Distinguished colleagues, fellow Ukrainians.
We hereby begin the last regular meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of this year.
It was a year of great challenges. A year of heavy losses. A year of struggle and a year of resilience.
Every day we thank the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine. Thank you for protecting every meter of our land and our sky.
Eternal glory and memory to the Heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our country.
(minute of silence)
Today, russia launched a massive air strike on Ukraine. The enemy targeted social and critical infrastructure.
A maternity hospital and a shopping center in the Dnipropetrovsk region were hit.
The massive attack caused power outages in Kharkiv.
Residential buildings were damaged in Lviv, Sumy region and Odesa.
In Kyiv, the Lukyanivska metro station and residential buildings in several districts were struck.
Damage was also reported in Lviv, Zaporizhzhia and Kyiv regions.
There are injured and dead. Our condolences to the families and friends.
However, Ukrainian air defense forces have once again demonstrated a high level of professionalism. Most of the air targets were shot down.
We thank the military for saving lives.
The year 2023 is becoming history. But we know exactly what we need to do in 2024.
We will continue to defend our land and freedom.
We will reinforce our army.
We will rebuild our country.
We will persistently pursue membership in the European Union.
We will endeavor to bring our victory closer.
I thank everyone who protects, rescues, teaches, cures, works and pays taxes.
I thank everyone who is fighting for a better future for our country.
The Government, for its part, is generating changes that make Ukraine a strong, modern and efficient country. In particular, today we adopt a number of important decisions.
First. The Cabinet of Ministers proposes to reboot the work of the Economic Security Bureau. We adopt and submit the relevant draft law to the Verkhovna Rada.
We propose that only the ESB and the NABU should have the authority to raise the issue of conducting inspections of financial and economic activities of businesses, regardless of their form of ownership.
We also propose to exclude the National Police and the Security Service of Ukraine from the list of state financial control bodies.
We propose a new procedure for the election of the ESB director, with international partners involved in the process.
These changes are aimed at strengthening the rule of law and improving the investment climate in our country.
Second. Corporatisation reform at Energoatom.
Today, we establish Energoatom as a joint-stock company, which is 100% owned by the state. We endorse a new charter, regulations on the Supervisory Board and regulations on the principles of its formation.
The corporatisation of Energoatom in accordance with the best international standards will strengthen the quality of management, transparency and accountability of the company. It also opens up new opportunities for the development of our nuclear power industry and partnership with global companies.
Third. The Government continues to reform public administration. Today, we are approving a document on a new remuneration system based on the classification of positions and grades.
This is primarily about justice. None of the managers will now be able to charge exorbitant bonuses, allowances and surcharges at will. From now on, 70% of a civil servant's salary will be a salary, and only 30% will be bonuses.
The new system will cover both state bodies with jurisdiction over the whole of Ukraine (ministries, the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Office of the President) and regional bodies (regional and district administrations).
At the same time, the number of civil service vacancies will be reduced by almost 20,000 starting from 1 January. And this is only the first stage.
The new remuneration and reduction of vacancies system, according to the Ministry of Finance, will allow us to save about UAH 8 billion of budget funds and allocate them for security and defence needs in 2024.
Fourth. We continue to strengthen our defense capabilities. Over the past 1.5 years, we have been working hard to build strong defense lines along our border and in our regions.
The Government has been allocating funds for the construction of new fortifications in various regions. The decision to build certain fortifications is made by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and communicates this need to the Ministry of Defense, local administrations and the Restoration Agency. To ensure that the process is of high quality and fast, we now allow advance payments of up to 70% of the cost of the work.
Fifth. Today we are approving the draft Ukraine Facility Plan to be submitted to the European Commission. Together with business, the public sector, MPs, and the regions, we have done a great job of drafting it. We now have current developments, to which the European Commission will provide its comments and suggestions.
We will have the final terms of the program after the approval of the Ukraine Facility regulations by the European Council, which is scheduled to meet on February 1, 2024.
The approval of the final version of the plan by the European Commission will give Ukraine access to a financial resource of EUR 50 billion for 4 years, of which EUR 39 billion will be used to ensure macro-financial stability.
We are grateful to our European partners for such a powerful support tool and expect to benefit from it as soon as possible.
And the final issue on the agenda.
The financing of the budget deficit for 2024 and the macro-financial situation have been the subject of active in recent days.
Next year Ukraine would need more than USD 37 billion in external financing. We certainly count on the support of our international partners. We have agreements with eleven countries on multi-year financing programs. We have an extended financing program with the IMF. We have the support of other international financial organizations.
We clearly understand what tools and options we have.
And most importantly. Pensions will continue to be paid on time. The indexation will take place in March 2024, as provided by law. Salaries of teachers and doctors will also be paid on time.
Despite all the difficulties and challenges, we have never delayed social payments during almost two years of war. These are our obligations to people, and we will do our best to fulfill them in the future.
Thank you for your attention.
Glory to Ukraine!