VoxUkraine: How Ukraine can start thriv­ing as na­tion

Kyiv Post - - Opinion - BY EDI­TO­RIAL VOXUKRAINE

In­tro­duc­tion

In Au­gust, Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko declared, “144 re­forms have been launched… We have to be­come a demo­cratic, free and, most im­por­tantly, suc­cess­ful coun­try.”

Two months ear­lier, Hugues Min­garelli, the head of the Euro­pean Union mis­sion in Ukraine, told jour­nal­ists that the Verkhovna Rada ef­fec­tively blocks re­forms and there is lit­tle progress now.

They were talk­ing about the same coun­try!

An av­er­age Ukrainian may won­der which side is true.

Should we be happy with how much has been done since the EuroMaidan Revo­lu­tion that drove Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych from power in 2014?

Al­though elec­tions in 2019 will give a pop­u­lar as­sess­ment, the con­tours of progress are ap­par­ent.

VoxUkraine, a non-profit, non-par­ti­san plat­form for anal­y­sis and pol­icy rec­om­men­da­tions, has been mon­i­tor­ing re­forms since 2014 and is uniquely po­si­tioned to take stock of where the coun­try stands.

Here is a sum­mary of ma­jor achieve­ments and fail­ures and what needs to be done to trans­form Ukraine into a suc­cess­ful na­tion.

Own­er­ship of re­forms

No re­form is suc­cess­ful un­less peo­ple take own­er­ship of how they change a coun­try. In con­trast to the 2004 Orange Revo­lu­tion, which brought Vik­tor Yushchenko to power, the EuroMaidan Revo­lu­tion led to a burst of civic ac­tiv­ity aimed at mak­ing the gov­ern­ment more ac­count­able and in­flu­enc­ing the course of Ukraine’s fu­ture. While the ma­jor­ity of Ukraini­ans do not have a strong sense of own­er­ship of the re­forms, there is a crit­i­cal mass of en­gaged cit­i­zens to push the agenda. The mas­sive in­jec­tion of new blood into the gov­ern­ment cre­ated con­di­tions for some rad­i­cal changes. Given the war and more than 10,000 lives lost in eastern Ukraine, so­ci­ety has been more mo­bi­lized than ever.

How­ever, the shadow of the Soviet past and the oli­garchic sys­tem made even this pow­er­ful force likely in­suf­fi­cient to over­come cor­rup­tion, in­com­pe­tence and vested in­ter­ests.

In terms of gover­nance in­di­ca­tors, Ukraine’s start­ing point was tremen­dously weaker than that of Poland in the mid-1990s. In 2013, Ukraine still be­longed to 30 per­cent of coun­tries with the low­est gov­ern­ment ef­fec­tive­ness and rule of law in­di­ca­tors, while Poland was twice bet­ter back in 1996. For­tu­nately, the grass­roots move­ments were em­pow­ered by fi­nan­cial, tech­ni­cal, and po­lit­i­cal as­sis­tance from the West.

Ukraine’s post-Maidan ad­min­is­tra­tion se­cured po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial back­ing from in­ter­na­tional part­ners. Over 2014–2016, Ukraine re­ceived $22 bil­lion in loans from the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, other in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and Western govern­ments, which rep­re­sents 24 per­cent of the coun­try’s 2016 gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

In­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial sup­port helped to sta­bi­lize the cur­rency and economy and push through many re­forms. In ad­di­tion to loans and grants, visa-free travel to EU coun­tries was con­di­tional on meet­ing re­form mile­stones, while the po­lit­i­cal and trade as­so­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the EU signed in 2014 be­came a roadmap for re­forms.

Im­proved pub­lic own­er­ship and in­ter­na­tional sup­port en­abled Ukraine to make vis­i­ble progress. The In­dex for Mon­i­tor­ing Re­forms sug­gests that the reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment was chang­ing in the right di­rec­tion, though at a rel­a­tively slow pace with in­ter­na­tional part­ners’ con­di­tion­al­i­ties pro­vid­ing for 23 per­cent of the cu­mu­la­tive score over the pe­riod.

Top 6 achieve­ments 1. Gas sec­tor re­form

Low en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and de­pen­dence on Rus­sian sup­plies of nat­u­ral gas were among key chal­lenges. The gas sec­tor re­form is one of the main suc­cess sto­ries. Be­fore 2013, Rus­sia was the only ma­jor sup­plier (over 99 per­cent). In 2016, all im­ported gas was bought on the Euro­pean mar­ket through re­verse flows.

The sec­ond ma­jor step was sharp ad­just­ment in do­mes­tic gas prices. The gap be­tween high im­port prices of gas and low house­hold util­i­ties’ tar­iffs was so large that Naftogaz’s deficit in 2014 reached 5.4 per­cent of GDP. The gov­ern­ment hiked do­mes­tic gas tar­iffs for house­holds 5.5-fold in the last three years, bring­ing them closer to im­port par­ity and ad­justed heat­ing tar­iffs ac­cord­ingly. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria for di­rect util­ity sub­si­dies for poor house­holds were loos­ened. The dras­tic gas tar­iff hike sub­stan­tially im­proved the fis­cal po­si­tion, mak­ing Naftogaz a net con­trib­u­tor to the state bud­get.

The third ma­jor change was to ap­point a pro­fes­sional man­age­ment team to run Naftogaz and to cre­ate an in­de­pen­dent su­per­vi­sory board. How­ever, these pos­i­tive changes have stalled. Three in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors of the su­per­vi­sory board an­nounced in April that the Cabi­net blocked the cor­po­rate gover­nance re­form and ham­pered a so­lu­tion of gas ar­rears. One di­rec­tor re­signed in Au­gust, leav­ing the board in­ca­pable to ap­prove any de­ci­sion.

De­spite these achieve­ments, gas sec­tor re­form is not over. Ma­jor chal­lenges ahead in­clude un­bundling Naftogaz in line with the third EU en­ergy pack­age, de­mo­nop­o­liza­tion of gas sup­plies to house­holds, in­vest­ment in ob­so­lete util­i­ties in­fra­struc­ture, etc.

2. Bank­ing trans­for­ma­tion

While the Na­tional Bank of Ukraine made sev­eral break­through re­forms, we fo­cus on two key ones.

First, the cen­tral bank adopted a new pol­icy frame­work: in­fla­tion tar­get­ing. This will bring macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity as well as low and sta­ble in­fla­tion and, there­fore, will stim­u­late eco­nomic growth. The cen­tral bank en­hanced its com­mu­ni­ca­tion to cre­ate a pre­dictable busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. The flex­i­ble ex­change rate will ab­sorb ex­ter­nal shocks, thus re­duc­ing macroe­co­nomic risks and mak­ing the economy more ro­bust.

Sec­ond, the NBU started to ex­er­cise more over­sight over banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions. In­deed, the bank­ing sec­tor in Ukraine was in­fa­mous for re­lated-party lending, which made the coun­try vul­ner­a­ble to crises and pan­ics. The bank­ing sys­tem in 2015 was un­der­cap­i­tal­ized and many banks were de facto bank­rupt — some were noth­ing more than Ponzi schemes — but con­tin­ued op­er­a­tions. To ad­dress these enor­mous prob­lems, the NBU curbed re­lated party lending, raised cap­i­tal re­quire­ments and re­moved “zom­bie” banks. More than half of the 180 banks in op­er­a­tion were liq­ui­dated.

3. Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment

The sys­tem of pub­lic pur­chases was con­sid­ered one of the ma­jor sources of cor­rup­tion and waste in the pre-EuroMaidan Ukraine. A new e-pro­cure­ment sys­tem for all pub­lic pur­chases (ProZorro) was launched. A com­pre­hen­sive set of re­forms had five ob­jec­tives, most of which were achieved. First, the new sys­tem re­duced op­por­tu­ni­ties for cor­rup­tion. Sec­ond, busi­nesses ob­tained bet­ter ac­cess to pub­lic ten­ders: the num­ber of sup­pli­ers for large ten­ders grew 74 per­cent. Third, re­form pro­vided tools for civil so­ci­ety and busi­nesses to keep pub­lic con­tract­ing author­i­ties ac­count­able. ProZorro was sup­ple­mented with the busi­ness in­tel­li­gence mod­ule which pro­vides ac­cess to the data and vi­su­al­izes ma­jor pro­cure­ment met­rics. Fourth, the leg­is­la­tion har­mo­nized pub­lic pro­cure­ment with the EU and World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion, giv­ing Ukrainian pro­duc­ers ac­cess to pub­lic pro­cure­ment abroad. Fi­nally, the new sys­tem cut red tape and waste. By some es­ti­mates, the new auc­tion sys­tem gen­er­ated ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 per­cent sav­ings. Re­form in this area gained plau­dits in­ter­na­tion­ally and was ap­proved by the Euro­pean Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment as a model for other coun­tries.

4. De­cen­tral­iza­tion

Ukraine’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing in pub­lic pol­icy was highly cen­tral­ized. Im­por­tant changes to the bud­get code and a num­ber of other laws

have been adopted since the be­gin­ning of 2015 which give more pow­ers, re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and re­sources to lo­cal govern­ments, al­though de­cen­tral­iza­tion re­form still re­quires amend­ments to the Con­sti­tu­tion to clearly de­fine the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of cen­tral and lo­cal govern­ments.

The re­form pro­vides fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for com­mu­ni­ties to unite to achieve economies of scale. At the end of 2016, there were 414 united com­mu­ni­ties in Ukraine and they held their first elec­tions.

5. Busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment

Just be­fore the 2014 EuroMaidan Revo­lu­tion, Ukraine ranked 112th out of 189 coun­tries in the World Bank Do­ing Busi­ness sur­vey. Since then Ukraine’s rank rose to 80th in 2017.

Sev­eral re­forms were in­stru­men­tal for im­prov­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. There was a re­duc­tion in reg­u­la­tions and li­censes. The gov­ern­ment as­sisted busi­ness regis­tra­tion and other pro­ce­dures through the “sin­gle win­dow” ap­proach. As of July, 701 op­er­at­ing cen­ters is­su­ing li­censes and per­mis­sions were open. Now it takes only one day to reg­is­ter a new busi­ness. In 2016, the so­cial se­cu­rity tax rate was cut from above 40 per­cent to 22 per­cent, which brought the over­all level of tax­a­tion in line with the av­er­age in Cen­tral and Eastern Euro­pean coun­tries. Fi­nally, in April the gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced an elec­tronic sys­tem for value-added tax re­funds, pre­vi­ously a source of cor­rup­tion and a tool for se­lec­tive pres­sure on busi­nesses.

6. Pa­trol Po­lice

In July 2015, new pa­trol po­lice took to the streets of Kyiv, re­plac­ing the dis­liked and cor­rupt traf­fic po­lice. Though con­fi­dence in the new po­lice de­clined over the past year, the re­form of­fers an ex­am­ple of how a new strong in­sti­tu­tion can be suc­cess­fully built from scratch.

Lag­gard re­forms 1. Pros­e­cut­ing cor­rup­tion

Fight­ing en­demic cor­rup­tion along with mov­ing to­wards the EU was one of the key de­mands of the EuroMaidan Revo­lu­tion. How­ever, cor­rup­tion still re­mains a ma­jor ob­sta­cle for for­eign in­vest­ment, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey.

Ukraine has made no­tice­able progress in re­duc­ing cor­rup­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties with the on­line pub­lic pro­cure­ment sys­tem, busi­ness dereg­u­la­tion, bank­ing sys­tem clean-up and open pub­lic ac­cess to de­tailed elec­tronic as­set dec­la­ra­tions for state of­fi­cials.

To com­bat high-level cor­rup­tion, Ukraine’s author­i­ties cre­ated new in­de­pen­dent in­sti­tu­tions, such as the Na­tional Anti-Cor­rup­tion Bureau of Ukraine Spe­cial­ized Anti-Cor­rup­tion Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice. These or­ga­ni­za­tions shortly be­came op­er­a­tional and opened hundreds of crim­i­nal cases, in­clud­ing against the head of the State Fis­cal Ser­vice. How­ever, their ef­fec­tive­ness in pros­e­cut­ing cor­rupt of­fi­cials charged by NABU has been lim­ited: in 2016 through June 2017, only 3 cases (out of 171 high-rank­ing of­fi­cials charged) re­sulted in jail sen­tences. This poor per­for­mance was largely due to the dys­func­tional, cor­rupt and po­lit­i­cally de­pen­dent court sys­tem. This state of af­fairs prompted calls for the cre­ation of a spe­cial­ized anti-cor­rup­tion court. While such a court has been en­vis­aged in the re­cently adopted ju­di­cial re­form leg­is­la­tion, there has been no vis­i­ble progress for its cre­ation.

2. Land mar­ket re­form

With 41 mil­lion hectares of agri­cul­tural land cov­er­ing 70 per­cent of the coun­try, Ukraine ac­counts for a third of the global black soil area. At the same time, Ukraine along with Be­larus re­main the only two Euro­pean coun­tries where land can­not be bought and sold. A ban on the sale of farm­land was in­tro­duced in 2001 and re­mains in place to­day. The mora­to­rium se­verely hurts farm­ers’ ca­pac­ity to bor­row cap­i­tal and con­se­quently the sec­tor’s pro­duc­tiv­ity be­cause land can­not be used as col­lat­eral. In ad­di­tion, agri­cul­tural land in state and com­mu­nal own­er­ship — a quar­ter of to­tal agri­cul­tural land — is poorly man­aged and mis­used, gen­er­at­ing fis­cal losses.

Lift­ing the mora­to­rium re­mains heav­ily politi­cized and un­pop­u­lar. This is un­for­tu­nate. Suc­cess­ful land mar­ket re­form will im­prove prop­erty rights of landown­ers, en­hance the pub­lic ben­e­fit from us­ing state and com­mu­nal land and en­cour­age in­vest­ment in ru­ral ar­eas.

3. Civil ser­vice re­form

A mod­ern coun­try re­quires an ef­fi­cient and com­pe­tent bu­reau­cracy to for­mu­late eco­nomic poli­cies, al­lo­cate gov­ern­ment re­sources, de­sign re­forms and en­sure their speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, the ef­fec­tive­ness of civil ser­vice in Ukraine is the sec­ond low­est in Europe af­ter Moldova, ac­cord­ing to the World Bank Gover­nance In­di­ca­tors.

Suc­cess­ful civil ser­vice re­form should in­clude three key el­e­ments: (1) bring new, com­pe­tent peo­ple to the civil ser­vice, (2) min­i­mize the po­lit­i­cal im­pact on ap­point­ments and (3) re­design pro­cesses inside the gov­ern­ment to make it ef­fi­cient and trans­par­ent.

The first at­tempt to launch civil ser­vice re­form was made at the end of 2015 with ap­proval of the new Law On Civil Ser­vice. The law en­vis­aged that all top ap­point­ments should be made with a spe­cial se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, cre­ated new po­si­tions of state sec­re­taries in the min­istries, cho­sen through a new com­pet­i­tive process, and changed the salary struc­ture of civil ser­vants. Se­nior level of­fi­cials were banned from hav­ing mem­ber­ship in any po­lit­i­cal party. De­spite high ex­pec­ta­tions, the law did not lead to ma­jor im­prove­ments. To cor­rect some of these mis­takes, the gov­ern­ment in­tends to hire 1,000 new civil ser­vants (vs. 202,000 to­tal) to newly cre­ated di­rec­torates in se­lected min­istries, of­fer­ing them higher salaries. Di­rec­torates will be re­spon­si­ble for strate­gic pol­i­cy­mak­ing and re­struc­tur­ing of min­istries.

4. Pri­va­ti­za­tion/SOEs

Ukraine has more than 3,300 sta­te­owned en­ter­prises. Their over­sight is so poor that dif­fer­ent agen­cies pro­vide dif­fer­ent num­bers, rang­ing from 3,350 (Min­istry of Economy) to 4,500 (State Prop­erty Fund). For the last three years, the goal for pri­va­ti­za­tion rev­enues in the state bud­get was set to Hr 17 bil­lion, but this plan has not been ful­filled. Pri­va­ti­za­tion rev­enue in 2016 was only Hr 0.2 bil­lion. This means that SOE losses (near 3 per­cent of GDP in 2016), stem­ming from in­com­pe­tence and cor­rup­tion schemes con­tinue to be cov­ered by tax­pay­ers.

Per­haps the largest suc­cess is the re­form of Naftogaz, which holds 48.5 per­cent of all as­sets in the top 100 SOE list. In­deed, Naftogaz has new in­de­pen­dent man­age­ment, has con­ducted au­dits and pub­lished re­sults and im­proved its fi­nan­cial re­sults. At the other side of the spec­trum is Ukr­spirt. Es­ti­mates sug­gest that up to 40 per­cent of all vodka and other al­co­holic bev­er­ages’ pro­duc­tion uses “gray” (i. e. un­ac­counted) spir­its from Ukr­spirt.

The gov­ern­ment re­cently drafted leg­is­la­tion stream­lin­ing pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­ce­dures and iden­ti­fied SOEs to be pri­va­tized, liq­ui­dated or left in state hands, but cor­po­rate gover­nance re­form in strate­gic SOEs stalled.

5. Ju­di­cial, law en­force­ment

Ukraini­ans dis­trust the ju­di­cial sys­tem, which is deeply dam­ag­ing the economy and so­ci­ety. Not sur­pris­ingly, one of the first ma­jor laws ap­proved af­ter the 2014 EuroMaidan Revo­lu­tion was “On re­newal of trust to ju­di­cial sys­tem,” which es­sen­tially pre­scribed lus­tra­tion of judges. In a sign of en­trench­ment, 75 per­cent of court chair­men fired by this law were re-elected by their peers. Sub­se­quent re­forms fo­cused on grad­ual up­grades to achieve greater trust and in­de­pen­dence in the ju­di­cial sys­tem. For ex­am­ple, new leg­is­la­tion granted an im­per­a­tive power to Supreme Court de­ci­sions, in­tro­duced open com­pe­ti­tion for all po­si­tions, con­sid­er­ably raised salaries of judges and set up the Higher Coun­cil of Jus­tice (a self-gov­ern­ing body for the ju­di­cial branch) to make all de­ci­sions re­gard­ing hir­ing, pro­mo­tion and pun­ish­ment of judges. At the same time, judges were obliged to sub­mit e-dec­la­ra­tions, which are now avail­able on­line, to min­i­mize cor­rup­tion. So far, the Higher Coun­cil of Jus­tice has been re­luc­tant to re­ject judges shown to be cor­rupt or dis­hon­est by the in­tegrity com­mis­sion com­prised of civil ac­tivists.

In a rare re­form of pros­e­cu­tion, amend­ments to the Con­sti­tu­tion re­moved pros­e­cu­tion’s univer­sal over­sight func­tion, a Soviet rem­nant. Un­for­tu­nately, pros­e­cu­tion re­mains opaque and re­pres­sive.

Al­though the new pa­trol po­lice was a suc­cess, the rest of the po­lice (namely, the in­ves­tiga­tive po­lice) re­mains un­re­formed.

6. Health Care

Ukraini­ans have dis­mal ac­cess to qual­ity health care ser­vices. The gov­ern­ment cov­ers only half of health costs and many house­holds have dif­fi­culty pay­ing their med­i­cal bills. At­tempts to re­form have been con­stantly halted by po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic vested in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing siz­able cash flows in the in­dus­try.

One im­por­tant step was the tem­po­rary (un­til 2019) out­sourc­ing of cen­tral­ized pro­cure­ment of medicines to in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of medicines’ regis­tra­tion. This helped to the elim­i­nate a large source of cor­rup­tion at the Min­istry of Health.

The gov­ern­ment drafted broader re­form, propos­ing to change fi­nanc­ing by al­low­ing cit­i­zens to freely choose doc­tors, clin­ics and hos­pi­tals. The pro­posed changes are in­tended to raise com­pe­ti­tion, im­prove the qual­ity of ser­vices, in­crease ef­fi­ciency in spend­ing and re­duce cor­rup­tion. How­ever, the re­spec­tive draft laws are stuck in par­lia­ment. The stale­mate de­prives the na­tion of a chance to in­crease the pro­duc­tiv­ity of the la­bor force and lengthen life ex­pectancy, which re­mains far be­low the EU av­er­age (72 years in Ukraine vs. 81 years in the EU).

7. Ed­u­ca­tion

By for­mal met­rics, Ukraine has one of the most ed­u­cated coun­tries in the world: the lit­er­acy rate is al­most 100 per­cent and en­roll­ments are high. While these statis­tics are im­pres­sive, the sys­tem shows trou­bling signs of in­ef­fi­ciency and waste. For ex­am­ple, ac­cord­ing to the World Univer­sity Rank­ing, the best Ukrainian univer­sity is ranked be­tween 800th and 1,000th place, while four more come af­ter 1,000, which is ba­si­cally just a recog­ni­tion that they have ap­plied. The ed­u­ca­tion-job mis­matches are high and per­sis­tent. Since hu­man cap­i­tal is a cor­ner­stone of a mod­ern economy, the in­abil­ity of the sys­tem to pro­duce high-pro­duc­tiv­ity work­ers is a lim­it­ing fac­tor.

While the gov­ern­ment took some steps in en­hanc­ing qual­ity, they are not enough. Also, the sys­tem of fund­ing of pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties and sci­en­tific re­search re­mains in­ad­e­quate, keep­ing Ukraine on the side­lines of in­ter­na­tional science.

Con­clu­sion

The po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic land­scape in Ukraine has changed dra­mat­i­cally since early 2014.

Poroshenko won early pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in May 2014, while two thirds of par­lia­ment were re­newed dur­ing par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in Oc­to­ber 2014. Rus­sia’s war against Ukraine and the lin­ger­ing ef­fects of cor­rup­tion un­der Yanukovych are among factors that hurt con­sumer and in­vestor con­fi­dence. As a re­sult, Ukraine’s economy shrank by 6.6 per­cent in 2014 and al­most 10 per­cent in 2015, while the lo­cal cur­rency lost 62 per­cent of its value be­fore sta­bi­liz­ing in mid-2015. Fi­nally, the pre-EuroMaidan Ukraine was liv­ing in the shadow of post-Soviet legacy with per­va­sive cor­rup­tion, in­flated but in­ca­pable civil ser­vice and re­pres­sive law en­force­ment agen­cies.

How­ever, Ukraine should be proud of its ac­com­plish­ments.

It was in­con­ceiv­able in 2013 that Ukraine can stop im­port­ing gas from Rus­sia, banks can be more than toys in oli­garchs’ hands, pub­lic pro­cure­ment is not a ma­jor source of cor­rup­tion, lo­cal govern­ments are in charge of pro­vid­ing many pub­lic goods, the po­lice and busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment can be friendly and Ukraini­ans can travel to the EU visa-free.

Ob­vi­ously, mod­ern­iza­tion is not com­plete. It will likely take many years be­fore Ukraine is on par with its more de­vel­oped neigh­bors. There is abun­dant space for im­prove­ment in law en­force­ment, health care, ed­u­ca­tion, civil ser­vice and other ar­eas. How­ever, some of the build­ing blocks for demo­cratic, ro­bust and pros­per­ous so­ci­ety are in place and we re­main op­ti­mistic that Ukraine will fin­ish the rest of its re­form agenda to be­come a suc­cess­ful coun­try.

Em­ploy­ees work at a drilling rig of gas com­pany Ukrgazvy­dobu­van­nya in Poltava Oblast on May 3. (Kostyan­tyn Ch­er­nichkin)

Sources: Dragon Cap­i­tal/EBA/CES

Key ob­sta­cles to for­eign in­vestors (10= the big­gest ob­sta­cle) Wide­spread cor­rup­tion and dis­trust in the ju­di­ciary rank as the top two ob­sta­cles to for­eign in­vest­ment, ma­jor rea­sons why less than $50 bil­lion has come since 1991.

Source: Naftogaz

Ukraine’s gas im­ports (bcm) Ukraine has switched from de­pen­dency on Rus­sia for nat­u­ral gas im­ports to re­liance on Euro­pean Union na­tions.

A farmer works his fields on May 31 in Kyiv Oblast. (Volodymyr Petrov)

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