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Ukrainian American Bar Association

UABA News Blog - In English

This UABA Blog page provides information and commentary on issues that are relevant to the organization and its members. Although the blogs are public, comments can only be made by members. If yoiu wish to join the discussion, you are welcome to become a member.

The comments expressed on these blogs represent the opinions of the authors and not that of the UABA.

  • 27 Nov 2010 5:19 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)
    Controversial tax reform headed for veto in Ukraine
    (AFP) – KIEV
    Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Saturday that he was likely to veto a controversial tax reform that has sparked the largest protests in the country since the 2004 Orange Revolution.  "The likelihood of a veto is high," Yanukovych said during a meeting with a group of Kiev protesters composed of small business leaders.
    SEE YOUTUBE Video of tax protests in Kyiv  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCEhhlzyWqQ&feature=channel
  • 27 Nov 2010 5:07 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Draft tax code brings many international changes
    Sergiy Melnyk of Salans in Ukraine describes how the new draft tax code in Ukraine constitutes a significant  departure from previous international tax provision in the country. Read entire article at http://salans.com/~/media/Assets/Salans/Publications/2010/20100924-Salans-Kyiv-Draft-Tax-Code-Sergiy-Melnyk-International-Tax-Review-September-2010.ashx

    ED NOTE: since the publishing of the article, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the new tax code on November 18 which has sparked numerous demonstrations. SEE YOUTUBE Video of tax protests in Kyiv  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCEhhlzyWqQ&feature=channel


  • 26 Nov 2010 6:31 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Ukraine's National Bank Requires Individual Licenses for Payments
    by Ukrainian Sureties to Foreign Creditors

    BY Armen Khachaturyan,  Senior Partner, Asters Law Firm, Kyiv
         On 15 November 2010 the National Bank of Ukraine (the "NBU") issued an official clarification letter (the "Letter") regarding the currency restrictions applicable to payments by Ukrainian sureties and guarantors to foreign creditors under guarantee (garantiya) and surety (poruka) agreements. In the Letter the NBU explained that in order to make a payment to a foreign creditor a Ukrainian surety must obtain an individual license from the NBU unless the surety is an authorized bank or financial institution.
         At the same time Ukrainian banks can make payments as guarantors or sureties without an individual license. Non-banking financial institutions do not need an individual license for such payments if they have a general license for transactions with foreign currency.  Read Article http://www.asterslaw.com/upload/medialibrary/newsletters/asters_newsletter_eng_23_11_10.html

  • 25 Nov 2010 11:01 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Ukraine Strengthens its Anti-Corruption Laws
    By Tatyana Tugolukova

         Unfortunately, when doing business in Ukraine, foreign and Ukrainian companies are often faced with requests by public officials to provide “contributions,” “facilitation payments,”or worse, in order to accomplish routine work. Western companies are familiar with these issues as well as Ukrainian requirements.     However, as of January 1, 2011, Ukraine’s legislation is significantly changing – for the better – in tackling these problems. Finally, the scope of corruption practices and prohibitions in Ukraine has been expanded, in large part because of Ukraine’s international obligations stemming from the UN Convention against Corruption and the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, which Ukraine ratified in 2006.

    Read More http://salans.com/~/media/Assets/Salans/Publications/2010/20101015-Salans-Kyiv-Anti-Corruption-Law-Ukraine-Tatyana-Tugolukova-September-2010.ashx

  • 23 Nov 2010 9:24 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Miranda Warning Lost in Translation!

    Steve Grogoza, a well known criminal defense lawyer in Naples, FL – and UABA Board of Governor’s Chairman --- successfully argued that his Spanish speaking client was denied his Miranda Rights as a result of translation errors during questioning by police.  Grogoza contended that a detective not only translated the conversation inaccurately but that investigators had deceived the suspect by promising his confession would be heard by no one outside of the room.

    Read Entire Story
  • 17 Nov 2010 10:26 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)
                         Is Yanukovich in Putin's Doghouse?
    from the World Affairs Blog:  Ukraine's Orange Blues, Alexander J. Motyl  
    That’s what a biting satire of the Ukrainian president on Russia’s state-controlled Channel One, the country’s most watched television station, suggests. Aired on Sunday, October 31, on the “Big Difference” comedy program, the skit undefined titled “Viktor Almighty” undefined depicts Yanukovich as an outright buffoon. Channel One’s Viktor speaks Russian with a comically broad Ukrainian accent, takes great pride in nailing a portrait of himself to the wall, orders a bowl of borscht, a bottle of vodka, a cigar, and a top hat as his first acts in office, and, after decreeing that all requests from citizens be made in writing, finds himself inundated with Post-its.
  • 15 Nov 2010 11:58 AM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)



    Comments by Bohdan A. Futey*

    October 14, 2010

    I.                 Background
    Ukraine adopted its Constitution on June 28, 1996.  This document exclusively tasks the court system with the administration of justice, according to Article 124, and judicial proceedings are to be held before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the courts of general jurisdiction.  Under Article 125, the Supreme Court of Ukraine is the highest judicial body for courts of general jurisdiction, while the “respective high courts are the highest judicial bodies of specialised courts.”  Elsewhere in the Constitution, Article 126 sets nine different events that allow the removal of a judge, and that article also guarantees the independence and immunity of judges.  The people participate directly in the administration of justice as jurors and people’s assessors.

    Link to full article

  • 14 Nov 2010 8:39 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)

    Ukrainian Education Ministry disapproves 'Russophobic' law textbook
          The Ukrainian Education Ministry has withdrawn its recomendation of "Russophobic" legal studies textbook written by professors at the Shevchenko Kiev National University , Education Minister Dmitry Tabachnik said.
         The textbook, entitled "The History of Ukrainian Law" and written under the editorship of the dean of the university's law department, previously received approval from the ministry for university study, despite criticism by some experts that the book contains controversial material aimed at sparking hatred towards Russia.

    READ story as reported in RIANOVOSTI

  • 15 Oct 2010 1:24 PM | Myroslaw Smorodsky (Administrator)



    This week, American media reported that the Yanukovych government of Ukraine instituted litigation in the United States and in England claiming that during the tenure of Julia Tymoshenko as Prime Minister, Ukraine was defrauded of nearly 1/2 billion dollars. [LA Times, PR Newswire, WSJ] allegedly, the misappropriation occurred between January of 2008 and January 2010.

    In the Oregon case, the Ukrainian government charges that a scheme existed to overcharge Ukraine for vaccine purchases and divert the illegal markups. The complaint describes the wrongful activities as follows;


    This action arises from the fraud perpetrated by Defendants Olden Group, LLC ("Olden Group"), a company founded and headquartered in Oregon, and Interfarm, LLC ("lnterfarm"), a Ukrainian company, against the Ukrainian state-owned enterprise Ukrvaktsina. Interfarm and Olden Group conspired to overcharge Ukrvaktsina for millions of dollars in vaccine purchases through acts of fraud, money laundering and other criminal acts. Olden Group and Interfarm carried out their scheme by, among other things, submitting false invoices and customs declaration forms and entering into sham contracts with each other, all for the purpose of deceiving Ukrvaktsina. The Defendants' misconduct is pervasive and ongoing. ……

    Plaintiff Ukrvaktsina procures vaccines for the people of Ukraine and distributes vaccines to health clinics, hospitals and the general population in Ukraine. Defendant Olden Group is an import/export company that, among other things, purports to distribute vaccines. Olden Group works with foreign companies, such as Interfarm, to charge illegal mark-ups that were either not authorized by Ukrvaktsina or were authorized unwittingly as the result of fraud.

    Read entire Complaint


    The Tymoshenko camp has denounced these allegations and any claims of wrongdoing stating that this is a mere smear campaign against her and was initiated for political reasons. They point to the fact that the attorneys on the complaint, Aiken Gump, had represented Ukrainian oligarchs from Yanukovych’s Regions Party in the past. Needless to say, Aiken Gump denies the motivations attributed to it. However this firm does represent Ukrainian and Russian companies and businessmen and one of its specialties is to “clean” the images its clients. See The American Lawyer, October 2009.

    It is noteworthy that the complaint was filed little over a month before the October 31st local elections in Ukraine and shortly before Julia Tymoshenko’s visit to the United States later this month. Obviously, this litigation will be a prominent issue in both events. Also, Victor Yanukovych took office in February of this year. The necessary factual investigations which are the basis for the Oregon litigation in all probability required more than nine months to complete. If so, then who initiated the investigation during the presidency of the Yushchenko? Was it a Regions party supporter or a disgruntled Orange Revolution politician?  Only time – and the discovery process – will tell!

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