Vadym Rabinovych: Future of EU at stake in Ukraine conflict
Europe could soon be affected by the conflict in Ukraine, warns Vadym Rabinovych.
Vadym Rabinovych | Photo credit: Vadym Rabinovych
Vadym Rabinovych is a member of the Verkhovna Rada, the Parliament of Ukraine. He is Chair of the Parliament's subcommittee on human rights, national minorities and interethnic relations and leader of the political party 'For Life'.
He has prepared and submitted 50 bills to the Parliament and is a media personality with his own weekly TV show watched by millions in which he offers ways for Ukraine's exit from the economic crisis.
What can be done in Ukraine country to fight corruption, which some consider systemic and say is hindering Ukraine's advancement?
In Ukraine, corruption does not just flourish: it corrodes all of society. Today, it is impossible to obtain adequate solutions in courts without a bribe. The same situation applies to most law enforcement agencies. Now, children pay a bribe to enrol in law school. If a person enters university having paid a bribe, how will they work? They will work to also receive bribes. This situation is hindering the country's development.
I believe that during the transitional period, special changes must be made in the Criminal Code. This should imply, among other things, life imprisonment. And do not be afraid of this, because fighting corruption is necessary.
I also think that it is necessary to declare not the income but expenses. Because so many officials in Ukraine who officially earn, let's say, $10 a month, but they live off a million. And this is still considered normal.
I also believe judges should be elected and we should be able to recall them. This way, in any region, city or village, people can choose judges and can withdraw them.
What more could and should the EU do to help end the conflict in the Donbass? Do sanctions have any positive impact on Russia?
I believe each side must take two steps back. It's necessary to strengthen the Ukrainian and European negotiating groups so that they are more powerful. It's also necessary to increase pressure on both sides so that the Minsk agreement works.]
I appeal to Europeans: I ask you, for the sake of peace in Ukraine, for the sake of the children dying today, and for your own sake - because the conflict can also affect Europe - let's make this a year of peace in Ukraine. We must seize all opportunities to put pressure on all sides. The lives of thousands of people, as well as the future of Ukraine and Europe, depend on it. There can be no comprises on the matter.
You have said that Ukraine's economic wealth is still immense. Could you please elaborate?
Today, 12 million hectares of land - six million of which is unique chernozem - is state-owned. Many European countries are interested in biologically pure products, and Ukraine should be too. We should be looking to develop our agriculture and large agro-holdings. My party opposes selling land, but is in favour of leasing the biggest plots, for example for 99 years to build agro-industrial complexes with the help of large western companies.
Today, many Ukrainian youths are highly qualified, but many of them have left to go work in Poland Portugal. The country is losing some of its brightest minds. We should develop our IT capacities.