A couple of days ago the Parliament of Ukraine adopted resolution on declaring Russia the state-aggressor and the law that speeds up the process of declaring an organization, foreign and domestic, as a terrorist one. Ukraine wants to force the West and international organizations to acknowledge the fact of war with Russia – writes Agnieszka Piasecka in her column for VoxUkraine.org. But adoption of such a declaration on the international level is unlikely: first, Ukraine calls for sanctions but does not fully implement them itself, second, United Nations Charter makes enforcement almost impossible.
Monthly Archive: January 2015
Dismantling Current (Universal) Healthcare System: A Thoughtless Way of Balancing the Budget or a True Attempt to Improve Population Health?
In his recent interview, new Minister of Health, Alexander Kvitashvili, has confirmed that Ukraine is indeed preparing to introduction of medical insurance. As the country is doing only first steps in this direction, it is rather unclear, how exactly insurance system will be designed, and to what extend current universal coverage will shrink. However, we would like to start the discussion devoted to this specific measure of the upcoming reform as early as possible. Ukrainian Health Care system is plagued by various problems, some of which can be resolved in the new setting, however, others might be amplified. To illustrate better our concerns, we use the most widely known example of insurance based system – US Healthcare System.
“Restructuring of the Ukrainian natural gas market will results in significant increases in prices. Current price controls create the situation when demand is encouraged and supply is discouraged” – writes Russell Pittman, a U.S. government economist in his column for VoxUkraine. Removal of controls will remove an artificial “shortage” created by price controls. However, the movement of most consumers of natural gas away from price subsidies should be done carefully, households and enterprises should, at the first place, get technical capability to control their demand, and those without the means to take actions to protect themselves deserve special consideration.
Getting dividends from Ukrnafta will help fill the state coffers at the expense of minority shareholders
Quorum reduction – the right move, but without a full-fledged reform of corporate legislation it will break the existing system of checks and balances in joint-stock companies and will provoke corporate conflicts and may encourage business to go into offshore
In 2015 Ukraine should deal with servicing of public debt. State and quasi-state debt is about $10 bln, which is impossible without external assistance. Ukrainian government should consider alternative ways to manage public debts, e.g. the buyback – purchase of own debts at market prices.
Mr. Dirken, an American politician from 60s, once said: “A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money.” Time is now for Ukraine to go for that real money.
The cost calculation of domestically produced gas that was posted by Naftogaz is inaccurate, it seriously, unreasonably and poorly overstates the costs. But it is not the main issue; the problem lies in the extreme inefficiency of the Ukrainian public policy.
Voices on the inevitability of the country’s default began to spread among Ukrainian and international experts. The coming days will show whether this pessimistic scenario will become reality or not. The only certain thing is that Ukraine is experiencing a severe budget and debt crisis, which is very similar to that of the mid-1990’s Russia. Therefore, important question is whether Ukrainian government will make conclusions from the “Russian experience”?
If Kyiv assumes that Western leaders consider Ukraine too strategically important to let fail, then they will likely be in for an unpleasant surprise. It must clearly make its present difficulties an asset—not a weakness.