Ukraine amends anti-graft court law to meet IMF’s de­mands

Kyiv Post - - Front Page - BY OLEG SUKHOV SUKHOV@KYIVPOST.COM

Ukraine had mixed re­sults on the anti-cor­rup­tion front on July 12: an ap­par­ent vic­tory and a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat.

On the one hand, the Verkhovna Rada passed amend­ments to the anti-cor­rup­tion court law ac­cord­ing to which all on­go­ing cases of the Na­tional Anti-Cor­rup­tion Bureau of Ukraine will be trans­ferred to the yetto-be-cre­ated anti-cor­rup­tion court.

On the other hand, the Spe­cial Anti-Cor­rup­tion Prose­cu­tor’s Of­fice, headed by Nazar Kholod­nyt­sky, said on July 12 it had closed the em­bez­zle­ment case against In­te­rior Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov’s son Olek­sandr Avakov and the min­is­ter’s ex-deputy Ser­hiy Che­b­o­tar.

Shevchuk, NEFCO’s chief in­vest­ment ad­vi­sor.

The EBRD is also pro­vid­ing more than 100 mil­lion eu­ros to fi­nance en­ergy ef­fi­ciency projects for pub­lic build­ings in 10 Ukrainian cities.

The city of Kre­menchuk was the first one to re­ceive fi­nanc­ing, gain­ing a to­tal of 10 mil­lion eu­ros to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in 38 kindergartens, 23 schools and four hos­pi­tals.

In the be­gin­ning, how­ever, it was dif­fi­cult to start any en­ergy ef­fi­ciency project at the mu­nic­i­pal level.

Such was the case in IvanoFrankivsk in 2012, when this west­ern Ukrainian city be­came the first to at­tempt to im­ple­ment a lo­cal en­ergy ef­fi­ciency pro­gram.

“Six years ago… the very first ten­der on en­ergy ef­fi­ciency up­grade pro­grams for build­ings (in IvanoFrankivsk) re­ceived zero ap­pli­ca­tions, as no one was pre­pared to meet the re­quire­ments of the Ger­man part­ners,” Khren­ova-Shymk­ina said. “That’s even though 40 per­cent of the project would have been com­pen­sated for.”

Barriers

Still, Ukraine faces sev­eral im­me­di­ate barriers block­ing the way to cre­at­ing a more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient hous­ing sec­tor.

For ex­am­ple, do­ing all the pa­per­work just to ap­ply for a mod­ern­iza­tion project at a typ­i­cal kinder­garten in Ukraine takes on av­er­age three years. It takes 3–5 years to ar­range a project to mod­ern­ize mu­nic­i­pal pub­lic build­ings and dis­trict heat­ing boil­ers.

“This is sim­ply too long, given the scale of the mod­ern­iza­tion re­quired in Ukraine,” said Elena Ry­bak, the di­rec­tor of the Euro­pean-Ukrainian En­ergy Agency.

At the same time, ap­ply­ing for a tax ex­emp­tion for an en­ergy ef­fi­ciency project usu­ally takes around three to six months, with hun­dreds of doc­u­ments hav­ing to be filled out, ac­cord­ing to NEFCO’s Shevchuk.

“Every year we have a new prob­lem cre­ated by the gov­ern­ment, and we then have to try to solve it,” she said.

Ukraine also lacks qual­i­fied en­ergy au­di­tors who can work ac­cord­ing to Euro­pean Union stan­dards, said Jo­hannes Baur, the head of the En­ergy, En­vi­ron­ment and Trans­port Sec­tion of the Del­e­ga­tion of the Euro­pean Union to Ukraine. On top of that, there are no con­sis­tent and stan­dard­ized build­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency stan­dards, which com­pli­cates the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency mod­ern­iza­tion process.

But the most im­por­tant chal­lenge in Ukraine is the men­tal­ity of the pub­lic, ac­cord­ing to Baur.

“You can­not just rely on the city or on the gov­ern­ment for every­thing,” he said. “It’s a per­son’s own re­spon­si­bil­ity to or­ga­nize the mod­ern­iza­tion of their house.”

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