Analytical review of the week No. 109 of 03/28/2021.

INTERNAL POLICY.

Briefly:

For the domestic policy of Ukraine, at the moment, the continuation of the rivalry between the Office of the President and Western partners for control over the judicial system, the future of the banking and anti-corruption systems is characteristic; roles and places of Ukrainian financial and political groups (oligarchs). The promotion by national liberal forces and grant organizations focused on the US Democratic Party of the topic of the allegedly unfair condemnation of Sergei Sternenko is an attempt to attract street radicals to pressure on the OP, in order to attract important "street forces" of Ukrainian politics to their side, to push political economic model in Ukraine. Ultraliberal structures also use the partnership and authority of the EU and US representatives to achieve their political goals.

At the same time, the President does not abandon his attempts to reformat the Constitutional Court, dismissing unwanted judges and subjecting it to his informal influence; provide control over the information space.

Also, within the framework of the need to ensure manageability of the administrative vertical in the context of a relatively low rating, the government continues to show a "strong hand" by imposing sanctions, announcing suspicions of treason, and conducting searches. However, given that the largest opponents on the “anti-Western” flank of the political spectrum were suppressed back in February, now we have to be content with sanctions against Russian legal entities and the announcement of suspicions to officials of the times of V. Yanukovych. Such actions are not capable of ensuring public interest and control over the “vertical of power” for a long time. And given the aggravation in Donbass and the deteriorating dynamics with Covid-19, there are risks of introducing certain forms of emergency in Ukraine with justifications of an epidemiological or military nature.

Attempts to use the NSDCU tool for the redistribution of economic assets (revocation of licenses from mining companies) causes a crisis of confidence even within the NSDCU and can hardly be used systematically.

1. The police started criminal proceedings on the fact of the events near the Office of the President.

This week, the Interior Ministry opened criminal proceedings against citizens suspected of organizing or actively participating in a rally on Bankova Street on March 20 in support of prisoner Sergei Starchenko. During the action, the protesters broke the windows and doors of the President's Office, poured paint on the walls, and threw smoke bombs at the building. In the OP, the damage was estimated at UAH 2 million.

On the fact of the riots at Bankova, the police began criminal proceedings against a number of suspects. Also, on the website of the parliament, a draft resolution No. 5295 "On condemnation of the events that occurred on March 20, 2021 near the Office of the President of Ukraine" was published, according to which the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the State Bureau of Investigation were instructed to investigate and establish involvement in the above events any political parties and persons associated with them.

While V. Zelensky in the emergency control mode with the help of the NSDC, is trying in every possible way to demonstrate a "strong hand", actions of this kind nullify this technology. The vandalized building of the President's Office is a symbol of the fact that the government is weak, in fact, political processes in the country are controlled by external forces and radical groups.

As we already wrote in the last review, the story with the promotion of protests against the conviction of S. Sternenko is part of the struggle for the introduction of one or another scenario for the implementation of judicial reform (with a decisive role of international experts in the appointment of judges). At the same time, the Sternenko case was chosen to stir up protests due to the ease of mobilizing street radicals in his support, to whom the President's Office has been inclined to make concessions since the fall of 2019.

As for the start of criminal proceedings against the defendants in the pogrom on Bankova Street, it looks like a clearly belated measure. In such situations, the task of the police is to prevent offenses and apprehend perpetrators at the scene, rather than trying to simulate violent activity “after the fact”.

The level of political instability is also increased by the uncertain position of the new administration in the United States in relation to the team of V. Zelensky. The eloquent silence and lack of negotiations between J. Biden and V. Zelensky this week was emphasized by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the United States George Kent, who said that a telephone conversation between the presidents would take place, but the United States understands its symbolism for the Ukrainian leadership and requires concrete action in judicial reform, NABU, the national bank and the fight against corruption.

2. Opinion of the Venice Commission on two bills on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine; Cancellation by President Vladimir Zelensky of V. Yanukovych's decrees on the appointment of two judges of the Constitutional Court

This week, the Venice Commission released its opinion on bills on constitutional procedure (No. 4533) and on the procedure for considering cases and enforcement of decisions of the Constitutional Court (No. 4533-1).

The Commission approved the need to regulate at the level of law most of the procedural issues of the work of the Constitutional Court, but with the ability for the court to adopt separate procedural acts itself. Before that, everything was regulated only by the court. The proposal was approved to determine the boundaries of the powers of the Constitutional Court, forbidding him to recognize unconstitutional laws that have not previously been challenged in court.

The Commission recommended to the Constitutional Court to exercise restraint if the provisions of the new law are challenged and to submit written proposals on how it can be improved.

In general, the conclusions can be called positive. The Venice Commission made comments on the draft law, as it does not contain provisions on a new system of competitive selection of judges, including an international component. And she made public her proposals for finalizing the project:

• introduction of a gradation of types of disciplinary punishments for judges of the Constitutional Court (the current law provides for the dismissal of a judge as the only possible disciplinary sanction);

• competitive selection of judges of the Constitutional Court with the involvement of international experts;

• With regard to disciplinary proceedings, instead of the executive (i.e. the president), the initiative to initiate disciplinary proceedings should be given to the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption.

• the possibility of reviewing the decisions of the Constitutional Court if the judge is brought to criminal liability (in particular, in the case of receiving a bribe during the consideration of this case).

Bill No. 4533 was developed in response to the decision of the Constitutional Court of October 27, 2020. Then the Grand Chamber of the Constitutional Court recognized unconstitutional criminal liability for inaccurate declaration. In addition, the Constitutional Court also recognized the powers of the NAPC as unconstitutional. On December 4, the Verkhovna Rada returned criminal responsibility for declaring false information. V. Zelensky announced his intention to dissolve the current composition of the Constitutional Court A. Tupitsky because of the scandalous decision. But later, the president withdrew the bill due to the lack of votes in support and criticism, including from international partners.

The President's intention to dismiss the head of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Oleksandr Tupitsky was realized on March 27, when the guarantor signed a decree canceling Viktor Yanukovych's decree of May 14, 2013 No. 256 "On the appointment of A. Tupitsky as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine".

According to the decree of V. Zelensky, the reason for the cancellation of the decree on the appointment of A. Tupitsky and A. Kosminin as judges of the Constitutional Court is that Viktor Yanukovych "usurped power" in 2010-2014, "undermining them judges KSU creates a threat to state independence and national security.

From a legal point of view, such wording is highly doubtful. However, it fits well with the attempt to rule the country with a "strong hand", which we have been observing since the beginning of February.

Having fired two judges of the Constitutional Court, the President expects to informally subordinate him to himself, so as not to receive the cancellation of the laws through the mechanism of filing claims about their unconstitutionality in the CCU. After new judges are appointed to replace the dismissed judges under the presidential quota, the risk of the Constitutional Court adopting decisions not coordinated with the president will significantly decrease.

3. Deputies may be expelled from the Golos party because of voting for the presidential bill.

On March 22, the Political Council of Golos warned a number of deputies about the exclusion after voting for bill No. 5133, which, according to party members, restricts the subjectivity of NABU and the RRB and actually transfers these departments to the presidency. The party considers the vote of its deputies for this bill to be political support for "an attack on anti-corruption bodies."

The protocol of the meeting of the political council says that in case of repeated actions that grossly contradict the political position of the party, the question of expelling the guilty deputies will be raised. For the adoption of the whole bill No. 5133 voted: Solomiya Bobrovskaya, Roman Lozinskaya, Olga Stefanishina, Alexandra Ustinova, Vladimir Tsabal, Yaroslav Yurchishin. They have refused to impose personal disciplinary sanctions against these persons.

Y. Yurchishin noted that the new head of the faction, Yaroslav Zheleznyak, is a worse organizer than his predecessor Sergei Rakhmanin and does not work with parliamentarians, so the deputies decided that they can vote as they see fit, if there is no joint position of the faction on this matter.

A split has long been brewing in the Golos party. A wing, which was previously associated with the "Ukrainian Galician Party", may break away from it. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Kira Rudyk will lead the party to the exclusion of the deputies, since in this case there will be a threat of the faction's disintegration and its transformation into a deputy group.

At the same time, another part of the Golos faction, at the insistence of one of its sponsors, Victor Pinchuk, is trying to maintain friendly relations with the President's Office. It is not excluded that part of this political force may in the future join a coalition with the "Servant of the people''.

 

4. Vladimir Zelensky imposed sanctions against a number of Russian companies and citizens.

On March 23, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on sanctions against 81 Russian companies and 26 citizens of the Russian Federation. Among the companies caught in the sanctioned list is Gazeta.ru, Rossiya Segodnya, Lenta.ru, the Rosgosstrakh insurance company, the Siberian Oil and Gas Company, and a number of companies operating in the uncontrolled Crimea - Chernomorneftegaz, Massandra. Among the sanctioned persons are the deputies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the head of the counterintelligence service of the Russian Federation, the head of the Main Directorate for Migration of the Russian Federation, members of the committees of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and others. Also, sanctions were introduced against several French MEPs who visited the uncontrolled Crimea - Virginie Joron, Jean-Lena Lacapelle and Philippe Olivier.

Also this week, the SBU conducted searches in the offices of the all-Ukrainian public movement "Ukrainian Choice - the Right of the People", the leader of which is the head of the Political Council of the OPSZ Viktor Medvedchuk. Opposition Platform For Life, the conduct of searches in the offices of the movement is regarded as "illegal and unlawful actions aimed at suppressing dissent."

Also this week, former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov was charged with treason in connection with the preparation of the 2010 Kharkiv agreements on the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

The above news indicates that the Office of the President, using the NSDC's tools, continues the policy of “tightening the screws”. At this stage, it is aimed primarily not at suppressing real political opponents (since they managed to suppress them back in February), but at maintaining the tone of the administrative vertical. A weekly demonstration of a "strong hand" is necessary so that local officials see the president's ability to make tough decisions and, as a result, continue to obey him.

However, in recent years, this tactic of the OP seems to be less and less effective. Major opponents of the authorities on the “anti-western” flank have already been suppressed, and the fight against “ghosts” of the Yanukovych era or Russian companies outside the reach of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies is not particularly impressive for regional and metropolitan officials. In this regard, in the next few months, we can expect a decrease in the controllability of processes in certain areas and regions on the part of the President's Office.

5. Sociology. Power ratings. The attitude of citizens to the main events in the country.

March 26 Sociological group "Rating" a study was published according to which V. Zelensky is in the lead in the presidential rating. 24.7% of respondents are ready to support his candidacy. In comparison with the poll published in early March (22.5% according to the rating group) the rating shows an increase of + 2% ... Other politicians, according to the above-mentioned study, demonstrate the following indicators:

•P. Poroshenko - 13.9%, changes within the margin of error, the rating is relatively stable.

•YU. Boyko - 12.6%, - insignificant dynamics for an increase of + 1% since the beginning of March. Since the beginning of February (17.1%, "Rating"), there has been a significant decline - by 5-6%.

The leader in the parliamentary rating is "Servant of the People" - 20.8%. Since the beginning of March (19.6%), the party's rating has shown insignificant growth dynamics. This is followed by:

• "European Solidarity" - 15%; since the beginning of the month the rating has hardly changed.

• “Opposition Platform - For Life” - 14.8%, insignificant growth dynamics within the margin of error (it was 14.3%).

• "Batkivshchyna" - 12.4%, unchanged.

Attitude towards the riots under the Office of the President:

• 43% of the respondents do not support the protest actions in support of Sergei Sternenko.

• 65% of the respondents believe that the protesters who damaged the building of the President's Office should be forced to remove or pay compensation for the damage caused.

Attitude to the problem of Crimea:

• 68% of respondents believe that Ukraine should use all opportunities to return Crimea.

• At the same time, a significant part of society - 45% supports the initiative to restore water supply to Crimea.

• Another part - 48% were against it.

Attitude towards quarantine measures and vaccination:

68% of respondents support the introduction of "strict" quarantine only in regions where the situation with the incidence is dangerous.

According to the research "Rating" dated 03.25.2021, the majority of respondents believe that coronavirus is an artificially created virus - 71%, to reduce population of the population - 40%.

Most citizens are critical of vaccination. The majority are not ready to get vaccinated even for free - 49%; ready to be vaccinated for free - 47%. Of those who are not ready to be vaccinated: 51% do not trust the vaccine that was delivered. 47% are afraid of side effects.

Most of all trust vaccines from Great Britain - 52% and least of all - the vaccine produced in Russia - 17%. At the same time, 67% do not want to be vaccinated with the Indian vaccine COVIESHIELD. Only 27% of respondents expressed their readiness to be vaccinated with this vaccine.

In addition, this week the Razumkov Center published a study, according to which the majority of Ukrainian citizens consider it necessary for Ukraine to join the European Union - 58.8%; and 26.4% were against it.

At the same time, in Ukraine's relations with the EU, citizens do not harbor any special illusions: the majority believe that in the future they will not change - 39%.

The above-described results of sociological research indicate that the authorities, as of the moment, have managed to stabilize the presidential and party ratings, stopping their decline and even ensuring a slight increase.

At the same time, there is also a stabilization of the rating of one of the main opponents of the authorities - the OLE party, whose indicators in the polls have ceased to decline. Subsequently, OLE, despite a number of sanctions imposed against its elite, can win back the lost positions in the ratings.

 

FOREIGN POLICY.

Briefly:

The confrontation between the United States (with the assistance of the EU) with China and Russia remains the main trend in international politics. This was confirmed by the words of Joe Biden, said during his first press conference in the presidency, as well as the statements of the Russian and Chinese sides made during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the PRC. In the foreseeable future, this confrontation will only worsen, pushing Moscow and Beijing towards ever closer cooperation.

The new political reality, namely the multipolarity of the world, is more and more clearly realized by the regional powers. Within this trend, Turkey's recent withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention can be seen as another step for Ankara on the way to sovereignty. This time, not only in the political, but also in the ideological and semantic sphere.

1. Joe Biden's first press conference as president of the United States.

On March 25, the first press conference of US President Joseph Biden took place, during which he outlined the main challenges and approaches to their solution of the new administration. At the same time, it cannot be said unequivocally that the press conference provided answers to all questions. On the contrary, it was rather general in nature.

In particular, Biden called the coronavirus pandemic the most pressing problem facing the United States. We are talking about an extremely difficult epidemiological situation, obvious problems with vaccination and economic difficulties caused by the lockdown. The migration crisis is also designated by Biden as a significant challenge for the new administration, but the United States will deal with it after the fight against coronavirus. A similar position is taken with regard to the issues of climate change and the turnover of firearms.

In general, it was the domestic policy issues that dominated the press conference. However, the lack of new and fresh ideas and proposals obviously allows us to speak of a leadership crisis and the inability of the ruling team to resolve the problems facing American society.

The nuclear disarmament of the DPRK, the steady withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, if not before May 1, by the end of the year, for sure, and the confrontation with China were named by Biden as the key priorities of American foreign policy. At the same time, the North Korean issue can hardly be resolved on American terms, and the war in Afghanistan, as we wrote earlier, can hardly end with the preservation of the American-recognized Kabul government in power.

In these conditions, it is the confrontation with China that remains the main content of American foreign policy. Biden promised to prevent China from becoming the most powerful nation in the world. Apparently, the policy of containing the PRC will be implemented by the United States by supporting Taiwan and creating tension in the South China Sea, as well as pressure on the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region issue.

In general, the main result of Biden's first press conference is that the approaches of the times of the second Obama administration, which seek to inherit the current president, are outdated long ago and do not correspond to the US domestic and foreign policy agenda, and there are no new approaches yet.

2. Rocket launches of the DPRK.

Last week, the DPRK conducted another missile test, the first since Joseph Biden came to power in the United States. The new American administration has not yet formulated its approaches to the North Korean nuclear issue, and by its actions the DPRK regime clearly demonstrates its readiness to follow the previously chosen course of strengthening its national security.

It is worth noting that North Korea conducted missile tests in two phases. Pyongyang first tested short-range missiles last weekend. A few days later, on Thursday, ahead of Biden's press conference, North Korea conducted new missile tests. This time, ballistic missiles were launched. The second test of missiles, this time more powerful, should obviously be seen as a challenge from Pyongyang, both against its neighbors and against the United States. The American administration has promised the DPRK an "appropriate response" in case of escalation.

And although Biden, after the first and after the second tests, declared his readiness for negotiations, on the whole, the United States is currently clearly at a loss and cannot offer any intelligible and meaningful policy regarding the North Korean nuclear problem.

The DPRK soberly evaluates the peace-loving statements of the American president and is clearly not ready to make any concessions on the issue of nuclear disarmament.

The return of North Korea to conducting missile launches in the direction of Japan is obviously connected with the intensification of the US-Chinese geopolitical confrontation. As a military ally of the United States, Japan recently made a number of statements extremely hostile to the PRC, after which the above-described missile launches from the DPRK, which is an ally of Beijing, took place.

3. The new ambassador of Russia to Belarus.

On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced the ambassador to Belarus. Instead of Dmitry Mezentsev, it was Evgeny Lukyanov, who previously held the post of ambassador to Latvia. The replacement of a key Russian diplomat in the neighboring republic marks a revision by the Russian Federation of its policy towards this country.

The regular change of Russian ambassadors to Belarus began in 2018, when Mikhail Babich was appointed instead of Alexander Surikov. A supporter of tough measures, he sharply intensified the integration processes within the Union State, at the same time cutting off a large flow of direct and explicit grants and subsidies from the Russian budget to support the Lukashenka regime, and consolidating the elite dissatisfied with the current president around him. However, after pressure from the Belarusian president, Babich was removed from his post.

Under the new after, Mezentsev, a sharp exacerbation of the internal political situation took place in the country, Belarus found itself on the verge of transition to an open civil conflict. At the same time, the integration efforts of the Russian Federation again rested on Lukashenka's unwillingness to carry out the transit of power.

Under these conditions, Lukyanov's appointment looks like Moscow's recognition of the previous his staff failure and readiness to return to an active integration agenda in relations with Minsk. Lukyanov, formerly the ambassador to Latvia, has experience of working in an openly hostile anti-Russian environment that is now emerging both among the opposition and within the Lukashenka regime. This gives him the experience appropriate to the circumstances, allowing him to implement Russia's line of final integration with Belarus.

The complex of issues in bilateral relations is very significant. And although it is unlikely that any external forces will be able to support the current Belarusian president, he himself clearly does not intend to give up power in the republic. The arrival of a new Russian after can thus activate both the integration processes of Russia and Belarus, and contribute to the resolution of the internal Belarusian civil confrontation.

4. Sergey Lavrov's visit to China and his statement on the collapse of Russian-European relations.

On March 22-23, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov paid a visit to China. In the course of it, the Russian minister made a number of important statements testifying to the strengthening of the informal alliance between Moscow and Beijing.

In particular, Lavrov noted that relations between the two countries are going through the best period in the entire history of bilateral relations. February 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and China. Beijing and Moscow have agreed to automatically extend this document for another 5 years - until 2027.

In addition, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry rebuked Western countries for trying to "by hook or by crook ensure their dominance," including by ignoring the UN Charter and substituting his own rules for it.

According to Sergei Lavrov, Russia and China need to abandon the use of international payment systems controlled by the West. It is worth starting to develop a transition to settlements in national currencies and in world currencies, alternative to the dollar. The Russian foreign minister also said that strengthening independence is especially necessary against the backdrop of US sanctions against both countries.

Thus, Lavrov not only voiced a number of routine phrases about the need to strengthen cooperation and jointly obstruct US attempts to revive world hegemony, but also described specific measures along the way. And they consist in the gradual abandonment of the dollar, and most importantly, of American payment systems. If this goal is achieved, even the most severe American sanctions in the form of disconnecting from payment systems, Russia and China will not be afraid.

Another notable statement made by Lavrov during his visit to China concerns the European Union. To quote him:

“Moscow has no relations with the European Union as an organization, they were all destroyed by Brussels. And while we have no changes on the Western Front, in the East we have a very intensive agenda, which is getting richer every year".

This short statement contains several important messages. The first of them is that Moscow does not intend to conduct meaningful negotiations with the Brussels bureaucracy, since the latter completely "fell under the United States."

The second message is that Moscow is ready to negotiate mutually beneficial cooperation or joint solutions to emerging problems with the governments of individual European states (primarily, of course, Germany and France).

And finally, the third message of the above statement is the gradual reorientation of Russia towards more intensive economic cooperation with China. It is worth noting here that from 2014 to 2020, China's share in the structure of Russia's foreign trade increased 1.7 times, while Russian trade with the EU, on the contrary, declined.

The events described above in the China-Russia-USA (and its European allies) triangle indicate that the next few years will inevitably become a period of intensified geopolitical confrontation. At the same time, the trend towards a decrease in the role and influence of the United States in the world, against the background of the growing influence of China, Russia, and a number of regional powers, remains unchanged.

5. Turkey announced its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

On March 20, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree on the country's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence acts as an extension of the Overton window for Western liberals. In addition to measures to prevent all kinds of violence against women, it has two extremely controversial provisions.

The first of them defines gender not as a biological sex, but as a “socially constructed role and model of behavior,” which gives rise to the creation of artificial “genders” by legalizing various non-traditional sexual orientations.

The second provision provides for punishment for so-called "harassment". There is no clear definition of this term. In theory, it should mean sexual violence. But the problem is that in the United States and some Western European countries, the concept of "harassment" is interpreted as broadly as possible, to the extent that an unsuccessful compliment can be considered harassment and imprisoned for it or write out a cosmic fine.

Taking advantage of these two loopholes, liberals use the Istanbul Convention as the basis for legalizing LGBT propaganda and radical feminism. At the same time, anyone who dares to criticize the convention, they label "misogynist."

Considering the above, and also knowing that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan positions himself as the heir to the traditions of the Ottoman Empire and an adherent of the Muslim faith, it is not difficult to understand the reasons for Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention. In a statement released on March 21 by the Public Relations Office of the Turkish President, it is said that the convention, originally intended to protect the rights of women, was appropriated by a group of people trying to normalize homosexuality, which is incompatible with the social and family values ​​of Turkey.

Six EU members (Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia) have not ratified the Istanbul Convention. Poland has also taken steps to withdraw from the convention, citing an attempt by the LGBT community to impose their notions of gender on the entire society. Thus, the Istanbul Convention is causing disapproval not only in Turkey, but also in the predominantly conservative countries of Eastern Europe.

Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention should be perceived as another sign that Ankara realizes the arrival of a multipolar system of international relations to replace a unipolar one, and as a consequence - the growing role of traditional values ​​(as one of the means of ensuring cultural and ideological sovereignty) in comparison with the promoted United States and their European allies with "universal" liberal values.

 

ECONOMY.

Briefly:

The economic situation in Ukraine remains relatively stable with a negative trend caused by a new wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, a worsening situation in the external markets for raw materials and capital.

In addition, the government is still unable to satisfy the social demand for improving living standards and continues to use utility tariffs as one of the types of hidden taxation of the population in order to obtain additional funds to cover the budget deficit and repay the IMF debts.

1. Sanctions by the National Security and Defense Council against subsoil users as an element of the impending redistribution of the market.

On March 19, NSDC Secretary Aleksey Danilov announced the introduction of sanctions against 19 subsoil companies. The full list of sanctioned companies includes: GeoConnect, Global Geoinvest, Transsetgeo, Geopost, Geovertical, Geotarget, Nadrapride, Geofors, Geostens, Nadravestgroup, Best Oil companies "," Nadraprostyr "," Infogeotrend "," Agein Marka "," Ecogasalliance "," Epival Energy "," Yunolit Oil "," Profinnaft "," Bestgeotech ".

The very fact of the imposition of sanctions against the listed companies indicates that there is no reason to seize property in the framework of criminal proceedings. There is not enough evidence against the owners of firms, whoever they are, to declare them a suspicion of a felony. The aforementioned companies were connected first with the ex-Minister of Energy of the Yanukovych era E. Stavitsky, and then with the businessman P. Fuchs. Thus, the potential owners of the sanctioned firms did not belong to business circles friendly to the current government.

The described sanctions fit into the trend, within which the current government plans a large redistribution of the Ukrainian subsoil use market. Most likely, it will be carried out, first of all, in favor of transnational companies or the environment of the President (who is now forming their capital).

2. Plans for the production and export of hydrogen from Ukraine to the EU.

On March 21, the German newspaper Handelsblatt published an interview with the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal. Among other things, it said that Ukraine plans to export hydrogen via the Brotherhood pipeline (not to be confused with the Druzhba pipeline).

Kiev is already preparing to terminate or significantly reduce the transit of Russian fuel to the EU via the Ukrainian GTS after the completion of the construction of Nord Stream-2. The stake on hydrogen is Ukraine's attempt to save face after the launch of “SP-2 ”, as well as the desire to please the EU with its fashion for“ green ”energy. On March 18, Handelsblatt also reported that Germany tried to mitigate the effect of the termination (or significant reduction) of gas transit through the Ukrainian GTS by proposing to build a plant in support of the hydrogen project in Mariupol, where Rinat Akhmetov's DTEK company will participate from the Ukrainian side. This project can be viewed as an attempt by Germany to buy off Ukraine, since the latter almost completely loses up to $ 2 billion in profit a year from the transit of Russian gas after the launch of Nord Stream 2.

Germany is considering Ukrainian interests on a leftover basis, embedding Ukraine in new projects on the fly in such a way that it is beneficial for itself in the first place. The focus on green energy in these projects is mainly a tribute to fashion.

3. A sharp drop in oil prices in the world market due to the coronavirus.

On March 23, oil quotes collapsed - Brent fell in price by 3.85% to $ 62.13 per barrel. WTI even went below $ 60 per barrel - the price tag dipped by 3.72% to $ 59.28.

The third wave of the coronavirus "extinguished" the previous growth in oil and Bitcoin prices at the end of February. Given the nearly 2 trillion "new" money printed by the US Federal Reserve at the direction of the Biden administration, falling demand with increasing money supply will push prices up to counterbalance the imbalance. If the demand for Ukrainian corn remains the same, regardless of the presence of the coronavirus epidemic, then the demand for ore may rapidly decrease due to the slowdown in the production of various equipment during the pandemic.

Regarding the demand for Ukrainian corn, it is important to understand that Brazil can completely replace Ukraine in the Chinese direction of corn supplies. In light of the recent visit of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine to Japan, which is a priori an unfriendly gesture towards China, the Celestial Empire may reduce its imports of Ukrainian corn and turn its attention to Brazil as the main supplier of this cereal. In 2020, Ukraine supplied 5.7 million tons of corn to China, and the total revenue from grain exports (including corn) in 2020 amounted to more than $ 9 billion.

 

4. Tariffs for heating and gas.

On March 25, the head of NJSC Naftogaz, Aleksey Kobolev, announced that the gas price for the population would remain at the level of 6.86 hryvnia per cubic meter for the time being. It can be revised after May 1, 2021.

Some regional teplokommunenergo told Strana.yua on condition of anonymity that Naftogaz was violating the February memorandum by selling gas at UAH 10 instead of UAH 6.99 per cubic meter. Tariffs are too high (in the sense that they are too high for citizens), if only for the reason that the population has already owed 81 billion hryvnia. Within a month, the debt will reach 85 billion hryvnia. This amount can no longer be returned. The population cannot cope with the payment of tariffs. The bill # 3613 has been registered in the parliament, which is designed to deal with the debt of the population for communal services in the spirit of libertarian anti-social logic, through fines and even eviction of debtors from their homes.

Utilities tariffs are a hidden additional tax for the population, and instead of returning them to a level acceptable for payment by the majority of citizens, the government initiates bill No. 3613, which implies severe sanctions for non-payment.

CONCLUSION.

Summarizing the main events and trends of the outgoing week, we note that:

Firstly, in the internal politics of Ukraine, the confrontation for control over the judicial system continues. As part of the pressure on the OP, local lobbyists of Western interests and grantees continue to promote information and protest activity around the S. Sternenko case, claiming that "the judicial system is rotten." By attracting nationalist street radicals to the protests, they expect to push through the model of judicial reform, in which international experts will play a decisive role. Meanwhile, Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself this week tried to complete the process of subordinating the Constitutional Court to himself, canceling the decrees of Viktor Yanukovych on the appointment of two of his judges, including the ex-head of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Alexander Tupitsky, who dared to make decisions independent of the OP last fall.

Secondly, within the framework of the need to ensure manageability of the administrative vertical in conditions of a relatively low rating, the government continues to show a "strong hand" by imposing sanctions, announcing suspicions of treason, and conducting searches. However, given that the largest opponents on the “anti-Western” flank of the political spectrum were suppressed back in February, now we have to be content with sanctions against Russian legal entities and the announcement of suspicions to officials of the times of V. Yanukovych, which are deliberately inaccessible to Ukrainian justice. Such actions are not capable of ensuring the controllability of the “vertical of power” for a long time.

Third, the confrontation between the United States (with the assistance of the EU) with China and Russia remains the main trend in international politics. This was confirmed by the words of Joe Biden, said during his first press conference in the presidency, as well as the statements of the Russian and Chinese sides made during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the PRC. In the foreseeable future, this confrontation will only worsen, pushing Moscow and Beijing towards ever closer cooperation. This global confrontation is already reflected in Ukraine, which has taken the side of the United States in it. The story of the cancellation of the deal with the Chinese company at the Motor Sich plant and the subsequent imposition of sanctions on Chinese investors has already led to an open visit of a Chinese delegation to Crimea. In the future, if Kiev continues to follow in line with Washington's anti-Chinese policy, the situation may worsen.

Fourth, the recent introduction by the NSDC of Ukraine of sanctions against companies developing subsoil, although it is presented to society as an “element of returning subsoil to the people,” in fact, is most likely a preparation for the redistribution of the Ukrainian subsoil use market. Taking into account the dependence of our country on Western loans and the propensity to fulfill various economic conditions for obtaining them, the indicated redistribution of the market will most likely be carried out in favor of the new environment of the President and transnational corporations.

Edited by:

Ruslan Bortnik,

Daniil Bogatyrev.

The authors:

Daniil Bogatyrev,

Maxim Semyonov,

Oksana Krasovskaya,

Andrey Timchenko.