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