Ukrainian media have given very contrasting assessments of what has happened in Berlin at the Normandy Four meeting. They ranged from “the betrayal of the national interest” to “Poroshenko has outwitted everyone”. VoxUkraine has asked Mykola Mursky, a research assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where he investigates the peacebuilding process in the Donbas, to provide an objective perspective on the Berlin meeting.
Monthly Archive: October 2016
The electoral system and the demographic trends in the United States make the victory of a Republican candidate very illusive. The notoriety of Donald Trump is not the only reason. For the Republicans, the biggest problem lies in the fact that the white population no longer decides who is going to be the President of the USA. Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.
In mid-October reforms accelerated slightly. The Index for Monitoring Reforms (iMoRe) for October 10 – October 23 rose to a mark of +0.9 points out of a possible +5 points. The greatest progress was recorded in reforming business environment. Positive changes were also observed in public finance, monetary system and energy sector.
Official Statement of the Editorial Board of VoxUkraine on the Appointment of Tymofiy Mylovanov to the position of Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine
On 25 October 2016, the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine held its first meeting.
The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the NBU were elected at the meeting. Tymofiy Mylovanov, the Honorary President of Kyiv School of Economics, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, VoxUkraine co-founder and member of the Editorial Board of VoxUkraine, was elected as Deputy Chairman.
During the election debate, 24% of Hillary Clinton’s statements were either false or misleading. Is that a lot of lying, or just a reasonable amount? On the contrary, her opponent, Donald Trump, made misleading statements 72% of the time. VoxCheck investigated who and how fact-checks the statements of the contenders for the most powerful position in the world.
Less than three years ago, millions of Ukrainians took to the streets in order to defend their choice of European integration and values which unite democratic nations of today’s Europe. The Euromaidan protest became one of the largest and the most powerful events in support of the European Union since its creation. It is ironic that, today, one of its founding members, can jeopardize not only the future of the pro-European, reform-oriented forces in Ukraine, but undermine the unity, policies and the spirit of the union.
Ukraine did not have an independent central bank in its first 23 years. The National Bank of Ukraine was an active player in the process of Ukrainian hyperinflation in the beginning of the 1990s, which greatly exceeded that of other Eastern European countries. Even up until 2015, the National Bank was helping the Cabinet of the Ministers hide the real budget deficit, which became one of the reasons for complete imbalances in government budgets and the resulting devaluation of the hryvna (uah).
The Ukrainian economy is highly dollarized, which complicates the monetary policy and decreases the amount of resources available for investment. In 2014-2015, due to the inflation spike and the devaluation of hryvnia, the demand for foreign currency was bound to increase. However, according to the official data, Ukrainians decreased the foreign currency purchases by 15-20 times. It shows that foreign exchange transactions have mostly shifted to a “blind spot” for the regulator and official statistics. This happened due to the rapid development of black market after the National Bank of Ukraine introduced severe foreign exchange controls. We have tried to assess the size of the black market in foreign exchange in Ukraine and to determine to what extent Ukrainians use foreign currency. Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.
Oleh Kulinich, a Ukrainian MP, is convinced that the introduction of a fully functioning land market will linger in limbo for the next few years. Opening the market could hit approval rankings of some political forces on the eve of parliamentary elections. He believes that it would be best to launch the land market gradually, in the way that is currently considered by the Ministry of Agriculture. Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.
Following the transition of public procurement in Ukraine to a digital platform, the role of a civil servant can be decreased (through the implementation of an automated system of real estate exchange). However, it is probably impossible to completely exclude the influence of bureaucrats on land sales. What are the conditions for the success of this reform?