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In recent years, privatization has risen as a priority for the government of Ukraine. Fundamental to these efforts was the enactment of a law abolishing a list of over 1,000 state-owned enterprises that were not permitted to be privatized. This has removed the last major barriers for launching full-scale privatization.

The widely discussed draft law 1210 has finally been signed by the President of Ukraine and come into effect on May 23 (Law No. 466). This is why business will have to adjust to new rules of the game. The Law mostly aims to implement the main measures under the BEPS Project, which our state undertook to do as early as in December 2019 by ratifying the MLI Convention.

The global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting businesses all over the world so badly that many operations have stopped, exports have fallen and imports are being replaced by domestic consumption, and international corporations had to put on hold any expansion plans and their forays into other markets.

“Ukraine is gradually returning to normal operations,” says Valentyn Gvozdiy, Managing Partner at Golaw in Kyiv, but he admits the preceding period has been difficult. “Most companies had to face many challenges of finding new ways to work in a short time span. Closing of industries and venues, self-isolations and lockdowns, strict bans on business activities, and public events were important measures needed to prevent and fight this virus. However, experienced managers understand the situation and fortunately knew how to cope with the issues that arose with the COVID-19 outbreak.”

As of November 2019, certain RES producers have been intermittently forced to reduce their output or halt production of electrical energy altogether under the commands of Ukraine’s transmission system operator, NEC Ukrenergo. DTEK, along with several other large market players led the call for limitations. Many of the country’s RES producers have become alarmed.

GOLAW team is gathering and updating constantly the information on the legal aspects of the combating COVID-19 in Ukraine. Laws and regulations adopted by the central government introduce specific extraordinary measures affecting both businesses and everybody personally. Brief summary of the latest legislation aimed at preventing and combating COVID-19 is laid down below.

On March 31, 2020 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine enacted the Law of Ukraine "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning turnover of the agricultural land" (Bill No. 2178-10) (hereinafter referred to as the "Law"). The Law is set for signature of the President of Ukraine and will take effect on July 1, 2021.

On March 17, 2020 a law (bill No. 3219) came into force that included quarantine established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in the list of force majeure events. Will this be a tool that allows Ukrainian businesses to drop their obligations without any consequences? In most cases – no, because force majeure is not as easy as it might seem at first glance.

According to information posted on the official website of the State Enterprise "Guaranteed Buyer" (hereinafter - "Guaranteed Buyer"), as of April 01, 2020, the state enterprise had indebtedness to the producers of electricity from RES in the amount of approximately 34% for February 2020. Quite recently, the Guaranteed Buyer also had significant debt for the last months of 2019.

The State continues to respond to the situation with COVID-2019 and promptly adopt regulations to resolve the quarantine-related issues. On March 30, 2020, a law intended to provide for significant changes in the field of labor relations was adopted. Let us consider the major changes and their impact on employers and employees.

GOLAW at a Glance

GOLAW is one of the leading Ukrainian full-service law firms. The firm was founded in 2003 and currently has offices in Kyiv (Ukraine) and Berlin (Germany). The lawyers of the firm are widely recognised for their skills and extensive expertise. GOLAW’s team focuses on efficiently resolving issues facing the clients, communicating effectively on their behalf, assisting them in navigating the nuances of Ukrainian law, and avoiding costly legal traps.

The client portfolio of the firm includes large and medium-sized, national and foreign companies, banks and financial institutions, as well as private investors doing business in Ukraine or entering local markets. GOLAW provides sophisticated legal advice and reliable legal assistance in all major sectors, including agribusiness, retail and FMCG, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services, energy and natural resources, transportation and infrastructure, internet technology, and real estate. Areas of practice: GOLAW developed a top-tier tax practice which includes issues concerning tax functioning in Ukraine, strategic advice on tax planning, tax and fiscal controls, as well as professional contacts with the tax authorities at all levels. The firm represents its clients in dispute resolution and litigation in general, economic and administrative courts of all levels, along with support for international commercial disputes. The deep expertise in white-collar defence and investigations allows GOLAW attorneys to successfully represent clients in criminal legal proceedings, advising them on the wider commercial, regulatory and image implications when there are allegations of fraud or corruption.

GOLAW professionals advise clients across the broad spectrum of corporate work including M&A, joint ventures and corporate restructuring, as well as general commercial, antitrust and corporate governance issues. The effective combination of transactional skills combined with unique expertise including antitrust, employment, environmental, intellectual property and taxation, enables the firm to handle the issues that can arise from any single corporate transaction. In banking and finance, the firm successfully represents clients regardless of whether it is a trade, export, finance deal, M&A, or any other financial project; it also provides advice on civil, banking and currency laws. The firm is a leader in representing financial services institutions in contentious insolvency and regulatory matters. The firm’s team of lawyers utilises unrivalled local knowledge of the demands of operating in increasingly international and volatile markets, with a deep understanding of the issues impacting the energy and natural resources sectors.

Clients of the firm are involved in commodities, power, oil and gas, nuclear, mining, metals and minerals, renewable and clean-technology energy industries. GOLAW covers the full range of labour and employment matters, including: whistleblower litigation, labour-management relations, benefits, collective agreements, and employment of foreign citizens.

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