Covishield vaccine, disagreements with the IMF, and City Express trains: the main messages from Zelensky's speech

Zelensky's speech at the forum on February 22. Photo: Office of the President

Zelensky's speech at the forum on February 22. Photo: Office of the President

Ukrainian infrastructure has been in decline for more than 20 years, but the current government has an understanding of the main directions of infrastructure development to improve the citizens comfort.

Also, the creation of comfort was part of the President Volodymyr Zelensky’s election campaign. He recalled this during his speech at the All-Ukrainian Forum "Ukraine 30. Infrastructure".

What will happen to the Ukrainian infrastructure

Roads

According to him, in 2021 it is planned to repair and reconstruct 4,500 km of state roads and 2,000 of local ones.

In addition, the construction of the Kyiv bypass road with a total length of 150 km, the M-30 highway with a length of 1,400 thousand kilometers, should begin, will connect the east and west of the country and will be the longest in Ukraine.

Bridges

Also among the priority issues is the national program for the bridges’ restoration. In 2020, 216 bridges were built and renovated, including the one in Zaporizhzhia. In 2021, it is planned to build and renovate 245 bridges, in particular the Kremenchuk one.

Railway

At the same time, attention will be paid to the railway. Improvement of railway transportation provides for the renewal of cars, improvement and introduction of new Intercity routes.

In addition, the commuter train system will also improve. A City Express project is being prepared to help overcome traffic problems in big cities. The first stage of the project includes Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro.

Air traffic

It is also planned to develop regional airports in 16 cities of Ukraine. In particular, in Uzhgorod, Chernivtsi, Poltava.

According to him, the reconstruction of the international airport in Dnipro has recently begun, and the construction of an international airport between Uzhgorod and Mukachevo is also planned.

Zelensky noted that the government plans to create a state-owned company that will be able to operate flights both domestically and around the world.

Ports and water transport

The renovations will also affect the port industry. Thus, a law on concession was recently adopted, and two concession agreements have already been signed for the port of Olvia and the port of Kherson.

This will bring significant investments in the development of port infrastructure and large revenues to the state budget.

A law on inland water transport was also adopted. It will give a start to the development of river transport, help reduce the load on roads and bring billions of hryvnias.

In addition, several companies from the UAE are interested in the construction of a marina in Odesa, as well as port infrastructure.

According to the President, he discussed these issues with representatives of large companies during a meeting with business as part of his trip to the UAE.

In addition, river transportation is the cheapest in Ukraine, but it can become a profitable industry for business and budget.

Social infrastructure

Reforms are also expected in the social infrastructure of Ukraine. Hundreds of schools, kindergartens, stadiums, hospitals and admissions departments will be built, the President noted.

Another important area will be the development of industrial parks. According to him, now we have 46 industrial parks, most of them are only on paper.

Tourism

In 2021, the program "The Great Restoration" program has been launched. Within its framework castles, museums, theaters will be restored, and over the next three years the government is going to restore 150 such objects.

Conflict with the IMF

Zelensky also announced a number of disagreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the issue of the High Council of Justice (HCJ) and the Constitutional Court (CC).

He noted that there are many amendments to the laws on the HCJ and the Constitutional Court. That is why it is necessary to develop a draft law that the court recognizes as constitutional.

Despite the discrepancies, Ukraine still relies on IMF funds and is confident of receiving them in 2021.

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