Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 3, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 3, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Operation UNIFIER training exercises. Photo – Joint Task Force – Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 16 times on the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors of the front.
2. National Bank of Ukraine upgrades GDP growth forecasts
The National Bank of Ukraine upgraded GDP growth forecast for 2017 from 1.6% to 2.2%, “due to the positive effect of both internal and external factors, reflected in better results of economic activity in most industries in the second-third quarter of the year than previously expected.
          The National Bank forecast GDP growth for 2018 at 3.2% and for 2019 at 3.5%. Private consumer activity will remain the main driver of economic growth over these years due to higher wages and pensions, higher consumer confidence and increased consumer lending,” the Bank stated.
3. Atlantic Council: Pragmatism prevails over populism in Ukraine
On November 2, Atlantic Council senior non-resident fellow Brian Mefford stated, “Successful politics is about getting things done. By that standard, October was a successful month. Not only did the government pass sweeping healthcare reform, pension reform, and judiciary reform, it also staved off populist protests. In short, pragmatism prevailed over populism.
          Each of the reforms passed was significant, but healthcare reform was the most far-reaching. […] The overall effect will be substantial: patients will receive better healthcare, the state will provide a safety net, and medical professionals will be able to earn a normal salary based on the number of patients they treat rather than receive a fixed subsistence salary from the state.
         Pension reform creates an understandable and transparent system to allow workers to ‘catch up’ after years of not paying into the system; more important, it raises pensions in the short term. […]
        Judicial reform is more technical in nature, but ultimately, the legislation makes the Supreme Court the venue for appeals, modernizes the system through the adoption of e-governance, and increases the role of official court fees in financing the system.
        Were the reforms perfect? No, but they will positively and concretely improve the lives of ordinary Ukrainians. Were compromises made to achieve passage of the reforms? Yes, but pragmatic leaders know the importance of winning a partial battle today to achieve a full victory tomorrow. […]
        November is a new month with other challenges, but last month, Ukrainian leaders showed they are capable of delivering concrete, important results to the Ukrainian people.”
The full article is available here: Pragmatism prevails over populism in Ukraine

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