Ukraine’s new government sets pro-market agenda

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has approved the appointment of the country’s new cabinet.

“The most important task for the new government is economic growth,” Oleksiy Honcharuk (pictured above), the newly elected prime minister told Ukraine’s MPs, adding that the country’s economy has to expand by at least five to seven per cent in the coming years instead of the current three per cent.

“Cheap lending is one of the tactical goals that we will set for ourselves in the near future,” Ukraine Business News wrote, quoting Mr Honcharuk, who said that he wanted the country’s prime interest rate, that currently stands at 17 per cent, to fall to 12-13 per cent.

“We will stop subsidising inefficiencies and paying super-profits to monopolies,” he continued, noting that smuggling remains another major problem. “It kills competition and prevents businesses from developing normally,” he added.

Mr Honcharuk insisted that his government would push for integrating Ukraine into the European energy market, something he expects to happen in 2023.

The new PM is expected to negotiate Ukraine’s new deal with the International Monetary Fund in September. The agreement will likely cover the next three or four years.

The new cabinet, which with an average age of 41 is the youngest in Ukraine’s history, includes two vice prime ministers: Dmytro Kuleba for European integration and Mykhailo Fedorov for digital transformation. Vadym Pristaiko, Ukraine’s former NATO envoy who was appointed the country’s new foreign minister, stressed that he wanted to advance peace talks to settle the Donbas crisis in the next six months.

Finance minister Oksana Markarova from the outgoing cabinet of Volodymyr Groysman has remained at her position.

First deputy chief of the Security Bureau of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov was appointed as the new head of the service while Ruslan Riaboshapka, a former anti-corruption official has become Ukraine’s prosecutor general.