Setting the record straight on Ukraine
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.