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Ukraine’s PM says new government must be ready for most radical and tough reforms

December 02, 2014, 21:45 UTC+3 KIEV

The former government had cut spending on government staff and the budget for the next year would further reduce these expenses, however defense spending will be increased, Arseniy Yatsenyuk says

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Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

© Mikhail Palinchak/TASS

KIEV, December 2. /TASS/. Ukraine’s new government will pursue a course of the most radical and tough reforms, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Tuesday, summing up the results of the activities of the previous cabinet and setting tasks for the new one.

He said the former government had cut spending on government staff by two billion hryvnias (133.2 million US dollars) and the budget for the next year would further reduce these expenses. “The government has optimized social expenditures by 4.5 billion hryvnias (299.6 million US dollars). We shall follow the path of optimization next year,” he pledged.

At the same time, in his words, defense spending will be increased by 119 billion hryvnias (7.923 billion US dollars) and this course will be continued in future.

“We have resumed cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),” Yatsenyuk said. “We are often asked where their loans went to. We have received from international financial organization assistance and loans worth nine billion US dollars but have repaid 14 billion US dollars in debts, including Naftogaz’s debts.” He admitted however that it foreign investment growth was hardly expectable. So, he said, “Ukraine will rely on cooperation with international financial organizations.”

Among top-priority tasks for the new government that are to be solved by the end of the current year, he cited amending the country’s budget and tax codes, reducing the unified social tax and adopting the law on the state budget. “Next year will be even more difficult,” he admitted. “The government must be ready for the most radical, most tough reforms.”

Ukraine's new government

Verkhovnaya Rada (Ukrainian parliament) approved a new government line-up by 288 votes on Tuesday.

The new cabinet has 19 ministers, including Pavlo Klimikin (the foreign minister), Stepan Poltorak (the defense minister) and Arsen Avakov (the interior minister).

US national Natalya Yaresko, the head of the Horizon Capital investment fund, was appointed to the post of Ukraine’s finance minister.

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