President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that the course of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration will allow to improve the living standards and welfare of Ukrainians, as well as reach new level of social standards. The Head of State said this during his speech at the All-Ukrainian Public Forum "Open Dialogue".
"Achieving criteria of membership (in the EU and NATO - ed.) will improve the investment climate. And this will provide an increase in foreign direct investment. This will ensure the creation of new jobs, well-paid jobs. This will ensure an increase in revenues of the state and local budgets. This will ensure an increase in salaries and pensions. Therefore, when we say the European Union or NATO, we mean not only security, but also economy," Petro Poroshenko said.
According to him, it is not only about the rebuff of Russia, but also about the counterattack on poverty. "Poverty, by the way, is a direct consequence of our colonial past. That is why we break with it definitively and irrevocably," he added.
"Our ambitious goal is to turn Ukraine into a great power, a regional leader, an integral part of European civilization and a cornerstone of European security," the President emphasized.
At the same time, the Head of State stresses that we will not be able to become leaders if we do not raise the living standards tangibly, if we do not ensure sustainable development of the economy and social sphere.
"Every Ukrainian should feel with his own wallet that the worst challenges are already behind, the country is moving forward and the economy is being developed. Now this is the main thing in our strategy, our vision of the future. Overcoming crisis caused by war gives us every opportunity for that," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President says that when he arrives in the regions, officials are trying to show him the front side. "It's natural. Any host having guests shows them the best and does not lead them to unclean rooms. However, in many communities, by the way, there is something to look at," he added.
According to him, the achievements of decentralization have become visible earlier than the results of some other reforms. "These are new or repaired schools prepared for the program of a new Ukrainian school - the Finnish program, when the child is not forced to go to school, but wants to go there... These are newly built, renovated or returned to the state or municipal property kindergartens. These are roads, after all, lighting, energy saving," the President said.
"In the future, I firmly guarantee the immutability of decentralization policy, it will be preserved and deepened," he said.
"But I know, I see, I feel another thing, too. Millions of Ukrainians are worried about the present and are not sure about tomorrow. Pensioners are worried about how to survive, because the crisis hit them the most. The depleted state didn’t have enough resources to properly protect them, and sometimes it hurts looking in the eyes of the older people," Petro Poroshenko said. He added that many of the young people do not see prospects in their own country, so they go to study or work abroad. Especially since Ukraine becomes part of a single European labor market. "I know about the low income of teachers and doctors, other budget employees," he added.
The President emphasized: "The authorities recognize these painful problems, speak honestly and aloud about them, and make efforts to overcome them. And the authorities should explain why these problems turned out to be so deep”.
"The fact that the worst is already behind gives us hope. That the crisis caused by war, economic aggression and blockade by Russia retreats. That the restoration of economic growth opens opportunities for the restoration of living standards. Today, we can already set ourselves the tasks that yesterday seemed to be empty promises," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President recalled that, according to his order, the program of monetization of subsidies, which will soon be paid to people in cash, began. According to him, more than 4 million families, households will be able to receive money in March for February. The average payment will be UAH 1,500 per household. The one who will save energy, as the warm winter today allows that, will be able to provide energy efficiency: install plastic windows, increase energy efficiency at home.
The Head of State stressed that each family can spend the rest of the saved money at its own discretion. "And this will be one more step to overcome poverty," he said.
"Why is this all done? Two directions. The first is our energy independence. We should not buy gas from Russia. We do not have to buy imported gas at all. Ukrainian gas should be enough," he said.
Petro Poroshenko added: "I am proud that during my presidency, over the past five years, Ukraine has finally stopped its dependence on the Kremlin's "gas needle" - corrupt and very burdensome for the Ukrainian budget and Ukrainian economy".