Monthly Archive: January 2015

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Resolution of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Russia Being the State-Aggressor. PR vs Reality

A couple of days ago the Parliament of Ukraine adopted resolution on declaring Russia the state-aggressor and the law that speeds up the process of declaring an organization, foreign and domestic, as a terrorist one. Ukraine wants to force the West and international organizations to acknowledge the fact of war with Russia – writes Agnieszka Piasecka in her column for VoxUkraine.org. But adoption of such a declaration on the international level is unlikely: first, Ukraine calls for sanctions but does not fully implement them itself, second, United Nations Charter makes enforcement almost impossible.

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Dismantling Current (Universal) Healthcare System: A Thoughtless Way of Balancing the Budget or a True Attempt to Improve Population Health?

In his recent interview, new Minister of Health, Alexander Kvitashvili, has confirmed that Ukraine is indeed preparing to introduction of medical insurance. As the country is doing only first steps in this direction, it is rather unclear, how exactly insurance system will be designed, and to what extend current universal coverage will shrink. However, we would like to start the discussion devoted to this specific measure of the upcoming reform as early as possible. Ukrainian Health Care system is plagued by various problems, some of which can be resolved in the new setting, however, others might be amplified. To illustrate better our concerns, we use the most widely known example of insurance based system – US Healthcare System.

1

US is Ready to Give Lethal Weapons to Ukraine

The Atlantic Council Report: “… The U.S. government should provide Ukraine $1 billion in military assistance as soon as possible in 2015, followed by additional tranches of $1 billion in FY2016 and FY2017. …...

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Increase Natural Gas Prices, But Carefully

“Restructuring of the Ukrainian natural gas market will results in significant increases in prices. Current price controls create the situation when demand is encouraged and supply is discouraged” – writes Russell Pittman, a U.S. government economist in his column for VoxUkraine. Removal of controls will remove an artificial “shortage” created by price controls. However, the movement of most consumers of natural gas away from price subsidies should be done carefully, households and enterprises should, at the first place, get technical capability to control their demand, and those without the means to take actions to protect themselves deserve special consideration.

3

What Lessons Can Ukraine Draw from the 1998 Russian Default

Voices on the inevitability of the country’s default began to spread among Ukrainian and international experts. The coming days will show whether this pessimistic scenario will become reality or not. The only certain thing is that Ukraine is experiencing a severe budget and debt crisis, which is very similar to that of the mid-1990’s Russia. Therefore, important question is whether Ukrainian government will make conclusions from the “Russian experience”?

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For Ukraine, Weakness Could Be Its Greatest Strength

If Kyiv assumes that Western leaders consider Ukraine too strategically important to let fail, then they will likely be in for an unpleasant surprise. It must clearly make its present difficulties an asset—not a weakness.