Yatsenyuk: It’s hard to attract investors when Russian tanks are in your country

Арсеній Яценюк на акції, присвяченій вшануванню жертв політичних репресій у Биківні під Києвом. Author: Арсен Яковенко (Wikimedia Commons) 


Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that reforms cannot be carried out quickly, because the country is at war.

The comment was made at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) Forum.

“This government is a war government. We are still at war. The chief aggressor is the Russian Federation. And until we have peace, it will be really difficult for us to implement changes,” said the prime minister.

“When Ukrainians turn on the TV, they might see Russian tanks in Ukraine but hear that the government is preparing a tax reform. It is normal that people are indifferent to the tax reform; they are worried about their safety. Accordingly, people think about going to the bank and withdrawing money, and exchanging their hryvnias for dollars, to protect their savings which are losing value,”- he said.

Yatsenyuk stressed that people make these decisions, but much depends on the government, parliament and the president, on the institutional capacity of Ukraine to ensure real change.

“For us, the main task was to restore cooperation with the International Monetary Fund. We did it. But the coin has two sides. We had to pass two sets of austerity measures. And it is very important that the majority of Ukrainians agreed with them, agreed to waive their social benefit programs”, he said.

According to Yatsenyuk, the government has managed to achieve successes in negotiations with the IMF, in deregulation of the economy; it has passed some anti-corruption laws and brought part of the economy out of the shadows.

“We have also passed an important law on state procurement. But we had some failures too. We failed to fully overcome corruption. We were not able to completely remake the legal system. We still have corrupt judges, prosecutors and Soviet-style police,” he said.

“This is a key agenda for the future reforms in the country,” said the prime minister.

“I proposed an action plan for Ukraine. It was proposed by the government. In this action plan, we have clearly shown what needs to be done in the energy industry, in the fight against corruption, and in the budgetary and fiscal policy. This is not the last plan,” said Yatsenyuk.

Source: Ukrainska Pravda

Translated by A. N.

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