Is Democracy Vital for Ukraine’s Economic Progress?

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Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon today said democracy plays a vital role in Ukraine’s greater economic success during an interview with Vitaliy Haidukevich of TVi Television in Kyiv, Ukraine.

During the interview, Ambassador Gordon underlined that the country as a whole will only develop when it creates a climate that is attractive to foreign investment and foreign trade.

He stresses that Ukraine is vastly under-performing when it comes to foreign investment and foreign trade.

“The link between the democracy discussion and the economic discussion is: I think the Ukrainian people want a government that’s going to be responsive to the needs of the entire country and not themselves.” – Ambassador Gordon

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Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, rings the iconic peace bell at UN Headquarters to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine. UN Photo/Mark Garten

He stresses that by insisting on free and fair elections and transparent democracy, the people are given a chance to put in office those who will serve the country as a whole.

“If they don’t, then the people have the right to remove them from power. That’s what a democracy is. In the long run, that’s the way to ensure that leaders are accountable to their people, are transparent, are not corrupt, is to have a functioning democracy.” – Ambassador Gordon

He notes that without a functioning democracy, Ukraine can have all sorts of things happen by the government with no accountability.

“That’s why if leaders are seen to be serving their own needs or enriching themselves and not the people, the people deserve the right to choose different leaders.” -Ambassador Gordon

Ukraine has already fulfilled a number of its reform commitments by adopting a series of legal documents, such as the law on domestic and foreign policy, new budget and tax codes, anticorruption law. To further enhance its fight against corruption, Ukraine has also introduced new laws on the judicial system and the status of judges. The new Law on Access to Public Information has made transparency of public institutions possible in Ukraine. In addition, the country also undergoes the pension reform.

Ukraine was engulfed by a worldwide economic crisis in 2008 and the economy plunged. The GDP fell 20% from spring 2008 to spring 2009. Later, it leveled off as analysts compared the magnitude of the downturn to the worst years of economic depression during the early 1990s.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.