KYIV, Jan 2 – President Petro Poroshenko urged the government to boost economic growth in 2018, and said the war in Donbas has been significantly slowing the economy down.
"The government should accelerate the growth pace in the new year. We need to raise the standard of living for the majority of Ukrainians. And we will be able to do it. As president, I will provide the political conditions necessary for the economic growth," Poroshenko said in his New Year's Eve message.
Poroshenko noted that "albeit not without mistakes", but the country is moving forward, and after several years of crisis, caused by the war, it is changing over to recovery and development.
"For all that the country has achieved, many thanks to each of you. This is the result of joint work," he said to his compatriots.
Also, he once again congratulated hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have already used the "visa-free regime" with the European Union.
"Once again, I greet hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have already used the visa-free regime. And millions who will take the advantage of it in the future. I congratulate all of us on our resolute and irreversible movement towards Europe. Last year's festive night we only made a wish for the visa-free regime and now it came true," he added.
The president conveyed "sincere greetings to our international partners. The United States has just announced a decision to supply modern defensive weapons to us. A step in this direction was made by Canada and other states. The European Union extended sanctions against the aggressor country as well. And the decision of the Stockholm arbitration tribunal was made as if it is a Christmas gift. It protected us from the extremely unfavorable conditions of the gas contract of the ninth year," he said.
The president expressed conviction that the main resource of Ukrainians is optimism, faith in their country and in their forces.
"Everything will be fine. To realize this, as archbishop Liubomyr Huzar, ex-head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, [who died on May 31, 2017, one of the recognized moral figures of authority of the modern world], instructed, we should pray as if everything depends on God, but to work as if everything depends on us. I wish the citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainians all over the world peace, happiness, and prosperity," Poroshenko said. (om/ez)