Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized Ukraine survived after a number of tremendous
challenges: “In the last six months we’ve passed one revolution, we are still
in the state of war, and we’ve got two elections – one presidential and
another one – snap parliamentary elections”.
“It’s not an easy time. The
only source of energy for reforms, the energy for changes is this strong will
of the Ukrainian people, strong desire to have new, another country. And it
was up to the people to make these changes in Ukraine, but much depends on
the political elite, much depends on the Government, on the House, on the
President. on the institutional capacity of Ukraine
to deliver real changes,” the MP noted.
He reminded that the Government of Ukraine presented the Action Plan “Recovery
for Ukraine” “what has to be done in a short-term prospective and the summary
of what we already did”.
According to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, one of the principal objectives of the
Government, when he assumed office of Prime Minister, was to resume
negotiations with the International Monetary Fund: “We did it, we succeeded
in getting the IMF’s and the World Bank’s support”.
“But on the other hand this
coin has two sides: we had to pass very complicated austerity package. I
won’t say people were very happy with this, but it was really important that
the majority of Ukrainians accepted it. Accepted that the Government shot
down a number of entitlement programs. Accepted that the Government had to
increase the tariffs for households, to increase tariffs, taxes and rents,”
Arseniy Yatsenyuk highlighted.
According to him, the Government
succeeded in a number of things: the IMF, partly in deregulation, submitted
to the Parliament a number of anticorruption legislation, “partly deshadowed the economy, passed a new procurement law: “We
did a lot of good Government stuff. But where we failed? We failed really in
tackling corruption, in overhauling the entire legislating system – eroded
entirely, I would say, eroded judicial system, corrupted judges, ineffective
prosecutors, and Soviet-style militia (or police). This is the key agenda for
the further reforms in Ukraine”.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized
it is hard to carry out reforms “having such challenges and having snap parliamentary
elections”: “It is Ukrainian political style - everyone
is to promise everything, for all good and against everything bad. But it is
another political cycle that we have to cross, and we’ll do this,” he said
and added the main thing is to ensure the composition of future Parliament
and the future Government “will deliver the future”.
In the Action Plan "Recovery for
according to Arseniy Yatseniuk, the Government has clearly shown what should
done in energy, in combating corruption, in the tax system, budget, fiscal policy: "This is not the final
plan. And we can present a very long, comprehensive with
hundred pages of some kind of action plan. But what we need – we need a
clear-cut strategy that is unfolded in this plan”.
He accentuated the key challenge of today is war: “This Government is
the war-time Government. …we are still in the state of war and the key
aggressor is the Russian Federation. And until we get the peace – it would be
really difficult to have real changes”.
The PM explained in order
to change the country, they need to get the support
of the Ukrainian people: “This is the key factor. Because the support of the
people is the key driver of all reforms. But when ordinary Ukrainian citizens
switch on the TV set and, for example, the first footage he takes is that
Russian tanks invaded Donetsk and Luhansk, and another
footage is that for example the Government proposes some kind of tax
reform. It’s normal that people don’t care about the tax reform, they care
about the security. And the normal reaction of every normal human being is to
go urgently to the bank and to withdraw the deposit. Than to take UAH and to
change it into dollar denominated asset”.
“Hence, the key priority not
only for Ukraine, but the
key priority to the entire world, is to deter Russia and to stop the war. This is the key precondition for further reforms”.
“It is crystal clear that
we are not allowed to waste the time. No. But if we stop the war, if we
contain Russia – we will get the chance to attract international investors,
because it is not an easy job to attract an international investor when you
have in your country already Russian tanks and Russian artillery. To regain
the credibility of domestic investors and to be clearly focused on reforms,
those much needed in the country,” the Head of Government said.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk underlined that Russia
waged the war to Ukraine “not only with the military tools and means, but
with another one – with political, economical and even social”. So, one more
challenge for Ukraine is energy domain.
He reminded that several
months before Russia had terminated natural gas deliveries to Ukraine: “And
they even went further. Few days ago Russia substantially decreased the
supply of the natural gas to the EU member states – it dropped by 10%. And
the idea was just to stop the reverse flow that we launched together with a
number of EU member-states,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged and added he praises the
efforts of the European Commission and European partners to build up the
reverse flows to Ukraine.
Certain problems arose
regarding coal supplies: “A number of Ukrainian coalmines were entirely
demolished and dismantled by Russia-led guerillas”.
The PM explained that the Cabinet of Ministers had managed to partially
solve the mentioned problems in energy: “In our gas storage facilities we got
up to 17 billion m3 of natural gas. We started to import coal from different
countries, including South-African Republic. This is the first time in
the last two decades. And we believe that in case if we restore law and order
in the territories that are still controlled by Russia-led terrorists, we
will bring back the supply of coal from these areas to Ukrainian electricity
system and to Ukrainian electricity plants”.
huge problems, but huge opportunities. We are obliged. This is our
responsibility – to deliver, to change the country and to make Ukraine
better. And I strongly believe that in some time we will have European Union
Conference in Yalta,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk summed up.