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The Buzz in Ukraine: Interview with Dmytro Fedoruk of Redcliffe Partners

The Buzz in Ukraine: Interview with Dmytro Fedoruk of Redcliffe Partners

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Ukraine local elections, held on October 25, 2020, resulted in a setback for the country’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whose party did not secure a single mayoral position in any of the major cities. This did not surprise Dmytro Fedoruk, Partner at Redcliffe Partners in Kyiv, who notes that Zelensky “was not elected for his experience, but rather for his good intentions.” 

Indeed, Fedoruk says, “[Zelensky] was put under a lot of pressure recently by certain Western donors, particularly the IMF, which are not very satisfied with Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts.” According to Fedoruk, “the Constitutional Court of Ukraine recently held unconstitutional some of the provisions of the Law on Prevention of Corruption, which limited the National Anti-Corruption Bureau’s ability to fight, investigate, and pursue persons guilty of illicit enrichment.” And, he says, the unfavorable developments in the anti-corruption field “may cause the IMF to stop providing money to Ukraine.” 

Still, despite the mixed messages on corruption, not everyone is reluctant to invest in the country. In fact, Fedoruk reports that, “many foreign companies are interested in various forms of public-private partnership, such as Production Sharing Agreements and Concession Agreements with the government of Ukraine.” Should the contracts come to pass, he says, those companies are expected to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars into Ukrainian economy.” His own firm is closely involved in the process, he says, noting that “we are currently advising Aspect Energy and SigmaBleyzer, and also the Ukrainian-based UGV, on negotiating Production Sharing Agreements with the Ukrainian government.” 

Fedoruk concludes by referring to a growing trend in the Ukrainian legal market. “Some lawyers are resorting to freelance work,” he says. “That is fine for some projects, like drafting a simple contract, but you cannot handle a project meant for a team of fifteen lawyers with freelancers.”

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