As outlined in our article “Conducting Commercial and Non Commercial Activities in Ukraine in Times of Uncertainty”, on Thursday 16 January 2014 the Verhovna Rada of Ukraine (the elected unicameral parliament of Ukraine) passed eleven Bills which were signed by the President of Ukraine on the following day, 17 January 2014 (Thursday Enactments).
On 28 January 2014, the Verhovna Rada held its extraordinary session with the agenda “On the management of the political crisis and maintaining stability in the country”. Nine of the eleven Thursday Enactments were repealed: click here, including Act No. 721-VII of 16 January 2014 concerned with “additional measures to ensure the safety of citizens” and an introduction of the notion of foreign agents.
The remaining two acts of the Thursday Enactments, which were passed by the Verhovna Rada, are the Act of Ukraine “On State Budget of Ukraine for 2014” No. 719-VII and the Act of Ukraine No. 731-VII concerning the amnesty of those ‘involved’ from 21 November 2013 till 26 December 2013 in protest actions that commenced on 21 November 2013 in respect to prosecution under the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Amnesty Act 1).
Notably, the commencement date of the State Budget of Ukraine passed on 16 January 2014 is 1 January 2014. Moreover, considering current circumstances the State Budget of Ukraine may be subject to change.
Amnesty Act 1 does not distinguish between persons protesting and supporting the ‘opposition’ and those supporting and acting for the ‘government’. Therefore, provided other requirements of Amnesty Act 1 are satisfied, both the ‘government’ and ‘opposition’ may avoid criminal liability under the provisions of the Criminal Code of Ukraine listed in Amnesty Act 1.
Further, on 29 January 2014 the Verhovna Rada passed a further Act of Ukraine on amnesty: Bill No. 4021-3 of 29 January 2014 (Amnesty Act 2). Amnesty Act 2 concerns the persons ‘involved’, from 27 December 2014 till the day of commencement of Amnesty Act 2, in respect to the mass protest actions started on 21 November 2013 being prosecuted under the provisions of the Criminal Code of Ukraine listed in Amnesty Act 2.
Amnesty Act 2 is highly conditional. It is not clear whether Amnesty Act 2 can be implemented.
The two enactments of this week made by the Verhovna Rada once again created uncertainty making it difficult to conduct commercial and non-commercial activities in Ukraine.
Any commercial entities and not for profit entities participating in various commercial and non-commercial activities need an environment of certainty. In the absence of certainty, consider the principles we outlined in our newsletter of 2 December 2013 how to reduce and mitigate risks in emerging markets, which can be found on our website: click here.
Commercial Lawyers Sydney at Pavuk Legal we can provide legal services to individuals, trading entities and not for profit entities with respect to their commercial and non-commercial activities in Ukraine. Please review our website for services.