Abromavicius: Ukraine needs to reform its Achilles heel, Naftogaz

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In an interview with EURACTIV’s Georgi Gotev, Aivaras Abromavicius, the Ukrainian Economy Minister talked about the need for reform in Ukraine.

“First and foremost, Ukraine needs a rule of law. So judicial reforms need to be passed. Everybody knows that every single judge in Ukraine is corrupt and most of them need to be changed. Judicial reform comes first. Then obviously we have other reforms like police reform, we need electoral reform, and when it comes to my part, related to the economy, Ukraine has a lot to do here.”

“First and foremost we need to reform the biggest Achilles heel of the Ukrainian economy: Naftogaz Ukraine. The Naftogaz deficit is equal to 9% of Ukrainian GDP, so we are committed to raising tariffs to market levels and then compensating the poorer half with about 2% of GDP. Second, when it comes to the economy, we have been seeing a situation where big businesses have been benefiting from unfounded preferential treatment for their activities for years, so we have to demonopolise our economy. We are committed to making level playing fields for all businesses. In exchange we will deregulate as much as possible.”

“All kinds of agencies regulate things that it is not necessary to regulate – licensing which does not conform to European standards etc. so we are committed as a first step to submit a good amount of laws to the government and the parliament, starting this year, with regards to regulation. Deregulation is where government and businesses come together. As a great reformer, Kakha Bendukidze [Georgian statesmen] said once, ‘whenever business and government come together, there is some room for corruption’.”