Ukrainian parliament registers two bills as alternatives to 'anti-Kolomoisky' bill
Ukrainian lawmakers Oleksandr Dubinsky and Ihor Palytsia, who are connected to former PrivatBank owner Ihor Kolomoisky through their previous positions, on Wednesday registered bills which provide alternatives to another bill which was submitted by the government on Tuesday and was unofficially dubbed "the anti-Kolomoisky bill," which is required in order to launch a new program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Both alternative bills were registered on Wednesday, their full text is not available as of yet, the Verkhovna Rada website said.
Both lawmakers in question are members of the parliamentary commission on finance, tax, and customs policy, which is specific for this bill, while Dubinsky serves as deputy head of the commission.
The Verkhovna Rada was expected to discuss this document at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, but it was preliminarily postponed to Saturday. The date for the bill's consideration by the commission is also unclear, as of yet.
As reported earlier, Kyiv must enact a bill on banks in order for the IMF Board of Directors to make a final decision on approving the new program. This document should remove legislative gaps that arose during the cleansing of the banking system and should reduce the risk of negative consequences from a possible decision on denationalizing PrivatBank.
On March 20, the parliamentary faction of the European Solidarity party demanded that the government submit to the parliament a bill on the inability to return insolvent banks to their former owners and call an extraordinary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada in order to pass it.
"Ukraine vitally needs to immediately resume cooperation with the International Monetary Fund now. This financial oxygen bag will provide a safety buffer. The fund is not imposing any burdensome requirements on Ukraine at the moment. The IMF's main requirement concerns only two people: the president himself and his longstanding business partner and patron," former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said in an address posted on Facebook Friday evening.
Ukraine could have received support from the IMF as early as last fall, which would have helped it avoid an economic decline, Poroshenko said. "If the government had adopted legislation guaranteeing that PrivatBank cannot be returned to its former owners! What sense does it make for the fund to give money to Ukraine if it immediately goes to the pocket of the former Privat shareholder? The bill was agreed upon with the fund. Then they decided to deceive our international partners and stealthily added unacceptable amendments. Then finally retracted it at all," he said.
Poroshenko demanded that the government draw up legislation making it impossible to return insolvent banks to their former owners, so that the Rada can consider it at an extraordinary session.
"The time has come, dear servants [the pro-presidential Servant of the People party], to choose between the people's interests and [Ukrainian businessman and former PrivatBank shareholder Ihor] Kolomoisky's dream of a bank for himself and default for Ukraine. The government should immediately submit the relevant bill – and without any con games. And the Verkhovna Rada should hold an extraordinary meeting at the start of next week. This is not advice, this is a demand. European Solidarity will definitely support the adoption of this bill," he said.