The following is the text of Yushchenko's statement at a news conference excerpts from which were carried by Ukrainian television TV 5 Kanal on 8 September; subheadings inserted editorially:
I was aware of certain disagreements - some buried deeply, others on the surface - among these people. I believed that these were nuances and episodes that anyone can run into. Especially, when it involved such great, interesting and extraordinary people. I believe that every extraordinary
person has problems.
I viewed such problems as a temporary thing. I hoped that if everyone had committed themselves to hard work, they simply would not have had time for internal intrigues, infighting or holding PR or anti-PR campaigns among certain political forces that formed a coalition. Such were my hopes.
Moreover, I would like to say that my colleagues were granted the most expanded powers based on the Ukrainian constitution. I believe that the power that the national security secretary, the state secretary and the prime minister wielded was larger than any one of the top officials had ever
had before, ranging from building a structure and forming an apparatus to coordinating functions and decision-making procedures.
I do not recall any party being unhappy after the fundamental functions of this or that institution had been agreed on and all the basic documents had been signed.
But eventually I was becoming a witness, first, of disagreements among these institutions which turned into serious topical conflicts and internal intrigues, which affected the fundamentals of state policy. Eventually I became a witness of the situation when on a daily basis I had to intervene
in a conflict between the national security council and the cabinet, between the state secretary and the national security council, between the cabinet and the Supreme Council [parliament]. In other words, these conflicts have become the government's daily agenda.
I believed that my friends who enjoyed such unique backing from the people and such unprecedented powers - [changes tack]. I believed that these, let me stress, talented people could have used these resources to the benefit of their work. I also believed that these people, being top state officials, realized their full responsibility. I thought they should have heard each other and should have reached accord.
This was their duty. The president should not baby-sit for them and make them maintain relations.
To be honest, I was eager to do this, because I understood this was a matter of national importance, even though I did not want to spend that much time on as I did not see much constructive approach. But such was the reality.
Let me repeat, the rifts continued, the wars were getting worse, just like among two Ukrainians and three hetmans [Ukrainian proverb meaning that people cannot agree on anything]. It became obvious that the election campaign was in progress. One wanted to take Kiev, another wanted the same, the third wanted to take Lviv, the fourth wanted to reshuffle political forces and to invite some other partners to an election coalition and began recruiting people.
To cut the long story short, I witnessed zero trust among my partners at meetings that I chaired. As soon as the meetings ended, the parties proceeded in different ways, agreed on conducting a different policy. And Ukraine then entered scandals.
The latest scandal was at the Nikopol ferroalloys plant. I remember how I finished my last Friday - resulted in a unique court ruling which was difficult for us to achieve. This was a unique, honest decision. The court, because of the intrigues behind the scenes, which were evolving not only
inside the country but also abroad - which is especially painful - led the case to a conflict when people went out to the square.
For all that, we have a well-justified and deeply correct court decision. But the finale of the story had nothing to do with attempts to hand the company from a gang over to the state. But it appeared that it was handed over from one gang to another. Therefore, the people had the right to protest. [sighs] I am sure that at some point my colleagues simply lost the team spirit and faith.
I am saying this with bitterness again because these people remain my friends regardless of the circumstances. I will value them but I have to say this. The Ukrainian president has been a peacemaker among these institutions for eight months. I almost did not say this in public, as I thought it was my karma that I had to bear.
Meanwhile, Ukraine was losing momentum, including economic pace. I think members of my team listened to the president but did not hear him. And today I have to cut the Gordian knot, however difficult it may be. In the name of Ukraine. On 24 August, on Independence Day, I promised my colleagues and state officials in Independence Square that nobody had an indulgence.
We have witnessed many new faces appearing in the authorities but, paradoxically, the face of the authorities has not changed. The country is being accused of corruption once again. The country is again being accused of lack of publicity in economic processes, and privatization processes are
We are witnessing a situation where areas which could be democratized significantly are returning to their yesterday's condition. Look at the actions of the tax agency and the customs agency. We are witnessing growing populism and lumpenization of the budget. From dawn to dusk, we hear
light-weighted sweet promises, which, I am sure, will be increasingly more difficult to implement with every coming day.
The decisions which have been made this year, both economic and social, can be made only once in a lifetime. There will be no second try without economic change.
But we have witnessed a situation in which not a single social package has been proposed for 2006, neither regarding the social burden, nor social reform, nor education, nor medicine. We are prolonging the stagnation which has been observed in this field for another 12 months. Friends, I cannot accept this. [long pause]
I am sure that the cause of this has been a lack of understanding of the significance of state interests, inability to work exclusively for the citizen and for the state as the top priority, the top preference for any state official. The executive, instead, concentrated on PR activities, either promoting itself or a certain political force or a political stance.
I am confident that this must be stopped. I simply see that certain officials have plunged so deeply into PR that they have no time for productive talk and they cannot imagine life without cameras any longer, although I have always advocated and will keep advocating publicity in the work of the authorities, be it the National Security and Defence Council or the Cabinet of Ministers. But, friends, this is done once the work is accomplished.
We should not draw this country into dangerous promises and into dangerous populism. I am convinced, dear friends, that a year ago I ran for president not to see key state institutions struggling to find understanding and failing to find accord and mutual trust.
That is not what I sought as I have been walking for a year with a face that is not mine and I have suffered a very painful poisoning - for me and anyone else. I did not [suffer] for this. I am convinced that it was not for this that millions of people stood in squares. I cannot pretend that nothing is
I have to tell my compatriots today that I must take radical steps to change the leadership of the government, the National Security and Defence Council and the presidential secretariat.
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, in English, Thu, Sep 08, 2005
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