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Opening speech by Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of October 16, 2014
16.10.2014 | 16:30
Department of Information and Communication of the Secretariat of the CMU


Today, we have a few issues on the agenda. First of all, this is of course the implementation of the Law of Ukraine "On lustration." The Cabinet of Ministers has adopted the regulation on the procedure of the implementation of the Law of Ukraine "On power purification," on how we will perform checks of those who work in public authorities, and those who will be employed in the public administration.

The law has come into force today. Thus, I would like to announce the decisions that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine takes to dismiss high-ranking officials, members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and those who belong to the I-III categories of civil servants, in fact, this is the level of ministers. Ministers can be only dismissed by the Parliament of Ukraine, and first deputy ministers, heads of state agencies, heads of state services and other heads of the central executive bodies - these people are dismissed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

According to the basic provision of the Law of Ukraine "On power purification", the Government of Ukraine will dismiss a total of 39 high-ranking officials, of them 19 have voluntarily applied for resignation, the other 20 will be dismissed under the direct provision of the Law of Ukraine "On power purification", namely based on lustration. We submit an urgent request to the President of Ukraine dismiss the head of Kirovohrad Regional State Administration on the grounds that he does not meet the Law of Ukraine "On power purification" and should be dismissed according to the lustration law. Separately, 10 members of national commissions, these are so-called national regulators, like the National Commission for Energy and Utilities Regulation. We also are making an urgent submission to the President of Ukraine regarding dismissal of these 10 members of national commissions.

Thus, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has adopted a decision to dismiss high-ranking officials who do not meet the requirements of the new law, who will not be able to work in the government in the next 10 years. These are heads of central executive agencies, first deputy ministers, deputy ministers, members of national commissions and one head of the regional state administration, who must also be dismissed on the basis of the adopted Law of Ukraine "On power purification." We expect the President of Ukraine will promptly take appropriate decisions on the dismissal of these officials.

I want to emphasize that this is only the first step. These are those people who will be indisputably dismissed. We have checked the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, and these are those persons who are dismissed at the first stage.

Then the Government will accept an order, which shall be approved by all members of the Cabinet of Ministers "On approval of a plan of inspections" under the Law "On power purification."

According to Article 5 of the law, the Government is obliged to approve an appropriate plan. And our vision of the plan is the following. First of all, under inspections, which will be launched from November of the current year, should get the Prime Minister, First Vice Prime Minister, Vice Prime Ministers, Ministers and heads of central executive bodies, which are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers, Head of the National Bank, Chairman of the Central Election Commission, members of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council, the Head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, the State Security Department, Head of the Presidential Administration, the head of State Management of Affairs, the head of the Cabinet’s Secretariat, Government Agent for Anti-Corruption Policy, members of all national commissions.

This is the first set to be checked for compliance with the Law "On power purification."

The second set, which will also be inspected by relevant committees, I remind you that the Ministry of Justice is the main body in carrying out inspection, and in every ministry is creating an appropriate committee, which performs a monitoring function to check autobiographies and property status of each applicant for public service and every public servant who falls under the Law "On lustration."

As for the verification of property status, such a commission shall submit a property declaration to the State Fiscal Service, and then the State Fiscal Service within 60 days should check the authenticity of the data included in the tax declaration as to the reality of these data and their relevance and accuracy.

The second set of inspection - The Minister of Justice and his deputies, heads of the Ministry of Justice, the Interior Ministry, the State Fiscal Service, the Security Service of Ukraine and the relevant departments, judicial administration and the relevant departments, the Attorney General and his deputies and officials of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

The duration of the first two sets of inspection: these inspections start in November 2014 and end in January and February 2015. In general, the procedure is rather cumbersome and complex, and this is the first time in Ukraine. But we will take all measures to accelerate inspections as biographical data and data on the property status of all officials, prosecutors, police officers as well as judges.

Now about the third set concerning judges. Inspection will be launched in December 2014 and ends in December 2015. I recall that we have about 9 thousand of judges. All professional judges, judges of the High Council of Justice and members of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine will be inspected under the Law "On power purification".

Then, from March 2015 to May we will carry out checks of first deputy and deputy ministers, heads of central executive bodies, who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers, all of them: first deputies and deputies chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine; first deputy and deputy Chairmen of the Security Service of Ukraine; Presidential Administration, managers of the State Management of Affairs, deputies in the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers. That means a number of low-ranking officials, including heads of local, regional prosecutors, military prosecutors, bodies of internal affairs.

Now one more set that starts from April 2015 to June 2016 - regional officials of the Ministry of Justice, officials of the local bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, local subdivisions of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.

From June 2015 to December 2016 - officers and staff, except elected officials, bodies of state and local governments. These are all other people who were not included in previous lists.

And from September 2015 to December 2016 - military officials of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and others formed under the laws of military units, except contract servicemen as well as mobilized soldiers.

I only would like to ask the Minister of Justice, as I see that from September 2015 should go through purification in the first wave military forces, leadership of the Defense Ministry and General Staff, and then it is relevant for low-ranking soldiers.

Therefore, this is a plan of power purification. Once again I would like to emphasize that the Government has adopted the first decisions on the dismissal of high-ranking officials, subject to the Law of Ukraine "On power purification." We need a new quality of the public service, new people who are professional, honest, credible - by the way, let them earn credibility - and do not have the burden of the corruption of the past, which is inherent in the public service, judiciary, police and prosecution authorities.

Thus, it will be difficult to find experts at the first stage. But it is impossible to leave as it was, because this is the route to nowhere. All that these people could do, they did. Now new people with new strength, new vision, correct values must take their places and implement changes and reforms in the country. It is necessary to do it – to give people this opportunity.

I'd like to focus on certain economic issues, first of all with regard to energy.

Throughout the last few weeks oil prices actively fall in the world. Oil prices in the world markets have reduced by 24%. For the world and for Ukraine this news is good, but for Russia this news is not very good. Meanwhile, I want to remind you oil prices influence the basic prices for all energy resources as well, including gas. So, presently the world tends to globally reduce the cost of energy resources and a primary energy resource which is oil.

Therefrom, this morning I had talks with main companies that deal with trade in crude oil and refined products in Ukraine, I expect their decision on certain reducing of the cost of petroleum in Ukraine to correspond with the global tendency. Till now I have just promises, but I can believe only when I see price tags in fuel stations. Moreover, I appeal to the Anti-monopoly committee of Ukraine to support our traders in oil products, importers to fix fair and competitive prices for oil and refined products.

As for gas, today I got the latest statistics on the consumption of natural gas. I can observe a certain positive trend. Overall, since the beginning of the year Ukraine has spent by 16% less natural gas against similar period last year. If you analyse the period, when the Government began to actively engage in savings of natural gas and the establishment of limits, this is actually from April, the real savings amount over 20%. Of course, this is not enough to easily pass the winter. The steps now being taken by the Government to economize on the consumption of natural gas and to diversify energy sources are crucial to get through the heating season.

The President has departed to Milan, where he will have a number of international meetings. Our position on gas issue remains unchanged. Ukraine has filed several lawsuits in the Stockholm Arbitration Court, the first is the core lawsuit against the Russian company Gazprom, where we demand compensation of USD 6 billion and the establishment of a fair price, I underline it, a competitive price. We don't need the discounts, we're paying now to our European partners the European market price, which is much cheaper than the price Russia offered us a year ago. Let me remind you that we had to pay $ 500 under the contract with Russia. We have saved on the deliveries only, to purchase gas from our European partners about USD 0.5 billion. It is calculating the price being USD 385. Therefore, the first option is through the court.

In order to have an interim decision on the supply of natural gas, we addressed the court to expedite such interim decision that would ensure, on the one hand, the establishment of a price, and on the other hand, the deliveries of natural gas.

The second option regarding an interim decision is to conclude a deal till a final decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Court is issued. We share a common position with our European partners concerning the basic principles on which the interim agreement on natural gas supplies should be clinched until March 31. We insist on interim, as the final decision will be made by the Stockholm Arbitration Court. We also admit taking a temporary decision and signing such interim deal basing on those common conditions expressed by the European Union and Ukraine.

Also NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy announced that we had filed a third lawsuit against the Russian company Gazprom concerning the revision of the transit contract. The Government has introduced a special European-like and market-based procedure to establish the tariff for transportation of natural gas, hence, Ukraine declares once again that we, as the state, guarantee uninterrupted transit of natural gas, but in order to guarantee uninterrupted deliveries of natural gas to our European partners, we need to sign an agreement with European companies only. And we are poised to do it. The fact that Ukraine has adopted a number of decisions supported by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, has now launched a reform of the energy sector and Ukrainian energy sector complies with the third energy package, in which we have divided the transportation, storages and trade in natural gas, we believe that based on these principles we should design our transit scheme.

We reiterate our proposal to the European partners to participate in the modernization and exploitation of the Ukrainian gas transportation system. The relevant law was adopted, Brussels hosted the first Energy conference. Now we started receiving certain propositions from our European partners. After we compile them, Ukraine and the Government will announce a public competition to attract investors from Europe and America to jointly upgrade and exploit the Ukrainian GTS.

Some good news. In principle, I consider it being really good economic news. Let me remind you that the Government set two basic objectives in the Economic Reform Program: energy and agriculture. I have already provided basic comments concerning energy sector, and we hope that the next year, our tax innovations will yield into increase of oil and gas production, so now we are holding consultations with the foreign investors to find out what tax novelties and additional incentives they need to facilitate us improving domestic production of oil and gas.

Regarding agriculture, in fact, our agriculture appears the only sector that demonstrates growth. I was just informed by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine concerning the growth of agriculture - manufacturing of Ukrainian foods has upped by 16% as compared to the similar period of last year. The average yield capacity has increased by 14%.

Therefore, agriculture is the main and, unfortunately, the only locomotive to maintain economic stability in Ukraine. We expect that significant currency flows will come to Ukraine, in particular from selling agricultural products. Meanwhile, I commissioned to hold a meeting this week, a special meeting of the members of the Government with the Agrarian Fund and the State Reserve to tackle how well Ukraine is provided with grain and how much grain is accumulated in Ukrainian storage facilities in order to maintain stability of prices throughout the next six months.

The crops, we have collected, allow us, on the one hand to export and earn foreign currency, on the other hand to provide Ukraine with high quality and stable prices for grain crops. So, this week we will summon a meeting, I just want to compare the numbers, to see the real picture, how much grain remains in Ukraine and how much grain will be exported.

I ask the Minister of Agrarian Policy to finalize the calculations this week.

Thanks the media for attention!


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