“The protest will be all right”: how can impact on the future of Ukraine “urgent” reforms Zelensky

The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky has signed a decree on “urgent measures” to reform, which, in his view, should strengthen the economy and strengthen the state. Among designated in the document of steps includes lifting the moratorium on the sale of land, privatization of state enterprises and “liberalization” of the production of alcohol. On these and other issues, the government up to 31 December must prepare a detailed proposal. As noted RT interviewed sources in the office Zelensky and Ukrainian parties, to prepare proposals on such problems associated with large-scale corruption, for a couple of months impossible. In turn, experts note that measures such as lifting the moratorium on land sales and privatization of strategic enterprises, can lead to increased social tensions.

«Протестовать будут сразу все»: как могут сказаться на будущем Украины «неотложные» реформы Зеленского

RIA Novostirussian of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree “on urgent measures for reform aimed at stimulating economic growth and strengthening of the state”. On 9 November reported the press service of the Ukrainian President.

The new decree should allow for “the introduction of additional mechanisms to accelerate socio-economic development of Ukraine, increasing the level of welfare of the population, harmonious development of the regions, the introduction of European living standards”, noted on the website of the President.

In private hands

Some of the mentioned goals in the document should be implemented before the end of this year, i.e. in less than two months. Among them are mostly developed and introduced to the Verkhovna Rada bills. For example, on “combating illegal production of amber,” repayment of debt on the wholesale market of electricity, waste management, liberalization of labor legislation, etc.; Also before the end of the year in Ukraine should be implemented a new integrated system of management of the armed forces “NATO standards”.

Considerable attention will be given to the initiatives of “liberalization” and “privatization”. So, until the end of the year the Ukrainian government should prepare proposals on creating a competitive rail market, “the liberalization of the activities in the field of production of ethyl alcohol” and “to ensure that large-scale privatization”, defining five facilities that the government will give in the near future in private hands.

Also, according to the order Zelensky, until the end of the year “should be provided training for the market introduction of agricultural land”.

Recall that in August the President of Ukraine has declared intention till the end of 2019 to carry out land reform and to cancel in effect since 2001, the moratorium on sale of agricultural land. In his opinion, it will spur the economic development of the country.

Long said the Ukrainian President about the need of “big privatization” in Ukraine. Insists on the sale of state property and the international monetary Fund.

September 2 Vladimir Zelensky said that the Cabinet should prepare proposals for the privatization of large state companies before December 1. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkova and Chairman of the ruling faction of the “Servant of the people” David Arakhamiya he requested to cancel the current list of objects of state property that are not subject to privatization. A month later Parliament abolished the relevant law.

On 23 October, Ukrainian media citing the press-service Zelensky, said of the President’s intention to abolish the state monopoly on alcohol production. According to submitted to the Parliament the proposal of the President, from 1 January 2020, the main component of the production of spirits can produce by private companies. This should compensate for the losses from the shadow market of alcoholic beverages and to bring in illegal enterprises from the shadows.

Unpopular reforms

However, according to experts, attempts to promote Zelensky projects “privatization” and “liberalization” may meet strong opposition from the population.One of the most acute issues — the lifting of the moratorium on land sales. According to opinion polls, more than 70% of Ukrainians are against this measure. Among the most frequent fears is the prospect of the purchase of Ukrainian land by foreigners.

In September Zelensky promised that after the lifting of the moratorium “to buy or sell land can only Ukrainian citizens or Ukrainian companies”. However, on 8 November of the TV channel “Ukraine” the head of the Office of the President Andrei Bogdan said that in four years, foreigners will be able to buy Ukrainian land.

Criticized and plans large-scale privatization. In particular, the intention to let the hammer “Ukrposhta” and the companies included now in the state concern “Ukroboronprom”.

In late October, the party leader “Batkivshchyna” Yulia Timoshenko declared that he would seek the repeal of laws on privatization. In particular, the politician accused the government intention to privatize the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the gas transmission system and passing through the territory of the country the oil pipeline “Friendship”.

Later, the Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on energy and housing and utilities Andrei Gerus partially reassured the public, saying that the nuclear power industry to private hands will not give.

But the “Ukrzaliznytsia” will be partially privatized and divided into three companies. But this news does not please its employees. On 14 November, the leadership of the trade Union of railwaymen and transport builders of Ukraine has planned a picket in front of the Office of the President demanding to stop the reform.

«Протестовать будут сразу все»: как могут сказаться на будущем Украины «неотложные» реформы Зеленского

Trains in Kiev © Gleb Garanich/Reuters9 November, Prime Minister of Ukraine Alexey Goncharuk said that in the list of government’s priorities is the privatization of major energy company “Centrenergo”. It produces about 8% of the country’s electricity.

“Centrenergo” our top priority for privatization. And I want this company was privatized external real player”, — Goncharuk is quoted by Interfax-Ukraine.As note the Ukrainian mass media, the President announced reforms of the labor laws good for business but not employees. In particular, the new labour code, which is considered by Parliament, proposes the simplification of the layoffs. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on social policy and protection of the rights of veterans Galina Tretyakov previously admitted: “It means that we will slightly discriminate against an employee”.

As noted in an interview with RT, the Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Zharikhin, all Zelensky announced reforms will increase the degree of tension in Ukraine.

“This will lead to social tension in Ukraine. The earth is left is for citizens only unsold property. Its sale will lead to the fact that the land bought up ethnic monopolies that would ruthlessly exploit it, causing harm to the environment. As for the removal of the state monopoly on alcohol, it is possible to a sharp decline in quality, which may cause mass poisoning” — he said.

“The opinions of ordinary Ukrainians, no one asks”

RT sources in the ruling circles of Ukraine expressed doubt that Zelensky will be possible in the near future to solve all these problems.

“Zelensky instructed to put in order the most corrupt industry in the country. For example, about half of the vodka market in Ukraine is in the shade. Amber is mined illegally and sell the land until now, was forbidden. But the problem is that in each of these sectors there are lots of problems. To solve them in a couple of months impossible. The majority of Ukrainians are against the sale of land, and from illegal miners of amber already has its own army,” says the source RT in the office of the President of Ukraine.In turn, the sources of RT in the Ukrainian opposition parties predict new protests.

“The problem is that the opinions of ordinary Ukrainians, no one asks. This can lead to mass protests and confrontation with law enforcement. I’m not talking about the fact that for two months qualitatively discuss such important reform is impossible,” said RT correspondent a source in the party “Batkivshchyna”.

According to the source RT in the party “European solidarity” of Petro Poroshenko, suggestions Zelensky “resembles a fairy tale”.

“I sometimes think that the President does not understand the depth of the problem. Many industries are corrupt, and protest against the government’s reform will be huge. It is possible to cope with the problems in one industry, but when will protest all at once is dangerous. I think that Zelensky is not fully aware of the challenges he will face in six months”, — said the source.

In turn, the source RT in the party “the Voice” reported a high likelihood that the promised reforms “will collapse.”

“Those who dare to carry out such reforms, just intimidate, and everything will remain as it is,” said the Deputy of the RT.

Vague prospects

According to the President of the center of system analysis and forecasting Rostislav Ishchenko, prepare some plans of reforms in two months, Ukrainian officials will be able. The question is, can they implement these projects.”Whatever suggested Zelensky his staff, they are unlikely to implement it because of the deterioration of Ukrainian state institutions, their inadequacy,” he said in an interview with RT Ishchenko.

According to the expert, the main problem of Ukraine — the influence of oligarchic groups on decision-making processes in the state.

“Among the various Ukrainian governments did not succeed, because they represent the interests of the oligarchs, not the state. And the oligarchs goals and interests are diametrically opposed to the goals of the state. So on the right words it is not” — said the analyst.

Director of the Institute for peace initiatives and conflict Denis Denisov told RT that the effectiveness of reforms will depend on political will of the Ukrainian authorities.

“Everything depends on political will. If it is built an adequate system of implementation of these ideas and will also be the control of the Supreme bodies of state power, no problem, — said Denisov RT. — If the corruption component will dominate, either everything will remain as it was or all just plunder”.

«Протестовать будут сразу все»: как могут сказаться на будущем Украины «неотложные» реформы Зеленского

© Varvara Gertie/RIA Nonoscillation Zharikhin, in turn, said that the proposals Zelensky will bring to the Treasury the necessary funds.

“It is unlikely that these measures will ensure economic growth. Some suggest a one-time profit from the sale of the national patrimony. It concerns the sale of land, the elimination of a state monopoly on alcohol production that adds to the budget. So I’m afraid that these measures will worsen the situation of the economy, not improve”, — concluded the expert.Alexander Bovdunov, Elizaveta Komarova

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