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Algirdas Semeta

Ukraine’s Business Ombudsman - First Quarterly Report

This week saw the release of the very first quarterly report of the newly created, independent, Business Ombudsman in Ukraine.  32 pages of very blunt and clear-eyed text.  It is a most welcome, if not unsurprising appraisal of where Ukraine is at, compared to where it has to go, the key problems, the proposed solutions, […]


Reflecting upon Ukrainian media policy & Kremlin propaganda

Without expanding the issue of free speech and any limitations thereon before it becomes an issue of national security to the European continent (or even beyond), there is perhaps a need to take a look at the issue, and reflect upon it, specifically with regard to Ukraine internally vis a vis the war The Kremlin […]


Mykolaiv police chiefs move to Odessa

It appears Giya Lordkipanidze, one time Deputy Interior Minister in Georgia, and now Odessa Oblast Police Chief, will imminently have a new set of department heads for the Oblast and the city. Appointed as Deputy Chief of Police Odessa City, is Alexander Martynov.  Until recently Colonel Martynov was head of the serious crime investigation department […]


Meanwhile back in Bessarabia…..

It has been quite some time since “Bessarabia” was last mentioned here - quite simply because the Potemkin manifestation hasn’t really manifested (outside of a few websites and an extremely small number of people’s imaginations and/or aspirations for 15 minutes of fame). Nevertheless, a “veche” took place in the Kominternovsky region of Odessa Oblast yesterday, […]

World News & Commentary


Valeriy Chaly appointed Ukrainian Ambassador to the USA…..eventually

Since April 2015, Ukraine has had no ambassador to the USA, a nation that is currently a key, if the not key, ally of the country.  Certainly US diplomatic energy and will is the driving force amongst the diplomatic community.  Even if US Embassy Kyiv messages are getting lost, or at least diluted, within “the […]


NATO Partnership for Peace ratification - Ukraine

It is not often that this blog touches upon defence or security issues - or indeed the war in eastern Ukraine - despite the fact that every time it does readership numbers skyrocket. The simple fact is that so many others write about the war in eastern Ukraine, and there is much more to Ukraine […]


Blair to join International Advisory Council on Reforms Ukraine?

It appears that President Poroshenko has asked Tony Blair to join the International Advisory Council on Reforms for Ukraine - a body headed by President Poroshenko. Fair enough - but what does Tony Blair bring to the table other than being an internationally (in)famous name? His track record for bringing about meaningful reform in the […]


Ukraine 13th July Investment Conference - USA

For those who are unaware - which is almost everybody - there is to be an investment conference relating to opportunities within Ukraine - to privatisation, energy, etc., not to mention the promulgation and reiteration of just how far financial reforms have gone, and have yet to go, in order to boost confidence for those investors attending - on 13th July in the USA. The conference will also discuss topics such as Bitcoin's financial revolution and the law that legalizes cryptocurrencies in Ukraine. Using the Bitcoin buyer app, which is an automated trading tool, enhances the likelihood of making large profits, which is also on the agenda. […]

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EU & FSU News & Commentary


Meanwhile in Transnistria - mobilization

Just across the border from Odessa lies Transnistria, the Kremlin sponsored enclave within Moldova. Unsurprisingly, considering regional events, it appears that Transnistria is about to mobilize, apparently following a decree issued by “President” Yevgeny Shevchuk. This mobilization, it is claimed, will attract between 5000 and 7000 18 - 27 years olds, as well as an […]


Assessing EU action within Ukraine - through a provincial lens

This is an entry that has been waiting to be written for a long time. Much has been written about the short falls of Ukraine politically and institutionally.  Much has been rightly criticised too.  Much will continue to be written too, whilst ever-changing yet headline grabbing personnel rotation is used to mask the lack of […]


Russia is no longer a strategic partner - European Parliament

Yesterday the European Parliament passed another resolution relating to Russia.  One of the headline grabbing paragraphs in this latest text stated: “Russia, because of its actions in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine, can no longer be treated as, or considered, a ‘strategic partner’. Russia now openly positions itself and acts as a challenger of the […]


Running down the Minsk II clock

Having received an email asking why no erudite (or not) entry has been published relating to the resignation of Heidi Tagliavini as OSCE mediator for the tripartite talks between The Kremlin, Kyiv and the “people’s republics”, it is perhaps time to write a few lines. The resignation of Heidi Tagliavini, for whatever reason - and […]

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Around Ukraine


Public interest, interesting to the public, or telegraphing time to flee?

A few weeks ago an entry appeared her that contained this paragraph: “We could perhaps then spend an enjoyable summer speculating upon just how many, and which, MPs and Judges would fail to return to Ukrainian jurisdiction from their holidays if such immunity was lifted.” It appears (not unsurprisingly) that this may indeed be the case. […]


A new way of doing politics - Ukraine? Ukrop

On 18th June 2015, Ihor Kolomoisky received official certification for his newly formed political party “Ukrop” from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. Gennady Korban, who featured in yesterday’s entry in a rather, albeit deservedly, in a less than flattering way (as did his main rival), upon the registration of “Ukrop” - “A new chapter […]


The electoral farce of seat 205 - Desnyanskiy (Chernigov)

Having entered into a voluntary state of “purdah” relating to the election that took place yesterday for seat 205, Desnyanskiy district in Chernigov, that self-imposed silence, post polls closing, can now be lifted. So having expected a complete farce as soon as it became clear more than two months ago that this election seat was […]


The Venice Commission on Constitutional/Judicial reforms - Ukraine

Probably one of the most underrated acts of the current president, cabinet of ministers, and sitting Rada, was the accommodation of almost all Venice Commission “recommendations” with regard to the constitutional amendments that facilitate “decentralisation“. Time will now tell whether the Constitutional Court will have issues with the proposed “decentralisation” amendments, and if they deem […]

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Finance & Business


Nancy Sinatra on Ukraine’s Economic Relationships

Nikolai is still on vacation, now on the beach in [censored], drinking a… tall cup of coffee, yes, that’s it! A tall cup of coffee probably with a slight dash of Irish Bailey’s Cream. Filling in for him is the crazy guy from the swimming pool at the Kyiv Hilton. Call it the Sinatra Family […]


NBU abolishes some currency restrictions for business

Though this will undoubtedly be hidden amongst gas news and reporting from the front lines - somewhat earlier that expected, the National Bank of Ukraine has abolished some of its temporary restrictions on foreign currency. In short, with effect from 3rd November, the following temporary restrictions are lifted previously imposed under Resolution 591. “transactions undertaken in […]


“Ukraine was the top improver” - You don’t read that very often!

“Ukraine was the top improver in 2012/13, implementing reforms in 8 of the 10 areas measured by Doing Business.” Blimey! It’s not often you read anything that states Ukraine was the most improved at anything - and yet it is there in black and white, front and centre, on Page 9 of the World Bank/IFC “Doing Business […]

Developing a Ukrainian Silicon Valley: Will It Be Odessa or Kiev?

The technology sector is becoming increasingly important in the Ukraine, and not just in the negative sense that has previously hit the headlines. Odessa’s share of this industry has been particularly focused on the more creative side, with many of the IT companies that operate in the country choosing to locate their research and development departments. Similarly, technology is revolutionizing the sports industry, including fields like dart betting. For enthusiasts looking to stay ahead of the game, accessing free darts betting tips can provide valuable insights into maximizing success and enjoying the sport to its fullest potential. […]

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