This was stated by the Co-Chairman of the OPPOSITION BLOC Yuriy Boyko, communicating with the team of the furniture factory “MIRT” in Novohrad-Volynsky. On Tuesday, June 12, the MP had his working trip to Zhytomyr.
“Our faction voted for the law banning the export of round wood abroad. After all, our economy loses most of the forests smuggling. Significant damage is also caused to the ecology of the region. These are our Ukrainian forests, clean air and, of course, people’s health,” the Co-Chairman of the OPPOSITION BLOC said.
According to Yuriy Boyko, allowing the forests smuggling, the current authorities are seriously harming the industries that work with wood by such actions.
“Furniture production in Ukraine has tremendous potential. For example, the products produced at this factory are unique. In case of stopping the export of timber, reducing energy tariffs, providing an opportunity to receive affordable loans – this will give impetus to the development of this industry. Accordingly, there will be new work places and taxes to the state budget,” Yuriy Boyko stressed.
Forest smuggling has become a national problem after the Verkhovna Rada of November 1, 2015 introduced a moratorium on the export of round wood to the EU countries. Since that moment, the abolition of the moratorium has become one of the requirements of the EU, and the authorities of European countries turn a blind eye to the illegal export of Ukrainian timber for export. According to the media, by October 2016, forest smuggling exceeded 1 billion euros in the previous five years. At the same time, the Interior Ministry said that the state’s losses from illegal timber exports in one Zhytomyr region amounted to UAH 8 million.
The OPPOSITION BLOC consistently advocates stricter measures for the forests smuggling that destroy the country’s ecology. In June 2016, Yuriy Boyko demanded to investigate illegal deforestation in the Carpathians and the export of Ukrainian timber abroad.
In March 2018, the parliament, with the active participation of the OPPOSITION BLOC faction, toughened the responsibility for illegal deforestation and removal of timber abroad: instead of fines, this now it faces from 3 to 12 years of imprisonment.