антипремія Золота коса філіп морріс україна

The NGO “Life” in partnership with the NGO “Anti-Corruption Headquarters” and the NGO “Center for Democracy and Rule of Law” named MPs and officials who act in the interests of the tobacco industry, thus supporting the sponsors of the war.

In 2023, as many as three public figures directly and openly lobbied for the corporate interests of Philip Morris, the sponsor of the war and Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Among the MPs who are lobbyists for Philip Morris, Halyna Yanchenko won the Golden Bra id anti-award. Chair of the Temporary Special Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Investor Protection, member of the Committee on Economic Development received the Bronze Scythe.

Among the government representatives awarded the Golden Brake for their actions in the corporate interests of the tobacco industry, primarily Philip Morris, are Oleksandr Melnychenko and Sergiy Tsivkach, current and former (2020 – December 2023) directors of the state institution Office for Investment Attraction and Support.

According to the organizers of the anti-award, Halyna Yanchenko did not vote for amendment No. 174 to draft law No. 9206, which provided for a ban on the visible placement of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices in retail outlets and aimed at fulfilling international obligations under the WHO FCTC. Despite public appeals and a call to boycott participation, she represented Ukraine at the international conference “BALKAN AND BLACK SEA PERSPECTIVES 2023”, organized by The NATO Defense College Foundation in partnership with the tobacco company “Phillip Morris Italy”, which is part of the transnational tobacco company “Philip Morris International”. PMI is recognized by the NACP as an international sponsor of the war against Ukraine. The participation of an international war sponsor in a security conference discredits Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russia’s financing.

As for O. Melnychenko and S. Tsivkach, the organizers note: “In June 2023, the state institution “Office for Attracting and Supporting Investments” (Ukraineinvest) announced that Philip Morris International was assisting the company to develop the production and sale of its drug products to Ukrainians. After the NGO “Life” filed an application to the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Security and Defense Council on the inadmissibility of such assistance, all references to cooperation with PMI on the website of the state agency disappeared. In addition, UkraineInvest proposed to reject the draft law on the prohibition of visible placement of tobacco and nicotine products in points of sale, submitted by the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection for public discussion. By doing so, Ukraine’s counteracts the fulfillment of Ukraine’s international obligations under the WHO FCTC and the protection of young people from smoking, which is in line with the interests of the tobacco industry.”

The Golden Scythe anti-award is given to MPs and government officials for lobbying the interests of the tobacco industry, which is contrary to the interests of protecting public health. This award was launched in 2011. The “golden scythe” symbolizes that politicians promoting the interests of tobacco companies are “mowing down” money while taking the lives of Ukrainian citizens.

“A government agency facilitating the business of a transnational tobacco company is absurd and unacceptable, especially when this company is Philip Morris, an international sponsor of the war against Ukraine and the largest taxpayer in Russia among international companies. The actions of Ukrainianinvest directly contradict the Law of Ukraine No. 2899-IV, which provides for the implementation by the Cabinet of Ministers of the state policy on prevention and reduction of tobacco use and its harmful impact on public health, as well as Ukraine’s international obligations under the WHO FCTC,” said Serhiy Mytkalyk, Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Headquarters.

In his turn, Dmytro Kupyra, executive director of the NGO “Life”, said:

“In 2023, the intervention of the tobacco industry and cooperation with individual politicians allowed us to preserve the main source of tobacco and nicotine advertising – cigarette displays. According to a KIIS survey, 32% of Ukrainians notice such advertising in retail outlets. Thus, MPs acting in the interests of the tobacco industry have delayed the implementation of international obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control for an unknown period of time and ignored the public demand.”

In addition, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine has decided to grant Philip Morris International, an international sponsor of the war, a tax preference worth 5 billion hryvnias annually.

The adoption of the tax preference for HETs initiated by the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine will result in a shortfall of at least UAH 5.2 billion in revenues to the State Budget of Ukraine annually. Contrary to Ukraine’s interests, these funds will be diverted from citizens’ pockets to tobacco companies, including international sponsors of the war.

In other words, the Cabinet of Ministers proposes to grant tax breaks to large tobacco corporations Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International at a time when Ukraine’s budget is facing a huge deficit and the Armed Forces need ammunition. Especially when the biggest beneficiary of such preferences is a company that pays billions of dollars in taxes to the Russian budget.

According to the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption of Ukraine, Philip Morris International is one of the international sponsors of the war. The NACP added the company to its list in August 2013. Although Philip Morris announced its intention to sell its Russian business at the beginning of the war, it has not yet done so and continues to operate in Russia. This tobacco company is the largest international taxpayer to the budget of the killer state, paying $4.756 billion to the Russian budget in 2022. These taxes are used to finance the war against Ukraine, including the purchase of weapons and ammunition that kill Ukrainians.