The law no. no.5599 that is widely viewed and promoted as a blow to influence of Ukrainian oligarchs got support of 279 MPs in second reading with most votes coming from the ruling party ‘Servant of the People’.
The police will be made effective once it is signed by the Ukrainian president.
Volodymyr Zelensky introduced his ‘anti-oligarchs’ draft law in the parliament in early June. The policy was criticised by ‘European Solidarity’ MPs and other opposition parties and raised eyebrows in the West on concerns it can infringe on freedom of the press.
What we know about the ‘anti-oligarchs’ law
The legislation, initiated by Volodymyr Zelensky in 2020, pushes to ‘overcome the conflict of interests produced by alliance of politicians, media and big business and tags an oligarch as ‘an individual that has considerable economic or political weight in public life’.
The person is recognized as an ‘oligarch’ if he or she meets the following criteria:
1 The citizen in question participates in the political life of the country; that is, the citizen holds a government office or is associated with someone in such a position, as, for example, someone who heads or finances a political party.
2 The citizen owns a monopoly, either a natural monopoly or one in a particular economic sphere.
3 The citizen has a significant impact on the media, either as an owner or as an influencer of editorial poliсies, or as someone who has sold the media to a related person or to a person lacking an impeccable business reputation.
4 The citizen owns assets whose value exceeds 1 million subsistence minimums (currently almost 2.3 billion UAH or approximately $80 million).
The person is to be acknowledged as an oligarch when meeting 3 out of these 4 criteria.
The decision to recognize a person as an oligarch is made by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), a body that in the constitution is mentioned as a consultative organ only. This decision can be made if the council is asked to take up the matter by a member of the NSDC, by the National Bank, by the Security Service, or by the Antimonopoly Committee.
The act prohibits public officials from meeting or conversing with recognized oligarchs. If public officials violate this norm, they are required to submit an appropriate declaration on the meeting or face termination.
If a citizen is recognized as an oligarch, he or she will not be able to contribute financially to supporting a political party, will not be able to participate in privatization tenders of government-owned plants, and will not be able to hold a high position in government.