Boris Kolesnikov: “the idea of the country — a society of equal opportunities”

— Boris Viktorovich, we talk on the eve of Independence Day. What, in your opinion, the main conclusion of Ukraine’s path during the years of independence?

In my opinion, it is that our country has taken place. Despite the constant “time” difficulties, which accompanied all her 26 years. The fact that Ukraine took place, recognized in the world. Considered it. Although, unfortunately, the events of recent years show the outside attempts to turn it from a subject of international law into the object of international law. But I would not want on the eve of the holiday to talk about sad things. So limited to brief: Ukraine is, and that’s a fact.

— The country has long been in the state, distinguishes it from other CIS countries, we did not have global shocks. But three years ago the amendments were introduced by the events in the Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and today a lot in the fate of the country and the people has changed beyond recognition… was it Possible to anticipate, prevent?

— What happened, this is the result. The process began long ago — since the collapse of the Soviet Union. By the time of independence our country has lost and continues to lose planted long before that and established economic ties. But politics, as we know, the essence of the economy. So the roots of what the country is experiencing today, you should look there. And this process was exacerbated by the fact that Ukraine was on the crossroads of the interests of others. She tried to pull in one direction and then the other, and she often made inconsistent, contradictory steps or in front, showed indecision and inaction…

— What do you mean by intersection of foreign interests?

— According to the expert community, today Ukraine vs focus 900 different international programs. Those who organize them, pursue their own interests. Ukraine’s interests they care about is not in the first place. For example, political grants in most countries is unacceptable. And we are often. This is not education, not health care — the grants, which are looking for supporters of their States in our country. And there is no global conspiracy against Ukraine. Each acts proceeding from their own benefit. While Ukraine is on the crossroads, and it throws from one extreme to the other…

You mean the jerks in the direction of rapprochement with the EU, and then the rejection of this course?

— Of course! The economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU, not read, not only ordinary people. Didn’t know 80% of the members of the Cabinet, deputies of the ruling coalition and the opposition… in 2010 it was clear that such an agreement will lead to the emergence in Ukraine of at least 7 million unemployed. My colleagues and I have repeatedly talked about this and Mykola Azarov, Viktor Yanukovych. What is happening now with the mass migration of Ukrainians, direct confirmation of our innocence. Just in the background leaving the country while not visibly see the percentage of unemployment. But it doesn’t excuse any of those who promised to sign the Association agreement, none of those who then refused to do it…

Great policy, if we are talking about Western democracy that doesn’t tolerate broken promises. In this sense, the example of James Cameron. He won the election in the UK. Promised to hold a referendum on the country’s withdrawal from the European Union. Not Association, and member of the EU. Held him, although he was strongly against secession. Defeated supporters of Brickset. And the same evening, Cameron resigned. Here is an example for Ukrainian politicians.

You cannot make promises and not fulfill them. Before the vote on the signing of the Association agreement in 2014, our group told the authorities we will not interfere with signing. We’ll take a vote. But keep in mind that you must in the near future to achieve four degrees of freedom taken all over the world: goods, services, labour and capital. If European partners are not disingenuous, then go forward. But if disingenuous, see for yourself. And here come to the Association. Not even to her, and the situation around her. What? What came up? With the loss of territories. The war continued for three and a half years. And no light at the end of the tunnel. Unfulfilled promises led to catastrophic consequences.

Suffer then the citizens of Ukraine. Killing civilians of Donbass. Dying soldiers. The color of the nation… All say they want peace. Yes, of course. But how to achieve it? Peace can not be achieved without a new Constitution. And not cosmetic changes to an existing need, and entirely new Basic Law…


  • Kolesnikov proposes to dissolve the “Ukravtodor” and create a free market contractors

— Yeah, you talked in detail about these changes in the June interview…

— Not repeating, I will mention the most important, in my opinion, component — complete decentralization. It will allow you to resolve a number of long-standing issues. And including — to stop the war, find peace. It is vital for the country.

— Book one of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Vitaly Masol is devoted to the analysis of events at the turn of 80-90-ies, called the “Lost chance”… don’t You think that after independence our country has become a country of missed opportunities?

— Read several chapters… Let’s see objectively what a lost opportunity? Ukraine is among the twenty most economically developed countries. Only this is a very conditional definition. Because she was part of the Union. The Union collapsed, and what happened? Assessment the first presidents of Ukraine, 47-48% of the economy was a military-industrial complex. And, according to those same Americans, the level of MIC was 80% of GDP… Tire plant produces tires for Armored vehicles. As these products be considered?

— As dual-purpose.

No, it’s not dual-purpose products. On “the Zhiguli” these tires do not deliver. That is, it is hidden MIC share in GDP. The first systematic error that was made after the collapse of the Union, breaking off economic ties, we were not wanted. 74 of the Ukrainian goods and services was not on the world markets, and of course, none of the Ukrainian enterprises did not know what the competition. And the West, which in the conditions of market economy, the lives of over 200 years, we were not needed especially. The second mistake is the unwillingness of the authorities to force the regions to be competitive.

— Even then, after the collapse of the Union?

Yes. By the way, when Leonid Kravchuk, the governors were elected by direct and secret vote by all residents of the region, and there was no one to overthrow — whom he had chosen, and asked local budgets were more or less self-sufficient. Another system error is a complicated taxation what they are talking about since 1994. Based on the Western system of taxation in 1992-1994, not understanding evolution, how and by what means it came to the West, we have decided to blindly copy the experience of others… Even Mikhail Gorbachev has shown himself to be more of a market than all of the Ukrainian government together. He and the Council of Ministers of the USSR saw the problem.

And our government — no. And what was that? Tax on profits of cooperatives is 10%. Income tax — 13%. And that’s all. The decision to introduce VAT at all undermined the Ukrainian economy. Red Directors is a hurtful label. On the contrary, a very high level leaders, calling today respect. Almost all were red Directors. But, not realizing the essence of competition (what is needed to help understand), they become hostages ignorant of the tax system. Created a problem and a quarter of a century it heroically decided… And the business did not give to develop effectively. Instead of one officer obkhss enterprises have begun terrorizing the whole gang of tax, of ubopovtsy, wapowce, other supervisors. Frankly, to a market economy in 1991, we were much closer than now…


— There was no such bureaucracy and corruption as now.

— Was a racket.

To combat racketeering as criminal offences, is much easier than with economic ones, and breed corruption. To replace the mafia came more competitive state agencies — the police, tax and other. They passed the baton of the bandits. Missed opportunities? Lost. Could be better? Of course. And worse than it is? Probably. But you have to state the obvious: today, we are the most successful country of all Eastern European. This is not a reason to give up. To admit mistakes is a step forward. Next is to fix them.

Created NABOO, ARS, national Agency for prevention of corruption. While their work is inefficient. The field is huge, and it came out to plow primitive and prehistoric hoes hoes. The main thing in fighting corruption is to minimize the field itself, which implies acts of corruption. And they are by and large four: land relations in the cities, state and municipal procurement, tax and customs.

Change. “Ukraine has all chances to become successful”

— But introduced finally the e-Declaration of incomes.

— Back in 2006-2007 between the Party of regions and “Our Ukraine” negotiations on the Declaration. In principle, the differences were small. We suggested that the Declaration filled all 36 million of the adult population. And public access was only civil servants: the high-level officials, heads of law enforcement and security bodies, members. The position of “Our Ukraine” was different — like, we should start with civil servants, and the rest later. The PR objected — if limited to only civil servants, they will all be driving cars classmates and live in the homes of classmates. If declarations will be filled in all to take on other people’s sins and take responsibility for them not wanting to be…

— What went wrong?

— In the 2007 elections, negotiations have become irrelevant and are soon forgotten. We returned to the issue only recently — in the form of e-declarations. Although much is yet to be finalized…

— That is, to launch e-Declaration, it took ten years! And people want change right now. What projects can be implemented, for example, in a year and see the results immediately?

— No need to reinvent the wheel. Need to be based on the same principles by which the world has achieved success. And a year and a half or two is quite possible to achieve qualitative changes. But only under the condition of maximum simplification of relations in society — between business, government, social sphere. Will have to take unpopular steps? Of course. For example, nearly a million bureaucrats, hindering the development of business, eating up the budget, to transfer to other areas. Today Ukraine is on the 80th place in the ranking of the most favorable for doing business. And the other former Soviet republics are far beyond us.

— One may ask, why is Ukraine so long harness, hear the traditional: “Not enough political will”…

— When I worked Vice-the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance Fedor Yaroshenko and the head goskompredprinimatelstva Mikhail Brodsky tried to solve the problem — the amount to pay in as in 3-4 times to reduce the state apparatus, and the payroll to keep the same, inviting the work of specialists of higher level. Came to Mykola Azarov. But walked out with nothing, and the Minister of Finance said, “See, not enough political will…”. I mean, really, on many issues it is not enough. But it’s not too late the will to exercise… Need to get rid of bureaucracy, distrust, and from the top to bottom. And boldly go forward. Nothing is lost yet. Countries that were in even more dire Straits, out of the crisis and become successful. No matter how dramatic the upheaval, there is an election. Elections — this is democracy. And there is no other way.

— What would you call the pride of the country? Without pathos, and pathos.

Is people. Which, despite the trials, hardships, continue to live, to work, to bear and raise children. People — our main wealth and property, which, without exaggeration, can be proud of. I think these people nowhere else. They do everything to Ukraine was. That’s just the authorities often they have nothing to answer.

To see the world. The winners of the contest “the Aviator” — in Le Bourget

— Asking about pride of the country, wanted to hear about the Ukrainian world trends and achievements of science, technology, glorified power in the international arena. For example, the largest in the history of aviation transport aircraft An-225 “Mriya”…

— We have many remarkable achievements. Just don’t always know how to present them. And they say little. Which channel nor turn on some crime news. The impression that the people they are. And it’s not so… Returning to the “Mriya” — objectively speaking, this aircraft was designed and built at the Union… But as for other trends, we have generally successful aviation industry, advanced energy, good engineering, advanced metallurgy, and other industry… However, some were or are in decline, and this often blame big business, “oligarchs”. But somehow, few people remember the middle and end of the 90-ies, when these companies put up for sale… the Average salary of “Krivorozhstal”, for example, was equivalent to only 47 dollars! And when stayed the whole enterprise, and on the street were thousands of workers, the state does they have not helped. And now accusing business. In fact, always blame the authorities. No matter what — today, yesterday, day before yesterday. The government has created a legislative environment and rules of the game. Scho maєmo those maєmo.

— Since I remembered the air force, let us more about it. Ukraine until recently was among the five leading countries with the full cycle of production of modern cargo and passenger planes. Aircraft with the name “Academy” flew on every continent and in great demand. What is happening in the industry? Many times you have been in the enterprise “Antonov” know about a situation, not hearsay…

— Create your own closed loop production aircraft, not a Ukrainian invention. That was Soviet doctrine — say, you have to do on their own, not to depend on someone. The current world aviation was developing at a completely different principles — on the basis of broad integration and cooperation. The more countries involved in the creation of the aircraft, the more potential buyers. We have companies that provide almost complete production cycle of aircraft. This is the technical part. There are commercial and practical. Typically, the aircraft is sold under 2% per annum. For this we created the “Antonov-Finance” — so that at the first stage, buyers bought the aircraft in financial or operational leasing. It was the best option, which would give work to people, and develop production, and raised the funds to promote products. But all remained on paper…


— Probably, again manifested a lack of political will… Come people time, which the air force was not interested… And the planes are not gondolas. They just do not sell…

— Recently, Antonov has announced that in five years will produce 70 aircraft. This is the real figures?

— Once the “Antonov” produced five An-24 in a week, that is 250 in a year. Kharkov aircraft factory — 80 Tu-134 aircraft annually. Can you imagine? 330 cars! By today’s standards is fantastic! But even if you sell 30 aircraft per year, need to get back to a market where no one is waiting. “Antonov” great engineers, designers. However, not enough trained marketers, and I say this is not the first year. Today lost traditional aircraft markets — the CIS countries, Latin America and Africa. But to get to the markets, which have been working “Boeing” and “Airbus” is almost impossible. Life does not stand still, and aviation specifically. It is therefore very reluctant to the promises of the managers of “Antonov” to go to 70 cars in the next five years. Negatively perceive the construction in Saudi Arabia plant for serial production of An-132D. There are also private enterprises that could produce. There is and its highly trained specialists. I think the decision was incorrect…

— Borys Kolesnikov for several years held an all-Ukrainian contest “the Aviator.” The winners, the best students of technical universities of the country take part in serious tests, get acquainted with world achievements in the international air shows in Le Bourget and Farnborough. Wonderful start for young people. Do not you think that the faster guys will find the use of their knowledge not in Ukraine, but abroad where they are today eyeing the employers?

— We conduct not only “the Aviator”, and other relevant creative competitions — railway companies, architects, builders, will soon launch another two in the field of information technology and agricultural sector. Focus on young, talented guys, who tomorrow will take the helm of the Ukrainian economy, to develop it, to achieve results. We help them to shorten the path to production, businesses want them to benefit primarily their country. And that they had no inferiority complex, when, getting an internship at a large international airport hubs in, say, Dubai, to understand that they were taught wrong and wrong, because now the price of brand new technologies, new approaches… We will expand the number and geography of participants of such competitions, to involve them, even the children of employees of enterprises in various industries, supporting labor dynasties in the economy but not in politics.

— What qualities, knowledge, skills considered critical to young Ukrainians?

No search engines will not replace basic knowledge. Yes, you can go to “Google”. And he will answer any question. But you went to Google, found what I wanted, and then… forgot. Search engines do not give fundamental knowledge, and without them true success is impossible. It is important to know languages. Want home grown “successful product”, then you must know Ukrainian, Russian and English. It’s all global markets.

— What is your forecast for Ukraine for three years? How to change the country?

— Citizens of Ukraine should be consolidated on the basis of the national idea, which the whole world is the same — the creation of a society of equal opportunities. This is the path to success.

— What to do to not fulfilled the pessimistic predictions about the future of Ukraine?

— To insure the new Constitution. The power of the most cost-effective businesses has become the most unprofitable.