Thursday, March, 27, 2014, 13:03. Viktor Pinchuk, for UP
I want to briefly make a few observations
First. The Year.
Until recently, it seemed that Ukraine would not be changing at least until the elections in 2015. But the future has begun a year earlier. Thanks to God, the “Heaven Hundred” and society. We cannot afford to waste this year. Maybe this year will be the most important in the modern history of Ukraine, giving us a chance to build a new country.
It could be that using this chance is our national idea.
Second. The Dragon.
The most important thing in the fight with a dragon is not so much to kill it as to prevent the birth of a new one in its shows. It is necessary to reach the point when money does not gain power and power does not gain money in Ukraine.
Money should not gain power – it is the most important condition for building a socially-oriented and fair state. A non-oligarchic state, if you please. It does not entail that there should not be large businesses in the country. However, they should not be allowed to buy power. If you come into power, leave business. If you sponsor political projects or campaigns – do it transparently. By the way, it will result in all election campaigns dropping costs 5-10 times and reaching a civilized level of expenses. Stop turning the parliament into a stock exchange. There should be no purchases of MPs, offices, votes, or bills. All those involved in the political process must have equal opportunities.
Power should not bring money, and an uncompromising war against corruption should begin immediately. Politicians have not yet realized how mature society has become. Realize that you cannot deceive anyone any longer. And supposedly “creative” attempts to conceal corruption resemble an elephant in a china shop.
We must follow contemporary Germany, where its president resigned because of a couple of thousand euros, and not yesterday’s Ukraine, where they “overlooked” a couple of billion. The Germans are not better than us and it is unlikely that their politicians have internal anti-corruption “fuses.” Yet German society has them.
Civil society must be in control of all branches of the new government at every level in order to not let it catch a “transitory black banner of corruption.” The struggle against corruption in collaboration with society will be a priority for my media resources at this stage.
Of course, there is an illegal annexation. But the problem of Crimea must be localized, both on the map and in the minds. On the one hand, we must not additionally lose a single square meter of the country at any cost. On the other, the Crimean issue must not influence the rate, determination and success of reforms on the Ukrainian “mainland.” Politicians should not be allowed to refer to Crimea as a problem hampering the development of “the rest” of the country. The leaders ought to take the maximum advantage for Ukraine from the problem of Crimea and turn it “from the lock to the key,” including both solutions for internal problems and relations with Russia and the West.
The Crimean crisis has consolidated our society and almost the entire world around the idea of Ukraine’s integrity. This consolidation must be used to simultaneously defend and build the country.
Like never before, honest, transparent, and inexpensive. The presidential elections should be held as scheduled, so that the whole world and (more importantly) the whole country finally acknowledges the legitimacy of the new government. And right after them we need to run an open-list parliamentary election on a pro rata basis, and as a result to form the government of national unity. Given the extraordinary situation, I consider it necessary to introduce a norm, which will require the inclusion the oppositio into the new government regardless of the winner of this election.
I strongly believe in democracy and I am against the concentration of power in a few hands. But the country is practically in a state of war and crisis, while the State is almost ruined. Hence, we need to elect leaders who are capable of making not only unpopular but also decisive and, if necessary, strong steps. Only these leaders can “sculpt” the state and achieve results at all fronts. This can bethe president or the prime minister, but best of all – both of them in tandem. In the history of the parliamentary-presidential republic in Ukraine, the president and the prime minister have always competed with each other. Now it is an unaffordable “luxury.”
As we are making a choice, we should not fall into a “trap” of pseudo-patriotism. For a leader today, to be patriotic is to be honest, courageous and pragmatic.
We need businesses, clamped dramatically by the previous government, to get “defrosted” and start moving. As soon as possible, the authorities should introduce and guarantee to foreign and Ukrainian investors hard and fast rules of the game and to reasonably and strongly position ourselves as global leaders in investment attractiveness. Investing in Ukraine should become not only profitable but also fashionable. One of the first steps could be an international investment conference, and the Yalta European Strategy is ready to help in this.
A year later, people will come with flowers and candles to commemorate the “Heaven Hundred.” But we should not let the leaders of the country limit their contribution only to flowers on this day. They should report on what they will have done over this year.
During this very special year – the year of the “Hundred” – the time must be treated in a special way, because every week of this year was paid off by two human lives. In the twenty-first century in the heart of Europe, this price is over the top. Therefore, if the politicians say, “It has been only one month,” society should shout: “It has been a whole month!”
Incidentally, one month has really passed.
Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian citizen
The original article in Russian is on the Ukrayinska Pravda website: