President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych delivered a speech at the opening of the ninth session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the sixth convocation and the Grand Assembly of the Parliament dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of Proclamation of the Independence of Ukraine. The head of state was speaking in the half-empty hall, as representatives of the opposition left their places immediately after the president had been presented.

According to the President of Ukraine, important steps have been taken to implement the reforms; reforms of pension scheme, land sector, healthcare, education, housing and public utility services have been launched; conditions for business development have been arranged; corruption counteraction campaign has been launched; profound changes in the judicial system have been initiated.

"I want to stress that timely and high-quality legislative support was rendered in all these spheres," Yanukovych stressed.

Characterizing economic situation, the President of Ukraine stated, that "stable activity of the authorities allowed restoring positive trends in the economy. For seven months of 2011, economic growth has totaled 5 per cent. Almost all key economic sectors demonstrated growth: industry grew by 8,7 per cent, construction - by 14 per cent, agriculture by 9 per cent. This year we expect to harvest more than 50 million ton of crops, i.e. by 11 million ton more than last year.  Domestic consumer market revived. Financial situation is balanced and stable; exchange rate of hryvnia is also stable and predictable. Export of Ukrainian goods and services for the first half-year has grown by 42 per cent in comparison with a similar period of the last year."

He attaches great importance to the reform of administrative services. "I am going to bring forward an urgent bill on administrative service to lay the basis for the activity of subjects of administrative services, rights and obligations of individuals and legal entities concerning use of administrative services," Yanukovych informed. 
Speaking on modernization of basic sectors and infrastructure, he drew attention of the parliament members to the following issues: arrangement of conditions for specific regulators in the energy and transport sector; support of energy saving, and strengthening of energy security; financial stabilization of energy enterprises and related markets; development of domestic port infrastructure.

The President of Ukraine called on the People´s Deputies to support institutional transformations, reform of the security sector, implementation of the administrative reform and ‘a closely related anti-corruption policy.´

"Modernization depends on basic development and democratic mechanisms," Yanukovych declared. He stressed that adoption of the Law "On Access to Public Information" is an essential move in this direction. The President of Ukraine believes that "timely adoption of the Law "On Non-Governmental Organizations", which incorporates both national practice and positive international experience, will be another important step."

Yanukovych called for reforming election laws and local self-government, implementing judicial reform, and supporting European integration. "Among the crucial tasks there is the reform of the laws on criminal procedure and the penitentiary system, the change of roles and functions of the General Prosecution, and adoption of the Election Code," Yanukovych stressed.   

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