Economic reforms, a professional army, adequate pensions, etc.—all these bombastic pledges went down the drain during the years of the orange rule. As a result, the revolution's leaders were repudiated by Ukranian voters in the last presidential election, Foreign Affairs minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko says in his article to the Wall Street Journal.

According to him, the new reform-minded government is leading the successful modernization of Ukraine. And President Viktor Yanukovych's first steps confirm both his good will and ability to change things for the better.

Gryshchenko believes, since it took office nearly one year ago, the Yanukovych administration has worked tirelessly to advance Ukraine's democratic ambitions, improve the electoral process, expand the rule of law and begin major program of social and economic reform .

"After inheriting a virtually empty treasury, an unbalanced economy and a frustrated country with unbridled corruption, the Yanukovych administration has brought Ukraine stability as well as the kinds of necessary, and at times difficult, reforms that have been lauded by countless international observers, including the International Monetary Fund," he writes.

According to Gryshchenko, for the first time in Ukraine's history, influential public figures—from the opposition and the government as well—have to actually face investigation for committing corruption. There are over 360 ongoing criminal investigations on corruption charges against representatives of the current government, 166 of them at a senior level.

The minister noted that the bureaucracy is being cut by 30% to 50%. Up to 90% of state-issued licenses for various entrepreneurial activities have been lifted. Bridges and roads are being built. New subway stations are being unveiled. The GDP grew by 4.5%, with an equally good outlook for 2011.

"Proud as I am about Ukraine's many accomplishments over the course of the past year, I welcome an honest debate with our friends in the United States about what could be done differently. The reason is quite simple: Both our governments share the view that, in parallel with the crackdown on corruption and effective economic reforms, there is another thing indispensable for Ukraine's ultimate success—preserving democracy," Gryshchenko concuded.


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