Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will do his best to provide domestic businesses with cheap loans.
The president’s press service reported that on Friday the head of state met with farmers in Kherson region and the latter again complained about high interest rates for loans.
“The interest rates have been reduced to 8-10% per annum, but this is not enough to do business in a normal way. We understand everything and we will tackle the issue. At least the national banks will work for domestic entrepreneurs,” Zelensky said.
He recalled that the Affordable Loans at 5-7-9% program has already been launched and it will be improved.
“We are doing the utmost to provide [interest rates at the level of] 5-7-9%. I came from business, we took [loans] at 18-25% and that was terrible. The figures I am speaking about – we are doing our best to ensure these figures. And we will win,” the president said.
The entrepreneurs also touched upon the issue of cutting the VAT rate for a range of farming products, including livestock products.
Winemakers suggested the head of state to develop a comprehensive development program for winemaking.
Head of Kherson Regional State Administration Yuriy Husiev asked the entrepreneurs to collect their proposals and send them to the government so that it can develop a support program.
“We will consider the issue. Let’s send them [the proposals] to the government and the President’s Office – we’ll consider them simultaneously,” Zelensky said.
Representatives of the tourism industry have appealed to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, the government and the profile committees of the Verkhovna Rada with the request to create an anti-crisis committee with the participation of tour operators and to facilitate the mirror opening of borders with other countries, the press service of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) has said.
According to the appeal, the tour operators demand negotiations between the Foreign Ministry and the countries that have opened borders for other countries, excluding Ukraine, as well as the introduction of mirror and simultaneous opening of borders with them.
The representatives of the industry insist that inbound and outbound tourism should receive equal support from the state.
“Designate professionals who will understand the difference between inbound, outbound and domestic tourism. These are concepts that cannot be interchangeable. Why are anti-crisis steps today are taken in the format of replacing outbound tourism with inbound tourism? This is not a way out of the crisis for the industry, but only a substitution of concepts, which will lead to even greater decline,” the appeal states.
According to the tour operators, more than 250,000 people work in the industry, and during quarantine thousands lost their jobs. In addition, travel companies incur losses due to penalties for the return of paid and unused tours. At the same time, the industry representatives emphasized that they do not require financial subsidies or provision of jobs.
The appeal was prepared by representatives of the tourism industry together with the anti-crisis council of public organizations and the ULIE.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Azerbaijan have agreed to prepare for the official visit of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Ukraine before the end of 2020, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said.
“On June 17, another round of political consultations took place at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar and the Republic of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov in the form of a videoconference, during which further cooperation was comprehensively discussed, including on supporting the territorial integrity of both states and certain aspects of the policy regarding the occupied territories,” the ministry said in a statement.
Thus, the diplomats emphasized the importance of maintaining the existing dynamics of political dialogue and agreed to concentrate efforts on preparing the official visit of Azerbaijani President Aliyev to Ukraine before the end of 2020.
“I’m sure that the official visit of the Azerbaijani leader to Ukraine will be a significant impetus for strengthening strategic partnerships and will allow serious advancing implementation of joint projects,” Bodnar said.
The parties agreed to intensify the work of ministries and departments to prepare joint initiatives, programs and documents, as well as hold meetings of bilateral working bodies.
Among other things, the parties discussed practical steps to implement projects in the political, trade, economic, energy, transport, cultural, humanitarian and military-technical fields.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky plans to discuss the issue of adding dormitories to the Big Construction program with the Infrastructure Ministry, the prime minister and the Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Utilities Ministry, according to the press service of the Office of President of Ukraine.
“We will discuss with the Infrastructure Ministry, the prime minister and the Regional Development Ministry a possibility of adding construction of dormitories in Ukraine to the Big Construction program,” he said during a working visit to Khmelnytsky region on June 3, during which he checked the implementation of the program.
The head of state said that during a meeting with the rectors of the top universities on June 2 he was informed that one of the major problems in higher education is the lack of student dormitories with good conditions.
The program provides for the construction of five schools, kindergartens and sports complexes in each region, he said, adding that all education institutions should be commissioned by September 1.
“Probably, not all of them will be ready due to coronavirus, but the majority of them should be ready,” the president said.
“Our strategy is very simple: we have to build as many such important infrastructure facilities as possible over the five years given to us by the people of Ukraine and the God,” Zelensky said.
The president also checked the construction site of a kindergarten in the village of Davydkivtsi, Khmelnytsky district. He was told that the total cost of the project is more than UAH 27 million, as well as that the building was 65% ready at that moment and it would be put in operation by September 1.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has received credentials from Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Ukraine Toila Ataev, and expressed belief that both sides would take effective steps to further develop Ukrainian-Turkmen mutually beneficial cooperation.
“The two noted the interest of Ukraine and Turkmenistan in the intensification of political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries. Special attention was paid to strengthening cooperation in the construction industry,” the presidential press service said on Friday.
Zelensky expressed hope that the distribution of COVID-19 would not interfere with plans to intensify bilateral dialogue, and conveyed an invitation to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to visit Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has declared his property, income, expenses and financial liabilities for 2019. “According to the declaration, the income of the head of state and his family in 2019 amounted to UAH 28.602 million. Zelensky’s family paid taxes in the amount of UAH 3.6 million to the budget,” the presidential press service said.
Since May 2019, Zelensky has not been engaged in entrepreneurial activities and receives salaries exclusively in the state administration. His salary from May to December 2019 amounted to UAH 208,787.
“In the reporting period, an increase in his spouse’s salary and a decrease in the salary and business income from the entrepreneurial activities of Volodymyr Zelensky were recorded,” the report said.
In particular, in 2019, the president’s family received funds in repayment of government domestic loan bonds for a total of UAH 5.1 million and incurred expenses for the acquisition of government bonds in the amount of UAH 5.2 million.
Zelensky declared UAH 4.423 million, which were received from the sale of real estate in Kyiv in Velyka Vasylkivska Street, owned by his wife.
Also, the Zelensky family received UAH 3.2 million for renting an apartment in the UK.
In 2019, the wife of the president, Olena Zelenska, received a loan from the first assistant to the head of state, Serhiy Shefir, in the amount of UAH 5 million. The loan was repaid by the end of the reporting year.
Zelensky in 2019 spent UAH 11.5 million as a contribution to the election fund of the candidate for the president of Ukraine.