Our guest today is Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Batkivshchyna party. Ukraine would hold snap parliamentary elections soon, the people would not only vote for the parties, but they would choose the prime minister.
Tymoshenko: Now people do not want to hear about reforms, changes, etc., but they most likely want to see the results, which they would feel today. I mean, in their refrigerators, wallets, the way they can treat their parents, teach their children or how they can live, in general. This is what the people are waiting for.
Polls show that your political power has 10.2% of the voters’ support. How these opinion poll results might be explained?
Our team wants to give the new president both time and help in everything he needs so that he does not disappoint people. And that is why our team has publicly said – we plan to join in coalition with the new president, in the new parliament, but if the president ‘s team comes to the parliament as a self-sufficient force, that is, they have 50% in parliament, and they do not need to form a coalition, we will not go into opposition to the current president.
Why don’t Ukraine takes advantage of Moldova’s experience? They have allowed a foreigner to be attorney general.
I think that for about five years, we have lived in such a way – I mean, the external governance of the country. Our National Bank (NBU), a part of the ministries, and the government were controlled by people somewhere from outer space, from global space. I can say that for Ukraine, this five-year administration has ended with the 36%-fall of our GDP and economy in general (if we take into account currency terms and nominal terms). The minimum wage, the living wage, and the minimum pension fell 2.2 times in terms of currency. We have many debts. This is about external management. I would not like to see foreigners in Ukrainian offices. Maybe they work for the country, but, most likely, for their own countries. We need to look around. Ukraine has a very large number of professionals, devoted to the country, prepared to work in the power structures, who do not take external funding, but really understand how to raise a country.
Those who do nothing ever make mistakes.
If the mistake is made a few times, it can be understood. But if over the last five years, Ukraine gives loans to our businessmen by 20%, despite the fact that after the hryvnia’s fall, the rate is quite stable. There are no other countries in the world that would give money to their businessmen, to their economies, under 20% loans, realizing that the average profitability in the world is about 10%. They kill us. I say this because, as a prime minister, I understood what they were doing to us. The national bank is located in the external management system. Large-scale financial transactions are carried out through the National Bank, financial pyramids are taking money out of Ukraine. And this should be ensured by high-interest rates on loans and high refinancing rates of the National Bank. The National Bank is killing us with a loan rate: in fact, they took all the money from the economy to their internal transactions. For example, National Bank sells its security to other banks - a certificate of deposit. Selling actually means borrowing money at 18-22% per annum.
You are talking about the dismantling of the clan-oligarchic structure. And where is the bulldozer that could ruin it all?
I’ve heard that Golos party leader Svyatoslav Vakarchuk has elaborated a bill against the oligarchy. This is simply ridiculous, because now, for some reason, Ukrainian society is perceived as some ignorant and outcast. And they offer such quick decisions: the law against the oligarchy. They say, today we pass the law and in the morning of the next day the oligarchs disappear from the country. This is just a humiliation. Therefore, I say: "There are no easy solutions for this issue." In order to remove the clan system, oligarchy, corruption, and monopolies, it is necessary to restructure the government system. For this, we need to have a new Constitution and a package of important laws. Our team is different from all the others: firstly, we are well aware of the fact that both external forces and the internal clan-oligarchic system are doing with us today. Secondly, we know exactly how to clean it.
After meeting with you, the head of the Accounts Chamber announced that he would begin an audit of gas transmission facilities. What is the fate of the Ukrainian gas- transmission system (GTS)?
GTS is our gas transmission system, which transports a huge amount of Russian natural gas through Ukraine to Europe. If we built GTS from scratch, with 12 natural depositories that we have, and this priceless treasure, it will cost 300 billion euros. This is all the country's GDP for three years. This is our wealth, we still have it. And it brings income to the country. Three billion dollars every year. This is about half of the country's Pension Fund. And what Poroshenko, PM Groysman think about it? When they were still in power, they conceived this GTS without money, just to transfer to the management of some "external" corporations. They tried to pick up it from us just for free. Our GTS is a state enterprise, and it cannot be touched.
Do you support insurance medicine?
When we started discussing this topic with Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, I told him that the continuation of this healthcare reform means, in fact, the genocide of the Ukrainian nation. We should choose a diametrically different way. We must go like all normal countries in the world. This is compulsory medical insurance. The present medical reform has a very wrong financing system. And this reform cannot be continued. Compulsory health insurance means that every person, who works, will have health insurance at the expense of the employer, but with a reduction in taxes on the employer. You cannot give additional taxes without reducing their absolute level. People who do not work, like pensioners, minor children, the disabled, in all countries receive compulsory medical insurance at the expense of the state. The state pays compulsory medical insurance. This medical insurance includes the right of a person to be treated at all levels: from a family doctor to professional second-level doctors and to receive special rehabilitation procedures. Most countries have such practices.
Wouldn’t it influence the current state of the Pension Fund?
Medical insurance is what the majority of the world countries give to their citizens. And it fully normalizes the finances, required for healthcare, and it gives 100% people access to the health care system, without paying for health services from people's pockets. Why does the whole world live this way, and we set some experiments today?
We pave our unique way.
They are setting experiments on us. We, as the Ukrainian nation, agree that experiments are being done on us, right? But don’t we have some kind of dignity and intellect. So, we broke up with the new Golos party on the first issue – healthcare reform.
Recently, a Saudi investment company acquired the Ukrainian agricultural holding Mriya. According to the Financial Times, it was sold for 242 million dollars. They say that this is a positive signal to investors: come and buy Ukrainian agribusinesses.
Actually, we have one question here: the profit from the land belongs to the Ukrainian middle class, Ukrainian citizens, the Ukrainian budget, or is all of this transferred to the global space, and we only have land and do not actually have anything from it? And here we also cannot find a common language with the new political forces. With the new president, with his Servant of the People party, with Vakarchuk, with his Golos party, because we are opposed to mindlessly, non-intellectually, absolutely unprofessionally selling agricultural land now. And here the people must choose, whether they are in favor of selling the land or correctly dispose of this land in the interests of the Ukrainian nation, in the interests of the Ukrainian people.