Dear fellow citizens!
Two years after the Revolution of Dignity, our country has made solid and firm steps toward European integration.
We have launched a number of important and very difficult reforms.
However, the public demands more.
It is clear that society and state authorities are not satisfied with the pace of changes.
It is clear that we need to accelerate the positive transformation and intensify reforms.
It is clear that since the beginning of this year, we have not only decreased the pace – we started to slow down.
The government lost support of the coalition. We often had to “borrow” votes from independent MPs and parties outside the coalition to push through even strategic decisions.
Tension between the government and parliamentary factions became so “high-voltage”, it is threatening the viability of the coalition. Its collapse will, in turn, inevitably plunge the country into a deep and long-lasting political crisis.
The public authorities – central government as well as local authorities – are working in very difficult conditions. Namely, the armed hostilities in the East of Ukraine and the destruction of much of the industrial infrastructure; aggressive closure of Russian markets for our manufacturers and blocking of trade transit routes to other countries via Russia by Moscow. Finally, the prices for our key exports have plummeted.
These objective circumstances are multiplied by our own mistakes. As a result, we have declining living standards of Ukrainian citizens, which leads to the decline of people's trust in the government. According to opinion polls, 70 percent of the people favor government dismissal. One cannot ignore this indicator.
The Constitution does not give the President the right to directly regulate the relations between the coalition and the government or to decide upon appointments. But as the guarantor of the Constitution, as a man who claims responsibility for the reform strategy, I cannot remain indifferent to what is going on in Ukraine. While the two buildings on Hhushevskoho Street keep shifting responsibility back and forth, the whole country does not progress.
We are losing precious days, weeks and months. It is happening when we are years and decades behind our more successful neighbors!
The way out of this standoff requires political will of the President and common responsibility of the President, the parliament and the government.
Today, I had a meeting and a substantial conversation with the Prosecutor General. I suggested Viktor Mykolaiovych that he should resign from his post.
On the one hand, Viktor Shokin has managed to implement a number of reforms that have been facing a serious resistance in the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office for decades. Nowadays the Prosecutor’s Office is deprived of its function of general surveillance. Ukraine finally has the National Anti-corruption Bureau and of the State Investigations Bureau. On the other hand, unfortunately, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General's Office did not manage to gain trust of the Ukrainian public. This is why the resignation of the Prosecutor General is on the agenda.
We can say the same about the government. The Cabinet of Ministers did a lot to save the country, stabilize economic situation and launch the reforms. However, the public believes there were more flaws than achievements and has no trust to the ministers. Is it not true that only government supported by its citizens is able to implement successful reforms?
Today, a mere therapy will not be enough to restore this confidence. We need surgery. We have missed the turning point when it would be enough to partly renew the Cabinet of Ministers. There were too many discussions on that topic, but they were not followed by actions. At present, society wants to completely reboot the government. The Prime Minister still has an opportunity to choose how to let it happen.
The complete change of the Cabinet of Ministers should be based on the current coalition made up from “Solidarnist”, “Narodny Front”, “Samopomich” and “Batkivschyna”.
My special appeal is to the “Narodny Front” (People’s Front) and its leaders with whom we have walked a difficult road side by side; whom I have been taking to and will continue to think as my fellows and political partners. Neither the fate of this government, nor personal ambitions of its members need to affect the unity of our pro-European democratic team. Coalition was formed not for the sake of positions, but based on principles. At least this is what we told the people, did we not?
Appointments to the government should be made with all factions of the coalition participating and supporting them. They need to be based on technocrat and reformat-minded approach. Experts who are not affected by political influence or vested interests of others should be appointed.
The main taks for such a Cabinet of Ministers will be to secure the GDP increase and start recovering the living standards; arrange transparent privatization; accountable management of state-owned enterprises; introduce strict anti-corruption measures; continue cooperation with the IMF and other international financial institutions.
All these steps will only reinforce our strategic course toward the European Union and NATO, toward enhancing defense capacities of our country and increasing the well-being of Ukrainians, strengthening democracy of our parliamentary-presidential political system.
I am convinced that the country has no time credit to enter an election campaign for the fourth time in nearly two years, especially under conditions of external aggression.
Internal political strife waged by everyone against everyone is exactly what our northern-eastern neighbor is dreaming about. That is why I took the floor and expressed my vision of how to find a way our of crisis in order to avoid the worst-case scenario.
The dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada is not a President’s obligation, but only his right. I will use it as a last resort that we have to avoid by all means.
The restoration of trust must be resolved in the Parliament. Trust is the main resource that we need in order to resolve the problems our country faces.
I expect quick decisions from the Parliament for the benefit of the state. I will do my best.
I rely on public support, my fellow countrymen.
Glory to Ukraine!