BRUSSELS, February 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will travel to Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday, February 24, for talks with interim president Oleksandr Turchinov and Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Timoshenko.
In Kiev Ashton will “meet key stakeholders and discuss the support of the European Union for a lasting solution to the political crisis and measures to stabilize the economic situation.”
European Commission spokesperson Olivier Bailly said no final list of people had been drawn up yet as the situation in Ukraine was volatile, but Ashton was planning to meet with Turchynov, Udar Party leader Vitali Klitschko, head of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party’s faction in the national parliament Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Svoboda (Freedom) Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok, and YuliaTymoshenko.
Ashton will discuss financial assistance to Ukraine. She will also lay a wreath in memory of the victims of last week’s violence in Kiev.
Way out of economic crisis
Acting Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov urged the new authorities to pool efforts in order to rescue Ukraine out of its severe economic crisis.
“We must admit that Ukraine’s credit ratings have fallen to near-default levels, investors have lost interest in our business and are waiting,” Arbuzov said on Monday, February 24.
He said budget revenues had plummeted as had the national currency’s exchange rate. “This is why it is so important to pool efforts in order to stabilize the economy. Otherwise, the country may face a situation where enterprises will come to a halt, people will stop receiving salaries, the budget will run dry, and the state will have no money to carry out even the minimum amount of social obligations,” he warned.
“We are ready to use our experience both in a coalition government and in proposals from specialists in the incumbent government on how to stabilize financial and economic processes, prevent further dives and stop negative trends in the economic and social spheres,” Arbuzov said.
He stressed that “despite the political crisis, the government paid pensions, stipends and other allowances on time. This practice must be continued irrespective of what kind of executive branch the country will get shortly.”
Arbuzov believes that continuity is important for further dialogue with foreign partners. “I mean primarily the International Monetary Fund and the agreements reached with the Russian Federation and China. The national economy needs investments, investments that have basically been agreed with these partners. And we should continue the process of obtaining the promised funding,” the acting prime minister said.