18 March 2020

Ukraine has faced challenges that could seriously complicate the economic and social situation for many years to come. Today, the country is experiencing the effect of the maximum number of negative factors: the war, the coronavirus pandemic, the global decline in financial and commodity markets, and the inefficiency of the state system.

A rapid growth of unemployment is expected in the country, and worsening of social standing of citizens is forecasted.

Against the backdrop of these unprecedented circumstances in Ukraine, the war in the Donbas continues. People are dying; buildings and infrastructure of the region are being destroyed. The Minsk Agreements are not being implemented. The War Party is again trying to use the rhetoric of hatred, while attempting to prevent the establishment of peace in the country.

Today it is necessary to take steps that would ensure unity within the country. Political parties should forget about their ratings. Strife and hatred must give way to the solidarity of citizens in the face of more serious and terrible challenges. We must all be united by three priorities, each of which is important and intrinsically valuable.

The first one is people, their health and personal safety in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Each of us must approach all the recommendations of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in a responsible manner. Self-discipline is the best way to prevent the pandemic from spreading.

The second one is the restoration of a stable economy, the maximum protection of citizens from the effects of the crisis and unemployment. It is necessary to put an end to large-scale financing of the war and hatred, and redirect budget revenues to supporting the poorly protected layers of the population.

The third one is peace and protection of lives of our compatriots in the new critical circumstances.

In these conditions, the authorities, businesses, political parties and civil society organizations must stop the information hysteria and the political war of “all against all”. They must begin to act together, in a coordinated manner. Now we need to consolidate the entire society. This is how unity of our country should be manifested. A moratorium on political confrontation is needed.

Each of us, irrespective of the position and level of financial standing, must make his or her own fair share of contribution so that our country goes through these turbulent times with dignity.

We must do everything in our power to minimize the negative consequences, especially for those people who are in urgent need of care and are in the main risk group: elderly people, veterans of the Great Patriotic War and labour veterans.

I appeal to the President, the government, colleagues from the Verkhovna Rada. We must not forget about people in the temporarily uncontrolled territories. The same citizens of Ukraine inhabit Donetsk, Luhansk, Gorlivka, Makiyivka there, and we ought to build a single country together in the near future.

We must send humanitarian and medical assistance across the line of confrontation. It is necessary to consolidate the capacities of the authorities and private entrepreneurs.

No one has the right to keep oneself aloof, to retreat into oneself, and to show his or her political egoism. Not only the life and well-being of our citizens, but also the very future of Ukraine depend on our joint actions and consolidation of efforts, on the ability to step over petty insults and contradictions.

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