Newly appointed Minister of Infrastructure discusses challenges and plans of his office
A few weeks ago the Ukrainian Parliament approved the appointment of the new Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Joining UT to discuss the plans of one of the most hopeful Ministries in the current Cabinet, is the Minister of Infrastructure Mr. Volodymyr Omelyan.
V.S. Mr. Omelyan, you are not new to the Ministry, you served as a Deputy to the previous Minister Mr. Pyvovarsky and you have already announced that you would be continuing the reforms which had been started by Minister Pyvovarsky. So, what are the main areas which you will be focusing on right now?
V.O. Our goals are as following: corporatization of Ukrainian railways and Ukrainian Post, deep and comprehensive reforms of administration of sea ports, privatization and the third issue, which is the top one is fighting corruption.
V.S. How do you plan to work with the Parliament?
V.O. … As soon as I have new team officially approved by the Cabinet I will relocate myself to the parliament and I am ready to spend there as many hours, days and nights as needed just to convince each of MP to vote for the reforms, to vote for the new legislation, to vote for the transparency and efficiency of state mechanism.
V.S. Talking about Mr. Balchun, the newly appointed Polish CEO of Ukrainian railways, how hopeful you that Mr. Balchun will be able to grasp the realities of Ukraine's politics, bureaucracy and the way of doing business?
V.O. I do believe that there is enough strength inside of Mr. Balchun also as well as inside of newly appointed CEO of Ukrainian Post Mr. Smilyansky to implement the reforms in Ukraine I am sure that Mr. Balchun knows everything, because he was in the same situation in Poland more than 10 years ago. He should simply repeat his success. Corruption is the same everywhere. So, he is keen and motivated to overcome this challenge. I do believe that we will see changes in the Ukrainian railways within one or two years.
V.S. What is really happening now with the process of Opening Skies for Ukraine?
V.O. I think that we will have it signed this year or maximum next year, but let us sign first the agreement with the European Union.
V.S. What are you planning to do to change the situation with roads in Ukraine?
V.O. My first meeting with the Prime Minister started with the issue of roads. I do believe that we will invest more into roads reconstruction in Ukraine this year but definitely it is also up to the parliament to sign the Road Trust Fund for Ukraine to have all taxes and fines specially concentrated in this Fund for road reconstruction and building new roads. It will be managed by the state with very transparent mechanism to avoid any misuse of money and accusation of corruption in this regard.