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Another increase in the minimum wage, a launch of new state bodies, the Champions League final – these events Ukrainians expect to see in the new 2018 year.
New speed limit in towns and cities
January 1, 2018, the changes to the rules of traffic entered into force in Ukraine. First of all, it concerns a maximum permissible speed of movement in towns and cities. It is lowered from 60 to 50 km per hour. This is due to a commencement of the Government Decree No. 883 of November 10, 2017.
Earlier, the government made a number of changes, in particular regarding toughening of penalties for violation of traffic rules in drunken state, accidents, driving a person without a driver's license. By the way, for exceeding the speed of 50 km / h in a village, a fine will be 121 USD.
Biometric control at the border
Similar to the new traffic regulations, this provision came into force on January 1st. From today, Ukraine has introduced biometric control at the border for foreign nationals. For this purpose, the frontier guards equipped 157 points. Thus, from the first day of the new year, citizens of 71 countries, including Russia, will be obliged to hand over 5 fingerprints for identification at the entrance to Ukraine and to send notifications about the purpose of stay in advance. The system of biometric control has been approved by the SNCB of Ukraine at one of its summer meetings.
Champions League final in Kyiv
May 26, the final match of the UEFA Champions League marathon 2017/2018 will be held in the Ukrainian capital on the NSC “Olimpiysky”. The match of this level in Ukraine will be held for the first time. In December, the capital of the country has already presented the final logo and the Champions League Cup itself. By the way, KCSA plans to spend 0.8 million USD on the final match of the most prestigious European football tournament, as well as to repair the receiving arena worth 3.7 million USD. It is planned that on the day of the final Kyiv will accept 450 regular flights and over 70 charter flights.
New terms of pre-trial investigation
Starting from March 15, the norm on the terms of a pre-trial investigation comes into force: the timing will begin to run from the moment the data is entered into the Single Registry of pre-trial investigations, and not the moment of notification of suspicion, as previously. In particular, we are talking about the following terms: 6 months in the case of a criminal misdemeanor, 12 months - crimes of small or medium gravity, 18 months - a grave or particularly serious crime.
Exchange of the captives
On the day of a large-scale exchange on December 27th, the officials have already talked about future similar procedures. Thus, a representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup Viktor Medvedchuk predicts that the next exchange can go through the formula "74 to 29". It means that 74 people would be transported to the LRP and DPR, and 29 Ukrainians from there would be released. A representative of Ukraine in the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Lutsenko said that Ukraine had already conducted new talks about the exchange, including the release of political prisoners compatriots, which are held in Russia.
De-occupation of Donbas and Crimea
In 2018, the main hopes for the resumption of peace in Ukraine, as well as the return to the Ukrainian jurisdiction of militant-occupied areas of the Donbas and the de-occupation of annexed Crimea, are again reignited. The President Poroshenko makes a return of the occupied territories one of their goals for the current year. By the way, besides the traditional Minsk talks and "Norman" format, it is also expected to resolve the situation with the possible deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in Donbas, which is being discussed at a very high level for quite some time. We still recall that in 2017, unfortunately, we failed to achieve significant success in the struggle for their own territories.
One more visa-free regime
The visa-free regime with the United Arab Emirates came into force on the eve of December 31, 2017. As Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has noted, Ukrainians needed a biometric passport to enter the UAE, the passport should be issued at least 6 months before the entry date. Ukrainians can enter, leave, transit and stay without visas in the territory of the UAE for up to 30 days. The document on visa-free travel between the two countries was signed on November 2nd, 2017.
Simplified visa regime with Japan
From January 1st of this year, Japan will simplify visa requirements for short-term stays of Ukrainian citizens in their country. “There will be a growing number of applicants who are eligible for multiple short-term visas for business, cultural and scientific activists, as well as the maximum duration of visas will be increased from 3 to 5 years, in addition to existing one-time visas, multiple visas will be introduced (with validity period 3 years and a maximum stay of 30 days) for short-term stays with different purposes, including tourism. In case of personal financing of the travel, the applicant will not need to provide documents from the guarantor,” the Embassy of Japan in Ukraine informed.
Law on public utilities
The corresponding normative act will come into force in Ukraine on June 10th. It provides for the provision of utilities exclusively on a contractual basis. According to the document, the contract is concluded for a year, but if no one warned about termination at least one month before the expiration of this term, the document is considered renewed for another year.
New minimum wage
One of the expectations of Ukrainians in the past year was the new minimum wage, which since January 1, 2017, was doubled - up to 3200 UAH (114 USD). At present, the probability of further substantial growth of the minimum wage is rather high. More recently, Poroshenko called for an increase in the payment to 4100 UAH (146 USD). The decision may be taken following the revision of the economic indicators of the first half of the current year. The government notes that the initiative of the head of state was supported and considered it quite realistic.
Anticorruption and military courts
In Ukraine, in 2018, a new court may appear – Anticorruption court. The relevant bill was introduced as urgent by the president, so it should be considered by parliament at one of the following plenary sessions. The IMF and a number of international partners of Ukraine are acting for the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court. The domestic Ministry of Justice predicts that the bill on such court can be considered by parliament in February.
The military court may also appear in Ukraine soon. The president also spoke about this, promising to make the corresponding draft law.
State Investigation Bureau
This body in Ukraine has already been created, and Roman Truba became the head of the SIB. But the full-fledged work of the department should begin in 2018. According to the previously adopted legislation, SIB should take away the function of the investigation from the Prosecutor General's Office, investigate particularly serious crimes, terrorism, as well as crimes committed by senior state officials, including the president. The Bureau will also deal with pre-trial investigations against judges and law enforcement officers who are not within the competence of the NABU.
Ministry of Veterans Affairs
The president proposes to create a new office in the structure of the Cabinet of Ministers in Ukraine. According to his plan, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs should be created in order to "Ukrainian soldiers feel the care of the state and the people." When creating the Ministry of Veterans, the head of state proposes to study US experience. In the present department, the State Service for Veterans Affairs, predicts that the Ministry will be established in 2018, and will fully work in 2019.
Trains to Russia
The issue of terminating the railway connection with Russia is highly discussed in Ukraine. The Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian, commenting on this topic, said that before making such a decision all nuances should be analyzed. According to him, "Ukrzaliznytsya" is already considering a possible ban on rail transport with the aggressor country, and may announce the final decision soon. It should be noted that since December 11th, Russia has completely transferred trains to run around Ukraine. Ukrzaliznytsya had earlier reported that there is only one Russian train running from the territory of Ukraine - from Chisinau to Moscow and vice versa. All the other trains that run between the two countries are Ukrainian.
National Health Service
The establishment of National Health Service (NHS) department is foreseen by a medical reform. NHS is the central executive body that implements state policy in the field of state financial guarantees of medical care of the population. "NHS is a national insurer, which will conclude contracts with healthcare institutions and purchase health services for them," the Cabinet of Ministers explained. The competition for the head of the National Service will be announced in January, and it will start working in July. The first health care institutions in the status of non-profit utility companies will sign contracts with the NHS. From now on, these primary care providers will receive direct payments for services provided.
Concerts of the year
This summer, Gorillaz band will visit Kyiv for the first time. Damon Albarn's project will become the headliner of the Upark Festival, which takes place on July 25th. The price of tickets for the event will be from 998 to 2380 hryvnia.
In addition, August 31st well-known indie rock band Imagine Dragons will perform at the NSC "Olympiysky" for the first time. Americans will visit the capital as part of a grand tour in support of Evolve. Tickets' sales will start on January 9 at 12:00.