Protection for victims of enforced disappearance, coastal defense improvement, and new Acting Minister of Energy
While the Verkhovna Rada was disabled by COVID-19 and Ukrainian citizens were busy discussing the design of the Great National Coat of Arms and mayoral elections in several cities, other government bodies continued to work. Today in our digest: the President has addressed the protection for victims of enforced disappearance, the Cabinet has redeployed several navy units and appointed Yurii Boiko as the Acting Minister of Energy.
Protection of rights and interests of victims of enforced disappearance and their families
Decision-maker: the President.
Who is affected: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, local state administrations, law enforcement agencies, and families of victims of enforced disappearance.
What does it change:
- Zelensky has set the following tasks for the Cabinet:
- to arrange annual public events to observe the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances (August 30)
- to develop a complex plan on how government bodies can more effectively defend the rights and interests of persons gone missing under special circumstances, victims of enforced disappearance, and their family members. The plan has to enhance the work of the Commission on the Issues of Persons Gone Missing under Special Circumstances and launch the Unified Register of Persons Gone Missing under Special Circumstances.
What is right: the issue of persons gone missing does have to be addressed by both government bodies and the public. It is an acute problem for Ukraine because of the ongoing Russian military aggression and occupation of a part of Ukrainian territory: the number of missing persons increased and it is hard to get information about people on the occupied territories.
What is wrong:
- the decree is unconstitutional. The President does not have the authority to give orders to the Cabinet and has acted outside the limits of his constitutional powers
- the protection of persons gone missing should have been addressed by the Cabinet and other executive bodies because it is possible only with cooperation between law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice, and social services, the Joint Forces Operation Headquarters, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thus, it would have been more appropriate to solve the problem by implementing a governmental program or strategy and not by a pretentious presidential decree.
Redeployment of Navy units
Decision-maker: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: the Headquarters of the Armed Forces and Navy, servicemen, and the budgets of territorial communities where navy units will be garrisoned.
What does it change: three naval units are deployed to Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia oblast: A1980, A3130 from Mykolaiv and A2611 from urban-type settlement Sarata, Odesa oblast. Naval unit A1804 is deployed from Mykolaiv to Ochakiv, Mykolaiv oblast.
What is right: deployment of the navy units will reinforce the coast defenses of the Black sea and the sea of Azov against the threat of Russian marines’ landing from the territory of the occupied Crimean peninsula. A garrison of the Ukrainian Navy Forces units in Ochakiv also improves the safety of navigation in the Dnipro river mouth.
What next: with support from Western partners, Ukrainian Navy Forces’ infrastructure in Ochakiv and Berdiansk will be further improved by establishing navy bases. A long-term goal is to create a group of navy and other military forces sufficient for coastal defense.
New Acting Ministry of Energy
Decision-maker: the Cabinet.
Who is affected: energy industry enterprises and Ukrainian citizens.
What does it change: Olha Buslavets has been dismissed as the Acting Minister of Energy, and Yurii Boiko has been appointed in her stead.
What is wrong: the appointment of an acting minister is a way to postpone a decision to appoint a minister that can be made only by the Parliament. That goes against the separation of powers principle, according to which the Parliament as people’s representative appoints the Cabinet and oversees its work. Acting ministers are appointed not by the Parliament but by the Cabinet, so the Parliament cannot even effectively dismiss such ministers. When an acting minister is appointed, it is usually a sign of a parliamentary crisis: the majority does not have enough votes.