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26 February 2021

The Buzz in Ukraine: Interview with Svitlana Gurieieva of Sayenko Kharenko

Source: CEE Legal Matters

One of the most notable recent changes to Ukrainian law, according to Svitlana Gurieieva, Partner at Sayenko Kharenko, involves the Cabinet of Ministers’ approval of new resolutions aimed at starting town-planning reform.

“The resolutions provide for the liquidation of the State Architecture and Construction Inspection (SACI) and the State Architecture and Construction service,” Gurieieva says, explaining that, in its place, the State Inspectorate of Architecture and Town-Planning of Ukraine (DAIM) has been created as a central executive body empowered to exercise architectural and construction control and supervision in the town-planning sector, although it will not issue permits and conduct registrations. “In the future, the architectural and construction control, supervision, and registration functions will be transferred to three parties: DIAM, local authorities, and professional organizations accredited by the Ministry of Regional Development.”

Another significant legislative development, according to Gurieieva, involves amendments to Ukraine’s Law on Agricultural Land. “The amendment will enter into force on July 1, 2021, and it will allow Ukrainian citizens to acquire up to 100 hectares of land,” she says. “Furthermore, Ukrainian-owned companies will be allowed to acquire up to 10,000 hectares of land starting from January 2024.”

The Ukrainian economy, Gurieieva says, is not ideal — much like that of other countries at the moment. She reports that Ukraine largely echoes the levels of world trade. “Unfortunately, foreign exchange earnings in Ukraine are provided only by two industries: metallurgical and agricultural,” she explains. In addition, she says that a major source of foreign currency in Ukraine was money expats sent home from abroad, but “that source has dramatically diminished in 2020.”

Still, the pandemic has also brought new business to lawyers in Ukraine, and Gurieieva lists medical research, copyright disputes, and criminal cases, among other areas, as being on the rise. Furthermore, some large transactions are taking place, and Gurieieva names as significant last fall’s acquisition of Austria’s Billa, which operates a chain of 35 stores in Ukraine, by Novus.

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