Parliament passes bill on oligarchs at first reading.

At an extraordinary sitting on Thursday, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a presidential bill on de-oligarchization at first reading.

Bill No. 5599 "On Prevention of Threats to National Security Related to Excessive Influence of Persons Who Have Significant Economic or Political Heft in Public Life (Oligarchs)" was supported by 275 lawmakers, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

According to the bill, an oligarch is an individual who simultaneously meets at least three of the following characteristics: 1) participates in political life; 2) has a significant impact on the media; 3) is the ultimate beneficial owner (controller) of an economic entity, which is a subject of natural monopolies or holds a monopoly position in the national commodity market in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Protection of Economic Competition" on the day of entry into force of this law and maintains or strengthens this position for one consecutive year; 4) the confirmed value of person's assets (and of persons whose beneficiary this individual is) exceeds one million subsistence minimums established for able-bodied persons on January 1 of the respective year.

The decision to recognize a person as an oligarch is made by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on the basis of a proposal from the Cabinet of Ministers, a member of the National Security and Defense Council, the National Bank, the Security Service, or the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

The decision of the National Security and Defense Council to recognize a person as an oligarch is the basis for the inclusion of such persons in the Register of persons who have significant economic or political heft in public life (oligarchs).

Persons on the Register are prohibited from making contributions (directly or indirectly through other persons) in support of political parties in accordance with the Law "On Political Parties in Ukraine"; being a buyer (beneficiary of a buyer) in the process of privatization of large-scale privatization facilities.

Persons on the Register are obliged to submit a declaration of a person authorized to perform the functions of the state or local self-government in accordance with the procedure established by the Law of Ukraine "On Prevention of Corruption".

The law is expected to be in force for 10 years.

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