Ukrainian authorities stand with monopolists? – EU Reporter

The lack of a coherent unified state policy strategy in the government leads to permanent conflicts and threatens the deterioration of relations between Ukraine and its Western partners. The discrepancy is evident in many mutually exclusive things. For example, this concerns the issues of privatization or building a sustainable economic model that will make it possible for Ukraine to become not just a democratic country, but also to have a strong economy, to pay off loans and to sustainably reform certain areas of government policy.

Privatization of state property is a common process of transition from a socialist to a capitalist system. Ukraine, which has been an independent state for more than 29 years, still retains the carryover of the socialist system. At the same time, certain periods of privatization did take place in Ukraine. That notwithstanding, immediately after the proclamation of independence, persons close to the then government and having certain benefits privatized part of the enterprises, therefore, the attitude of society to this process is ambiguous. Some people still prefers the State to keep everything in its possession.

Nevertheless, Volodymyr Zelensky, when running in the elections, spoke about privatization and the need to transfer state property to private hands. Indeed, large-scale privatization was began in 2020, which stopped after the pandemic.

Ukraine temporarily suspended large-scale privatization for 2020, – Dmytro Sennychenko, head of the State Property Fund, wrote in March.

“In the context of global economic turbulence caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, at this point we are taking a decision to refrain from putting large privatization objects and state-owned enterprises up for privatization auctions until the situation on the financial markets stabilizes”, words of Sennychenko.

After the statement the president said that privatization would be resumed after the pandemic.

There are a number of strategic enterprises that are also scheduled for privatization, although the attitude to privatization is ambiguous. For example, the attitude to the privatization of the state postal operator Ukrposhta is also not stable, but the management of Ukrposhta is doing everything to encourage the authorities to privatize the facility. The processes taking place in Ukrposhta in an attempt to monopolize international postal exchange and obtain the exclusive right to send international postal items through the points of international postal exchange indicate that the company ignores all the rules of anti-trust legislation.

All this is looks like a return to the old order, and this practice exists in some countries, such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. However, for Ukraine, which has set a course for integration with the European Union, it would be expedient to pursue state policy according to the standards of a market economy, without artificial monopolies. The European Union market is liberalized, so there can be no monopolies. At the same time, the quality of services at Ukrposhta can not be called exemplary, however, they are trying to take over certain segments of delivery services to avoid any competition with companies that could provide better service.

The head of JSC “Ukrposhta” is Igor Smilyansky, who, according to some media, has repeatedly been involved, in scams, and, moreover, receives a higher salary than the US president. What is more, this situation is more negative for the government in Ukraine, as such management, first of all, harms the reputation of the President and affects his approval rating, which is far from being the highest for his entire term.

Competition, as an unconditional attribute of market relations, contributes to the improvement of service and services, as any monopoly is only aimed at profit, without taking into account the views of the consumers of services.

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine must state its clear position and do everything possible to ensure that Ukraine does not roll back to the elements of a planned economy. A legislative initiative by individual “Servants of the People” and which is intended to create privileges for Ukrposhta, should be reviewed, and this situation should be an example of how dishonest managers and individual government officials try to take advantage of advantage of power and influence the market mechanisms of the economy for their own benefits.

At the same time, private postal operators of Ukraine have unequivocally expressed their position on preventing such a scenario, and the authorities should pay attention to this. Ukrainian business creates jobs, fills the budget and helps improve the level of service, but if the State starts turning away from employers, it will be a signal for businesses and citizens to leave Ukraine.

There is hope for justice, for example, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, which has a positive reputation in the European Union, as it has been cooperating with the West for many years and does not support such initiatives. A similar position is upheld by the State Customs Service, which is successfully carrying out the reform and Ukraine’s Western partners are noting progress in this direction.

Today everything depends on the extent, to which the President and the Parliament allow the cultivation of a monopoly in JSC “Ukrposhta” and whether they ignore the market rules and the standpoint of employers and taxpayers. Ukrainian political establishment is now preparing for the local elections to be held on October 25, taking into account the opinion of citizens and making changes based on their viewpoint rather than that of individual deputies who pursue individual interests.

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