Archive for November 30th, 2015


Shokin appoints Nazar Holodnitskogo as Anti-Corruption Prosecutor

November 30, 2015

On 30th November, the untrusted (unless you are President Poroshenko), Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin finally appointed the long awaited Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, the appointment coming the day before President Poroshenko stated the office must finally begin work.  (Thus Mr Shokin could delay matters no longer.

The successful applicant, following a long, public and reasonably transparent process is Nazar Holodnitskogo.

shokinMr Holodonitskogo has a lot to do – but then he has a lot to go at.  He and his team are certainly not lacking work.

This appointment will naturally get all the headlines – and perhaps rightly so.  It will certainly bring about headlines in the weeks and months ahead.

However, perhaps just as importantly, Mr Shokin also gave approval to some much needed structural changes within the PGO too.

The General Inspectorate of Internal Investigations (the office now responsible for prosecuting prosecutors and investigators) has been born, with an action plan, and the appointment of  Maxim Melnichenko was also made.  Mr Melnichenko will report to the very good Deputy Prosecutor General David Sakvarelidze (which he actually does already in a different role).

All in all, two very promising occurrences within an otherwise discouraging Prosecutor General’s Office.

Yet one question remains regarding these events.  Mr Shokin’s appointment of Mr Holodonitskogo was from a choice of the two final candidates from a lengthy process to insure individual moral courage and fortitude both past and present.  The other finalist was Maxim Grischuk (who would have been your author’s choice).

It simply cannot be that Mr Grischuk does not take a senior position within the PGO having passed the public “corruption smell test” with flying colours, and the professional qualifications/ability test of a large panel of experts.  An honest prosecutor simply cannot be wasted.

What now for a good man called Maxim Grischuk?

It is perhaps only right to acknowledge the tremendous external (international) political and diplomatic energy expended that has forced these changes upon President Poroshenko, and thus within the Prosecutor General’s Office.  That energy will need to be maintained of course – not only in insuring these new appointments and their departments can work freely of political (and Mr Shokin’s nefarious) interference, but also in seeing through the complete reconstruction of the institution and the changing of the guard within.

Nevertheless, rapid sweeping reforms and some headlining prosecutions in 2016 are required – and perhaps they will come too!


Klimkin to attend DCFTA trilateral talks 1 December

November 30, 2015

It’s been a month since the last entry was made regarding the trilateral talks between Ukraine, the EU and Russia surrounding the bilateral Association Agreement and DCFTA between Ukraine and the EU.

On 1st December another round of talks occurs some 30 days prior to the full implementation of the agreement between the EU and Ukraine – this time Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin will be attending – for reasons as yet unknown (as the lest few rounds of talks have been at “expert/technical level).


Perhaps he is expecting one last Kremlin onslaught, one last high-stakes attempt at blackmail (of either bilateral party), or maybe some details of where The Kremlin sanctions against Ukraine will manifest – or it is probably better stated, what will actually be exempted The Kremlin sanctions so Ukraine can prepare the reciprocal actions.  Ukraine is after all, far beyond caring about the sensitivities of the Kremlin.

(It should be anticipated that if and when Ukraine gets Visa-Free short term visitor status for its citizenry, The Kremlin will cancel that status for Ukrainians in the “spirit” of reciprocity.)

As the above linked entry stated – “A large scale trade embargo toward Ukraine is all but assured by a Kremlin that perhaps still believes it can beat, threaten and coerce the current Ukrainian direction out of it – when instead with every such act, it simply beats that choice further in.

The question therefore, is how long will any such Kremlin instigated embargo upon Ukrainian goods last? The answer will be in years – but how many?

A glance at the 1990’s would suggest that as a petulant and truculent Kremlin embargoed almost all trade with the eastern European and Baltic States as they swiftly stepped out from under The Kremlin shadow, they rapidly redirected their trade flows. Naturally a free trade agreement with the EU, let alone the deep and comprehensive one that comes into force, means that Ukraine will have little option but to make the most of that opportunity (and other opportunities outside of Europe). Those certain Ukrainian businessmen that pre-war in The Donbas who would have tried to slow such a process due to their trade interests with Russia, having seen them dramatically effected by Kremlin sponsored events in the east, will also be forced to look to other markets during the (likely) forthcoming embargo years.

During the early 2000’s, similar Kremlin embargoes on Moldova and Georgia forced trade reorientation with Europe (and others) too.

The end result being that when The Kremlin relaxed and/or removed its imposed embargoes, pre-embargo trade levels never returned – with any of the nations involved.”

Is Mr Klimkin attending just in case Foreign Minister Lavrov turns up?  Thus far there is nothing in the Russian public realm that states he is attending – he probably has his hands full dealing with the latest self-inflicted Kremlin trade wounds with Turkey.  (To be sure Ukraine (and no doubt others) will do its very best to step into the Turkish trade vacuum the Kremlin sanctions and/or embargo opportunities present.)

Is Mr Klimkin’s attendance simply a symbolic statement to how seriously Ukraine takes the DCFTA issue, and with a mere 30 days prior to full implementation the Foreign Minister will attend the talks – despite there being no possible changes to the fully ratified agreements between Ukraine, the EU, and all governments of the Member States?

He is hardly attending because he happened to be in the neighbourhood (even if he did happen to be in the neighbourhood, for that’s not how these things work).

Thus it is a rather interesting announcement.

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