Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says four steps must be taken urgently for Ukraine to emerge from the crisis that President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates have artificially created.

"These recommendations must be carried out without delay because the processes are becoming irreversible," Yulia Tymoshenko said at a press conference today, commenting on the first year of Mykola Azarov’s government, Tymoshenko's official website reported.

First of all, wages, pensions and social payments must be indexed to the true level of inflation. "My first piece of advice to the current president is to force the government and State Statistics Committee to release the real inflation rate and promptly index wages and pensions, as required by the law, to the actual rate of inflation. This will allow people to afford goods and give a new impetus to the economy. There’s a reason why every country in the world has laws that require wages and pensions to be indexed to the rate of increase in prices," she said.

Second, the unjustified printing of money must be stopped. "This is the drug that Yanukovych is using today to enrich himself, but it will quickly lead to the destruction of Ukraine’s economy," she added.

Third, spring field work must be ensured. "Farmers weren’t provided with credit or fuel, which today they can’t purchase because prices are too high. Farmers don’t have fertilizer because in the past week prices have nearly doubled. And these are factories that belong to Mr. Firtash…If villages aren’t provided with what they need for the spring field work, then by next year there won’t just be an increase in food prices or no bread in select cities in the Donetsk oblast, there will be hunger," she said.

Fourth, is to borrow from the experience of the US, EU and Japan, which in 2008 stabilized oil prices. Measures include canceling duties and excise taxes on oil products, lowering the VAT from 18% to 5% for two years, and introducing penalties for oil traders and gas stations for unjustified price hikes. "Diesel and petrol are factors in the cost of every product made in Ukraine. If we do not stop prices from going up for petrol and fuel right now, inflation will skyrocket," she said, pointing out that such measures introduced in 2008 produced a positive result.

"We don’t give much detailed advice to Yanukovych, but this needs to be done and done immediately. And, of course, corruption must be stopped," said the former premier.

According to Yulia Tymoshenko, at the next conciliatory council meeting in parliament the opposition will demand that the agenda for the next plenary week include draft laws on the regulation of the emission of money, immediate indexation of pensions and wages, measures to stabilize oil prices, introducing a simplified tax system for small business, and a draft parliamentary resolution on an action plan for spring field work.

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