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Arseniy Yatsenyuk: Ukraine is facing tremendous challenges, huge problems, but huge opportunities
13.09.2014 | 12:38
Department of Information and Communication of the Secretariat of the CMU

Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk believes that in some time, Ukraine will hold a conference of the European Union in Yalta. The Head of Government said at the Eleventh annual meeting of Yalta European Strategy (YES) "New Ukraine, New Europe, New World: Building and Defending" in Kyiv on Saturday, September 13.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized Ukraine survived after a number of tremendous challenges: In the last six months weve passed one revolution, we are still in the state of war, and weve got two elections one presidential and another one snap parliamentary elections.

Its 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 IMFs and the World Banks support.

But on the other hand this coin has two sides: we had to pass very complicated austerity package. I wont 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 well 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 Ukraine", according to Arseniy Yatseniuk, the Government has clearly shown what should be 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. Its normal that people dont 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.

Tremendous challenges, 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.



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