According to the BI Prozorro procurement analytics module, after February 24, 2022, procuring entities conducted at least 15 tenders, as a result of which Belarus tractors in various configurations were supplied for UAH 20 mln. These are only those transactions that had the corresponding brand mentioned in the description. This is reported by the DOZORRO project of Transparency International Ukraine.
Of this list, three procurement transactions for UAH 2.6 mln were announced after October 12, 2022 — when the Cabinet of Ministers, by resolution No.1178, prohibited, for the period of martial law and 90 days after, to purchase something from those who sell goods or provide services originating from russia and belarus.
These are procurement transactions of wheeled tractors Belarus 82.1, purchased for UAH 860,000 for the needs of:
All three tractors were supplied by two companies belonging to the Technotorg group of Eugene Berezovsky and a former Belarusian citizen Igor Kalyuzhny (until 2022). The contract of the Okny village indicated that the tractor should be produced in 2022 and in excellent condition, and the executive committee of the Malomykhailivka Village Council prescribed that the equipment be new.
In the comments of DOZORRO, the authorized persons for procurement of the executive committee of the Malomykhailivka Village Council Oleksandr Heletii and the Ivankivka Village Council Nataliia Tolstopiata noted that the purchased tractors were assembled in Ukraine. The relevant documents were provided to the procuring entities by Technotorg LLC. We have requested copies and are awaiting a response.
“To buy tractors of Belarusian production, or even those produced in Ukraine under a Belarusian license, is to pay to the budget of a country that supports russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine. However, the procuring entities do not display a conscious position and focus exclusively on the direct prohibitions of the law,” explains Ivan Lakhtionov, Deputy Executive Director of TI Ukraine for Innovative Projects.
For example, Uzhhorod airport ordered a Belarus 1221.2 tractor for UAH 1.6 mln in September 2022. In response to DOZORRO’s request, Uzhhorod International Airport noted that at the time of the procurement, there were no direct prohibitions on the purchase of Belarusian equipment, so the procuring entity chose it.
To buy tractors of Belarusian production, or even those produced in Ukraine under a Belarusian license, is to pay to the budget of a country that supports russia's armed aggression against Ukraine. However, the procuring entities do not display a conscious position and focus exclusively on the direct prohibitions of the law.
“Procuring entities still choose them probably due to the price. Because in general, this market is relatively competitive,” Ivan Lakhtionov suggests.
For example, NJSC Ukragroleasing provided at least 15 analogues of the Belarus 82.1 tractor in 2015. This list includes Kyi 14102 and New Holland TD5.110. The first are tractors of Ukrainian assembly under the Belarusian license of MTW, the second are American cars.
After the beginning of the full-scale invasion, four tractors Kyi 14102 were purchased by three procuring entities: ME Komservis of the Blahovishchenske City Council of Kirovohrad Oblast, MEManagement Company for Housing Maintenance of the Darnytskyi District of Kyiv, and MEManagement Company for Housing Maintenance of the Holosiivskyi District of Kyiv, which took a lease from the above-mentioned NJSC Ukragroleasing to this end. It should be noted that the prices for them were 1.5 times higher than for similar Belarus tractors — UAH 1.2-1.6 mln.
NJSC Ukragroleasing purchased a New Holland TD5.110 tractor for UAH 2 mln this winter.
Is there any liability for the purchase of Belarusian products?
The introduction of criminal liability for violation of sanctions could weaken the desire of procuring entities to buy something from the aggressor states. Currently, the only thing that can be done about it is a fine.
According to Anna Kuts, legal advisor at Transparency International Ukraine, by law, the procuring entity is obliged to reject the bid of the participant if they or their ultimate beneficiary, member, or shareholder is subject to sanctions. If the procuring entity does not do this, they can be fined UAH 25,500 to UAH 51,000. The State Audit Service should be detecting such offenses. The contract with the entity under sanctions can potentially be declared invalid in court. Similarly, one cannot order goods that are subject to sanctions.
In addition, it is forbidden to purchase something from russians and Belarusians, as well as goods originating from these countries. There is only one exception for origin: if the goods are necessary for repair or maintenance of something that was purchased before October 2022, and it is not sanctioned, one may buy it.
The Verkhovna Rada registered draft law No. 8384, in which MPs propose to introduce criminal liability for failure to comply with, obstruction, or evasion of sanctions. If the draft law is adopted, the upper limit of punishment for these acts will reach 12 years of imprisonment, with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a period of 10 to 15 years, or without such, with or without confiscation of property.
The publication was prepared with the support of USAID / UK aid project Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services/ TAPAS
Procuring entities still choose them probably due to the price. Because in general, this market is relatively competitive.