Sir, Like the rest of the world, Ukraine is being influenced by the global financial crisis. The strategic sectors of the national economy - banking, metallurgy, and construction - were most struck by the crisis. However, the situation is under control.
At my initiative, the Ukrainian parliament passed anti-crisis laws, that are expected to stabilise the economic situation in the country. We are now taking important steps in this direction: creating a stabilisation fund, providing support for infrastructure and investment projects, decreasing interest rates for small and medium-size business, safeguarding the stability of the banking system. Special attention was paid to the creation of a deposit insurance fund.
Ukraine has sufficient gold reserves. An IMF loan for Ukraine will work as an additional stabilising factor for the economy as well. This credit has an economic and psychological effect giving us a chance to stabilise our national currency, the hryvnia, and to secure the long-term growth of the economy. Investors now can reassess their financial risks. As a result of such a reassessment we expect a new inflow of funds from abroad.
As a banker and economist I am certain that Ukraine defused these threats in a timely fashion. As the president, I took direct personal control of the situation. One of the main principles was to force the government and political elites to abandon economically unsound and politically populist social subsidies. The government made some mistakes that need to be corrected. Thus, disbursement of money triggered inflation, especially since this summer.
Surely, the crisis poses threats to the economics of the country, but it is also a great possibility for economic reforms and a new chance for strong economic development. Efficient steps taken to mitigate the effects of the crisis can actually become new stimuli for small and medium business. The adopted anti-crisis programme will stimulate profound economic and administrative change in Ukraine. Ukraine has to emerge from the crisis with an entirely new system of government management. Our conclusion - we need further integration and greater private entrepreneurship.
The crisis has changed our country's political priorities. Economic leadership, unity, and professionalism became paramount. Ukraine needs to resolve a host of political issues including the viability of our parliament. In this regard there are two possibilities: either a new coalition is formed or we proceed with the new elections. The answers to these questions are found in the constitution and I will strictly adhere to its every letter. There is no reason for pessimism about the situation in Ukraine. We managed to react quickly to the crisis. Moreover, we actually got a chance to undergo an economic transformation and to implement structural reforms. As president I can assure you that Ukraine will not become a weak link in the global financial and economic system.