Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Government of Ukraine is determined to prolong systemic reforms to overcome the crisis facing the country and ensure further economic growth.
This was stated by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, speaking during an international virtual roundtable entitled "Ukraine Reforms: What Next?" organized by the Chatham House.
In the roundtable were also participating Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, Head of the Board of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting Ihor Burakovsky and other Ukrainian and European experts.
Denys Shmyhal thanked international partners for the systemic support of Ukraine and stressed that despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, which had hit the economy hard, Ukraine is becoming stronger. "Definitely, the threats we have faced need consolidation, both within the country and in cooperation with our international partners. In fact, we have been rather successful in this collaboration over the last month. This includes the signing of a new program with the IMF, this is an agreement on macro-financial assistance with the EU, this is a tranche from the IBRD, these are three agreements with the EU, in particular in the field of supporting small and medium-sized businesses and farmers. Our agenda contains a lot of negotiations, plans and agreements for the future. I expect and I believe that this is just the beginning. Just as I believe that attitude towards Ukraine will only improve. This concerns both the trust of international institutions and the trust of investors, that our country desperately needs these days," the Head of the Ukrainian Government said.
According to him, the Government sees future Ukraine as the State prolonging the political and economic advancement towards integration with the European Union. "We are preparing a number of mutually beneficial initiatives that should take Ukraine-EU relations to a new level. Ukraine remains a reliable and predictable trading partner. We are determined to speed up the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU, as well as we are open to trade and economic cooperation in world markets," said the Prime Minister.
As for the security component, according to Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine's security entails the NATO's security: "Ukraine is already making its contribution to Euro-Atlantic security and expresses readiness to strengthen cooperation with the Alliance. We are not looking for protection, but for partnership. We very much appreciate NATO's decision to recognize Ukraine as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner. For us, it is an exceptionally practical tool for deepening our cooperation with allies, both within the scope of joint exercises and the exchange of information."
Apart from that, the Head of the Ukrainian Government stressed that despite the pandemic, the Government is determined to continue systemic reforms, which should be the basis for overcoming the crisis and further economic growth. "The Government has formed a number of top priority steps within the framework of the Economic Stimulus Program," said Denys Shmyhal, adding that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is implementing the "Economic Stimulus Program", which consists of 230 measures aimed at ensuring the country's economic recovery in all areas. The program is intended for 3 years, and for the first month - June - a number of priority steps have already been taken.
"Many economists, sociologists and journalists have now begun to say that the year of 2020 could be a lost decade in terms of economic development. But I assure that if we develop synergy and work persistently, we will manage to avoid such scenarios. Ukraine definitely has all the necessary resources for this, and our Government has the vision and desire to make this decade, instead, a decade of economic breakthrough," Denys Shmyhal concluded.