Set­ting the record straight on Ukraine

The Jerusalem Post - - COMMENT & FEATURES - • By HENNADII NADOLENKO

Iam writ­ing with re­gard to the spon­sored ar­ti­cle in your news­pa­per un­der the ti­tle “It is time to say the truth about Ukraine” [Jan­uary 8, 2019].

In this re­gard, I am very sur­prised that such pub­li­ca­tion, which is full of lies and ob­vi­ous pro­pa­ganda, may ap­pear in such a re­spected and strong me­dia as The Jerusalem Post.

First, I would like to stress that the Maidan and the Rev­o­lu­tion of Dig­nity in the win­ter of 2013-2014 have be­come an im­por­tant turn­ing point in the mod­ern his­tory of Ukraine, which laid the ba­sis of a new pro­gres­sive na­tion. The na­tion which re­fused to tol­er­ate any cor­rupt gov­ern­ment and po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees of the Krem­lin regime.

Since the men­tioned rev­o­lu­tion, Ukraine has made more progress as a coun­try than it had since declar­ing in­de­pen­dence in 1991.

In just a few years, Ukrainian so­ci­ety has un­der­gone a mas­sive tec­tonic shift as it shed the legacy of So­viet past and chose a pro-western demo­cratic ori­en­ta­tion which coun­tries gain strength and mo­men­tum ev­ery day.

For many Ukraini­ans a con­sid­er­able achieve­ment of the Rev­o­lu­tion of Dig­nity was the restora­tion of the course of Euro­pean in­te­gra­tion, in­clud­ing Ukraine’s visa-free regime with the Euro­pean Union and the sign­ing of an as­so­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the bloc. The as­so­ci­a­tion agree­ment with the Euro­pean Union proves its ef­fec­tive­ness on a daily ba­sis.

After cur­sory ex-pres­i­dent V. Yanukovich left an empty state trea­sury, Ukraine man­aged to avoid de­fault and since the end of 2016, the coun­try has re­stored eco­nomic growth. Ukraine’s GDP in 2014-2015, against the back­drop of the war waged by Rus­sia in Don­bass and the oc­cu­pa­tion of Crimea, fell by 17.5%. Ac­cord­ing to the At­lantic Coun­cil es­ti­ma­tions, Ukraine has lost 100 bil­lion US dol­lars be­cause of Rus­sian ag­gres­sion.

This year, the eco­nomic growth is ex­pected to equal 3.4% and it will be the record of the last eight years. The main driv­ers of eco­nomic growth will be the re­vival of Ukraine’s in­dus­trial sec­tor and de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tive in­dus­tries.

In April 2017, the gov­ern­ment adopted its Strat­egy 2020 with the goal of boost­ing eco­nomic growth to five to 7% by 2020, thereby en­sur­ing long-term pros­per­ity for all Ukraini­ans. The plan also lays the ground­work for po­si­tion­ing Ukraine as the Eurasian hub, where it can use its geo­graphic and mar­ket ad­van­tage to com­pete at the cross­roads of two of the world’s largest eco­nomic trad­ing blocks, Euro­pean and Asian. Ukraine has free trade agree­ments with the EU, CIS (Com­mon­wealth of In­de­pen­dent States), EFTA (Euro­pean Free Trade As­so­ci­a­tion), Canada, Ge­or­gia, Mace­do­nia and Mon­tene­gro. With Is­rael, an FTA agree­ment is ready for sign­ing.

In the Do­ing Busi­ness 2019 rat­ing, Ukraine has risen to +5 points and took 71 po­si­tions from 190 coun­tries of the world. The coun­try has shown the high­est growth in such cat­e­gories as tax­a­tion (in­crease by 110 po­si­tions to 54th po­si­tion), in­ter­na­tional trade (+70 po­si­tions, to 78th place) and pro­tec­tion of in­vestors’ rights (+56 po­si­tions, to 72nd place).

Also, it should be noted that in the rank­ing of agency Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice, Ukraine has im­proved its credit rat­ing in the in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic list. It has changed from Caa3 to Caa2, which means chang­ing the fore­cast from “stable” to “pos­i­tive.”

If to re­call the state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the be­gin­ning of the Rus­sian ag­gres­sion in the spring of 2014, one should say that nowa­days, Ukraine’s army takes over mod­ern forms of con­fronta­tion in all ar­eas, both tra­di­tional and new, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion and cy­berspace, and is be­com­ing the army of a new gen­er­a­tion of Ukraini­ans.

And we have achieved all of this while fight­ing a Rus­sian-led war which has cost thou­sands of lives, and with a Rus­sian oc­cu­pa­tion of the Crimean Penin­sula and the Don­bass re­gion dev­as­tat­ing our econ­omy.

The writer is Ukraine’s Am­bas­sador to Is­rael.

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