The official visit of First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of Ukraine Mykola Azarov to the Czech Republic with the purpose of participating in the European Banking and Financial Forum is under way, according to the government’s press-office.

On Sunday, 25 March, 2007 Mykola Azarov met with President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus.

During reception on behalf of the President of the Czech Republic in honor of the participants of the traditional European Banking and Financial Forum Mykola Azarov and Vaclav Klaus exchanged opinions on burning issues of trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Czechia, prospects of the European integration of Ukraine, problems on disposal of the American anti-missile systems in Czechia. On March 26, Mykola Azarov negotiated with Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Miroslav Kalousek.

Mykola Azarov noted that Ukraine had returned to stable economic development, controls inflation and forms economic policy on the basis of balanced budget of the current year and real budget projections till 2011. Already this year the Government of Ukraine intends to resume frozen system reforms aimed to upgrade home market and earnestly present Ukraine at foreign markets as a state with predictable policy, transparent interests, and the most loyal conditions for the investors in Europe. 

The reformative plans of the Government comprise adoption of the Tax Code, stage-by-stage reduction of the rate of profits tax up to 20% and value added tax to 16% as well as modernization of the economy on the path to privatization and energy efficiency.

Ukraine is completing the procedure of accedence to the WTO and soon starts negotiations on a new Enlarged Agreement with the EU.

Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Miroslav Kalousek assured that the Czech Republic supports the efforts of Ukraine to join the European Union.

He also stated that he knows approving attitude of the Czech companies to the politicians and intentions of the current Ukrainian Government and that is why assured that the Czech Republic is ready to support the reformatory purposes of Ukraine both at the political level and at international expert consultations.

The Ministers have also discussed unadjusted obligations of the so called Jamburg Agreement.

Mykola Azarov assured: Ukraine is finally getting out of the long crisis. Today we can not only inventory our old liabilities but route their gradual fulfillment. We are interested in dynamic cooperation development with all our partners and, first of all, with such important and well-disposed as Czechia. It is clear that a twenty-year history of the “Jamburg Agreements” requires a compromise comprehension, new estimations. Today it is real due to economic prospects of Ukraine and at the same time status of Czechia as the EU member which considers introduction of favorable regimes for our state”.

The sides have agreed to consider the problem of debt according to the “Jamburg Agreements” at the level of preparatory groups headed by Deputy Ministers of Finance of two countries. The interlocutors agreed on the acceptable term of debt conversion as a basis for decision preparation – 10 years.

The preparatory groups will determine indebtedness, conditions, mechanisms and terms of acquittance. At that negotiations will be carried on with consideration of the prospects of bipartite trade-economic cooperation.

On March 26 Mykola Azarov gave an interview to “Svoboda” broadcasting station and Bloomberg agency.