President Viktor Yushchenko held a weekly meeting today with Verkhovna Rada Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The meeting was dedicated to budgetary policy, especially to introduction of modifications to State Budget Law 2008. Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, Constitutional Court Head Andriy Stryzhak National Security Council Secretary Rayisa Bohatyryova, first deputy President’s Secretariat Chief of Staff Oleksandr Shlapak and NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Oleh Dubyna were also present at the meeting, president's press office reported.

Addressing those present Yushchenko outlined his vision of priorities for budgetary policy during 2008.

First of all he stressed that all measures should be taken so that in 2008 inflation would not exceed 9,6%. Decreasing dynamics of GDP growth to Yushchenko require urgent attention as well.

When speaking about energy policy President requested the government to observe the agreements between Russian and Ukrainian Presidents while holding talks on gas trade with Russia and to avoid provoking conflicts in that field. He also requested that the government adopted a deficit free financial plan for NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine.

Another area, which to Yushchenko requires attention, is foreseeing appropriate financing of the Ukrainian Army in the modified 2008 budget. According to Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov’s report presented during the meeting only 45% (22,3 billion hryvnyas) of the necessary funds had been provided by 2008 budget, leaving Defense Ministry lack 17,3 billion hryvnyas.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from her part informed that currently 2008 budget provisions are implemented properly. The introduction of modifications to the budget would however require an effectively working Parliament. Regarding that  Yushchenko said that he does not see “OU-PSD” making any obstacles for Verkhovna Rada’s work. He also suggested holding coalition meeting in a short time to discuss organizing work in Parliament.


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