President of Ukraine

For the first time in many years, the number of oligarchs in Ukraine has decreased, and the process of de-oligarchization will be continued - Volodymyr Zelenskyy

14 May 2021 - 13:14

The process of de-oligarchization in Ukraine will be continued until all oligarchs become just representatives of big business. The reforms carried out in the country are aimed at making Ukraine understandable to the world and providing a prosperous and comfortable life for citizens. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote about this in his op-ed for the Focus media.

The Head of State noted that all successful states have something in common. First, they have something unique and useful to offer the world. And secondly, they have built their own system of relations between the government and citizens, which allows for establishing dialogue.

"Based on these two starting ideas we began the process of transformation of Ukraine. The first is to create the conditions for Ukraine to find its way to success in the global world. It's not easy, but it's possible. The second is to make the state system stable, modern, ready to respond effectively to modern challenges while preserving democracy. Real democracy, not imitative one. Democracy that works in the interests of all citizens, not a group of chosen ones," Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained.

According to him, since the 1990s, a group of "chosen" people has formed in Ukraine - people who, taking advantage of the situation, concentrated political, financial, industrial and media resources in their hands and who are still in the lists of the richest Ukrainians. And this group of people modeled relations in the state for themselves, taking into account their own interests. And the rest of society had to simply accept this state of affairs.

"Frankly, a state where there is such inequality will definitely not be able to be comfortable and competitive. The absolute majority of Ukrainians did not consider such a situation fair," the President stressed.

This public disagreement, in his opinion, affected the results of the 2019 presidential elections.

"The eloquent result with which one of the oligarchs lost then clearly demonstrates what society really expects. Another state worldview. Other principles and rules of life in the country. Another level of public dialogue. We are already succeeding in something. For example, for the first time in many years, the number of oligarchs has not increased, but decreased. Minus Medvedchuk," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

He reminded that with the help of legal tools, politician and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk was deprived of the opportunity to use media assets and state property in order to openly damage the country and cause destructive damage to national security.

"There will be more minuses until all the oligarchs become just big businessmen. The previous authorities could do the same. If they wanted to. But then it was considered that the existence of oligarchs is profitable, natural and guarantees stability," said the President.

In his view, the policy of de-oligarchization is to deprive such individuals of concentrated media resources, non-transparent access to strategic assets, as well as "protection" in the government.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that in the near future the Ukrainian society will be presented with a fundamental bill on de-oligarchization, which will fix a systemic view on this issue.

"We really need maximum transparency in economic relations, prevention of destructive concentration of resources and equality of all citizens before the law and the courts. When it wasn’t available, the country has been moving towards poor status in Europe for decades. If we ensure that Ukraine will be able to move to a stable economic growth for decades and finally solve, in particular, the problem of poverty," the Head of State stressed.

Dozens of thorough reforms are being carried out in the country to solve the problem of poverty, the President also noted.

"A fair court, effective decentralization, modern financial sector, privatization, completion of land reform, creation of the maximum possible conditions for economic development. These are dozens of fundamental reforms. And all this together is a change of the system and a change of public relations," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated.

According to him, the goal of all these important transformations is to make Ukraine understandable to the world, like those states that already provide their people with a prosperous and comfortable life.

To achieve this, according to the President, citizens need to stop fighting each other, which is actively instigated by oligarchic structures, and, as a consequence, stop losing common chances. In addition, people must decide for themselves what to offer to the global world, and the government must give more freedom and security to make society more productive and successful.

"For example, we are carrying out a debureaucratization of the relationship between the state and the citizen. Millions of Ukrainians are already accustomed to using the "Diia" application to receive administrative services, assistance from the state, pay fines or simply present documents. Ukraine has become the first country in the world where digital passports have the same validity as ordinary paper documents. Can we be the first, really modern? We can,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.

Also, in his opinion, in order to realize the potential of Ukraine, a fair and rational state system is needed - one that has been built for a very long time and the foundation of which is being created right now.

"And, of course, we need peace. All wars come to an end. We have never incited this confrontation. On the contrary, due to rational diplomacy, we have done what was impossible before. This is the silence on the frontline, which saved dozens of lives last year. This is a transit gas contract - one hundred percent in our interests. This includes the release of prisoners - some of them have been in captivity for years. If we had succeeded in this, then everything else necessary to establish a fair and stable peace would also be successful," the Head of State summed up.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy added that in these two years Ukraine has at least understood what place it should occupy in the modern global world and what transformations and reforms should lead us to this place.

 "And concrete actions on this path are a whole package of systemic reforms related to each other, which should destroy the traditional oligarchic system and replace it with much fairer socio-economic relations," the President concluded.