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Ukrainian PM identifies challenges and tasks for Ukraine in 2024

Ukrainian PM identifies challenges and tasks for Ukraine in 2024 Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, during the "Ukraine. Year 2024" forum, stated that Ukrainians have successfully endured two years of full-scale war. Ahead lies a challenging path, and the victor will have a stronger economy and more reliable friends.

Challenges facing Ukraine

According to Shmyhal, the first challenge for Ukraine was defense and defense capability. Ukrainians withstood the initial blow and continued to transform Ukrainian defense radically. During the war, the production capacity of the defense industry increased threefold, and drone production increased by 100 times.

The second challenge was economic and financial stability. Economic recovery began in 2023, with GDP growing by more than 5%. In 2022 and 2023, Ukraine negotiated and secured $74 billion in external financing. A "financial coalition" was also formed to support the budget.

The third challenge for Ukraine was implementing social programs and assisting Ukrainians. During the two years of war, the government never delayed pensions or other social assistance payments. A third pension indexation is already planned, and teacher salaries and subsidies are increasing.

The fourth challenge was energy terrorism.

"In December 2022, Russia thought that the lights in Ukraine would go out forever. They spent thousands of rockets and drones on it. Last winter was tough, but light overcame darkness. Repairs around the clock. Three levels of energy facility protection. As a result, Ukraine and Ukrainians have light and warmth today," the prime minister said.

The fifth challenge was the Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports. This was a major blow to our economy at the beginning of the war. In response, Ukraine increased the throughput of Danube ports sixfold.

"Solidarity Road" was also deployed, and in 2023, Kyiv won the battle for the Black Sea. A new maritime corridor was launched, allowing export volumes comparable to pre-war levels.

The sixth challenge was extensive destruction and reconstruction. Ukraine has restored 23,000 high-rise and private buildings, almost 900 medical and over 600 educational institutions, and 9,200 critical infrastructure objects. A coalition for country reconstruction was formed.

The seventh challenge was food security.

"We conducted two planting campaigns and two wartime harvest campaigns. In 2022, we harvested 72 million tons, and in 2023 - 79 million tons of grain. We provide food for ourselves and other countries," Shmyhal said.

The eighth challenge was accelerating Ukraine's European Union (EU) accession. In 2022, Kyiv received five so-called visas with Europe: "energy," "transport," "economic," "customs," and "digital."

"We received the status of a candidate country for EU membership. We have implemented all recommendations and launched large-scale European reforms. As a result of our successful work, the European Council decided to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union," the prime minister added.

Goals for 2024

Shmyhal explained that in war, victory will go to those with a more robust economy, more reliable friends, and the ability to destroy the enemy effectively.

The first goal concerns the defense industry. It is essential to produce as much weaponry as possible domestically.

The second goal is to provide Ukraine with financial resources. Kyiv constantly works with partners from Japan and the United States. IMF, WB, EBRD, EIB, and all other international financial institutions. Financial resources are being sought to cover the needs of $37 billion for 2024.

The third goal is the confiscation of Russian assets. This is also related to ensuring Ukraine's financial resources. Over $300 billion of Russia's assets are in the West. This is an incredible resource for Ukraine's resilience and recovery. This year, the minimum plan is to use income from these frozen assets.

The fourth goal is related to financial resources.

"Economic recovery. This year, 45 billion UAH was included in the budget for business support. Grants, preferential loans, industrial parks, large investment projects, war risk insurance, and new export markets. This is all necessary to ensure the country's survival and economic development," Shmyhal noted.

The fifth goal concerns logistics that support the economy. Ukraine is deploying port capacities and launching new checkpoints. We also continue to build pragmatic partnerships with our neighbors. We are modernizing railways, including through the construction of Eurotracks.

The sixth task is to continue reconstruction. The "eRecovery" program is expected to scale up, and protection for energy facilities and providing schools and hospitals with shelter will be enhanced. Humanitarian demining will also be accelerated.

The seventh task is critical - Ukraine's Eurointegration.

"We now have a window of opportunity and will use it. We are starting negotiations with the EU on our accession. We are forming a negotiating team. The EU as a goal and the EU as a path are equally important. This makes our country stronger. This opens access to European markets and resources," the prime minister explained.

"Ukraine. Year 2024"

As announced by the spokesperson for the President of Ukraine, Serhii Nikiforov, today, February 25, a press conference will be held with the participation of top speakers from the government, military-political leadership, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Security Service of Ukraine, Main Intelligence Directorate, Ministry of Strategic Industries, Office of the President, and the President himself.

During the forum, the following topics will be addressed:

  • Development and future of the Ukrainian army.
  • Implementation of modern technologies.
  • Ukraine's accession to the European Union and NATO.