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KIEV, September 6 (Itar-Tass) — Reforms in Ukraine are being conducted in the context of its aspiration for European integration, President Viktor Yanukovich has said. “All the changes in the country have the European choice. Our main goal is to continue adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to EU standards and requirements,” the head of state said at the opening of a new session of the country’s Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) on Tuesday.
Yanukovich also particularly emphasised that the goal of this process is the “preparation for the introduction of a deep and comprehensive free trade zone with the EU, as well as implementing the plan of action to liberalise the visa regime for Ukraine.”
Among the country’s immediate tasks the president named “a profound reform of the agricultural sector.” “We need to revive the rural areas, to ensure the country’s leading positions on the world agricultural market,” the Ukrainian president stressed.
The president set the tasks for the further improvement of the business environment, modernisation of the industry and the housing and public utilities sector, the completion of privatisation. “A short list of companies that ensure the fulfilment of the basic functions by the state should remain the government property. Other facilities will be prepared for sale,” Yanukovich stressed. He also noted the need to reform the security sector, in particular, the military and emphasised the importance of measures to fight corruption.
The president said that in the near future the parliament would start working on the 2012 state budget. “This year’s budget has all the signs of stability. I am convinced that we will end this fiscal year with a good result, and next year we must consolidate this result,” Yanukovich emphasised.
Earlier, he said Ukraine would have to carry out 21 reforms before the end of the year. “The reforms that we had launched seek not temporary effects, but are targeted at drastic modernisation of our country. These changes in the country require professionalism and systematic approaches,” he said. At the same time the Ukrainian leader underlined that he “expects no fast positive results.” “As a rule, reforms begin to have effect some time after.”
Yanukovich underlined that an administrative reform and a management reform that will significantly simplify conditions for doing business are underway. Moreover, a reform that will encompass local legislatures will begin soon. “Such rather painful reforms of the pension, agrarian, healthcare, educational, housing and public utilities sector are ahead. All this takes time and requires a careful and balanced approach,” he said. At the same time Yanukovich underlined that all reforms are closely interconnected. “Thus, most of them will work, if we carry out them comprehensively and systematically,” he said.