How Dubinskyi and Servants of the People prevent the Verkhovna Rada from considering draft law important for cooperation with the IMF

Olena Shcherban for Ukrainska Pravda

While experts report about economic threats at the time of coronavirus, they are multiplying in Ukraine because of unclear prospect of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund.

The latter is indeed questionable. Namely, reshuffle of the government with not completely new faces, attempts of illegal dismissals of the NABU head and not yet adopted laws, which are the condition of support of the IMF.

The Fund expects Ukraine to adopt the law on impossibility of returning banks to former owners and the land law. If the land law has been considered during few weeks before the second reading, the first one, which has already been called “anti-Kolomoyskyi”, cannot in any way receive favorable decision in the key Committee of the Verkhovna Rada.

What does the government propose in this draft law? In short, it is about impossibility to restore position of the bank to the status it had before withdrawal from the market. It also foresees the impossibility of the court to suspend acts of the National Bank, decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Deposit Guarantee Fund related to withdrawal of the bank from the market.

The government of Oleksiy Honcharuk has initiated the legislative mechanism, according to which, in case the court finds actions or decisions illegal regarding withdrawing bank from the market, the owner should receive compensation but not to take the bank or return it to the market.

At the same time, it proposes that such compensation can only amount to real losses, and their amount is determined by usage of international financial reporting standards and has to be confirmed by internationally recognized audit company.

What is it for? The corrupt Ukrainian judicial system can create collapse of the economy and finances of the state by suspending the NBU’s act when it comes to financial scales of banks, such as Privatbank has billions in turnover. Return of the bank to previous position can become financial mousetrap for the whole country.

It seems quite simple. Bank owners are guaranteed the opportunity to appeal, but corrupt Ukrainian courts are limited by clear mechanism of action.

Why the draft law has stuck at the Committee’s level? Don’t count your chickens until Kolomoyskyi’s people are in the Verkhovna Rada. The draft law received a barrage of obstacles already in initial stages of consideration. At first, 3 alternative projects were submitted before government’s anti-Kolomoyskyi project. Authors of 2 of them are MPs Oleksander Dubinskyi and Igor Palytsya. Both are close to the oligarch, former owner of Privatbank.

The Finance Committee of the Verkhovna Rada has already begun to prepared the other version of the project. According to journalists, terms of international standards for determining losses to owners were taken away from the Committee’s version and mechanisms for reaching the compromise with owners of banks were laid down.

Last week the chairman of the Profile Committee of the Verkhovna Rada Danylo Hetmantsev stated that he considered the governmental draft unconstitutional, but he did not refer to norms of the Constitution. According to him, the amount of compensation is discretion of the court and the law cannot determine any algorithms for the court.

What is wrong with the position of Hetmantsev? Firstly, the algorithm for determining the amount of compensation can be regulated by the law. According to article 92 of the Constitution, principles of civil responsibility are determined only by laws (paragraph 22).

The Constitution requires that such definition does not violate constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens. In particular, the right regarding compensation of material and moral damage caused by illegal decisions, acts or inactivity of public authorities at the expense of the state. The draft law does not violate or restrict such right, but instead regulates it in civilized manner.

Secondly, on the contrary, defining clear compensation algorithm will contribute to the legal certainty and predictability of the process. Defined mechanisms that comply with clear international standards will ensure confidence to the litigation process.

At present, the level of trust to the judiciary remains extremely low, and parties in court proceedings are sometimes delaying the process because of numerous expert reviews with opposite results. Therefore, the draft law proposes to implement the best practices in the world in the specific way of proving the amount of damage.

That means that arguments about unconstitutionality seem like mere manipulation and nothing more than the attempt to break the adoption of key decision for further cooperation with the IMF.

The inability to return Privatbank to the oligarch Kolomoyskyi is of national interest, as well as guarantees regarding impossibility of paying him outrageous and fictional compensation. To return the bank to oligarch means to give him the key to financial stability of the state. And to pay unjustified compensation, according to the corrupt court decision, will simply mean once again that the country will dob in the aid for the oligarch who has repeatedly robbed us of billions.

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