The government does not prohibit contributions from the tobacco industry or any entity working to further its interests to political parties, candidates, or campaigns or to require full disclosure of such contributions. (Rec 4.11)

The law prohibits all forms of financial or other support by the tobacco industry to events, activities, individuals, or groups, including political parties or politicians, sportsmen or sports teams, artists or artist groups, and educational institutions of any form of ownership. The law also prohibits the tobacco industry to provide financial support to informational campaigns or events for the public, including youth prevention programs. These prohibitions apply regardless of whether the financial contribution or support is publicized[1].

However, the tobacco companies violate the law and have been making charitable contributions to NGOs, charitable funds, think thanks. Those NGOs, charitable funds, think tanks and their leadership have an influence on decision-makers. Former Minister of Health and former Member of the Parliament Serhiy Shevchuk[2] is a founder of the Charitable Fund “Health For All”[3].  Since 2014 Charitable Fund “Health For All” receives charitable contributions from Philip Morris International [4].  In 2017 Charitable Fund “Health For All” received $ 121,344 for projects on Infrastructure development of social and medical institutions in rural regions, Provision of equipment to the Specialized Children’s House No.1[5]. In 2018 Charitable Fund “Health For All” received from PMI 173,809 in 2018 for projects on providing renewable energy sources to socio-medical institutions in rural regions and replacing the windows of the Roganska school which were damaged by a storm[6]. Roganska school and PMI factory are both situated in the Kharviska oblast Karkiskyi region[7].

Current government officials and relatives hold positions in the tobacco business including consultancy positions. (Rec 4.5, 4.8, 4.10)

Hryhorii Kozlovskyi is a Member of City Council in Lviv (local decision maker) since 2015. Hryhorii Kozlovskyi is a Director of Lvivska/ Vynnykivska Tobacco Factory[8].

According to the journalist’s investigation MP and Member of Committee on Tax and Customs, Member of the fraction “People’s Front” Oleh Kryshyn was connected to the tobacco company “United Tobacco”. This company established in 2016 in city Zhovti Vody, Dnipro oblast. MP Oleh Kryshyn was elected at the constituency where the tobacco factory has been opened. Oleh Kryshyn gave a comment to media and said that “I emphasize once again: I have no relation to the ownership of this company (the tobacco factory, – ed.), I have no relation to the business of this company. The only thing is that I, as a constituency MP, I support the fact that jobs are created in the city and that the company opened production in such a difficult time for the country and created more than 200 jobs[9]. MP Oleh Kryshyn denied that he is connected to “United Tobacco”[10]. There is some evidence presented by the journalist that one of the representatives of the tobacco company “United Tobacco” is connected to his political party “People’s Front” through another MP Martynenko. However, the investigation is still ongoing and it’s too early to make conclusions on whether MP Oleh Kryshyn holds any position and receive any benefits from “United Tobacco”[11]. As of the end of 2018 tobacco company “United Tobacco” is in a termination process[12].

In 2017 journalists uncovered that MP Taras Kozak was a minority owner of the company Tedis Ukraine. TEDIS Ukraine is one of the biggest Ukrainian distribution companies employing over 2,500 people. Regional network is made up of 35 structural subdivisions scattered across the whole of Ukraine. For many years now, the company has successfully cooperated with leading tobacco producers such as Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris International, Imperial Tobacco Group, British American Tobacco[13]. MP Kozak was the beneficiary of Cypriot Havanor Management Limited, which owns a stake in Tedis. In a conversation with a journalist of the program “Our money with Denys Bigus”, Taras Kozak acknowledged that he is the nominee of the Cypriot owners who own Tedis[14].  Later on, in 2017 the ownership structure of Tedis Ukraine changed and the company of MP Taras Kozak was not mentioned as co-owners of Tedis Ukraine[15].

[1] Article 16 Law of Ukraine No. 2899-IV on Measures to Prevent and Reduce the Consumption of Tobacco Products and their Harmful Influence on the Population’s Health, September 22, 2005 (as amended June 11, 2009 and Jan. 21, 2010). April 8, 2019. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

[2] Shevchuk Serhiy Volodymyrovych. Wikipedia. April 8 2019.Шевчук_Сергій_Володимирович

[3] Charitable Fund Health for all. April 8 2019.

[4] Transparency. Philip Morris International. April 8. 2019.

[5] Charitable contributions 2017. Philip Morris International. April 8. 2019. April 8 2019.

[6] PMI Charity Report 2018. April 23 2018.

[7] Audit report. State audit Service. April 23 2018.

[8] Hryhorii Kozlovskyi. Wikipedia. April 2019.Козловський_Григорій_Петрович. April 8 2019.

[9] United Tobacco refuted false information – a statement. Newspaper Zhovti Vody. April 8 2019.

[10] How “People’s Front” explained their connection to counterfeit of tobacco business. 24 April 8 2019.

[11] How “People’s Front” explained their connection to counterfeit of tobacco business. 24 April 8 2019.

[12] Opendatabot. April 8 2019.

[13 Tedis Ukraine. April 8 2019.

[14] General prosecutor’s office of Ukraine found a company related to tobacco monopoly that is connected to Medvedchuk. Bihus info. April 8 2019.

[15] Companion of Medvedchuk received 36 million dividends from the company that led to the tobacco monopoly “Tedis Ukraine”. Bihus info. April 8 2019. April 8 2019.