Thursday, April 30, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko gave interview to European media: Dutch Handelsblad, German Der Tagesspiegel, Italian Corriere della Sera and Spanish El Mundo.
During the interview President Yushchenko answered questions about Ukraine’s European integration and preparation to Eastern Partnership Inauguration Summit, internal political situation in Ukraine, Ukrainian-Russian relations, etc.
President Victor Yushchenko met today with the Ambassadors of Euro-Asian oil transport corridor project member countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland), Ambassador of the Czech Republic and Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine.
At the meeting sides have discussed further development of Euro-Asian oil transport corridor project.
President Yushchenko asked the Ambassadors to convey his congratulations to heads of their states on endorsing feasibility report on Euro-Asian oil transportation corridor saying that the document became professional proof of the fact that the project is economically promising and technically possible.
Victor Yushchenko also said that active political and financial support of the project from the European Commission is very important and suggested holding a short target meeting dedicated to the project within the framework of European Partnership Inauguration Summit in Prague, scheduled on March 7.
Beside that President Yushchenko suggested holding a presentation of the Euro-Asian oil transport corridor in the end of May - beginning of June, in Brussels with participation of President of the European Commission and Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, at which the participants would sign a Joint Memorandum on realization of the project. He also invited the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the project saying that these countries’ state oil companies would contribute to it.
President Yushchenko asked the present Ambassadors to convey these suggestions to their respective governments.
Within the framework of his official visit to Hungary President Victor Yushchenko met with representatives of Ukrainian diaspora in Hungary.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko thanked those gathered for their patriotism and involvement in preservation of Ukrainian identity. He urged the community to continue preserving unity, developing ties with Ukraine and assured that he is ready to support that.
Also in his address President Yushchenko briefly told Ukrainians of Hungary present at the meeting about internal situation in Ukraine and its external political priorities.
Ukraine perceives the Eastern Partnership as the additional possibility of broadening the dialogue with the EU rather than alternative to full-fledges integration to the Union, said Victor Yushchenko at his press conference in Budapest.
“We are pleased to say that the EU feels it necessary to introduce a separate formula of relations with Eastern Europe countries non-members of the European Union…”, - said Victor Yushchenko and complimented the fact that Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine would have a better structured dialogue with the EU, adding however that for Ukraine this framework is not an alternative to the talks on Association Agreement, free trade zone and liberalization of visa regulations.
“We see an absolutely open friend and partner in Hungary in bilateral relations, regional and European Policy, the policy we conduct in international organizations”, - said Victor Yushchenko at his press conference in Budapest.
According to President Yushchenko the most delicate questions in Ukarainian-Hungarian relations remain status of national minorities, historical heritage, economic and energy cooperation.
Speaking about economic cooperation between Ukraine and Hungary President Yushchenko said that its development is satisfactory and shows good results even in spite of global economic crisis.
He also said that political ties are improving between the two countries adding that “our relations are the relations of special partnership; everywhere we see the will to move forward and solve the problems that still remain in our relations”.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
In Budapest President Victor Yushchenko took part in the ceremony of opening of the monument to victims of the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine.
Speaking at the event President Yushchenko thanked all those who contributed to opening of the monument, particularly to Hungary state leadership Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky and Ukrainian community of Hungary.
Participants of the ceremony light candles and placed them near the monument also honoring victims of the Holodomor by observing a moment of silence.
In Budapest President Victor Yushchenko met with Gordon Bajnai, Prime Minister of Hungary.
At the meeting sides discussed anti-recessionary measures and fighting global financial crisis, development of economic cooperation between Ukraine and Hungary, energy cooperation, protection of Carpathians, etc.
President Victor Yushchenko met with Ms. Katalin Szili, Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament.
At the meeting sides discussed development of interparliamentary cooperation between Ukraine and Hungary, bringing Ukrainian legislation to European standards, etc.
Victor Yushchenko thanked Ms. Katalin Szili for her personal contribution in Hungarian Parliament showing support to Ukraine in the subject of condemnation of the Holodomor 1932-33. He also thanked the Hungarian Parliament Speaker for her participation in the events within the framework of the Inextinguishable Candle international project, dedicated to memory of Holodomor victims.
Within the framework of his official visit to Hungary President Victor Yushchenko gave interview to Hungarian daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet.
During the interview President Yushchenko answered questions about humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Hungary, European and Euro-Atlantic integration policy of Ukraine, internal political and economic situation in our state, etc.
Within the framework of his two-day official visit to Hungary President Victor Yushchenko took part in flower laying ceremony near the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Budapest.
Also President Yushchenko put flowers near the monument to the Unknown Soldier at Heroes’ Sqare.
Following Ukrainian-Hungarian talks President Victor Yushchenko and President László Sólyom of Hungary held joint press conference.
Speaking to journalists President Yushchenko complimented today’s meeting at which sides discussed a broad range of subjects in bilateral and international relations.
President Yushchenko informed that during the talks both parties pointed to activeness of diplomatic and cultural relations between the states and growing dynamics of trade-economic cooperation.
He also said that sides have discussed some questions of economic cooperation, particularly supplies of energy resources to Hungary. Here President Yushchenko said that Ukraine as transit party fully abides by its international obligations regarding supplies of gas to Europe.
Beside that sides have analyzed implementation of Local Boarder Movement Agreement between Ukraine and Hungary. “These visa regulations may become an example for other European neighbors of Ukraine”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
Ukrainian and Hungarian delegations have discussed joint efforts in preservation of ecology of Carpathians. President Yushchenko invited President Sólyom to take part in the International Scientific Conference dedicated to that problem that is scheduled to take part in Uzhgorod in September 2009.
Also participants of the talks dedicated their attention to discussing development of humanitarian cooperation between the states, particularly cultural and educational needs of Hungarian minority in Ukraine.
Separately President Yushchenko thanked Hungarian side for installing the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Budapest in 2007 and for establishment of the monument to Holodomor victims that would be solemnly opened on April 29.
- Agreement on cooperation in agriculture between Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Hungary.
- Plan of consultations for 2009-2010 between Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In Budapest, Hungary, in front of the Sándor Palace (Office of the President of Hungary) President Victor Yushchenko was officially welcomed by László Sólyom, President of Hungary.
The two Presidents walked past the Honor Guard and introduced Ukrainian and Hungarian delegations to each other.
Before departing to Hungary, at Boryspil Airport President Victor Yushchenko met with Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko.
At the meeting sides discussed prosecution supervision over spending of budgetary funds on restoration of western regions of Ukraine after 2008 summer floods, observation of human rights in prisons, protection of rights of citizens, who live in hostels and complained to President about violation of their property rights, etc.
President Victor Yushchenko met with Minister for Health Vasyl Knyazevych.
At the meeting President Yushchenko and Minister Knyazevych discussed measures aimed at preventing spreading of pig flu in Ukraine.
The Health Minister informed the President that the Ministry in cooperation with World Health Organization constantly monitors the situation and conducts preventive measures in seaports and airports with help of boarder guards and customs service.
With regard to the problem a subject of improving customs control over imports of meat to Ukraine was raised.
President Victor Yushchenko conducted a meeting with Pensions Fund Board Chairman Oleksiy Zarudny, Deputy Minister of Finance Volodymyr Matviychuk, and Deputy Minister for Labor Olena Haryacha dedicated to pensions policy and financial planning in Pensions Fund.
Opening the meeting President Yushchenko expressed concerns about the fact that Pensions Fund budget had been elaborated and approved based on unrealistic economic indices. He also pointed to specialists’ calculations that show growing deficit in the budget of Pensions Fund. “Without active steps made, such tendency may produce unfavorable results and lead to debts in pensions”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
He stressed that the problem should be solved by Pensions Fund in cooperation with the Government through alterations to the State Budget with recalculation of economic indices.
President Victor Yushchenko met today with James Steinberg, United States Deputy Secretary of State.
At the meeting sides discussed bilateral relations between Ukraine and the USA within the scope of the new US Presidential Administration beginning its work, as well as some questions in regional and global international policy.
“Our relations are strategic today and have special meaning for Ukraine”, - said Victor Yushchenko speaking at the meeting. From his part James Steinberg said that “our common values and common aspirations provide firm grounds for our relations”.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Among other participants of the event were Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Rayisa Bohatyryova, Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, Minister for Emergencies Volodymyr Shandra, Deputy Chief of President’s Staff Andriy Kyslynsky, other officials, liquidators of the disaster, relatives of those who died in it.
President Victor Yushchenko praised reaching an important result within the framework of the Krakow incentive, particularly approving of the technical-economic plan for Euro-Asian oil transit corridor based on Odesa-Brody oil transit pipeline that happened on April 24, 2009.
President Yushchenko emphasized that the decision represents the official affirmation of the transit corridor’s attractiveness.
President Victor Yushchenko has held a National Security and Defense Council meeting.
In his opening word President Yushchenko informed that the first issue on the agenda of NSDC for today would be coordination of state authorities’ work in fighting corruption.
The second question to be discussed was the Strategy of Ukraine’s peacemaking and peacekeeping activity.
President Victor Yushchenko presented national decorations to members of National Union of Journalists on the occasion of union’s 50th anniversary.
Congratulating the journalists President Yushchenko said that their social mission is very special and important for development of democracy in Ukraine.
Friday, April 24, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko met today with Mr Drago Kos, President of the Group of States against Corruption.
“We highly appreciate the things you do. Ukraine needs your constant support”, - said Victor Yushchenko at the meeting. He suggested considering sending a representative from the GRECO to Ukraine, who would work in our country on the permanent basis.
Victor Yushchenko expressed pity that current political system in Ukraine affects proper realization of GRECO recommendations. He explained that despite the fact that almost all legislative acts within the framework of these recommendations have already been elaborated and went through first reading in the parliament, it is unlikely that the Verkhovna Rada under current circumstances would soon return to discussing them. As an example of deputies’ unwillingness to effectively fight corruption in Ukraine President Yushchenko named the fact that they still have not abolished deputy’s unlimited immunity that often open way to corruption.
President Yushchenko complimented Ministry of Justice of Ukraine for its activity in organization of corruption fighting work but said that other authorities need “serious technical support” from the GRECO. “We must transform the system and instruments of fighting corruption and coordination procedure; we need more powerful international support and implementation of more joint public projects”, - he said.
President Victor Yushchenko, Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean speak at joint press conference
Following Ukrainian-Canadian talks, President Victor Yushchenko and Mrs. Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada held joint press conference.
Speaking to journalists President Yushchenko informed them on the subjects sides have discussed during the talks and said that “the conversation was absolutely open and frank”.
According to Victor Yushchenko one of important questions discussed was liberalization of visa regulations for Ukrainians travelling to Canada. He reminded that Ukraine has introduced visa free entrance for Canadians back in 2005. “I hope we will have a dialogue on this question. Our diplomats and external political departments will elaborate appropriate procedure for the talks process and we will reach positive results in this direction”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
Victor Yushchenko informed that sides have discussed fighting global financial crisis. “We have a clear understanding that these challenges are not only national but international too”, - he said adding that both sides affirmed importance of uniting efforts in fighting the crisis.
Also President Yushchenko said that sides have dedicated much of their attention to discussing elaboration of Ukrainian-Canadian relations Roadmap. According to him foreign policy departments of the two states have already received suggestions on preparation of the document. “We hope that governments of the two states, both central and local, would work on the necessary documents and come up with a joint action plan”, - he said.
Separately President Yushchenko thanked Canadian side for its continuous support of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and expressed appreciation about successful development of numerous humanitarian projects.
From her part the Governor General stressed that her visit to Ukraine aimed to demonstrate friendliness of relations between our states and respect towards independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. She said that in such a hard time for the world the only way to overcome the crisis is to unite efforts. “There is no better time to reaffirm our solidarity than these hard times”, - Mrs. Michaelle Jean said. She also affirmed Canada’s support of Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO and conduct further democratic reforms.
President Victor Yushchenko and Mrs. Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada opened Ukrainian-Canadian talks.
During the talks sides have discussed bilateral relations between Ukraine and Canada in economy, trade, culture and humanitarian field, etc.
Opening the talks President Yushchenko stressed that Ukraine highly appreciates its good relations with Canada and is particularly interested in developing cooperation on such directions as strengthening international security, overcoming global financial crisis, etc. Separately President Yushchenko noted that Ukraine “is highly interested in elaboration of a Relations Roadmap for nearest perspective, that would fix basic priorities for development of Ukrainian-Canadian ties”.
Victor Yushchenko expressed special gratitude to Canadian authorities, first of all to the Government and the Prime Minister of Canada, for their support of Ukraine in Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
He also thanked Canadian side for technical support in such programs as fighting HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, building a shelter over Chernobyl NPP, etc.
Speaking about humanitarian cooperation President Yushchenko stressed that Ukraine is proud of the contribution Ukrainian diaspora has made into development of Canada. He also expressed high appreciation of Canadian authorities’ efforts in providing good living conditions for Ukrainians, who live in Canada. He also pointed to the fact that major part of Ukrainian-Canadian cooperation is going on at non-governmental level reminding of such Canadian non-governmental organizations as Children of Chornobyl Fund, New Generation, etc.
Sides have also discussed perspectives of joint television and movie making, scientific, educational and cultural cooperation, etc.
Separately President Yushchenko thanked Canada for its role in informing international community about the Holodomor in Ukraine and honoring its victims.
President Victor Yushchenko has officially welcomed Mrs. Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada in Ukraine, who came to our country with the State visit. The ceremony took place in front of Presidential Secretariat in Kyiv.
After military orchestra performing national anthems of Ukraine and Canada, the two leaders hearing 21 round artillery volley and walking past an honor guard, Ukrainian and Canadian delegations were introduced to each other.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
At his quarterly press conference President Victor Yushchenko said that January gas agreements with Russia have not introduced stability in that sector of relations between the two states and should be revised.
Unfortunately, said Victor Yushchenko the reached agreements added problems in gas trade between Ukraine and Russia. Now the issues in payments for gas appear almost every month, there is no clear procedure for gas transit (volumes of transited gas are not set and transit fees are unfairly low), etc.
According to Victor Yushchenko the situation became possible due to political implication of the talks. Instead, Ukraine and Russia should find a way to bring gas relations to market standards and minimize political influence on them.
President Victor Yushchenko informed that in the process of revision of 2009 State Budget he would initiate increase of the number of state financed scholarships for students of secondary and higher educational facilities.
He explained that revision of 2009 Budget should “not only rationalize expenditures, but present a new national policy in a number of branches, including education”.
Beside that, President Yushchenko stressed, saving on education and science is wrong in modern world
Answering questions of journalists President Yushchenko reaffirmed his readiness to support simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary election under condition of introducing alterations to electoral legislation.
“If we make political decision about changing electoral system, about abolishing unlimited deputies immunity, I am sure that President should also make a wise decision and demonstrate his readiness to support early presidential election”.
Speaking about current situation in the parliament President Yushchenko said that the worst thing is that in fact there is no parliamentary coalition in it. According to him no one has ever seen the list of at least 226 deputies that would constitute the coalition, no decisions were made on appointment of the new Cabinet and Prime Minister, neither was Government’s working program approved. In such circumstances, said Victor Yushchenko, well-coordinated work of the Government and the Verkhovna Rada is hardly possible.
Answering question about when the early election might happen, President Yushchenko said that it rather depends on the decision of the Constitutional Court he had appealed to for the interpretation of the situation with regard to the Constitution, than on him. “This is not a question of President’s incentive but the question of interpretation of the law”, - he said.
In Ukrainian House President Victor Yushchenko has opened his press conference.
During the press conference President Yushchenko will answer questions from journalists who had been invited to the Ukrainian House as well as from regions of Ukraine trough TV-bridges.The press conference is broadcast live by Channel 1, Channel 5, Channel 24, National Radio Company and UTR-World.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Ministry of Environment: Minister Heorhii Philipchuk partakes in meeting dedicated to protection of Black Sea against pollution
The Minister of Environment of Ukraine Heorhii Philipchuk has taken part in the Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution which took place in the capital of the
In the Meeting participating were environment ministers, chairmen of diplomatic offices and representatives of the countries-members of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. In the capacity of observers the conference was attended by representatives of the European Commission, UNDP, GEF, UNEP, the
On the results of the Meeting Protocol on the protection of the marine environment of the Black Sea against pollution and activity, Strategic Action Plan on protection and renewal of the Black Sea and Declaration of the Ministers on improvement of cooperation in renewal of the environment of the Black Sea have been approved.
Speaking at the meeting on reconstruction of regions damaged by 2008 summer floods President Victor Yushchenko urged all the authorities to focus on financing a program of flood prevention measures.
“Every level of authority, every ministry is able to mobilize resources for us to be sure that 2009 program of flood prevention measures is financed normally”, - he said.
President Yushchenko requested local authorities to prepare in 10 days term their reports on resources available in local budgets that could be used for financing restoration works in the damaged regions and flood prevention measures.
He also informed that he would address the Government with the sugesstion to reallocate 1,5 billion hryvnyas of budgetary funds foreseen in 2009 for development of regions.
On April 22, at 19.00 President Victor Yushchenko will hold a press conference.
The press conference will take place at the Ukrainian House and feature questions from journalist both in the building and those who will ask them via TV bridges with Lviv, Odesa and Zaporizhzhya.
It will be broadcast live by National Channel One, Channel 5, Channel 24 and UTR World.
On April 22 Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada will come to Ukraine with a State visit.
On April 23 President Victor Yushchenko is scheduled to meet Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada
In Ivano-Frankivsk President Victor Yushchenko held a consultative meeting on restoration of Vinnytsya, Zakarpattya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Ternopil, and Chernivtsi regions after the floods that hit them between July 23 and 27, 2008.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko said that the most important part of restoration works for now is rebuilding and repairing the infrastructure. According to him only two thirds of the work was done on restoring ruined and damaged roads, bridges and riverbank works.
At the same time President noted that substantial progress was made in providing families that lost their habitations in the disaster. He urged the Regional Administrations Heads to stir up satisfying citizens’ appeals for repayment of damages that still remain in order to complete that part of the restoration process.
Also President Yushchenko pointed to problems in financing of the restoration process, saying that he would like to hear reports on the subject by officials from Ministry of Finance and requesting Prosecutor Office's better supervision of spending of the issued funds and prevention of cases of their misuse.
Beside that President Yushchenko mentioned importance of introducing a new system of early warning in order to enhance communication in cases of such emergencies as in July 2008.
Within the framework of his visit to Ivano-Frankivsk region President Victor Yushchenko examined construction of the bridge across Bystrytsya Nadvirnyanska River and the Stryy – Ivano-Frankivsk – Chernivtsi – Mamalyga road that were destroyed by floods in the summer of 2008.
Also President Yushchenko was shown the construction site of the floodbank designed to prevent flooding in the future.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Together with his family President Victor Yushchenko attended Easter Liturgy at St Volodymyr's Cathedral (Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate), held by His Holiness, the Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus' - Ukraine Filaret.
He also took part in a festive procession around the Cathedral.
At St. Sofia Cathedral, Kyiv, President Victor Yushchenko, his wife Kateryna Yushchenko and their children took part in handing over the Easter Flame to representatives of Orthodox Church confessions in Ukraine.
The tradition had been established by President Yushchenko back in 2005.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Dear Ukrainian people,
Dear fellow citizens,
With great happiness I greet you on the Day of God’s Resurrection!
This holiday is the essence of our faith.
This is the holiday of eternal Devine spirit and each one of us is blessed with it.
Each of us holds light in himself.
These days we all must think about how we live and how would we wish to live.
We pray for cleansing off evil, lies, hostility, evil thoughts and injustice.
We pray for savior from wrong and evil path.
We pray for forgiveness and we forgive.
We want happiness.
We want good.
We want assurance.
I am assured and have not a single doubt that we will come through these ordeals.
We are a great and strong nation. Let us believe in ourselves. Honestly, openly and with love as a united family should.
Let us greet one another.
Let us open our hearts to hope.
Christ is risen. The faith in a man is rises by his grace.
I heartily wish every one of us good, deep and wise faith in our strength and in God’s protection.
I wish us happiness, peace and sound health.
I wish us all Easter happiness.
We are strong.
We welcome sunny wonderful Easter and pray for God’s blessing for each one of us for years to come.
Christ is risen!
Truly, He is Risen!
Friday, April 17, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko watched UEFA Cup quarter-final football match between FC Dynamo Kyiv and Paris Saint-Germain FC.
Among state officials, who also visited the match that took place at Dynamo Stadium in Kyiv, were Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Vice Prime Minister Ivan Vasyunyk, Minister for Family Youth and Sports Yuriy Pavlenko.
Upon their victory, President Yushchenko sent congratulations to FC Dynamo Kyiv expressing joy about them winning the place in UEFA Cup semi-finals.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko gave an interview to The Economist weekly publication.
In the interview President Yushchenko answered questions about internal economic and political situation in Ukraine, our country’s cooperation with the IMF, the World Bank and other financial institutions, external policy of the state, etc.
An article based on the interview will be published in The Economist on April 23.
President Victor Yushchenko met with Andriy Stryzhak, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
At the meeting Andriy Stryzhak has shown Victor Yushchenko the book “Problems of modern Ukrainian constitutionalism”, which was printed within the framework of carrying out President’s Decree on celebration of 70 years since Leonid Yuzkov, the first Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine was born.
Presenting a copy of the book to President Yushchenko, Constitutional Court Chairman Stryzhak expressed hope that he would find it helpful.
President Victor Yushchenko held a consultative meeting with Ukrainian bankers dedicated to situation in financial sector.
Speaking at the event President Yushchenko said that the situation is gradually normalizing and such facts as stabilization of Hryvnya exchange rate, decline in speculations at currencies market, decrease in flow-out of money from banks due to people withdrawing their deposits and positive foreign trade balance prove that. “Right now we are at the point where either improvement or depression begins”, - he said.
Making comments on the problems that still remain to be solved President named cloudiness of operations of banks buying currency for their own needs and pressure from borrowers in foreign currencies. Here he again stressed that Ukrainian banking system should be loyal, positive and honest towards the clients.
He said that he supports active position of the Government in changing the country for better and would do so further because the Government is responsible for forming economic and social policy in the state.
At the same time Victor Yushchenko informed that he had instructed experts of the Secretariat to analyze legal, economic and political aspects of the approved decrees. He also called upon the Cabinet to realistically evaluate the situation in Ukraine, particularly such indices as GDP growth, inflation and state budget deficit.
President Victor Yushchenko took part in a general meeting of the National Academy of Scientists’ members today.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko invited the scientists to more active cooperation in estimating impact of global financial-economic recession on Ukraine and elaboration of methods of overcoming it.
He also stressed that the crisis provided favorable conditions for conducting profound political, economic and social reforms, to which Ukrainian scientists could also contribute.
In his address to those present Victor Yushchenko also sketched topical issues that need attention of national science. Among these he named energy saving technologies, effective use of energy resources, humanitarian education of the society, development of Ukrainian language and culture, research of social-economic and political processes in the state, overcoming seclusion of Ukrainian society, etc.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Together with UEFA President Michel Platini, UEFA Secretary-General David Taylor , UEFA EURO 2012 Commissioner Jacques Lambert, other members of UEFA delegation, President Victor Yushchenko visited Kyiv National Sport Complex ‘Olimpiysky’.
At the place President Yushchenko informed UEFA delegates on the process of reconstruction of the stadium.
At his press conference in Yahotyn, Kyiv region, President Victor Yushchenko again urged political parties in the parliament to support three draft laws necessary for restoring cooperation with the IMF and other financial institutions.
“If we don’t adopt these laws, if we don’t mobilize around 10 billion of budgetary hryvnyas and optimize the budget, it will be impossible to talk about any cooperation with the IMF or other international financial institutions”, - he said.
At the same time President Yushchenko stressed that it was responsibility of the Prime Minister and of the coalition to conduct proper debates and vote the draft laws in the parliament.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Within the framework of his visit to Kyiv region President Victor Yushchenko held consultative meeting dedicated to financial state of agricultural enterprises and situation in animal husbandry.
Participants of the meeting were Minister for Agrarian Policy Yuriy Melnyk, National Bank Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh, Deputy Chief of President's Staff Oleksandr Shlapak and Heads of Regional Administrations.
At the meeting sides discussed current state and development of agriculture in Ukraine as well as issues and mistakes in state agricultural policy.
Victor Yushchenko suggested that participants of the meeting made their suggestions to a draft presidential decree on measures aimed at improving the situation in agriculture. The measures would include increasing competitiveness of Ukrainian agriculture with regard to our country’s membership in the WTO and fighting global economic crisis impact on the sector.
President Victor Yushchenko gave an interview to ‘Kommersant’ and ‘Commersant-Ukraine’ publications today.
During the interview President Yushchenko answered questions about the constitutional reform, modernization of Ukraine’s gas transport system, gas agreements of January 2009, Euro-Atlantic integration policy of our country, etc.
Monday, April 13, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko held a meeting with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance and Banking Mykola Azarov, Chief of the IMF Mission to Ukraine Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Economist with the World Bank Pablo Saavedra, National Bank Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh.
At the meeting sides discussed restoring cooperation with the IMF.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko reminded that resuming cooperation with the IMF requires a number of steps in economic policy.
First of all it is necessary to adopt two draft laws on balancing Pensions Fund and the Budget of ‘Naftogaz of Ukraine’. President Yushchenko addressed the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada with the request to support these draft laws.
The second topical issue is beginning of the program of banks recapitalization. According to Victor Yushchenko in addition to 11 banks that the National Bank had already introduced its temporary administration in, there are other banks that requested the state for support and participation in their capitals.
In order to begin mass-scale recapitalization, the alteration of legislation is necessary, said Victor Yushchenko. Pointing to the fact that National Bank and Ministry of Finance have different views on the alterations, he requested the institutions to come to an agreed draft set of alterations in a few days and submit them to the parliament.
Separately President Yushchenko reminded of the agreement to prepare a joint declaration on the support of banking system. Here he stressed that signing the document is very important because the crisis in banking sector was partially caused by lack of confidence in the banks that followed some political statements.
“Influence of the global crisis was not the key factor of what has been happening at currency market in last few months. Minimal people’s confidence in both banking system and national currency was last due to political events”, - he said adding that the declaration is ready and waiting to be signed.
Victor Yushchenko also announced discussion of a new Memorandum between Ukraine and the IMF and instructed professionals to conduct additional discussions and complete the Memorandum.
Upon his return from Azerbaijan, at Boryspil airport, President Victor Yushchenko met with Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, the Head of IMF Mission to Ukraine.
Sides have discussed Mission’s work in Ukraine, introduction of alterations to Ukraine’s 2009 State Budget, balancing ‘Naftogaz of Ukraine’ Budget, pensions reform, etc.
They also dedicated attention to discussing recapitalization of banks and further cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF by stand-by program.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the project of building Proletarsko-Kyivska underground line in
Friday, April 10, 2009
Within the framework of the official visit to Azerbaijan, President Victor Yushchenko took part in the opening of memorial plate dedicated to the diplomatic mission of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in Azerbaijan, which had been opened in Baku back in 1919.
Speaking at the event President Yushchenko thanked President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijani state authorities, Baku local government and all those, who contributed to eternizing the memory about the functioning of the first diplomatic mission of independent Ukraine in Azerbaijan.
President Victor Yushchenko and his wife Kateryna Yushchenko met with students and faculty of Baku Slavic University.
Speaking at the event President Yushchenko said that it is very important for Ukraine that there is a university in Baku, where students learn our country’s history, culture and language. He thanked the faculty for their work saying that “today we saw seeds that in years will bring together our nations even closer together”.
Victor Yushchenko stressed that Ukraine and Azerbaijan put much importance in development of humanitarian ties. “There is no single issue in Ukraine that was not resolved in favor of Azerbaijani community”, - said Victor Yushchenko pointing to good relations between nations of the two states.
President Victor Yushchenko met in Baku with the Chairman of National Assembly of Azerbaijan Ogtay Asadov.
At the meeting President Yushchenko said that interparliamentary cooperation between Ukraine and Azerbaijan plays important role in development of bilateral relations between the two states.
He also expressed appreciation of the cooperation between the parliaments of Ukraine and Azerbaijan within the framework of such international organizations as the Council of Europe, OSCE, BSEC and NATO.
In Baku President Victor Yushchenko took part in wreaths laying ceremony near the Memorial Complex on the Alley of Martyrs.
He also honored the memory of Azerbaijani national leader and former President Heydar Aliyev, putting flowers to his grave.
At his joint press conference with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku, President Victor Yushchenko praised high level of relations between Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
“Today we have affirmed strategic nature of relations between Ukraine and Azerbaijan. The questions we have discussed today at the first meeting of the Council of Presidents, including 2009-2010 Cooperation Action Plan, show that the development of the relations is substantial.”, - he said.
According to President Yushchenko most of the attention sides have dedicated to discussing trade-economic and energy cooperation. Pointing to negative influence of global financial-economic crisis on trade-economic ties between Ukraine and Azerbaijan, he however said that he is optimistic about their further development.
Speaking about energy cooperation President Yushchenko informed that transit of Azerbaijani gas to the countries of the European Union was discussed. Foreign Ministries of the two states will conduct consultations in the nearest future on forming a common position on the question, he said.
Also Victor Yushchenko said that transport cooperation was discussed, particularly implementation of such projects as joining Viking and Poti-Baku-Aktau- Almaty railway transit routs by ferry transport route between Ukraine and Georgia.
Beside that according to Victor Yushchenko sides dedicated attention to discussing Eastern Partnership incentive.
From his part President Ilham Aliyev stressed assurance that the visit of President Victor Yushchenko to Azerbaijan would give a new impulse to development of bilateral relations between the states. “The strategic partnership between our states is continuing successfully and these relations correspond with Azerbaijan’s national interests. We consider Ukraine one of our most reliable partners”, - he said thanking also President Yushchenko for his visit and expressing assurance that today’s agreements would be implemented well.
President Victor Yushchenko has returned to the Verkhovna Rada the law on state support of production and consumption of mineral fertilizers with state support sending also his suggestions on improving the law.
According to Victor Yushchenko some articles of the law contradict the Constitution, which provides equality of all business operators before the law and state support of competition in business.
At his joint press conference with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku, President Victor Yushchenko said that Euro-Asian oil transport corridor project has reached the final stage of its implementation.
He reminded that approving of technical-economic documentation by participants of the project is scheduled to take place in Poland on April 24. “We can say that the project that has faced many obstacles is now neared its completion and are undoubtedly proud of that”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
Also in their presence Ukrainian and Azerbaijani delegates signed a number of bilateral documents including:
- The Protocol of the first meeting of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and Azerbaijan
- The Protocol between the Governments of Ukraine and Azerbaijan on introduction of alterations to the agreement on military-technical cooperation of March 24, 1997
- The Interregional Agreement on cooperation between Ukrainian Volyn Regional Administration and executive authorities of Azerbaijani city of Ganja
- 2009-2010 Consultations Plan beween the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Azerbaijan
- The Agreement between Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service and Azerbaijani Ministry of National Defense
- The Framework Agreement on cooperation in space exploration between the Governments of Ukraine and Azerbaijan
Thursday, April 9, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev opened the first meeting of the Council of Presidents of Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
At the meeting the two sides were scheduled to discuss trade-economic, energy, and military-technical cooperation between the states.
In his opening word President Yushchenko pointed to great progress in Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations development adding also that signature of 2009-2010 Ukrainian-Azerbaijani Relations Roadmap scheduled on today would only make them better.
President Victor Yushchenko took part in tete-a-tete meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
During the meeting sides have discussed energy cooperation, particularly Odesa-Brody pipeline project and transit cooperation. Beside that the two Presidents touched upon a subject of military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
Separately President Yushchenko and President Aliyev dwelled on discussion of cooperation within the framework of GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, issues of international and regional security, Eastern Partnership initiative, humanitarian cooperation, etc.
Having arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan within the framework of his two-day official visit, President Victor Yushchenko and his wife Kateryna Yushchenko were officially welcomed by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva.
The ceremony took place in front of Baku Presidential Palace.
After the ceremony the two Presidents proceeded to tête-à-tête meeting.
President Victor Yushchenko wrote a letter to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko suggesting that the Government urgently considered dismissing Podil District of Kyiv Administration Head Yevhen Romanenko from the office.
According to Victor Yushchenko the inquiry, he had initiated on February 6, shown numerous violations and cases of authority exceeding in the work of the abovementioned person.
The information provided by the inquiry committee means that Yevhen Romanenko should be dismissed from the post of Podil District Administration Head.
President Victor Yushchenko met with Ambassadors of G-8 countries, Ambassadors of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic to Ukraine, representative of Slovak Embassy and representative of the European Commission.
At the meeting President Yushchenko explained to diplomats his vision of the development of political situation in Ukraine and informed them on the steps Ukraine is taking to stabilize economic situation.
Speaking about political situation in Ukraine President Yushchenko said that first of all it is important to renew functioning of the Verkhovna Rada, which is blocked by the opposition, claiming that having not yet yet presented the new Cabinet and candidature of Prime Minister for consideration of the parliament the coalition violates the Constitution.
“I have already addressed the Constitutional Court with the request to provide explanations in this regard”, - said Victor Yushchenko, urging however the deputies to resume their work before Constitutional Court makes the decision. He said that next week the Government plans to submit to the Verkhovna Rada such important documents as alterations to the State Budget, balancing Pensions Fund and ‘Naftogaz of Ukraine’ budget, which all require urgent attention of the deputies.
Making comments on the decision of the Verkhovna Rada scheduling presidential election on October 25, 2009 President Yushchenko repeated that it contradicts the Constitution. At the same time he said that he is still ready to discuss and support holding simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary elections.
Culture Ministry: Program of Cultural Cooperation for 2009-2011 with Culture Ministry of Serbia signed
On April 7 of 2009 a protocol meeting of the Culture and Tourism Minister Vasyl Vovkun with Minister of Culture of Serbia Mr. Nebojša Bradić was held in the premises of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine. The meeting dealt with discussion of further steps taken to stir up cultural and art cooperation between
On the outcomes of the event the Program of Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of the
The same day a festive ceremony of opening of Days of Culture of the
Speaking to journalists after his visit to OJSC ‘Kvazar’ President Yushchenko informed that he addressed the Constitutional Court with the request disputing constitutionality of Verkhovna Rada decision scheduling presidential election on October 25, 2009. “The decision of the Verkhovna Rada on holding early presidential election is illegitimate and contradicts the direct imperative norm of the Constitution”, - he said.
He repeated that he is ready to discuss simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary election because this would be the best way to come out of political crisis.
President Victor Yushchenko visited today Kyiv OJSC ‘Kvazar’. There President Yushchenko was familiarized with the work of the enterprise and talked to its employees. He was shown the exhibition of products made by the factory, including liquid crystal blackboards, electronics, solar power batteries, etc.
“What you do is a great thing for the country”, - he said to the workers. “It is great that you not only managed to stay afloat but became worthy competitors of European and global level… you are a subject of pride for Ukraine”, - he said.
Victor Yushchenko also praised enterprise staff’s actions during recent raider attack on it. He assured ‘Kvazar’ employees that the authorities would ensure that all those who had been involved in the illegal actions against ‘Kvazar’ would be punished.
According to him, the inquiry commission, he had called up to investigate the actions of Podil District Administration of Kyiv against the enterprise, has finished its work and submitted all the information to the President. “The investigation is over, I have seen the materials and today will submit these materials to the Prime Minister”, - he said expressing hope that in a few days the Cabinet would approve the decision dismissing Podil Administration Head from the office.
Beside that President Yushchenko promised to address the Council of Judges with the request to deprive the judge, who issued illegal decision that provided grounds for the attack on ‘Kvazar’ off his title and fire him.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Within the framework of his working visit to Odesa region President Victor Yushchenko visited the construction site of a Danube-Black Sea Canal.
Speaking at the place President Yushchenko thanked all those who contribute to implementation of the project and awarded workers of the enterprises taking part in it with national decorations.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Within the framework of his working visit to Odesa region President Yushchenko gave interview to Odesa, Mykolayiv, Kherson and Kirovohrad regional media.
The interview focused on the draft alered Constitution, submitted by the President to the Verkhovna Rada, internal economic policy, European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine, etc.
Speaking about his constitutional reform incentives President Yushchenko stressed assurance that the proposed radical political decisions are not untimely in the time of economic crisis and will find support of the society. At the same time he said that it is unlikely that politicians currently in power support his suggestions.
Within the framework of his working visit to Odesa region President Yushchenko met with students and lecturers of Odesa higher education facilities.
In his address President Yushchenko told those present about internal economic and political situation in Ukraine, particularly his constitutional incentives, possibility of holding simultaneous early parliamentary and presidential election, etc.
He also answered students’ questions.
President Victor Yushchenko sent letters of condolence to the President of Italy Giorgio Napolitano and the Prime Minister of the country Silvio Berlusconi on the occasion of earthquake that hit central Italy and took human lives.
He also informed that Ukraine is ready to Provide Italy with support by sending to the damaged area the rescue unit and mobile hospital of Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine.
President Victor Yushchenko met with PACE monitoring co-rapporteurs on Ukraine Renate Wohlwend and Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.
At the meeting President Yushchenko set forth his vision of the development of political processes in Ukraine and perspectives of the constitutional reform. Sides have discussed Ukraine honouring its obligations and commitments before the Council of Europe and cooperation between Ukraine and PACE.
"As the Head of State I pay special attention to Ukraine keeping up to its commitments to the Council of Europe", - said Victor Yushchenko adding that he constantly monitors the situation in that field.
He said that cooperation between Ukraine and PACE is an important contribution into realization of European integration aspirations of Ukraine and that PACE recommendations favor improvements in political and social life in Ukraine by moving forward the important democratic reforms.
Speaking about constitutional reform in Ukraine Victor Yushchenko said that he had submitted to the parliament the draft Constitution and stressed that Ukraine is interested in cooperation with the Council of Europe on enhancement of the document.
Making comments on internal political situation in Ukraine, particularly on preparation to presidential election, Victor Yushchenko repeated that he is ready to announce simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary elections under condition of alteration of electoral legislation and abolition of deputies' immunity.
From her part, Renate Wohlwend said that PACE sees a partner in Ukraine. She also informed that during their two-day visit to Ukraine the co-rapporteurs will focus on three main questions: the constitutional reform, electoral legislation and judicial system reform.
At his joint press conference with Hans-Gert Pottering, President of the European Parliament, President Victor Yushchenko said that to him the date of holding presidential election in Ukraine is not important.
"I repeat again that I am ready to make decision on declaring early presidential election in Ukraine. It does not matter to me how many months earlier the election will take place - either in October, or in September. What we are speaking now about, is that the opportunity to settle political situation should be used in only one way - we should hold simultaneous early parliamentary election.", - he said.
According to him, early parliamentary election would allow the conditions in the Verkhovna Rada that produce political crisis to change. "First, the Ukrainian parliament will have a coalition that will have majority of 226 votes and which will be able to any law: either on regulation of financial crisis, or on changing electoral system or any other", - he said.
He also stressed that it is necessary to alter electoral legislation introducing open ballot system and abolish deputies' immunity. In addition the Verkhovna Rada should vote bills on financing of the elections.
"I think that would be a proper compromise for all branches of power: to adopt a clear and understandable decision on holding early elections, thus bringing politics of a new quality and stability to the country", - he said.
Monday, April 6, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko met with President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly John Tanner.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko reaffirmed that Ukraine considers NATO as the only effective security system at transatlantic area. He also welcomed Albania and Croatia joining the Union saying that for Ukraine NATO opened doors policy is very important.
Victor Yushchenko informed that currently Ukraine has focused on preparation and implementation of the Annual National Program and expressed expectancy that it will be finished by the end of April. “In form and meaning the document fully meets all the requirements of the MAP and represents readiness of our state to continue reforms necessary to reach the criteria of membership” – he said.
Also Victor Yushchenko assured that being a firm ally for NATO, Ukraine is ready to continue making its contribution into strengthening global security. It is a well-known fact that Ukraine is the only non-member state of NATO that participates in all of the alliance’s operations.
The President reminded that the talks are complete and in the nearest future Ukraine expects to sign with NATO the agreement on transit of cargo through Ukrainian territory for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Beside that during the meeting sides exchanged thought on the results of the Anniversary NATO Summit, discussed parliamentary cooperation between Ukraine and NATO and its meaning for support of euro-Atlantic aspiration of our state.
President Victor Yushchenko met with President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering who came to Ukraine with the official visit.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko stressed that development of Ukraine-EU relations is one of top priorities of our country’s foreign policy. “This policy for Ukraine is fundamental, strategic and priority”, - he said.
Victor Yushchenko praised development of talks between Ukraine and the EU on the Association Agreement. “Our position is that the Association Agreement would provide answers to all of our fundamental expectancies regarding integration and rapprochement of Ukraine’s and EU’s points of view”.
Also President Yushchenko expressed hope that in ten to eleven months Ukraine and the EU would approach establishment of a free trade zone.
Separately he expressed pleasure about the fact that the long talks between Ukraine and the EU on modernization of Ukraine’s gas transit system have finally been crowned with success.
Beside that Victor Yushchenko pointed to success in the talks on organization of visa regulations between Ukraine and the EU. “In June we plan to approach signature of the Roadmap on organization of the talks on visa-free travel”, - he said.
For Hans-Gert Pottering’s personal contribution in revealing truth about the Holodomor in Ukraine before global community Victor Yushchenko awarded him with the Order of Yaroslav the Wise of the II grade.
Other participants of the meeting were Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Volodymyr Khandogiy and deputy Chief of Staff Andrii Goncharuk.
President Victor Yushchenko met today with students and lecturers of Taras Shevchenko National University.
Telling those present about the draft altered Constitution, he had submitted to the parliament, President Yushchenko said that its aim was to provide better protection of citizens’ interests and rights.
The President emphasized that the new Constitution fixes the norm that any alterations or amendments to the Basic Law may be introduced exclusively through national referendum in order to avoid such lame alteration of the Constitution as in 2004.
He also explained his suggestions on introduction of bicameral parliament in Ukraine, limiting deputy’s immunity, extension of local governments’ authority, etc.
President Yushchenko emphasized that the instrument of “direct democracy” would be expanded as the draft Constitution provides any citizen with the right to submit a draft law to the Verkhovna Rada after having collected one hundred thousand signatures. “Thus, we elevate the status of the Basic Law, expand communities’ rights and providing the nation with exclusive right to alter or amend the Constitution”, - he said.
Answering the question about the possibility of simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary election, President Yushchenko repeated that he is ready to discuss it and approve such a decision under conditions of introducing alterations to electoral legislation and abolition of deputies’ immunity.
The Ministry of Industrial Policy of Ukraine is paying a great attention to an issue of modernization of national enterprises as it will undoubtedly contribute to increase of amounts of production and positively influence the economy of our state in whole. So, on April 2 of 2009, chaired by Deputy Minister Serhii Hryshchenko, a meeting was held with representatives of a Japanese company, Mitsubishi to tackle implementation of provisions of the Memorandum of intentions on realization of joint Ukraine-Japan projects on modernization of the enterprises of mining and smelting and chemical complexes, energy machine-building, signed by the Minister Volodymyr Novystky on March 10 of the current year in Tokyo.
It should be noted on implementation of the requirements of the Memorandum the Ministry of Industrial Policy has readied a list of enterprises concerned in modernization by the Japanese companies. In the process of work the participants approved a decision to set up a workgroup comprised of specialists of the Ministry and the Japanese company to ensure future operative realization of conditions of the Memorandum. In the end it was agreed to determine a number of Ukrainian enterprises to be modernized at the account of investments of the Mitsubishi company within nearest time.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Speaking to journalists after his visit to training ground of the 8th Army Corps of the Ukrainian Ground Forces in Khmelnitsky region, President Victor Yushchenko stressed that he is ready to discuss possibility of holding simultaneous early parliamentary and presidential election.
“I would like to announce officially that I am ready to approve the decision on holding early presidential election in this country. Because this decision depends on me now”, - he said.
According to him, in package with such a step the early election to the parliament should be haled but in accordance with the new proportional open lists system.
Beside that Victor Yushchenko stressed that he is ready to submit his draft law on alterations to electoral legislation to the Verkhovna Rada next week.
As another condition for holding early parliamentary and presidential election President Yushchenko named “political cleansing” before the voters. He explained that he means adoption of alterations to the legislation, which would abolish deputies’ immunity. “I think that it would be a good demonstration that all those who are going to take part in the election want to do it openly and without fear of accountability before the law”, - he said.
In addition President Yushchenko said that for early elections to happen it is absolutely necessary to adopt the law on their financing.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
President Victor Yushchenko visits training ground of the 8th Army Corps of the Ukrainian Ground Forces
In Khmelnitsky region President Victor Yushchenko visited training ground of the 8th Army Corps of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.
At the training ground President Yushchenko was familiarized with structure, personnel and weaponry of rocket and artillery troops, their combat capabilities and state.
Also President Yushchenko watched maneuvers performed by soldiers of Ukrainian Ground Forces and Military Intelligence.
Victor Yushchenko was shown weaponry used by the corps, particularly VR-2 ‘Stryzh’ and VR-3 ‘Reys’ UAV and ‘Kazhan’, ‘Kazhan – 2’ UAVS.
After that President Yushchenko gave memorable presents to commanders of units that took part in the maneuvers and showed their best.
President Victor Yushchenko gave interview to ‘Focus’ weekly magazine.
During the interview President Yushchenko answered questions about his suggested alterations to the Constitution.
“I have honestly and openly set forth my position and ready to stand for every line of this model. Everybody wins: we will have independent Cabinet and independent local authorities. We will have the post of the President with clearly identified authority to guarantee stability, territorial integrity, security and foreign policy”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
President Victor Yushchenko accepted credentials from the newly appointed Ambassadors to Ukraine of Thailand, Columbia, Uruguay, Jamaica, Philippines, Singapore, Guatemala, Mongolia, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Australia.
Speaking at the meeting with the Ambassadors, President Yushchenko congratulated them on appointment and said that Ukraine considers development of dialogue with countries of different cultures, political systems and traditions very important.
Speaking at his press conference in Myrhorod, President Yushchenko expressed hope that the society would show support to alterations to the Constitution he had suggested and handed over to the parliament earlier.
President Yushchenko said that he is ready to public discussion o f the proposed alterations in order to reach national agreement on them.
Victor Yushchenko explained that main priority of the proposed alterations is decentralization of power beginning with the President. They also will establish a stable system for state authorities’ work thus finally leading the country out of the permanent political crisis.
According to him the upper chamber of the proposed bicameral parliament would provide stable work of state institutions and decrease political pressure on them. The lower house, on the other hand, would appoint the Government, conduct legislative work and would conduct political activity. He also denied the assertion that majority of states that have bicameral parliaments are federal.
Speaking about the Verkhovna Rada’s decision to hold presidential election on October 25 at his press conference in Myrhorod, President Yushchenko stressed that it is unconstitutional and politically motivated.
He said that he understands why some politicians want to hold the election as soon as it is possible but assured that the election would take place in time foreseen by the constitution.
Within the framework of his working visit to Poltava region, in Myrhorod city President Victor Yushchenko took part in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mykola Gogol’s birthday.
Speaking at the event President Yushchenko pointed to importance of Mykola Gogol’s works for Ukrainian, Russian and world literature.
“Along with Shevchenko and Kotlyarevsky, Gogol woke up Ukraine to the new life. Maybe he did not realize what a powerful nation making force he restored from the past. But he did it for us, his descendants and successors”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
He also thanked all those, who does like, preserve and study Gogol’s works, as well as to those gathered to honor Mykola Gogol’s name.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Dear Ukrainian people,
Mister Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada,
Madam Prime Minister,
Members of the Government,
Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
My address on internal and external state of Ukraine I, first of all, address to our people, all the citizens of Ukraine and, undoubtedly to the Ukrainian Parliament.
Hard times have come for Ukraine and for the world. We need to calmly contemplate the situation. Let everyone, who is wise, and everyone, who does not see Ukraine as only a source of profit and temporary shelter, hear me.
I have the right to say these words.
You know it well, I stand firmly and honestly for the basic position of my life – national Ukrainian interests. Nation and a human, their free life in unity and democracy are the most important standards for Ukrainian authorities’ work.
One hundred years ago the first chairman of Ukrainian independent parliament Mykhailo Hrushevsky, who later became the Head of State, has formulated main principles of Ukrainian democracy in his article “Foundations of Great Ukraine”:
“It should care for strengthening the idea of Ukrainian democratic statehood, for propagation of the idea among citizens, so that they felt call of duty before it as the supreme stimulus of public life; the stimulus that would unite all people and the whole nation in one national impulse and would prevail over party differences and divisions when it comes to basic interests of Ukrainian state”.
Today I address everybody and everyone – those who support me and those who oppose, those who have not lost faith and those who did.
I address our whole great Ukrainian nation.
Let us take a broad, loving and devoted look at Ukraine – in this devotion we will find true national unity.
Ukraine has undoubtedly changed in last five years. Fundamental processes have moved forward. We know now where are we going.
We strengthen ourselves as one nation. The Ukrainian nation with distinct character, culture and language, traditions, history, which arisen on our land. And at the same time as united political nation, which evolves without regard to difference in views, faith, language or origin. We are able to make decisions in which lies national dignity. We have brought the subject of the Holodomor to global level. The world has heard and understood us. With no regard to political views and if we are honest before God and Ukraine, we all understand importance of establishing single Ukrainian church.
This says the nation. This says our dignity. We are learning to be a nation – openly, following our conscience, disregarding someone else’s displeasure, opening ourselves before ourselves, through complications, through pain, but this pain brings rejuvenation and healing because our spirit and body got the chance to be healed.
We have become a free country. From 2004 the people is the head arbiter for the country. The opposition has come twice to power through free and fair election. For four years we have had freedom of speech and choice as the norm. It had never been so before. But today it is as natural as the air we breathe.
We continued the large-scaled historical process of unification of Europe. In last few years we have done more than in previous decade. We did it not for some stranger. We did it for us.
Our integration into European and Euro-Atlantic community is not an abstract goal anymore. Yet, at the same time, it is not an end in itself. It represents practical and modern instruments, which are capable of helping us to provide welfare to people and protection to the country, our nation, our children and our grandchildren.
We have done a great systematic work.
As the result, Ukraine has done or stands at the doorstep of exceptional steps, which were impossible 5 years ago. I am speaking of the joining of energy systems of Ukraine and the European Union and the perspective of signing agreement on energy cooperation, the Eastern Partnership agreement, the completed agreement on airspace, the beginning of talks on visa-free Ukraine-EU travel, the talks on establishment of free trade zone with the EU. I also mean the unprecedented closeness to signature of the Association Agreement with the European Union that will happen this year.
Every step mentioned above is a part of practical and achievable return of Ukraine to European world.
We have focused on practical steps rather than on slogans.
Having become member of the Bologna process we entered European education area.
Having become member of the World Trade Organization we became equal partners at European and global markets.
Having elaborated business plan of the modernization of Ukraine’s energy gas transit system we began integration of our gas energy systems that not only will bring us economic profit, but also will limit external pressure.
We have brought back to life the Odesa-Brody-EU energy transit route. Undoubtedly it will become main through-passage for energy resources from Caspian region to Europe.
Same as in this project, together with Poland, we became hosts of EURO 2012 Championship. The event will give boost to our economy and open us for Europe and for the world.
Ukraine has all chances to change.
In less than five years deep renovation has happened in the life of the country.
We have provided conditions for stopping critical demographic processes.
Isn’t this a joy, a true human joy that in 2008 eighty four thousand children more were born than in 2004? For the first time since we gained independence we see surplus of births over deaths in three regions of Ukraine. And I am sure this is only the beginning.
Gradually we begin caring more for each other. In 2008 every tenth Ukrainian orphan child has found its family. Another important fact is that since 2006 national Ukrainian adoption has become more often.
Compared to 2005 the number of children taken by adoptive families increased 22 times. It is parents, who are now standing in line for adoption, not the children, contrary to as it was three years ago.
We have stopped mass flow-out of people to other countries.
In 2001-2002 two people left Ukraine per one arriving; now the tendency is reverse – people are coming back home.
We have done important steps in education.
425 thousand children entered higher education facilities by the new testing rules. We have per se cleansed ourselves of the old corrupted system that was demoralizing both parents and children. This is the first step towards new realization in Ukrainian youth.
We have started the reform of Armed Forces and the whole security sector. Fundamental changes took place from increase in wages to reduction of call-up period to 12 months. I am sure that despite all problems we will reach the goal of professional Ukrainian military.
Foreign investors now believe in Ukraine. In last four years the amount of direct foreign investment to Ukraine reached almost 27 billion dollars – three times more than all the investment drawn by Ukraine since independence.
I would also like to mention that our potential is shown by one simple fact: before the crisis hit us the economic growth in Ukraine estimated at 6,5-7 percent, being one of the highest in Europe. I believe that we will return to this index.
So it means that we are not in the gap or on the roadside.
We are in the midline of the road that could lead us to really free, prosperous, safe, better society. There is no pathos or exaggeration in that.
No one can void our achievements.
But we could have done hundred times more if the idea of national dignity and unity became supreme for all of us. Particularly for Ukrainian politicians.
Our current situation is far from unique.
Dozens of other states and nations experienced similar problems – Germany, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, United States.
The answer to these challenges has always been one:
Unity. Independence and national dignity. Ability to step over one’s ambitions. Readiness to live one’s own life by one’s own wit rather than obeying orders from foreign capitals. Will to see valuable partners in one another rather than rivals, which are to be outran by any cost.
We have won our victory.
But freedom is not just a background. Its aim is our progress.
I call upon the nation, upon all of us to unite for the sake of our social progress.
To unite when it comes to basic interests of the state, nation and Ukrainian citizen.
This is main point of my address.
Dear fellow countrymen.
Our external state is safe, yet vulnerable to numerous new challenges.
Main threats come from corrosion of international legal standards, from overall deterioration of international relations atmosphere, from energy dependency of Ukraine from dangerous, destructing and shortsighted attempts to rely on force in resolution of disputes or conflicts.
Our only possible response to these challenges is strict observation of international law regulations and obligations, conduction of constructive and balanced external political course as well as firmness in protection of chosen national goals fixed in the legislation.
External political priorities of Ukraine are permanent and well tried. European and Euro-Atlantic goal remains unaltered and it will be reached.
I emphasize that again – it is in all Ukrainian citizens’ interest. I stand for improvement of relations with Russian Federation.
I will do everything that is possible to turn the page of misunderstanding and secure equal and friendly dialogue, as it should be between neighbors. The circle of our state priorities will remain broad – from Washington to Warsaw, from London and Paris to Beijing and Tokyo, from Seoul to Tripoli.
Especially in current conditions we should increase our presence at external markets and establish new economic ties.
Ukraine wishes to exist and work in safe regional environment.
We must fully meet all requirements to national security.
Our internal situation is complicated but far from catastrophe.
We have not crossed the line yet. But already today we are facing three dangerous challenges: economic decline, exacerbation of political crisis and wide-scale social protest.
I am sure that main cause for economic crisis in Ukraine is not external, but descends from inability of the state to conduct basic necessary structural reforms, first of all economic and social.
The long ago promised to Ukrainians Revenue Code for ten years already has been kicked back and forth between the Government and the Parliament.
Individual privatization of strategic enterprises was turned into wholesale by the rules of mass privatization, which were used back in 1990’s.
Reforms in energy sector or in agriculture are out of question.
Currently we hold lowest places in business environment ratings.
It turned out that we were mostly unprepared to withstand the first strike of the crisis.
Therefore this first strike was so painful and heavy.
We lost external markets that consumed 60 percent of Ukrainian export; on these markets almost fully depended our inflow of foreign currency, as well as employment of almost 2 million people in metallurgy, chemical industry and adjacent branches.
As the result, GDP growth slowed down to 102,1 percent last year compared to 106,7 percent in 2007 and fell 25-30 percent in January-February this year. (I announce this data despite some are trying to keep it a secret.)
All this certainly produced deterioration of social situation in Ukraine.
Debts in wages have doubled between October of 2008 and January of 2009 and reached 1,6 billion hryvnyas. From last October unemployment has doubled.
But I will stop here.
Dear fellow countrymen,
I did not come to this hall to describe problems, typical today for many other states including our neighbors.
I came here to propose the way out of the crisis.
Political assumption that one will be able to wait through the crisis aside of it all will not come true.
We are one step from totally new economy, different global redistribution of labor and ratio of prices for resources.
I address both the government and the opposition. Millions of people want their hope back.
I want you to hear the voice of our people.
On behalf of millions of Ukrainian citizens, I address all Ukrainian politicians.
Despite everything, you are able to set aside all the conflicts in the face of serious threats.
Despite everything, we are able to stand up together in the moment of crisis for the state and for our people.
Our first steps in unity have already produced results.
We are restoring dialogue with international financial institutions.
We saved the banking system from collapse. Every third depositor’s hryvnya left the banking system. The banking sector has faced systematic political harassment that undermined its steady work.
Such attacks could ruin even stronger banking system than ours, but our system managed to stand fast. It took 70 billion hryvnyas of refinancing for it to continue functioning.
We introduced stable mechanism of anti-crisis cooperation and consultations.
In the spirit of this work I address everyone, who is now present in the hall of the Verkhovna Rada.
I want you to calm down political passions and impose moratorium on conflicts.
Presidential campaign opens four months before the election.
I propose that any actions aimed at winning early political benefits were postponed until September.
I would like you to give the state time to extricate itself out of the hardest phase of this trial.
I propose a joint national antirecessionary plan that will save the country and protect millions of our people.
It consists out of two interrelated components.
The economic program and political measures.
The First. Economy.
I emphasize that: we are special but not unique in this crisis.
The world has enough examples of both successful and faulty policy in this regard.
Iceland, the developed European country, which until recently had per capita GDP of 64 thousand USD, has lost its economy, currency and banking system.
On the other hand, Hungary and Denmark in the crisis have increased their production and reduced unemployment. All this accompanied by low inflation rates.
The method was one: the real program of action. And here are specific steps.
First of all – we need to restore financial stability in the country.
I had repeated many times before that the existing 2009 State Budget is populism, as it distorts the role of state finance. It presents a serious threat to stability of national currency and prices.
We must cut all the excess expenditures and finally start living within our means.
This applies to everyone – from the state to enterprises’ budgets and even to every Ukrainian family.
We must urgently and dramatically revise the State Budget for 2009.
In the process of revision of the budget I will be insisting on provision of financing of the protected articles, such as social standards and minimal maintenance costs of state functions.
With regard to enormous shortage of resources, it is necessary to stop wasting money on 300 national target programs. It looks like feast during the plague.
Stabilization Fund should be returned the purpose, it had been established for, namely the financing of major state projects, rather than repaying arrears of wages. The last is absolute nonsense.
The so-called “balanced budget” of NJSC “Naftogaz of Ukraine” should be revised.
Anywhere in the world such a monopoly would be prosperous. Instead, we see hidden and questionable budget prepared by the Government.
Today the company found itself in extremely bad situation. If its budget is not revised urgently, the consequences for the company will be dramatic.
It is necessary to urgently make realistic changes to the Pension Fund’s budget. Billion deficits in this budget are covered by funds from the Stabilization Fund. Such a policy will result in collapse.
We need pension reform.
I would like to ask all the present:
Gentlemen, is this right that the former prosecutor, who by the way continues to work, gets for himself in a court the 50 thousand hryvnyas monthly pension?
Is this right that deputies, judges, or top-level officials receive 15-20 thousand hryvnyas pensions? There are thousands of such examples.
The situation represents rough disrespect for millions of Ukrainian people. In the essence it is social injustice.
I demand cancelation of all special pensions replacing them with introduction of a single criterion for all: the salary and length of service.
This should be done by the Verkhovna Rada and, above all, by the coalition.
We should introduce a tax on real estate for wealthy citizens, which will strengthen the financial base of local governments.
With heavy heart, I ask you to support the Government proposed increase of excise and expansion of Pension Fund’s profit base. This step is necessary for supporting the resources of our state.
These initial steps will enable us to save the situation and strengthened cooperation with the IMF, thus restoring confidence in Ukraine.
The second. Social responsibility.
Providing jobs, especially for skilled workers is the duty of the government and employers.
I suggest establishing a forecast system of labor resources at the local level, in order to balance demand for labor.
We need to encourage mobility of labor within the country. If particular worker is available in the range of even tens of kilometers, he must be offered the job.
In that way we will be able to keep employment rates.
The next thing is restoration of justice in social protection.
This is the most painful thing for our people.
At the same time I would like to make myself clear: social justice does not mean paternalism or Soviet-type equality.
It is necessary to rearrange benefits, as there are 19.5 million benefit recipients in Ukraine. That is almost half of the population, which neither state is able to withstand.
Current benefits system is absolutely unfair. Those, whom we call rich people, get the most from state subsidies to pay for gas or electricity; and this cannot be reasoned.
Social justice means support of the poorest, most vulnerable people.
It means help to those who want to work.
And it also means tough restrictions for those, who seek to make profit on the budget.
Therefore, I appeal for radical reduction of the number of benefits, especially by profession, for their personalization and making the right for benefits dependant on financial and property conditions.
The third. It is necessary to provide sufficient support to the banking system. It is the spine of economy that supports the muscles of real sector.
The State must immediately assume responsibility for the banks that are in trouble and take part in their capital.
We have resources for that - the budget provides 44 billion hryvnyas for recapitalization of the banks.
This responsibility must be backed by the full control of such banks.
I am sure that rapid actions of the state will result in restoration of confidence among the citizens. As soon as we have confidence back, the investors will return.
Yet, the banking system should also move closer to citizens, because they are its major partners.
I insist on introduction of a mechanism that would provide bank support to anyone in trouble, rather than leaving the person to be finished off by the system.
We must prevent the decrease in financing of companies, working on products that have demand.
The issue of confidence is applicable to currency exchange rate too. For now we have balanced the rate, ensuring virtually zero balance of foreign trade. It is the negative balance of trade (U.S. $ 12 billion) that had produced the problem in the first place.
So why do fluctuations continue? Unfortunately, the answer is: psychology and reaction of people.
In 1998, Korea urged its citizens to support the banks and people responded by bringing in their money and jewelry.
I do not suggest that.
I just ask Ukrainian citizens to confide in banks and not to close their deposit accounts, so that they did not harm either themselves, or the state, or those who have received loans and need support.
The fourth. Support every Ukrainian manufacturer, whose products have effective demand.
The banking system should give impetus to support domestic demand.
The criterion here may be only one.
The enterprises making products that have demand should get financing. Enough said.
It is necessary to provide appropriate crediting of projects of strategic value for the state, which were launched by private capitals; I mean Euro 2012, development of infrastructure, energy sector, communications, transport.
For that I suggest elaboration of an open investment program of banks’ refinancing by the National Bank.
And finally, the fifth. We must focus on Ukrainian economy sectors with growth potential.
These are first of all agriculture and small and medium business.
In agriculture the most important is to support market pricing for products of domestic manufacturers. No investments whatsoever can make up for the damage, dealt to farmers by administrative intervention.
Last year the ban was imposed on export of 6 million tons of grain. Moreover, all grain elevators were stuffed with this grain and therefore were unable to store the new harvest.
The grain decayed, the conditions became disadvantageous and farmers lost 2 billion USD, which is twice the sum of support money for agriculture, foreseen by the State Budget. Similar things happened to meat market and market of sunflower seeds.
As the result, farmers are deprived of their rights and making loss.
Therefore it is essential to stop any administrative interference in agriculture sector once and for all.
Agriculture should also be protected from low-quality and cheap imports. I strongly oppose Government’s cancelation of extra charge for meat customs duties.
Farmers should be provided access to loans and financial resources based on clear principle: the demand for the products must determine everything.
The Agrarian Fund, State Reserve, SAC “Bread of Ukraine” should secure income to farmers, rather than to middlemen.
At the same time the state must actively search for new markets to sell domestic products and promote them abroad.
And to the most important. I demand allowing already the free sale of land.
The moratorium, which has been imposed four times in succession, is nothing but a new form of serfdom for farmers.
Farmers should be freed and they will save and feed Ukraine, and not just Ukraine.
Small and medium business.
This is our main partner in maintaining employment and providing essential goods and services.
I am speaking now about nearly four million most economically active citizens.
It is them, who are able to quickly adapt to the new conditions and their companies will make up the foundation for economic growth.
But for that to happen, a number of steps should be made, such as easing procedures of start-up, operation and termination of business, making sure that legally established system of inspections worked properly, including tax.
No regulations should be issued without extreme need for them and all unnecessary regulations should be immediately canceled.
Ukraine is a preserve for Soviet system of standardization and certification and among all post-Soviet states only our country still has it.
In response to the request from the «Government and business are partners» Forum all the necessary alterations to legislation were submitted by the President to the parliament and are already there.
Dear fellow countrymen,
Deputies, members of the Government,
By making these steps we can improve the situation in national economy and social state in the nearest time.
However, making these steps is just a fragment of the work.
We must bring order not only to the household, but also to the whole house.
So now I will proceed to the political block of questions.
I will be brief: radical change of the electoral system should become the foundation for quality renovation of staff in the government, both central and local.
The existing closed proportional system has exhausted its potential, destroyed effectiveness of state authorities, particularly of local government.
Due to politicians lacking adequate culture, the system is compromised in the eyes of millions of citizens.
People are openly pointing to the results: the decline in professionalism of the parliament, devaluation of deputy's mandate, lack of communication between those voted for and their voters.
I will extend this list: politicization of local councils instead of solving the problems of local communities, hypertrophied role of parties’ and parliamentary groups’ leaders, establishment of parties in which ideology is replaced by charismatic authority - all these are consequences of closed proportional system.
Citizens should be returned their right to personalized choice of deputies.
Being the only legislative body, the parliament must implement election system reform - the transition to open election lists in parliamentary elections and to majority system in all local elections.
People should have the right to vote not only for one or another political party, but also for a specific candidate.
This will correct existing negative trends in the parties, and simultaneously will provide conditions for genuine political competition, political responsibility and bring quality of all representative bodies in the state to the new level.
Yet, this is still not enough.
Without delay we must proceed to establishment and implementation of a new governance model that would meet the needs and values of Ukraine, as a European nation, and provide response to challenges of the present.
I am assured that this is a matter of outmost national importance.
Obvious flaws in current organization of public governance force us to this.
These flaws are primarily due to politically unreasoned and premature alteration of the Constitution in 2004.
It is probably not the coincidence that the law that introduced political reform had such a number: “four twos”.
In fact, these changes crippled all main components of governance organization:
The nature of local government was destroyed by introduction of party lists election.
A dualistic hybrid in organization of the executive branch was spawned, which limited authority of the President of Ukraine without providing counterbalancing of the Government’s authority by responsibility before the parliamentary coalition and of those two before the people;
In addition to lawmaking and executive power shaping functions, the parliament was given authority to shape judiciary power and leadership of all key institutions in the country.
Modern European legal doctrine does not accept such a concentration of power by single authority.
I would like to emphasize: the society has a clear demand for unity in state authorities’ actions together with simultaneous balance of power between the branches.
Suggestions of transition to purely parliamentary or presidential form of government that are now common, are nothing more than another attempt to shuffle the powers for someone’s needs.
I reject any kind of egocentrism in governance or attempts to usurp power.
Society wants not a strong hand, as some would think, but the supremacy of law and order.
The time has come to set forth clear and fair criteria for distribution of power. The world has already worked out the appropriate models that should be implemented in Ukraine.
I suggest introducing a bicameral parliamentary system with the decreased total number of deputies.
Beside that the basic request from people should be finally fulfilled - the request for abolition of unlimited parliamentary immunity.
All conditions are there.
It is worth mentioning that most of the unitary states at European continent have bicameral parliaments (take the Czech Republic, Poland or France).
Our country needs the parliament of European model - the National Assembly of Ukraine that would combine both political and territorial representation.
The lower house – the Chamber of Deputies – having been eleted by direct vote by the proportional system would be the body for political representation of the people.
Beside the legislative function, the lower chamber of the parliament would be responsible for appointment of the government and supervising its activities.
I am absolutely sure that the Government should not be appointed anymore without the program of its work.
Inability to appoint the Government and approve the program for it results in dissolution of the lower chamber of the parliament and early election.
Please keep in mind: only of the chamber - not the whole parliament, which retains its viability under any circumstances.
The upper house is elected by direct vote by majority system and represents communities and regions.
This chamber is designed to take the authority over non-governmental staff appointments, and approval of all defense and security decisions of the President of Ukraine.
Equal representation of all the regions of Ukraine (3 senators from each region) in the Senate will be the uniting factor.
Another contribution to that will be the eligibility age limit for the upper chamber.
As the result, the political turbulences will be happening exclusively within the lower house with its acute forms of political competition and competitiveness.
Thus we will balance and stabilize the powers, upgrade representative democracy, initiate decentralization processes and enhance the quality of the legislative process.
As to the post of the President of Ukraine. In my opinion, we should keep the direct national representative mandate for the Head of State.
The constitutional and legal status of the President as the guarantor of sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Ukraine corresponds with the mandate.
The mission of the President would be, in cooperation with the upper chamber, providing institutional stability of the state, implementation of reforms, setting priorities for public policy, which would provide progress of the nation.
At the same time, the Cabinet should get independence. The Government should be responsible for external and internal policy.
The dualism in executive power must be put to an end.
I support preservation of parliamentary method of appointing the Government without exceptions or limitations. The Government should be appointed by one source.
Thus, having won the parliamentary election, the political parties will determine the composition of the Government and conduct state policy, fulfilling their obligations before the voters.
Another essential component of the constitutional reform is ensuring reality of local government.
The foundation for local self-government should be community. The community should provide basic social services to citizens.
A clear consequent connection should be established between community, district and region.
It is time to allow representative bodies – regional and district councils, to establish their executive bodies, and to provide them with appropriate authority.
The executive committees established by the councils should be responsible for the situation in the region and accountable before the deputies of local governments and the people.
At this level territorial divisions of central government should be established.
The existing state administrations should be withdrawn from the system of executive power and become effective instruments for monitoring observation of the Constitution, legislation, rights and freedoms.
Qualitative transformation of local self-government is impossible without effective administrative-territorial reform.
We need to put in order the existing irrational structure of Ukraine.
The time has come for judicial reform and reformation of law enforcement bodies’.
Regaining citizens’ confidence in the courts is a matter of outmost significance for the state.
Prominent philosophers have said that justice is a foundation for social virtues and the guarantee of democratic freedoms.
I call upon the Verkhovna Rada to approve the draft law of Ukraine “On the judiciary system and the status of judges” to bring us closer to the aim.
Its adoption is very important, because it will solve basic problems, introduce transparent procedure for selection of judges, increase the guarantee of their independence and toughen responsibility of judges.
The next step is fundamental reformation of law enforcement bodies’ work.
Our assignment here is reorienting the bodies from protection of government’s interests to protection of the rights of the citizen as well as depriving pre-trial investigation of its accusatory character.
We must introduce competitiveness and procedural equality.
We must guarantee return of criminal prosecution in the authority of law enforcement bodies. Current practice of courts substituting this function must be ended.
I urge Ukrainian parliament to take my words with all responsibility and without wasting time adopt the new Criminal Procedure Code.
This work should be started right now in current Verkhovna Rada.
We need truly radical changes.
These changes are impossible without fundamental alteration of the Constitution.
I have already called upon all parliamentary political forces to joint and balanced work.
I repeat my offer.
I do it openly and publicly.
I want our state to have the Constitution that has not been created for some persons or for politicians, but for our people, our nation, our liberty and our progress.
We are in the middle of the path.
And right this difficult moment we must approve the new basic law.
Dear Ukrainian people,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honor today to hand over to the Speaker of the Verkhovna the draft revised Constitution of Ukraine, which I ask to consider as urgent.
Dear fellow citizens,
Today is the ultimate time for action.
I am ready to cooperate with everyone, who supports my position and my vision of joint anti-crisis work.
You are well aware that I was right every time I warned against unreasoned political changes and economic populism.
You are well aware that I have been standing firmly for protection of national priorities.
You know very well that I kept to all the commitments.
I call to renew the general political culture in Ukraine.
Current Government and parliament have particularly difficult task.
You have fate of the country and overcoming the crisis in your hands.
Every nation that thinks of the future is taking urgent antirecessionary measures.
I call upon you to support my action program and unite based on common economic platform.
My priorities are known to all.
It is the unified Ukrainian nation.
It is the wealthy middle class, and protected Ukrainian.
It is the healthy society that has live, moral, family values.
It is the security of a man and a citizen, and the guaranteed protection of all our rights and freedoms.
It is the stability of the business without exceptions and limitations.
It is the security of the state as a full-fledged member of Euro-Atlantic community, an equal partner and active participant of international life.
I have not abandoned, even slightly, these principles.
I am continuing and will continue my work.
I know that the truth of national position will inevitably win.
The ordeal will end and we will straighten our shoulders.
In the early 20-ies of last century, when Europe was hit by the long-drawn recession, a Spanish philosopher appealed to his despondent fellow countrymen with such words:
“If Spain wants to be reborn, it must rejuvenate in itself the strong and restless craving for perfection. But political reforms, certainly, will not be enough. We must apply ourselves to hard work, putting all the efforts in embarking the nation on the path towards perfection”.
Dear Ukraine, we are big, strong and free nation.
Our goal is to make real, big next step towards a better life.
We are just in the middle of the road.
We need to gather ourselves up.
We must believe in ourselves.
We must go forward.
Glory to Ukraine!
Thank you for your attention.