Cabinet allowed Naftogaz to own slate gas Yuzivska area, approved ambulance response-time standard and high-priority investment projects

In the closing days of 2020, the Cabinet made several strategic decisions: addressed the issue of timely first aid treatment, defined the list of high-priority state investment projects, and allowed NJSC Naftogaz to buy rights to develop a promising slate gas deposit in Eastern Ukraine.

Ambulance response-time standard approved

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, medical establishments, and medical personnel.

What does it change: a new categorization for ambulance calls has been introduced. Categories are defined taking into account the urgency of the calls and have different ambulance response-times:

  • for critical conditions (asphyxia or severe breathing stress, massive hemorrhaging caused by any kind of trauma, affection from external factors, intoxication, insect bites, acute or chronic diseases) — 10 minutes ambulance response-time
  • for urgent medical conditions (accompanied by impaired consciousness, hemorrhaging symptoms, acute coronary syndrome, acute stroke, breathing disorders caused by any kind of trauma, affection from external factors, intoxication, insect bites, acute or chronic diseases) — 20 minutes ambulance response-time
  • for non-emergency conditions, the ambulance dispatcher will recommend patients to consult their family doctors or visit the nearby urgency care units (or transfers them to duty medical officers of their primary medical care centers)
  • for other conditions, the ambulance dispatcher will recommend patients to consult their family doctors or transfer them to a medical consultant of the dispatcher service for a medical consultation via phone.

What is right: prioritization based on the urgency of the calls will help to use the limited resources of urgent care more efficiently and increase chances for patients in need of urgent medical aid to get it in time.

List of high-priority investment projects for 2021-2022 approved

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, business, government bodies, and local governments.

What does it change: the Cabinet approved a list of high-priority investment project for the next two years. The list includes:

  • energy industry: construction of the third and fourth units of the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant, Kaniv Hydro-Accumulating Power Station, Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station-2, and the third phase of Dnister Hydro-Accumulating Power Station
  • aircraft manufacturing: design engineering to localize components and materials for Antonov planes (An-148, An-158, and An-178) and start of their mass production, modernization of An-124-100 (Ruslan) and An-225 (Mriya)
  • development of armament and military machinery: preparation for the production of the infrared guiding heads for aircraft missiles, organization of mass production of heavy infantry fighting vehicle Kevlar, designing and mass production of all-wheel-drive (5 and 6) armored chassis, mass production of drones, organization of mass production of bullets for light weapons, grenades and rockets for hand and automatic grenade launchers
  • municipal solid waste management: construction of a waste recycling plant in Kyiv, a sort line in Drohobych, and waste incineration plants in Kramatorsk and Mariupol
  • airports: relaunch, reconstruction, and completion of airports in Cherkasy, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Kherson, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Dnipro, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Kryvyi Rih, Mykolaiv, Zhytomyr, and in Zakarpattia
  • construction/repairs/expansion of highways: Boryspil-Poltava, Kyiv-Zhytomyr-Rivne, Dnipro-Kryvyi Rih-Mykolaiv, Kovel-Lutsk, Kharkiv-Dnipro-Zaporizhzhia, Odes-Mykolaiv-Kherson, Dnipro-Reshetylivka, Kyiv-Mykolaiv, Stryi-Chernivtsi, Ustyluh-Lutsk-Rivne, Rivne-Brody. Additional projects — constructions of a Kyiv bypass highway and a bridge over Pivdennyi Buh in Mykolaiv.

What is wrong:

  • construction plans for power plants were designed without taking into account environmental risks and consultations with local inhabitants and businesses. For example, local inhabitants and ecologists have protested against the construction of Kaniv Hydro-Accumulating Power Station and the third phase of Dnister Hydro-Accumulating Power Station
  • state policy on municipal solid waste management is chaotic. Ukraine still has not introduced any real punishment for environmental pollution by business, there are no stimuli to recycle and reuse waste instead of incinerating and burying it. As a result, it could turn out to be ineffective to construct waste recycling plants without developing a comprehensive national strategy on waste management first
  • plan for the development of airports was adopted under the state special-purpose program. However, it is doubtful that it is economically feasible and reasonable to have that many airports. Because of the pandemic, passenger air traffic significantly dropped and, apparently, will not recover during the first years after the pandemic ends. On the other hand, the population of Ukraine decreases, more and more people move to big cities (first of all Kyiv), so it is highly probable that some airports will never become profitable
  • implementation of the state special-purpose program on the development of airports is ineffective and non-transparent. Since 2016, no public reports are available on the results of its implementation.

Naftogaz got permission to buy Nadra Yuzivska LLC from NJSC Nadra of Ukraine

Who is affected: National joint-stock company Naftogaz, National joint-stock company Nadra of Ukraine, Nadra Yuzivska LLC, gas-producing enterprises, and inhabitants of Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts.

What does it change: according to the contract, Naftogaz will own the rights to develop the slate gas Yuzivska area. This area, located in Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts, is the most promising deposit in Ukraine to increase the domestic production of natural gas.

What is right: successful implementation of the project will help the state to decrease its reliance on imported energy resources.

What next: gas-field exploration and primary development will start next year. For large-scale gas production, more investments will be needed.