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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yushchenko Blames Tymoshenko, Urges 'Realistic' Budget Amendments

On Friday night, President Yushchenko addressed the nation, hitting the media circuit at prime time, when hordes of Ukrainian politicians go talk show shopping.

Naturally, he tried to blast his way through PM Tymoshenko’s vices and into the hearts of voters. He then made an urgent appeal to parliament to amend the budget so as to make it more realistic in view of the snowballing economic woes.

The thrust of the President’s rhetoric can be described as “the pot calling the kettle black,” with the notable exception of the gas issue and, yes, the dire need to fix the budget.

I decided to translate excerpts from his speech. Click here for the full official translation.

Dear countrymen,

I have made a decision to address you in order to provide a clear and honest assessment of the economic, budgetary, and financial situation in Ukraine.

I appeal to you, dear countrymen, to augment my demand to the Ukrainian government and the parliamentary majority to stop the torrents of lies, falsehood, and slander and to urgently, I repeat urgently, act to save the national economy.

The state has a totally unbalanced financial system.

State institutions are being knowingly ruined due to lack of funding. That is not to mention the personal accusations. I reject this mud.

Ukrainian industry is grinding to a halt. People are being laid off en masse or put on longterm furlough.

In Moscow, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko signed gas agreements disadvantageous for Ukraine.

The contracts do not meet my directives. The Prime Minister made the decision on her own, without the collegial opinion of the government.

The explanation must come from the majority that supports Yulia Tymoshenko — from her Bloc to the Communists.

The state is left holding the bag. The contracts have been signed and they must be honored.

In 2009, Ukraine has to pay 25 billion hryvnias more for gas than last year. Still, NAK Naftogaz’s revenues from transit services remain unchanged since 2008.

Every minute counts now.

I demand that amendments be made immediately to the State Budget 2009. This is the only way to rectify the situation. I warned the government and the parliamentary majority, key authors of the State Budget for the current year: The document you made is a castle built in the air.

As of today, the government has not collected even half of the planned January taxes and levies. Again, there is one cause: an unrealistic budget.

I appeal to Yulia Tymoshenko and her organized majority. This is your responsibility. Dear Yulia Volodymyrivna, you knowingly built into the budget the overblown figures and promises that you cannot fulfill today. The money is not concentrated but scattered, which includes the allocations made for the next [Soviet] savings payout.

On behalf of the entire country, I demand that the government and parliament immediately prepare an honest budget, where expenditures would fit the economy’s capabilities.

This is your constitutional, state, and political responsibility.

I repeat: The full brunt of responsibility, according to the Constitution, for the economic situation, for disrupting the budget process, for ruining the banking system, lies personally with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Having reached a critical point, she will not be able to hide in the opposition.

Enough lies.

I call on all countrymen to remain calm.

You will be protected. We have the ability to protect both the country and the people. Presently, the first and foremost important thing is to find the political will, courage, to pass a realistic 2009 budget for the country.

To achieve that, I will use every lever necessary in times of crisis.

Thank you for your attention.

Two hours later, Tymoshenko’s response appeared on the Cabinet of Ministers’ website.

The government and the parliamentary majority are working around the clock and, on behalf of them, I call on the President: If you are not helping, then at least do not interfere.

The world and Ukraine are in crisis. I will not sugarcoat the situation, nor will I let anyone sow panic.

To combat the crisis, we need political consolidation, a cold and sober mind, nerves of steel, a strong will, resolve, and a deep sense of responsibility — that is exactly what Viktor Andriyovych [Yushchenko] has always lacked, lacks, and will lack.

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Original video source:


Anonymous said...

This is worse than the Ultimate Fight Club.

At least in the UFC, they have some semblance of rules.

The gloves are off, and it's all-out war between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

Yushchenko was not addressing the nation - he was addressing Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko, on her part, organized a set of bizarre moves in Ukrainian Parliament. First - 2 no-confidence votes for the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, a Yushchenko loyalist. Next - a bizarre vote invalidating the parliament's previous confirmation by the parliament of the president's appointee.

Tymoshenko's response is published at Ukrainian Pravda. One of the comments is from someone claiming to be a government worker, who claims that his pay, and that of government workers, has been cut in half.

Excellent analysis at Eurasia Daily Monitor:

Tymoshenko's response (in Ukrainian) at Ukrainian Pravda, with over 280 comments, and counting, here:

The more they talk about working together, the more they fight. Maybe they just ought to duke it out.

I'm sure that Yushchenko is frustrated because he's got no chance whatsoever of being re-elected, and one of his buddies, Firtash, has lost a huge source of financing via RosUkrEnergo, the gas middleman, at the hand of Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko has clearly overstepped her bounds with the 2 no-confidence votes and "invalidation" of a prior confirmation of a presidential appointee.

This is what happens when you don't have political parties, just gangs of oligarchs pretending to be political parties - and in government.

Previously, you had "sovoks gone wild" in Ukraine.

Now, it's just all-out war, and has been, between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

They really need to chill - and focus on the crisis.

They need to have some rational and logical decision-making.

Anonymous said...

This is a bit off-topic, but I think it's well worth it.

And may I suggest re-posting it in full on your blog.

If you want to see an absolutely excellent explanation of how the rashans tried to trick Europe into believing that Ukraine was not capable of transiting gas, go to the link below. The English is a little rough, but very understandable.

This guy knows what he is talking about.

Recall that Ukraine's pipeline had been used for years to transit gas through to Europe.

After rasha cut off the gas, the Kremlin/Gazprom decided to send a "test" volume - a very low amount. Why a "test" was necessary is, of course, anyone's guess - except that in roosha, they knew full well the trick they were about to play.

It is a fascinating read.

Taras said...

You’ve expanded my horizons once again!

Guess who wrote the award-winning novel Fight Club? An American whose second name sounds very Ukrainian: Palahniuk:)

As for the pipeline trick you mentioned, I had referred to it as “surgical gas supplies.”

Anonymous said...

Ukrainian Pravda has Tymoshenko's reply.

What's really interesting is that there are now over 1,000 comments - and counting.

And - Ukrainian Pravda has changed the photo that they originally used with the article. It was slightly unflattering. The current photo is a bit more photogenic.

Some very, very interesting comments.

Taras said...

Photogenic or not, she's no longer my pin-up girl, and neither is Yushchenko, much less Yanukovych:)

As far as I can see, some Tymo fans are trying to prove her immaculateness by casting her critics as sexually frustrated.

Well, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

When I think of her widely rumored love affair with Shufyrch, I think the frustration must have been all hers:)

Nika said...

Taras, who do you pin your hopes on now? Is there anyone left at all? Do you think someone more or less adequate will emerge by the end of the year?

Taras said...

Good question, Veronica!

You reminded me of how I participated in the blog chorus to dissuade you from voting "against all" in the September 2007 parliamentary election. (I did the back vocals, using the soft-sell strategy:)

In the end, you and I voted for Tymoshenko, the face of the BYuT brand, right?

Some 16 months have passed since then. I now don't feel as optimistic about her leadership potential as I did in fall 2007.

I don’t see any of the breakthroughs she promised. All I see is blinders.

I really trusted her to kick Chernovetsky’s ass, but she and Klychko blew that mayoral election last May. I therefore stand corrected for my Tymo-optimism.

The only way I can vote for her in 2010 is if she opposes Yanukovych in the runoff.

That would be a remake of my vote for Kuchma in the November 1999 runoff, when Kuchma ran against Symonenko of the Communist Party. I don't feel good about the prospect of reinventing this kind of "vote for the lesser evil" election.

I once viewed Yatsenyuk as the new kid on the block. He now looks like another Pabat to me.

As a voter, I’m looking for a president capable of leading Ukraine toward a European future before I reach retirement age. When I look at the current pool of candidates, I don’t see anyone like that.

Maybe the pool will change. We’re in the middle of a stormy season and we still have a year to go.