President of Ukraine

President in an interview to Financial Times: We do reforms not for the IMF, but for the Ukrainian people

6 March 2018 - 13:52

President in an interview to Financial Times: We do reforms not for the IMF, but for the Ukrainian people

“The last half a year was extremely active in reform. And if you can find any country in the world that did so much I would be very much surprised,” President Petro Poroshenko said in an interview to Financial Times, noting the dynamics and progress of reforms in Ukraine.

The President reminded that since September 2017, Ukraine had carried out educational reform. “Real systemic reform. We changed the Soviet-style education to the western, more interactive education. We undertook enormous effort to return the very high potential of Ukrainian science and education”.

The Head of State also noted the healthcare reform, “very painful sometimes, sometimes unpopular”. “Politicians are not happy to do unpopular things, but we cannot accept any more the old system,” the President said.

According to him, a significant part of this reform is rural medicine reform, telemedicine. “We have 14m people who live in villages who have absolutely no access to healthcare. I was the author of the rural reform, and I doubt anybody can imagine how big and important this is,” the Head of State noted.

“We did reform not for the IMF, but for the Ukrainian people and the future of my state. And I am proud that the IMF said that we’ve done more reform in the three years of my presidency than in the previous 25 years,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.

The President also drew example of the pension reform, when “nobody believed that there would be enough political will to complete pension reform, to move, again, from a populist-style pension system to a system that has motivated people to pay the official salaries, not in the grey economy”.

“For 25 years my country had been waiting for the new privatisation law, which has established absolutely new standards of privatisation, transparency, possibility for the investor to use the British legal system if he feels comfortable with this position. It is not possible to sell any object of a big privatisation without western advisers,” the Head of State noted.

The President also mentioned the constitutional reform for the judicial system. “We had an absolutely dependent and corrupted court system. Can you imagine, in a very short period of time, parliament supporting the constitutional reform of the judicial system? We had a complete restart of the whole court system, and the new Supreme Court is already launched,” Petro Poroshenko said.

“Not only the army is having a huge reform, where we spend a huge amount of money. For example, if you take road construction, in 2015 we had 10 billion hryvnias. In 2016, 20 billion; in 2017, 30 billion; in 2018, 50 billion. And everything is being done under the absolutely new state procurement system — it’s saved dozens of billions. That’s why we increased local budgets by seven times during decentralisation. That’s why we have some modest economic growth,” the President emphasized.