Dear colleagues, fellow Ukrainians, good afternoon.
Despite the challenging economic situation, the Government has carried out the second indexation of pension payments during the full-scale war. As of today, all pensions for March have been fully paid.
As a result of the aforesaid indexation in March, retirement benefits have grown by almost 20%. The adjustment affected 10.5 million Ukrainian retirees. The average increase amounted to almost UAH 600. The average pension in Ukraine now amounts to UAH 5,200.
We have also raised payments to military pensioners and liquidators of the Chornobyl accident. The average increase for these categories of pensioners exceeded UAH 1,000.
In April, pensions for working pensioners will be automatically recalculated to reflect the increased length of service. This rise will affect about 600,000 Ukrainians.
Additional age-related payments, which were initiated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also remain in place.
We are aware that people of retirement age need particular support during the war. Therefore, we have found resources, indexed pensions, continued additional payments, provided subsidies and benefits, and helped everyone who needs it.
We are grateful to our international partners, who enable Ukraine to fully and timely finance all critical budget expenditures, as well as Ukrainian businesses and all taxpayers. After all, all the resources you pay to the budget we channel to our army and security.
Since the start of the year, Ukraine has received almost USD 5 billion in support from the EU and more than USD 2 billion - from the United States. We have an agreement on a new program with the IMF.We received financial assistance from Great Britain, the World Bank, Germany, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Iceland and Estonia. Norway has extended the program of payments for 50,000 Ukrainians who are facing difficult living conditions and have suffered from russian aggression. Payments under the UN and Red Cross programs also continue.
Also, over the past 7 months, within the framework of a joint project of the Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, Ukrposhta, and international organizations, one-time cash assistance for the total amount of more than UAH 300 million has been provided to residents of the de-occupied territories.
Besides, the Government shall pass an order to receive a second grant from the US this year. We are talking about USD 2.5 billion. The funds will come through the project of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the International Development Association. In addition, another resource worth USD 150 million will be provided by other partners. These will allow us to leverage the second tranche this year worth USD 2 billion 660 million. What will these funds be used for? To pay salaries to our rescuers, teachers, doctors, to help pensioners, internally displaced persons, people with disabilities and low-income families.
We appreciate the help of our friends from the United States and all our partners. In all areas. Our active cooperation continues, and it is not only about providing financial support to Ukraine.
We also continue to work actively with our international partners to promote transformation and reforms in Ukraine. In particular, this concerns anti-corruption reform.
This month, the key European anti-corruption institution - GRECO - published a report recognising that we have carried out more anti-corruption reforms over the past year than in previous years. This is an important recognition against the backdrop of our ambitious goal to start negotiations on accession to the European Union as soon as possible.
The essential idea and philosophy of the Government's anti-corruption strategy is to create conditions where abuse and corruption are just impossible. This implies maximum digitization of all state processes and services. This means deregulation for business. This also means reducing the role of the state in the economy and, above all, privatization of state enterprises.
We are continuing our work in this direction so that both Ukrainian citizens and our partners see and feel these changes.
Cooperation in the energy sector remains another joint project with our partners.
It is crucial to keep up the pressure on russia in connection with its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Every month we face a situation when the plant is de-energized due to russian shelling. This creates risks for the entire continent. Nuclear terrorism by russia must be responded to properly and we will continue to work in this direction.
Yesterday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi on this issue. We expect that the IAEA will continue its systematic work to prevent any incidents, and this is possible only if russian troops leave the territory of the ZNPP.
We are working to ensure victory, to restore justice and peace in Ukraine and Europe.
Thank you for your attention. Glory to Ukraine!