U.S. ambassador warns against early Rada elections
United States Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, has advised Ukrainians against conducting early parliamentary elections in the near future, and criticized the requirements proposed by Batkivschyna party leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, which, in his view, could damage Ukraine's cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Speaking to the attendees of an annual conference on democratic governance, organized by the International Republic Institute, in Kyiv, on Friday, the ambassador said that over the next year, or two, Ukraine would win if it held no new elections, during which time it could push through the reforms.
He stressed that a decision on possible elections must be made by the Ukrainians themselves, and relevant government agencies.
The ambassador also said that he was very critical of the commentary, and proposals made by Tymoshenko, earlier this week. She described them as the requirements set for a new coalition, and they will have an impact on the agreement with the IMF being possibly canceled, Pyatt said.
Such a situation would be a tragedy for Ukraine, he said. Its government has made big progress in reforms, and is now at the stage where signs of the economic recovery are visible, said Pyatt, noting that this was not his opinion, but information from the World Bank and financial statistics.
Earlier, Tymoshenko denied that the package of bills pushed by her party as a condition for forming a coalition would worsen Ukraine's relations with the IMF. At the same time, she said that the way the current government is cooperating with the IMF is "illiterate, incompetent and doomed."
The party leader said the bills include: one that extends a moratorium on land sale; a package of bills that would create new conditions for small and medium-sized businesses and farmers; several bills scrapping the pension tax; and several bills that give Ukrainian-produced natural gas to Ukrainians and set the right conditions for the sale of Ukrainian natural gas, which would lead to lower tariffs.