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Azarov: further loans fraught with more hardships for Ukrainians

August 16, 2015, 18:32 UTC+3 KIEV

According to Azarov, the state only seems to be functioning due to foreign borrowing. However, he stressed, this policy will drive the country into a catastrophe

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© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, August 16. /TASS/. Further loans are fraught with more hardships for the Ukrainians, with dramatic cuts in social spending, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Sunday.

"In the first six months, Ukraine’s gross domestic product dropped by 16.3% on the previous year. Industrial production slumped by 20.5%, the farming sector sagged by ten percent. Exports went down by 35.4% Wages shrank by 24% These are official statistics. Heavily window-dressed I think," he wrote on his Facebook account.

According to Azarov, the state only seems to be functioning due to foreign borrowing. However, he stressed, this policy will drive the country into a catastrophe.

Further loans in conditions of the collapsing economy would be inevitably entail tougher conditions for the population due to cuts in social, budget and pension spending.

"A major economic parameter, the ratio of the external public debt to the overall GDP, i.e. to the overall domestic production, has exceeded 1. Even if the country gives creditors everything it manufactures, it will be still unable to repay all its debts. One can only be astonished at how swiftly [President Pyotr] Poroshenko, [Prime Minister Arseniy] Yatsenyuk and Co. are accumulating the foreign debt," Azarov stressed.

He said he was surprised such suicidal policy had met no reaction in society and called on people not to be silent. "If people speak up, no security service will be able to save this regime. Even the worst enemy cannot do as much harm to the country as the current regime," he said.

Azarov was Ukraine’s Prime Minister in a period from March 2010 to January 2014. He left Ukraine after the February development and the Euromaidan [Maidan is the name for downtown Kiev's Independence Square, which is the symbol of Ukrainian protests. The words "Maidan" and "Euromaidan" are used as a collective name for anti-government protests in Ukraine that started when President Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union in late 2013 - TASS].

At a news conference in Moscow on August 3, Azarov announced the establishment of the Committee for the Salvation of Ukraine. He said the Committee would nominate former members of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Vladimir Oleinik as candidate for Ukrainian president. "We must demand early elections, both presidential;, parliamentary and local. The country badly needs renovation. With popular support, the Committee is ready to undertake responsibility for the state’s future," he stressed.

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