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Prime minister says economic crisis to continue in Ukraine
Date: 2010/9/13 Click: 1684
The economic crisis in Ukraine will last for another two or three years, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Friday.

"Two or three years the situation in the country would remain difficult. We should admit it as we have not overcome the crisis yet. We have not reached the pre-crisis level of production," Azarov said at a meeting on the development of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Simferopol.

Production in Ukraine is now at 2007 levels, while expenditures have increased 1.5 times, including gas prices, Azarov said.

"Last year the budget deficit was 16 percent with every second hryvnia (national currency) to be borrowed," he said, "Could we live much longer like that? Or do we want to destroy our economy by starving it of circulating assets?"

The worldwide financial firestorm that erupted in mid-2008 hit Ukraine's economy hard, particularly its banking sector, prompting the government to turn to the International Monetary Fund for help.

The resumption of cooperation between the Eastern European country and the IMF in July helped the country receive a standby loan worth about 15 billion dollars.

Ukraine's GDP was expected to grow 4.5 percent in 2011 with a 10 to 10.8 percent inflation rate. Public debt was not expected to exceed 40 percent of GDP.
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