Petr Pavelek, full member of the Board of Directors

MIL OSI – Source: European Investment Bank –

Headline: Petr Pavelek, full member of the Board of Directors

By letter dated 25 April 2016, the Czech Republic nominated, Mr Petr PAVELEK (Director of the Debt and Financial Assets Management Department, Ministry of Finance) for appointment as a Full Member of the Board of Directors of the EIB to succeed Mr  Jan GREGOR, who had tendered his resignation with effect on 6 May 2016. 

By letter dated 27 April 2016, the Board of Governors was invited to vote on the proposed appointment. 

The decision to appoint Mr Petr PAVELEK was taken on 12 May 2016, the date on which the requisite majority of Governors’ votes was reached. 

The term of office of Mr Petr PAVELEK will expire in 2018 at the end of the day either of the Annual Meeting or of the approval of the financial statements for the previous financial year, whichever is the later. 

The minutes of this decision are being drawn up and will be submitted for signature to the Chairman of the Board of Governors.


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President Ilves met with digital entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley

MIL OSI – Source: President of Estonia – Press Release/Statement

Headline: President Ilves met with digital entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley




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24.05.2016

Many leading entrepreneurs of the digital economy attended a dinner organised by Sylvia Thompson, daughter of Olga Kistler Ritso, the founder of the Museum of Occupations, and her husband, on the occasion of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’s visit to Silicon Valley.

George Schultz, a long-serving U.S. Secretary of State in the Ronald Reagan administration, greeted the Estonian head of state and expressed his admiration for how many initiators and innovators of the digital economy come from tiny Estonia: “Estonia has carved out a significant place in this field, which is proven by the Estonians that are here today.”

President Ilves focused on the role of the state in supporting technological development, saying that the state has many important tasks. On the one hand, the rapid development of technology is accompanied by pressure to arrange and update the existing legislation. The impediment of innovation by unwieldy rules can be a significant obstacle to development. However, a precondition for sensible regulation is legislators and interpreters who themselves understand the principles of how technology operates. This means that our educational system must be updated.

A significant role that the state can play is to ensure that people have a secure e-identity, that is, to help make sure that they can safely “circulate” in cyberspace, said the Estonian head of state. “One password has not been sufficient to protect our e-mailboxes for a long time; we need a two-step personal identification system,” the President said.

Among others, many entrepreneurs, leaders and investors of Estonian heritage attended the dinner, such as Sten Tamkivi, Steve Jürvetson, Hardy Meybaum, Kristel Viidik (Testlio), Ott Kaukver (Twilio), Jevgeni Kabanov (ZeroTurnaround) and Rainer Sternfeld (Planet OS).

Office of the President
Public Relations Department

Chairperson of Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations Hryhorii Nemyria meets with Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks in Strasbourg

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Chairperson of Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations Hryhorii Nemyria meets with Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks in Strasbourg

The Parties discussed the project of the
Council of Europe on protection of rights and freedoms of internally displaced
persons in our state and cooperation in its implementation: in particular, in
the field of legislation, coordination, exchange of information and issues
related to integration of internally displaced persons.

“We must protect rights and freedoms
of internally displaced persons. These are our citizens, citizens of
Ukraine,” Hryhorii Nemyria said.

He noted the importance of elimination of
any discrepancies in the legislation on internally displaced persons, the
importance of allowing these citizens to take part in elections and the
importance of proper coverage of problems in this field and solutions.

Besides, Hryhorii Nemyria and Nils
Muiznieks took part in a discussion within the framework of the Council of
Europe’s project entitled “Strengthening the Human Rights Protection of
Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine.”

As
earlier reported, on May 24-25, Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on
Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations Hryhorii Nemyria is
taking part in the high-level meeting entitled “Internal displacement in
Ukraine: further steps” organized by the Council of Europe.

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Briefing of Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oksana Syroyid entitled "Reformation of security and intelligence services"

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Briefing of Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oksana Syroyid entitled “Reformation of security and intelligence services”

24 May 2016
Chairperson of Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Interethnic Relations Hryhorii Nemyria meets with Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks in Strasbourg
more

24 May 2016
Briefing of Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oksana Syroyid entitled “Reformation of security and intelligence services”
more

24 May 2016
Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law “On amendments to Law of Ukraine “On peculiarities of insurance of farm produce with assistance of state” (as to specification of some terms and notions) as a basis
more

23 May 2016
Verkhovna Rada Committee on Financial Policy and Banking recommends Ukrainian Parliament, Cabinet of Ministers, National Bank of Ukraine use draft strategy on development of banking system of Ukraine for 2016-2020 in their work
more

23 May 2016
Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine” (as to ownership right of foreign investors to land) as a basis
more

21 May 2016
Verkhovna Rada Chairperson Andrii Parubii congratulates Ukrainians on Europe Day
more

21 May 2016
Verkhovna Rada Chairperson Andrii Parubii congratulates scientists on Day of Science
more

20 May 2016
Last week people’s deputies worked at plenary meetings, parliamentary hearings, Committee meetings and took part in other events
more

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Medaillenspiegel

MIL OSI – Source: DOSB –

Headline: Medaillenspiegel

25.05.2016
Mit den Olympischen Spielen taucht auch immer wieder der Mediallenspiegel auf. Aber ist er gerecht, fragt Autor Prof. Detlef Kuhlmann.

Die Medaillen der letzten Olympischen Winterspiele in Sotschi. Foto: picture-alliance

Alle Jahre wieder, genauer alle zwei Jahre im Wechsel gibt es Olympische Sommer- bzw. Winterspiele. In den Tagen der Spiele begleitet uns täglich ein aktueller Medaillenspiegel in den Medien: Alle Medaillen, die die Sportlerinnen und Sportler allein, zu zweit bzw. mit ihren Teams vor Ort gewinnen, werden in eine Nationenwertung eingepflegt und nach Wertigkeit fein sortiert: Gold, Silber, Bronze sprechen eine einfache Zahlensprache.
Der Medaillenspiegel ist umstritten. Gehört er abgeschafft? Der Medaillenspiegel passt nicht in die olympische Landschaft, so hat sich einst in einem Interview mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung während der Spiele in Sotschi 2014 Prof. Eike Emrich, Sportwissenschaftler an der Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbücken, positioniert. Der Spiegel sei „Symbol eines sekundären Wettbewerbs von denen, die Sport auf nationaler Ebene organisieren“. In der Tat: Der Medaillenspiegel ist keine Erfindung des IOC und gehört insofern auch nicht in die olympische Landschaft. Trotzdem ist er dessen Bestandteil. 
Der Medaillenspiegel addiert hervorragende Leistungen. Nichts anderes macht die Tabelle der Fußball-Bundesliga. Sie vergibt zwar keine Goldmedaillen an die Siegermannschaft eines Spiels und speist Verliererteams nicht mit Blech oder Bronze ab, sondern transformiert stattdessen Tore in Punkte mit serieller Aufrechung über die Saison. Umstritten sind solche Tabellen derzeit nicht. Sie sind konstitutives Moment eines weltweiten Spielbetriebs, ohne den dieser so nicht existieren könnte. Bei Olympischen Spielen ist das anders. Die Frage nach der Existenzberechtigung des Medaillenspiegels hat so gesehen ihre Berechtigung.
Aber es kommt noch eine andere Frage hinzu: Solange der Medaillenspiegel nicht abgeschafft ist, darf und muss nämlich gefragt werden, ob er in der vorliegenden Form gerecht ist. Ist das mal hinterfragt worden? Warum dominieren eigentlich die Goldmedaillen die Rangfolge? Die Bundesligatabelle ist da schon weiter: Sie schenkt dem Sieger drei Punkte, vergibt aber bei Unentschieden jeweils einen pro Team. An der Spitze steht die Mannschaft mit den meisten Punkten, nicht zwangsläufig die mit den meisten gewonnenen Spielen.
Dieses Vergabesystem ließe sich ganz leicht auf den Medaillenspiegel übertragen: drei Punkte für Gold, zwei für Silber und einen für Bronze. Ist das gerechter und im Sinne der Athletinnen und Athleten, die diese Medaillen erringen (sollen)? Man könnte sie ja mal fragen.
(Autor: Prof. Detlef Kuhlmann/* Der Kommentar ist dem Buch des Autors mit dem Titel „Querpässe zwischen Sport und Sportwissenschaft“ (Arete, Hildesheim 2014) entnommen. Das Buch enthält insgesamt 82 Kommentare aus der DOSB-PRESSE und diesen bisher noch nicht veröffentlichten.)In jeder Ausgabe der DOSB-Presse, die wöchentlich erscheint, gibt es einen Kommentar zu aktuellen Themen des Sports, den wir hier als DOSB-Blog veröffentlichen. Diese mit Namen gezeichneten Beiträge geben nicht unbedingt die offizielle DOSB-Meinung wieder.

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Astraviec nuclear plant: a poison for Belarus-Lithuania relations?

MIL OSI – Source: Belarus Digest –

Headline: Astraviec nuclear plant: a poison for Belarus-Lithuania relations?

The Astravic NPP under construction – Photo Reuters

In the recent months, the issue of the nuclear power plant (NPP) that Belarus is building near its border with Lithuania has been dominating bilateral relations. Lithuanian politicians are seeking to block potential exports of electric energy from Belarus.

Vilnius is worried about environmental and safety concerns. Minsk sees economic and political motives behind Lithuania’s claims. Domestic policy considerations in Lithuania also play a role.

Can Lithuania’s rhetoric and actions seriously harm the two country’s economic and political ties?

On 12 May, the Lithuanian parliament adopted a resolution calling the government to take all necessary diplomatic, legal and technical measures to halt the construction of the NPP in Astraviec. MPs want the government to prohibit Belarus from selling electric energy produced at the NPP to Lithuania as well as from using the country’s energy system and its spare capacity.

The Lithuanian legislator can hardly complain about the lack of interest to this issue in the executive branch. On 26 April, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius used the anniversary of Chernobyl to demand Belarus “to ensure that safety of the NPP, being built just 50 kilometres from Vilnius, be provided in strict compliance with all international requirements and recommendations”.

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė claimed on 22 February that safety of the Astraviec NPP should be of concern to the entire European Union.

Indeed, Lithuania launched a pan-European campaign against the Belarusian NPP. In December 2015, Rokas Masiulis, the country’s energy minister, wrote to his colleagues in neighbouring countries urging them not to buy electric energy, which will be produced by the NPPs now under construction in Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad region.

Estonia and Latvia halfheartedly supported Lithuania’s initiative. However, Finland refused to join in the boycott. Poland hid behind a soft diplomatic formula affirming that “energy from unsafe NPPs should not get on the market”.

Lithuanian leaders have been seeking support well beyond the immediate neighbourhood. On 20 April, President Dalia Grybauskaitė discussed safety of the future Belarusian NPP with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

On 11 May, Algirdas Butkevičius announced his intention to discuss the Astraviec NPP with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. Earlier, he claimed to have the full support of Norway in this issue.

Lithuania claims that Belarus has violated its obligations under the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention). Indeed, in March 2014, the Implementation Committee found Belarus to be in non-compliance with its obligations under four articles of the Convention.

The Belarusian government maintains that it has since remedied the situation. In June 2013, Belarus submitted the final environmental impact assessment (EIA) report to Lithuania. (The Lithuanian side claims that the report was Google-translated into Lithuanian).

According to the Belarusian authorities, Lithuania failed to respond to their numerous offers to organise consultations with the public on the EIA report. Belarus then organised such public hearings in Astraviec, provided free visas and translation into Lithuanian, and invited Lithuanian journalists, representatives of civil society and officials to attend.

Minsk proposed Vilnius to create a joint body for the post-project analysis of the Astraviec NPP. It also offered to implement a joint project of the system of radiation monitoring of nuclear facilities located near the border.

According to Belarus Digest’s sources, Belarusian officials claim that Lithuania has been manipulating the Espoo Convention to slow down or block activities in Belarus, which it finds undesirable for economic or political reasons. They worry that Vilnius may seek to take advantage of the Western countries’ majority in the convention to pass the needed decisions.

Belarus’ Deputy Energy Minister, Mikhail Mikhadziuk affirmed in a recent interview to Lithuanian media that Lithuania has been “avoiding dialogue” by consistently ignoring Belarus’ attempts to establish proper channels of communication and resolve disagreements through debate. In 2010 – 2014, Belarusian government agencies sent ten written replies to their Lithuanian colleagues. Since 2011, the Belarusian government invited the Lithuanian authorities on ten occasions – once at the prime minister level – to hold expert consultations on the Astraviec NPP.

Belarus has been resisting the Lithuanian offer to establish an expert body to resolve the existing disagreements claiming that the two countries have yet not exhausted the possibilities offered by bilateral consultations.

The Lithuanian authorities maintain that their only concern over the Astraviec’s project remains the lack of safety and a negative environmental impact.

Indeed, the Astraviec NPP is being built by a Russian contractor, using Russian technology, equipment and a Russian loan. Persistent mistrust in Russian technology and safe implementation of the project by corruption-ridden contractors, which prevails in the post-Soviet space, fuels these doubts well. A recent incident at the construction site, which the Belarusian authorities chose initially to silence and even deny, only reinforced these fears.

Another reason for concern is the authoritarian nature of the Belarusian regime. The authorities failed to have a proper public debate in Belarus before taking the final decision on the project. Some fear that in absence of an independent regulator, government agencies and constructors may disregard potential shortcomings of the project to comply with Lukashenka’s instructions.

In their turn, the Belarusian authorities are convinced that the Lithuanian authorities pursue their economic and political interests under the guise of safety concerns.

Indeed, the Astraviec NPP makes the planned Visaginas NPP in Lithuania redundant. The Baltic countries have been discussing the idea of building a new NPP on the site of the closed Ignalina NPP since 2006 but few practical steps were made. Some experts see this project, which was put on hold for many years, as effectively dead.

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s recent statement seems to confirm the theory of economic motives behind Lithuania’s opposition to Belarus’ project. On 22 February, she insisted that “the Astraviec NPP should not create any further obstacles neither for production of electric energy in the country nor for improving the efficiency of consumption or the synchronisation of the Baltic countries with power transmission lines of continental Europe.”

Domestic policy considerations are also playing an important role in the debate. The forthcoming October 2016 parliamentary elections make the politicians from all parties to play stronger hand in “defending national interests.” Even Rokas Masiulis, the Energy Minister, an opponent of the Astraviec project, called the activities of most ardent critics a “pre-election political manoeuvring”.

The Belarusian authorities are clearly concerned with the campaign launched by Lithuania against the NPP project, especially the calls for boycott of potential energy exports. However, even if this initiative enjoys wider support in the EU, it is unlikely to halt the construction of the NPP.

Belarus currently covers a significant part of its needs in electric energy by imports. The Astraviec NPP will serve to satisfy the domestic consumption. It will also allow to reduce imports of natural gas from Russia.

Some Lithuanian politician understand the importance of not overplaying the boycott card. Gediminas Kirkilas, the deputy speaker of the parliament and former prime minister of Lithuania, believes that Lithuania can now only mitigate the effects of Belarus’ decision. “Besides Astraviec, there are relations with Belarus, transit via Lithuania, the Klaipeda port”, he reminds.

Indeed, the Lithuanian authorities is hardly willing to jeopardise the numerous benefits of a wide web of trade ties between the two countries. For Lithuania, a face-saving compromising could involve much stricter environmental safety procedures and a mutually profitable arrangement for energy trade.

Igar Gubarevich is a senior analyst of the Ostrogorski Centre in Minsk. For a number of years he has been working in various diplomatic positions at the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

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Oksana Syroyid: "We need not only quality legislation, but also political will to reform national security and intelligence services"

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Oksana Syroyid: “We need not only quality legislation, but also political will to reform national security and intelligence services”

Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of
Ukraine Oksana Syroyid took part in the III international conference entitled
“Governance and reformation of national security and intelligence
services: best international experience”.

In her opening speech, the Deputy
Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine thanked the Oleksandr Razumkov’s
center for economic and political researches, office of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) in Ukraine, delegation of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands for the organization of the event dedicated to the discussion of
problems related to reformation of security and intelligence services. She said
that now the most important is to ensure “civil control, and reformation
of the security and defense sectors.”

Syroyid noted that the people’s deputies
are currently facing “the clash of civilizations” when some part of
the people wants to live within the old paradigm and another part of them wants
certain changes. She believes that the establishment of the Euro-Atlantic Space
for Ukraine interfactional deputy association at the initiative of people’s
deputy Iryna Friz (Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction) is an attempt to resist to
the system.

The Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna
Rada of Ukraine noted that the situation with the reformation of the security
services has no progress in Ukraine. “We have to understand that any
solution is a formula of two elements: firstly [the issue] requires quality
documents [legislation] and secondly — political will to implement it,”
she noted.

Oksana Syroyid also said: “To turn our
communication with ourselves into a conversation with the society we have to
establish such a force, such conditions that would not allow anyone to avoid
them. Our communication has to become another step on the way to form such a
force.”

Supporting Deputy Chairperson of the
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oksana Syroyid, Deputy Secretary of the National
Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Lytvynenko said that the society and
political forces have to acknowledge the fact that the security services in
Ukraine are integral part of the national security. “Without clear,
comprehensive shift to terms and values of democratic countries, our defense
will be instable, we will not be able to fulfill our tasks and meet our
priorities. Less effective democratic civil control no effective structures are
possible,” Lytvynenko said.

The conference was organized with the
participation of the Oleksandr Razumkov’s center for economic and political
researches and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
(DCAF) under the aegis of Euro-Atlantic Space for Ukraine interfactional deputy
association.

Its
participants were Oleksii Melnyk, co-director of the programs on foreign policy
and international security of the Oleksandr Razumkov’s center for economic and
political researches; Dr. Philipp Fluri, Deputy Director of the DCAF and
Executive Director of DCAF Brussels.

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Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law "On amendments to Law of Ukraine "On peculiarities of insurance of farm produce with assistance of state" (as to specification of some terms and notions) as a basis

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law “On amendments to Law of Ukraine “On peculiarities of insurance of farm produce with assistance of state” (as to specification of some terms and notions) as a basis

The draft law No. 4570 offers to amend the
Law of Ukraine “On peculiarities of insurance of farm produce with
assistance of state.” In particular, the draft law offers to replace the
word combination “fish and other live aquatic resources” with the
word combination “aquatic bioresources.”

Besides, it offers to add the risk of
elimination of insured “aquatic bioresources” to the essence of the
notion “agricultural insurance risk.” It is also offered to replace
the term “central executive body engaged in implementation of state policy
in fishery and fish industry, safeguard, use and recreation of live aquatic
resources” with the term “central executive body engaged in implementation
of state policy in field of fishery.”

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Verkhovna Rada Committee on Financial Policy and Banking recommends Ukrainian Parliament, Cabinet of Ministers, National Bank of Ukraine use draft strategy on development of banking system of Ukraine for 2016-2020 in their work

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Verkhovna Rada Committee on Financial Policy and Banking recommends Ukrainian Parliament, Cabinet of Ministers, National Bank of Ukraine use draft strategy on development of banking system of Ukraine for 2016-2020 in their work

The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Financial
Policy and Banking took respective decision at its offsite meeting on May 20.

Chairperson of the Committee Serhii Rybalka
expressed hope that the Government will take in consideration the proposals
elaborated and supported by such a wide range of specialists, Ukrainian and
foreign bankers, experts and scientists, both in terms of the reforms for this
year and in the governmental Action Plan promised for presentation before late
this year.

The Committee considered and now recommends
that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopt the draft law No. 4529 “On
amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine” (as to stimulating bank
crediting in Ukraine) as a basis.

The people’s deputies also considered a
package of disputable issues that emerged during the update of the draft law
No. 3498 “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine” (as to
regulated markets and derivatives) for its second reading.

The participants in the offsite meeting
were Head of the National Commission for Securities and Stock Market Tymur
Khromayev, Head of the Vinnytsia regional state administration Valerii Korovii,
head of the Vinnytsia regional council Anatolii Oliinyk, Deputy Head of the
Vinnytsia city council for financial affairs Halyna Yakubovych.

The Draft Strategy was also approved at the
all-Ukrainian scientific forum on May 19-20.

As earlier reported, on April 18,
Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Financial Policy and Banking
Serhii Rybalka presented the draft Strategy on development of the banking
system of Ukraine for 2016-2020 for civil discussion and further update.

The basic draft strategy was elaborated by
a workgroup formed of experts in the field of monetary, currency and banking
regulation, banking business, representatives of non-government and scientific
organizations. The draft envisions overcoming current crisis, creation of
preconditions for stability of the hryvnia and banking system, recovery of
trust in the Regulator as well as the creation of a system of stimuli to speed
up the economic growth.

The priorities of the strategy for the
forthcoming four years are the change of the monetary policy, reformation of
state-owned banks into instruments of economic development, change of the
economy structure and stimulation of exportation of technical commodities and
developed services, etc.

The
strategy aims to raise the quality of the Central Bank’s policy, trust in the
Regulator, banking system and hryvnia, development of competitive market of
banking services and stimulation of crediting of the real sector of economy.

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Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law "On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine" (as to ownership right of foreign investors to land) as a basis

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations recommends Ukrainian Parliament adopt draft law “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine” (as to ownership right of foreign investors to land) as a basis

The draft law No. 4455 offers to amend the
Land Code of Ukraine. In particular, it offers to classify “foreign
enterprises,” “enterprises with foreign investments,”
“legal entities established under legislation other then the Ukrainian
one,” “international government and non-government
organizations” as persons that cannot acquire farmland in Ukraine.

Besides, the draft law offers to replace
the term “foreign legal entities” with the term “legal entities
established under legislation other then the Ukrainian one,” etc.

According
to the authors, the adoption of the draft law “will considerably improve
the investment climate in Ukraine, facilitate business activity in the regions
and socioeconomic development of the state.”

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