Jaresko: Ukraine needs all the help we can get

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In an interview with EURACTIV’s Georgi Gotev, Natalie Ann Jaresko, the Ukrainian Finance Minister, talked about the cause of the current financial crises in Ukraine and the country’s need for continued assistance.

“We are living through a very very complex financial and banking crisis, there is no question. This is a crisis that’s been caused firstly by the illegal annexation of Crimea, which represented almost 5% of GDP. Secondly, the war in the East, in Donbas, which represents 10-15% of GDP. The war is costing us, as you can well imagine, in humanitarian costs, in infrastructure, approximately 200 million dollars per month in subsidies, because we are providing electricity, gas, water, without being paid”

“And not to diminish in any way the human cost, the loss of lives, the wounded soldiers, the civilians and military that have been lost is enormous. That, on top of years of economic policies that were, frankly speaking, less than transparent, has put the economy in a difficult situation.”

“The EU and our international partners, the IMF, the USA, have been very helpful in the year of 2014. We have received almost 9 billion dollars of credit. However, we have paid out about 14 billion dollars in debt repayments to honour our commitments. So during an economic crisis with the balance of payments crisis, when we have paid out a good deal more than we have received, it is a very difficult moment for us. That said, we are clear about the reforms we are undertaking, we are clear about the road we are going down, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and we need the support of our partners going forward in a big way, to give us a breath of fresh air that we need, to have the time to implement these reforms and return in 2016 to economic prosperity.”

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