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            accompany the transformation of coal regions by creating new economic incentives, so that new competitive clusters and new innovation and technological industries.”
Ukraine’s version of Mary Poppins – the ‘investment nannies’ – were voted into existence by the Rada on december 17 ​ as part of a wider package of incentives for foreign and domestic investors. The investment nannies – male or female – will be legally empowered to implement incentives on large foreign investments, those over €20mn in five years. Incentives range from discounts on corporate income taxes and import taxes, access to land, and state provision of highway access and heat, gas, water and electricity hookups. These legally empowered fixers will be encouraged to intervene with mayors, governors, ministers and even the President to cut red tape on big projects.
Ukraine is to receive $250mn in US military aid under a defence spending bill​ approved december 11 by the US Senate in a 84-13 vote. Earlier in the week, the House of Representatives approved the bill by a similar overwhelming majority. Ten days ago, President Trump threatened to veto the bill over non-Ukraine issues. A Senate summary says the bill “authorizes US$250mn for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, including US$75mn for lethal assistance, and extends the authority to support Ukraine in deterring Russia.” The bill also includes provisions to tighten sanctions on Nord Stream 2, the Russia-Germany gas line.
Court orders prosecutor general to take Tatarov case from NABU ​The Pechersk district court of Kyiv ruled on Dec. 14 that the corruption case involving Oleh Tatarov, a deputy head of the President's Office, should be investigated by State Bureau of Investigations, not the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), the news site reported the same day. The court’s scandalous judge Serhiy Vovk ordered the prosecutor general to enforce the ruling, which would bring this case out of jusrisdiction of the western-supported High Anti-Corruption Court. Meanwhile, the IMF-backed NABU is largely independent and has been targeted for takeover by the Zelensky administration until EU authorities intervened on behalf of its current head, Artem Sytnyk. Reacting to the ruling, the NABU issued a statement that the court ruling is unlawful, with its primary aim being diverting the corruption case from being heard by the High Anti-Corruption Court. Recall, the NABU suspects Tararov in bribing a police expert to falsify evidence in a criminal case of misappropriation of property worth UAH 81 mln targeting Kyiv real estate developer Maksym Mykytas. Earlier, the NABU complained about attempts by the prosecutor general to undermine the case by rotating the group of prosecutors involved. It's quite shocking just how often the President's Office and its key allies have tried to flaunt the IMF-sponsored rule of law infrastructure in Ukraine (consisting of the NABU, the specialized prosecutor's office and the High Anti-Corruption Court). This is the latest act of disrespect for these institutions that came at such a great expense for Ukraine (including the thousands of lives lost in the EuroMaidan and in Donbas). We don't expect the Western authorities will allow President Zelensky and his cronies to get away with this, particularly when such scandalous figures (Vovk and Tatarov) are involved. But regardless of whether they issue statements in the coming days, the effect of such actions will further undermine Western confidence in the Zelensky administration.
 9​ UKRAINE Country Report​ January 2021 ​ ​

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