President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky advocates the adoption of a law on inland waterway transport, which will allow the development of a cheap type of freight transportation and save Ukrainian highways.
During a conversation with media representatives in Kherson region, the president noted that now the state is investing billions of hryvnias in the repair and construction of highways, and then overloaded trucks move along them and destroy the roadbed.
“The country should have several routes of transportation. Water transport is one of the cheapest types of transportation,” Zelensky said.
According to the head of state, the draft law on water transport is under consideration in the profile committee of the Verkhovna Rada.
“I am sure that we will vote this law, and this type of transport, which we really need, will work. And we will develop shipping and transportation,” Zelensky stressed.
The adoption of the law will contribute to an increase in freight traffic of 35 million tonnes per year, saving roads and UAH 1 billion for road surface repairs over four years. The document, if adopted, will provide constant funding for safe river infrastructure, stimulate shipbuilding and the restoration of Ukrainian enterprises and jobs, and also open the admission of vessels under a foreign flag to the inland waterways of Ukraine, which will contribute to the development of international trade.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has instructed Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to urgently assess the readiness of hospitals to help patients, to provide institutions with all the necessary equipment, given the rapid growth in the number of cases of COVID-19 coronavirus infection in the country.
The Office of the President reported on Saturday that the head of state instructed the government to provide medical workers with personal protective equipment in full amount and to strengthen control over compliance with quarantine rules.
Also, the Cabinet of Ministers must revise the operation of the entry points on the administrative border with the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
“Ukraine knows how to mobilize if necessary. It’s time for the government to mobilize to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infection, which can have dire consequences not only for the economy, but also for our human capital,” Volodymyr Zelensky said.
The Vasyl Khmelnytsky K.Fund foundation was headed by Lidia Pashchuk, who had been managing one of the foundation’s key projects for about four years — the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship School. Under her leadership, the SME School covered 15 Ukrainian cities, and more than 1,000 entrepreneurs graduated from it. Lidia will replace Fedor Logvinenko, who decided to focus on developing his own business.
“The main goal of K.Fund is to support creative industries through education and personal development. As President of the foundation, I plan to develop and deepen cooperation with international and Ukrainian partners for the development of Ukraine’s economy, as well as to implement educational projects aimed at developing people of all ages, including schoolchildren. Of course, the development of small and medium enterprises will be one of my priorities,” said Lidia Pashchuk.
The new president of K.Fund is a candidate of economic sciences, a certified lecturer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and an associate professor at the Department of International Economics and Marketing at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, consultant to international organizations. Lidia has more than 15 years of experience in leading international and domestic companies and institutions, in particular, in the World Bank. As a consultant, marketer and manager, she participated in the development and implementation of projects for the assessment and restructuring of enterprises, business reorganization, strategic marketing, communication policy, creation and promotion of new brands, research of local and international markets, etc.
K.Fund is a foundation of Vasyl Khmelnytsky, established to support projects in the field of education and economics. K.Fund’s mission is to provide the keys to development and implementation, provide opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills, promote discoveries and help reach a new level.
President of Switzerland Simonetta Sommaruga has arrived in Ukraine with a three-day state visit by invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“For the first time in the history of Ukraine-Switzerland relations President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga arrived in Ukraine with a three-day state visit. This is the first official visit of such level for both Ukraine and Switzerland since the unprecedented restrictions caused by coronavirus have been lifted,” the Embassy of Ukraine in Switzerland said on its Facebook page on Monday.
Bilateral talks during the visit will be aimed at further development of contacts between the leaders of Ukraine Switzerland and deepening of the political dialogue at all levels. The Swiss president will also visit Donbas to which Switzerland regularly provides humanitarian aid.
“Simonetta Sommaruga’s visit to Kyiv today will begin with a cultural program dedicated to modern art and beautiful music which Mrs. President likes so much,” the embassy said.
First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova posted on her Facebook page pictures from Sommaruga’s arrival at Kyiv airport.
Dzhaparova said that the subject of Crimea and the consequences of its temporary occupation will also be on the agenda of the visit.
“Switzerland support numerous humanitarian projects aimed at assistance to Ukrainian citizens. Switzerland has invested $1.715 billion in Ukraine’s economy [as of January 2020]. The country is among top five leading investors in the economy of Ukraine, ahead of France, Italy or Austria. A major part of Swiss investment in Ukraine was channeled in industry [around 60%],” the deputy minister said.
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has said that, as soon as it becomes possible, she will pay a visit to Ukraine, as an earlier visit was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am prepared as soon as the time is right to pay a visit, which has long been postponed over COVID-19 and not only because of it. I will try to restore our relations on a basis that matches the traditionally friendly ties between our two countries,” Zourabichvili said at a press conference in Tbilisi on Friday.
Georgia and Ukraine are bound by a course toward integration into NATO and the European Union and by joint projects in the Black Sea with their European partners, and any attempts to weaken this partnership would negatively affect the European integration of both countries, she said.
At the same time, Zourabichvili mentioned recent remarks by Mikheil Saakashvili, a former Georgian president who currently serves as the head of the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reform Council, who has said he does not recognize the incumbent Georgian government as legitimate.
“A provocative tone addressed to the Georgian government by a foreign citizen working for a foreign government harms our bilateral relations,” Zourabichvili said.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador from Kyiv in May, after Saakashvili was appointed head of the National Reform Council’s Executive Committee.
Tbilisi interpreted Saakashvili’s negative remarks about the Georgian government as interference in Georgia’s internal affairs.
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.