Last Friday, observing all the necessary rituals of the Ukrainian legislative process (mutual abuse, blocking the rostrum, noisy brawl, protests of radical nationalists, and even the use of smoke bombs in the parliament), the Law of Ukraine “On the special procedure of local self-government in individual districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. As you know, this law was passed by the parliament in September 2014 of the year, and 18 of October 2014 of the year came into force after President Poroshenko signed it.
Reintegration in Ukrainian
However, the law has not received due implementation. In fact, only his first article was valid, which determined the three-year term of the special order of local self-government in certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions and thereby declared the special status of these territories.
The final provision of the law effectively suspended the implementation of its main articles until "the day of the acquisition of powers by local governments in certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions elected at special elections held in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, this and other laws of Ukraine."
However, even in such a curt execution, the law fit into the Minsk negotiating process and served as the basis for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbas. Now Ukrainian politicians have decided to reformat the legislation three years ago and before the expiration of the outdated, according to Kiev, law to adopt a new one - on the reintegration of Donbass, which radically changes the approach to resolving the civil conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
The fact is that the term “reintegration” instead of the generally accepted understanding of “restoration of rights” and “re-creation of the whole again” received a completely different interpretation in Kiev - “de-occupation”. The whole ideology of the new law “On the peculiarities of the state policy on ensuring the state sovereignty of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”, which received the unofficial name “Donbass Reintegration Law”, is being built around this.
According to the Kiev legislators, there is no internal Ukrainian conflict in the Donbass, but there is “Russian aggression and occupation”. Therefore, the main thesis of the new law is that “the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine extends to certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where the state authorities of Ukraine temporarily do not exercise their powers.”
The whole reintegration in Ukrainian is based on this thesis: “The President of Ukraine, during the period of this Law, may decide in accordance with the established procedure on the introduction of the legal regime of martial law, as well as the decision on the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations stipulated by the laws of Ukraine areas to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine, deterrence and repulse armed aggression ".
It is quite natural that the Minsk agreements are completely erased from the new law. As the Director of the Foundation for Progressive Policy, Oleg Bondarenko, said at a press conference in TASS, “This means that Ukraine is already formally withdrawing from Minsk, the Contact Group and the Norman format stop working. What should they discuss if this is the only basis, and the bill passed by Kiev actually cancels it? ”
The law on "reintegration" has so far been adopted only in the first reading. Experts do not exclude that for the time being they will put it under the cloth. It’s not by chance that the same Friday extended the law on the special status of certain areas of Donbass for a year. He, by the way, was also cleaned up and corrected, adding a clause: “the special order of local self-government in ORDLO comes into force after the withdrawal of all illegal armed groups, their military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine”. In a word, as before, the operation of the law will be limited only to its declarative first article.
Under the demand for patriotic messages
However, many experts became flustered. They began to frighten each other with the increased danger of military actions. Some commentators, not paying attention to the fact that the “law on reintegration” has not yet been finally adopted, and the special order in ORDLO has been extended for another year, the Kiev authorities have already called the October 18 date the starting point of the new military escalation.
There is, meanwhile, another completely exotic point of view. Legislative activity of the Verkhovna Rada and the presidential administration Poroshenko very nervously considered for the "autumn aggravation." The epithet is lame, it was even picked up in the media. However, objective experts really appreciate the reasons for the current activity of the Kiev political activist.
In this regard, noteworthy assessment analyst from the European Council on Foreign Relations Gustav Gressel. According to him, Kiev’s new legislative initiatives are “a reaction to Russia's attempts to freeze the conflict, and on the other hand, a step in domestic policy aimed at diverting attention from criticism regarding the ineffective implementation of reforms and the fight against corruption in Ukraine.”
As they say, to the very point. It is October. The surprises of the new heating season were not long in coming. The first here were noted Odessa. As the newspaper Vzglyad calculated, after the victory of Maidan, gas tariffs for the population of Ukraine increased by 948,8%, heating - by 1133%, hot water supply - by 559,2%, and electricity - by 321,4%.
High tariffs forced, for example, many residents of Odessa to refuse to pay for hot water. People began to heat the water themselves and more economical ways. In the spring, the authorities in Odessa responded by turning off the hot water supply for the whole summer and warned the population that the outage could last as long as the 2020 year.
Local officials considered this service not profitable. Only in 2016, she brought the city over 12,5 a million hryvnia loss. That was in May, and last week the Odessa City Council approved an energy efficiency program for the 2017-2021 years. It provides for a complete rejection of the provision of centralized hot water services to the population now before the 2021 year.
Justifying their decision, the deputies noted that "the existing heating system was designed more than 50 years ago - in a period of cheap energy." Resources really went up. Experts recalled Ukraine’s purchases of reverse Russian gas from Europe, which led to its appreciation, according to the most modest estimates, of 20-30 dollars per 1000 cubic meters.
Anthracite purchased in the US Pennsylvania is in the same row. It cost Ukraine $ 113 per ton (approximately $ 40-45 more than Donetsk coal). All American anthracite (700 th. Tons) will go only to one TPP - Tripolskaya. Ukrainian energy hastened to notify the public that expensive anthracite will not lead to a massive increase in tariffs for heating.
Valentin Zemlyansky, director of energy programs at the Center for World Economy and International Relations, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, adheres to a different point of view. As his calculations show, “in the future, even small shipments of expensive coal will still affect wholesale electricity prices, and then come to retail, that is, all Ukrainians will have to pay for American coal ... Light and heat are due to expensive American fuel to go up by at least 3-5%. ”
It is worth remembering here: after the tariffs were raised in March, the authorities (in particular, Prime Minister Groysman) vowed that "this is the last time." In August, the promise was forgotten. Tariffs then did not directly raise, but reduced the social rate of consumption of gas and light. Thereby, a part of the low-income population was unsubscribed from receiving cash subsidies.
Apparently, this is not the last step of the Ukrainian government. In late September, US Ambassador to Ukraine Mary Yovanovitch said in an interview with Novoye Vremya that the implementation of the IMF program is critical for Ukraine. This program includes pension, anti-corruption reforms and gas price increases.
Jovanovic supported IMF deputy head David Lipton. According to him, Ukrainian gas prices are too low compared to the EU. It is unlikely that the authorities in Kiev can easily dismiss these "wishes." So they have to divert the attention of the population from the economic problems of dubious initiatives to return the Donbass.
The doubtfulness of new initiatives is noted not only by Russian experts. This is what Balazh Yarabik, an analyst at the Carnegie Center specializing in the study of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, said in an interview with German Deutsche Welle: “Obviously, pre-election status is already in Kiev and the patriotic messages are extremely important. Therefore, there is a desire to use this law for domestic needs. But the more you emphasize that you are at war with Russia, the less foreign investors will want to invest in Ukraine. Politically, one can win something from this, but not economically. ”
Judging by the expert’s assessment, the political reasons for the initiators of the “reintegration of Donbass” will bring Ukraine only new economic problems. But they seem to care little about the Kiev authorities. Ukrainian politicians associate their elected prospects exclusively with “patriotic messages”. There is still a demand for them ...
Autumn exacerbation in the Verkhovna Rada, or the beginning of the election campaign in Ukraine?
- Gennady Granovsky