20 Jun 2018 12:59

Ukrainian Interior Ministry proposes re-criminalization of smuggling

KYIV. June 20 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Cabinet of ministers plans to formally propose at its session on Wednesday that the Verkhovna Rada re-criminalize the smuggling of goods across Ukrainian borders.

"The smuggling of goods across the state borders was de-criminalized under [former Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych. Now we are almost the only state in Europe where smuggling is de-criminalized. Therefore, this needs to be stopped. We should file a bill with the Verkhovna Rada and propose that smuggling be made a crime again," Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said at the session.

A set of measures will also be proposed to put pressure on the smuggling environment to draw more funds to the national budget, he said.

"We have calculated that from 70 billion to 100 billion hryvni, which is about $4 billion, fails to go to the budget owing to smuggling schemes," Avakov said.