Viktor Bondar, President Viktor Yushchenko’s deputy chief of staff, said on Thursday Ukraine’s election campaign “should not influence the Government’s perception of the country’s social and economic situation” and added that Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s Cabinet should heed Yushchenko’s advice and recommendations to correct its mistakes, President’s press office reports.

“We all expect the Government to work effectively and constructively. However, we only see its attempts to justify its mistakes,” he said.

Bondar is surprised the Government accuses Ukraine’s previous Cabinet of Ministers of its failure to carry out effective social policies, benefiting from former Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov’s macroeconomic achievements instead.

Bondar said the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the United States Agency for International Development had all criticized Prime Minister Yanukovych’s Government for high inflation, non-market methods to regulate prices and non-transparent privatization. These reputable organizations say the Ukrainian Government has not introduced any serious reforms over the past year, he added.

Bondar said high inflation, which devalues salaries in Ukraine, may become a “negative signal” for foreign investors.

“This is not the only thing that contradicts the nation’s interests. The performanceof the infamous Minister of Transport poses a threat to Ukraine’s reputation as prominent transit state,” he said in response to vice Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s remarks at a meeting of the Government on August 8. “I can fully agree with Mykola Yanovych (Azaro –ed.). Transportation accidents do not depend on the Minister’s of Transport surname. They depend on his competence. So, instead of defending irresponsibility and negligence, the Government should have sacked him.”

Bondar said Ukraine’s fast GDP growth, of which the Government is so proud, was, in fact, one of the many achievements of the cabinets led by Yuriy Yekhanurov and Yulia Tymoshenko. He added that the countryfaced too many social problems despite the robustness of its economy, among them high mortality and AIDS.


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