Ukraine passes law to limit oligarchs’ influence

The Ukrainian Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, adopted a "law on oligarchs", submitted to parliament by the President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Parliamentarians approved the law "On Prevention of Threats to National Security Related to the Excessive Influence of Persons who have Significant Economic or Political Weight in Public Life (Oligarchs)” in the second reading. It was supported by 279 out of 450 deputies, 54 opposed, 27 abstained.

"The purpose of this law is to overcome the conflict of interest caused by the merger of politicians, media and big business, the use of political power to increase equity capital," the Verkhovna Rada said in a statement.

The new law, which will come into force in six months, spells out the concept of "oligarch" – “these are citizens who have a significant impact on the political and economic life of Ukraine and are the beneficiaries of enterprises that occupy a monopoly position in the market”.

The law provides for the creation of a "register of oligarchs", which will be handled by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. Persons from this register are prohibited from making contributions to the budgets of political parties, financing any political campaigns and rallies, as well as participating in or being a beneficiary of the buyer in the privatization of significant assets.

In addition, the law obliges oligarchs to report on contacts with each other and with civil servants, including the president of the country, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, deputies of the Ukrainian parliament.

In March, President Zelensky announced the beginning of the fight against oligarchs in Ukraine. He said that state resources, subsoil, strategic enterprises were misappropriated, and because of this it is necessary to "restore justice". In June, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Maliuska said that Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky and the fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko could be included into the “register of oligarchs”.

  Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine