Article by: Zhanna Bezpyatchuk
President Petro Poroshenko promises to execute over 60 reforms in eight key spheres before 2020. He says the country has no other choice. He says the reform of justice is number one on the list.
“Everything is much deeper. The essence of all reforms narrows down to replace bad, unfair, unequal rules with new, good, fair and equal ones. However, the new rules, regardless of the sphere they govern, will never work anywhere if an impartial institution does not arise,” stated the Ukrainian President.
The indicators of the execution of Strategy 2020 include a GDP of 16 thousand USD per capita, 70% replacement of state workers, local budgets’ part in the state budget at the level of 65% and the increase of average life expectancy by three years. The list of indicators even includes a mental one, such as “the number of Ukrainians who feel proud for their country.” According to the President’s plans, there should be no less than 90%.
“We are not supporters of a single talks format”
After the strategy presentation, the President had to answer journalists’ questions; as throughout the 100 days of his presidency and several months of war, many have accumulated.
He also answered the question posed by Radio liberty whether there is a need to reexamine the Minsk triangular format of talks regarding peaceful regulation, as combat factually continues in Donbas. The Russian mercenaries attack Debaltseve, Shchastya, the Donetsk Airport with the help of the Russian army.
“Look at the dynamics, how combat has changed. Before they came along the entire front, that is hundreds of kilometers, almost seven hundred kilometers of the front line. Not just attacks, but advance operations. The number of prisoners of war on both sides, the number of casualties on both sides. Those were calculated by dozens in one day. We stopped this,” the President said.
As to the format of the talks, he emphasized: “We do not support a certain single talks format, the triangular contact group. We have the Normandy format, the Geneva format. We are now creating a cleaning center which will ensure the ceasefire, I hope this happens, not only to stop the attacks but personify those who conduct them.”
In the end the President tries to explain the logic of his actions to the Ukrainian public: “We have come a long way, we have survived a great war for peace. I hope we are ready to achieving this peace. Remember the discussions that happened in Ukrainian society: there were attacks, saying, don’t hold the elections, because we are at war, we cannot hold them. No, because there will be peace. Now nobody doubts the necessity for elections.”
Poroshenko adds to this: “The only demand to me as the Head Commander was: immediately declare martial law, suspend all democratic rights and freedoms, announce total mobilizations – and send everyone to the inferno of war. But what to fight on? What to fight with?”
“The Donbas special status law does not exist”
The President reported to the journalists that there is simply no law on the special status of Donbas.
“There is no special status law, these are lies spread by opponents or from outside the country. There is a law regarding the special regime of local government, as Ukraine is not delegating any central state functions to anyone,” the President emphasized.
He also noted that he is against any presence of peacekeeping contingents in Donbas.
The President received a question from Hromadske.TV regarding the organization of the elections in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. If they are held in adherence with Ukrainian law, who will monitor them on the territories that are practically out of control of the Ukrainian government?
“They cannot be organized otherwise than in full accordance with Ukrainian legislation, wherein the Central Electoral Committee gives methodic and other kinds of assistance, international observers are present, and there are no armed people in the streets. And we will be able to ensure free expression of the citizens’ opinions,” said Petro Poroshenko.
“I am proud of my son”
Petro Poroshenko had to answer the question on his son’s political career, as the latter is running in the majority district from his father’s eponymous block. The President says that Olexiy Poroshenko made his own decision to volunteer in the ATO and run for the Parliament.
“He has now returned from the ATO zone in light of unit rotation. He made the decision to run in the election. He did not consult with me, however, I am proud of my son. He did not hide in the lists like the children of other politicians, but went to the district, where there will be a fair, uncompromisable fight,” noted the head of state.
At the end the President promised he would hold such meetings more frequently than his predecessor.
Petro Poroshenko even answer a question from the Russian First Channel as to why Ukraine does not prosecute those to blame for the tragedy in Odesa. He noted that one of the main suspects, former head of the Odesa police Dmytro Fuchedzhi had fled justice to Transnistria and periodically visits Russia. Accordingly, taking advantage of the situation, in response to the Russian pro-Kremlin TV channel’s concern, Poroshenko asked to help catch Mr. Fuchedzhi and hand him over to the Ukrainian authorities.