Expanding the powers of regional governments will put the beginning of local government reform and decentralization of power, President Viktor Yanukovych in an exclusive interview for the joint project of The New York Times News Service & Syndicate and Segodnya Multimedia – "Ukraine and the World in 2012. Global Agenda," ForUm learned from the presidential press office.

The President reminded that in 2012, the emphasis of reforms would shift from the center to the regions. "Effective economy, improving people’s lives, building a strong state is our goals. We can achieve them only through the modernization of the country ... Surely, this year will allow to see the results of reforms and significantly expand the powers regional governments," said Viktor Yanukovych.

"I stand for strengthening local governments," Viktor Yanukovych said, adding, however, that it is a long process, which cannot complete in a year or two. "Decentralization of power will improve the quality of life, so we have to go on with this long and difficult work," Viktor Yanukovych said.

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