Black seas. Pilot fish breeding projects will be implemented in the Kyiv and Kaniv water-storage basins.

Kyiv municipal budget revenues from taxes and duties grew more than 20 percent in 2016, Interfax Ukraine reported. According to the report, revenue increased thanks to changes in budget and tax legislation and improvements in the tax administration.

Consideration of the long-awaited next tranche of aid from the International Monetary Fund has been delayed again, and the issue won’t come before the IMF executive board until March 6.

For comments and news tips, please email UBJ AM editor David Edwards at david.edwards@theubj.com.

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