Esteemed colleagues! Fellow Ukrainians!
Today marks the last day of winter, with a month and a half left before the heating season ends. We may say with certainty that we have gone through the most challenging period. We have endured russia's energy terror and ensured heating inside Ukrainian homes.
Ukraine has won not only the battle for heat but also the battle for light. For 17 days in a row, there has been no power shortage in the power grid. We do not expect any problems in the near future, unless there is a massive missile attack.
I thank the courageous and skillful power and heat engineers for their selfless work, I thank our air defense forces for their professionalism, I thank our international partners for their support, and I thank every Ukrainian for their cost-efficiency and resilience.
We will be even stronger. We will not only restore what has been destroyed, but also modernize, decentralize, and protect our energy system. This work is already underway and will be accelerated.
Exactly one year ago, on the fifth day of a full-scale war, Ukraine signed an application for membership in the European Union on the initiative of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Back then, some thought it was a pipe dream. Today we have specific results:
We are determined to initiate membership negotiations this year and to prepare for accession to the European Union in two years. We are proving our commitment to European values on the battlefield and in the area of reforms.
It is now important to make an accurate assessment of our efforts, to see our weak points and understand where we need to improve. To do this, we are adopting a resolution on internal check (or self-audit) of Ukrainian legislation for its compliance with European standards
By June 30, 2023, the ministries and central executive bodies must carry out the relevant work and by August 30, submit a report to the Cabinet of Ministers. The summary report must contain specific proposals on how to harmonize sectoral legislation in line with EU law. The process will be coordinated by Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna.
Today is yet another significant event for us. The OECD Office has been opened in Kyiv. Ukraine has already been recognized as a potential member of the Organization and has the prospect of joining the "club" of democratic countries with market economies. The launch of the OECD Office will allow us to effectively share our experience in post-war recovery, reforms, and public policy-making. We expect that the OECD will be one of the drivers of the Ukraine Recovery Plan.
The United States remains another strategic partner. Yesterday in Kyiv I met with Secretary of the Treasury of the United States Janet Yellen. I thanked her for the USD 13 billion in grant support Ukraine had received the previous year. We expect to receive another USD 10 billion from our American partners by September to cover the budget deficit.
The assistance of our partners enables the state to fully fulfill all social obligations. This includes pension payments.
For the second time during the full-scale war, on the initiative of the President of Ukraine, we are adjusting pension payments. We have found the resource for this purpose. We meet our obligations. We are helping those who need it most.
The resolution has been adopted and published. Pension indexation will commence on March 1. Pensions will increase by 20%. The indexation will affect 10.5 million pensioners. Payments would also be lifted for retirees of law enforcement agencies. Moreover, pensions will also increase for citizens who were granted them in 2020-2022.
In times of war, the state's resources are limited. Financing national defense remains a top priority. Therefore, we decided that the maximum increase will be UAH 1,500. The minimum rise will amount to UAH 100, even if the estimated indexation is lower. This is a fair balance.
At the same time, the Government continues the program of monthly additional payments initiated by the President of Ukraine. Pensioners aged over 80 will benefit from an additional UAH 570 per month. For pensioners aged 75-80, the additional payment will be UAH 456, and for pensioners aged 70-75, the monthly supplement will be UAH 300.
Starting April 1, pensions for working pensioners will also be automatically recalculated. In the summer, the indexation will affect retirees from among scientists, civil servants, and employees of local self-government bodies.
In parallel, the Government in synergy with MPs are working on a fundamental pension reform. It is about launching a system of mandatory pension savings. Ukrainians will have their personal pension savings accounts. Creating the architecture of the new pension system, he said, is one of the Government's key tasks for 2023.
Keep on working. Together we are making Ukraine stronger, more competitive, and European-like. We believe in victory and are bringing this day closer!
Thank you for your attention! Glory to Ukraine!