Military cooperation with Turkey, exemption from VAT for vaccine manufacturing equipment importation, and support for children’s sports

24 November 2021
Military cooperation with Turkey, exemption from VAT for vaccine manufacturing equipment importation, and support for children’s sports
Home > Monitoring > Military cooperation with Turkey, exemption from VAT for vaccine manufacturing equipment importation, and support for children’s sports

A non-plenary week is a good opportunity to highlight decisions that are rarely interesting to the media or popular talk shows but no less important than moth-eaten political issues. Implementation of decisions made by authorities costs us money and sets in motion thousands of bureaucrats. These decisions also reveal the tendencies of the state’s development. Today in our digest: military cooperation with Turkey, incentives for domestic production of vaccines, and President’s interference with the youth policy.

Military agreement with Turkey

Draft bill #0119 of July 8, 2021

Decision-maker: the Verkhovna Rada.

Status: the bill was adopted.

Who is affected: the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military units, the defense industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Background: during the years of the ongoing armed aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Ukraine and Turkey built mutually beneficial relations in several spheres, defense in particular. As a part of this cooperation, Ukraine has bought Bayraktar TB2 drones, ordered two military corvettes for its Navy, and sold Ukrainian engines for Turkish producer manufacturing Akinci drones.

Summary of the law: ratifies a 5 years interstate agreement. The agreement defines key strategic points for military cooperation between the two states:

  • military training, education, and joint military exercises, personnel exchange for advanced training
  • defense industry
  • exchange of secret military data
  • cooperation in military logistics, medicine, and healthcare
  • joint operations against piracy, peacemaking and humanitarian operations (except war operations)
  • military history, archives.

What is right: cooperation between Ukraine and Turkey, a NATO member state, manufacturer and consumer of a significant amount of military and dual-use products, suits the strategic interests of Ukraine.

Tax exemption for vaccine manufacturing equipment

Cabinet resolution #1201 of November 11, 2021

Decision-maker: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, pharmaceutics, the Ministry of Healthcare.

Summary of the resolution:

  • vaccine manufacturing equipment is recognized as goods necessary for countering the COVID-19 pandemic exempted from VAT
  • the Ministry of Healthcare will be obliged to ensure that equipment imported for vaccine production will not be used for other purposes.

What is right: the decision can stimulate the development of domestic vaccine production and thus make Ukraine less dependent on vaccines supplied from abroad. This is especially important considering potential annual revaccination against the COVID-19.

What is wrong:

  • there is a risk that the exemption from VAT will be abused — tax-free equipment will be imported for other purposes
  • the necessity to introduce tax exemption as an incentive to launch the process of vaccine production is a sign that the business environment in Ukraine is unfavorable: although the market has significant potential, almost no vaccines are produced in Ukraine.

Sports events for schoolchildren

Presidential decree #586/2021

Decision-maker: the President.

Who is affected: the Cabinet, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, oblast state administrations, children, and young people.

Summary of the decree:

Orders the Cabinet:

  • to create a steering committee that will prepare and conduct international sports events for schoolchildren
  • to develop an action plan to start preparations for conducting FIFA World Cup among schoolchildren and Gymnasiade School Winter Games in 2023
  • provide funding for these events from the government budget
  • promote sports among children and young people, enhance sports infrastructure.

What is wrong:

  • the President has once more violated the Constitution since he has no authority to give orders to the Cabinet
  • the President interferes with the work of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In doing so, the President impedes the development and implementation of a unified state policy on the issue and makes it impossible for the Parliament to exercise its controlling function.