In Ukrainian politic exists a great request for new faces. By the way not only for new faces, but for those who have effective recipes for country, but not only want to come to power. In Ukraine practically do not exist political parties with real ideology and supporters, but there is a tons of parties with “dead souls”. The hero of our interview — Olexander Solovyov, made the impression of a man who has ready recipes for the state and sincerely confident in them. He is a leader of a fairly young party «Rozumna Syla». The party is confidently gaining momentum. Solovyov says that the elections for «Rozumna Syla» are not an end in itself, this is only part of the plan. The purpose — to form and implement in real life the program of country development. «Ukraine is doomed to success, people and power must believe in it. Ukrainians believe and authority don`t. Why? Provide their interests, they want to become very rich, apparently. The interests of the people for them is a secondary task, that’s why poverty is growing in our country. » Solovyov says that he creates a real political party for decades with true supporters, and not «dead souls.» About the vision of the leader of this party in solving difficult problems of Ukraine and will be discussed in this interview.
— Oleksandr Nikolayevich, you are the leader of the party «Rozumna Syla«. Let’s start with a not very comfortable question. The party is young enough, but it is actively developing. Can you be called as a party with an ideology? Or the task is still to actively declare itself in parliamentary elections?
— Thank you for the question. You know, the main illness of our politicians is that most of the parties do not have an ideology. That is, those boundaries for which they will never come out in their political activities. Look at most of the parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties and ask any Ukrainian, what are these parties fighting for? What do the members of these parties believe in? It is unlikely that you will get a clear answer. If we take parties with experience, then we will see that for the entire period of their existence they supported sometimes diametrically opposite things. What to say about the leaders of these parties. Our task is not a regular political project for certain elections. We are building a party based on ideology. Those who oppose such an ideology are not on the road with us. We are all like-minded people and realize that the creation of a genuine political party is a hard work, because an organism is created that should feel the people, their aspirations, fears, to calm down, to protect and to offer solutions to problems. Leaders should sincerely believe in those postulates that they say, and, most importantly, follow them. Then the party members will be true supporters, not «dead souls,» as in most of the present parties. Then such a community of people can really benefit Ukraine.
— You say a lot about «ideology». You can mark: what does the «Rozumna Syla» stand for?
— Absolutely. We are not socialists, not the left, not right, not radicals. We are centrists. Moreover, Ukrainian-centrists. In the history of modern Ukraine there was no real party, which would sincerely, without extreme nationalism, without chauvinism put Ukraine’s interests first. You cannot teach to respect your nation, your country, your statehood, if there are no objective reasons for this. It is enough to pull the country to the left or to the right, to the east or west, to NATO or not to NATO, to the EU or to Russia. It is enough to whip up the problematic issues of language, history. Let’s unite around the simple and understandable things that are inherent to every family in every corner of the country.
Our aspiration: Ukrainocentrism — always and everywhere! The main thing is our common, Ukrainian interests. In international relations, military co-operation, economy and industry, culture.
We have found the formula for Ukraine’s success for the next 25 years. The first factor is a strong army and armed neutrality. Second: the principle of «smart power» — «smart power» in international relations. Third: the state apparatus and the law-enforcement system independent of political trends. Fourth: the Ukrainian-centered economic and industrial strategy. Fifth: smart youth and demographic policy.
— Your party has repeatedly stated about the necessity of neutrality of Ukraine in the international arena. How is this possible in a war-torn country and has such an unbalanced neighbor?
— Ukrainian land has historically been a territory where the interests of the West meet with the interests of the East. This state, on the one hand, makes us the place of civilization exchange and enrichment. This is a very convenient trading position. But at the same time, such a location is also our «geopolitical curse.» After all, while constantly on the brink of geopolitical spheres of interests between East and West, Ukraine has often acted and continues to act as a place for their confrontation.
With such schedules, our country has chances to maintain its independence in only one case: if it can create and maintain its armed neutrality. It represents the principle of preserving neutral positions in relation to any military action in full readiness to conduct them in the event of a threat to the sovereignty of a country by one or more States.
I emphasize that our neutrality must be armed, that is, one that, at an external threat, can stand up for himself and his interests with arms in his hands. Indeed, in the current situation in international politics, it is simply absurd to say that Ukraine is neutral, without supporting it with the build-up of armed forces.
Here for us there should be an illustrative example of Switzerland. One of the most powerful armies in Europe stands at the watch of its declared neutrality. Due to the excellent system of training and support of reservists’ combat ability, it can quickly put on the gun hundreds of thousands of highly professional soldiers with excellent modern weapons.
I am convinced that the armed neutrality used by Switzerland can be applied to Ukraine, and it is the only way to preserve our independence in a turbulent world. At the same time, anyone who puts our independence at risk must rely on such a rebuff that would call into question the very purpose of the invasion.
The need for armed neutrality is due to the foreign policy situation in which Ukraine was. Union with the West will never meet Russia, the union with Russia does not accept the West. Both of these scenarios will bring Ukraine more problems than benefits. We must become the «place of meeting» of civilizations, on which both sides — the western and the eastern — can get in touch and cooperate, and not allow them to be hostile to each other in our territory. Ukraine is not a buffer and not a bridgehead, and a «bridge» between the countries of the West and the East. The transit flow from this «bridge» is one of the sources of income of Ukraine. There is no flow — no income, few understand and declare it.
— And what about NATO membership?
— With the status of armed neutrality, Ukraine should continue to cooperate with various military and political alliances on the principles of partnership. However, from such a principle as «membership for the sake of membership at any price», Ukraine should be abandoned. We should carefully evaluate all pros and cons of any integration. But at the same time, take from other countries and organizations the best of their work both in the military and in civilian spheres, and to actively implement oneself. Look at the same Georgia. It is not a member of NATO, but in close cooperation all the last years has practically completely upgraded its army to NATO standards (and they are still the best in the world).
In the common exercises of our troops and NATO nations, the latter say: «The fighting experience has to be learned from Ukrainians. Russia invented a new kind of war — a hybrid. And Ukraine has learned to fight and resist in its conditions «. We have an army that is unique to European countries, we alone have a real combat experience.
— In foreign policy, your position is quite clear. How do you see the way out of the economic crisis? What strategy should Ukraine have in this matter?
— As I said, the principle of Ukrainocentrism should become the main principle, including in the economy. Throughout the history of our independence, the authorities have consistently transformed Ukraine into a raw material appendage of other, more developed countries. Only the vector varied, and the main discussions, if you reject the entire pathology, were reduced to one: whose appendage we have to be, Russia or Europe? This way leads us to nowhere.
Now the situation in our markets is just catastrophic. In the metallurgy, our exports to 85% consist of raw materials, in agro-industrial complex — by 15%, in chemical industry — by 80%. Even in the IT sector, 74% is outsourced, and therefore even in this area we export all the same raw materials, only high-tech. This situation needs to be changed urgently.
Recipes for the breakthrough of countries from the third world in the first — at least more. Only the desire to make such a breakthrough in elites for a quarter century did not appear. So at first we need the political will of the elites who would have decided to stop making Ukraine a «banana republic without bananas». We must abandon the very unprofitable principles of trade and stop exporting raw materials, and import products with high added value.
We must build and implement new principles in the economy. The main points of our economic strategy are as follows. First, the vast majority of resources in the country need to be processed within its borders, because goods are always 10-100 times more expensive than raw materials. Secondly, a large part of foreign goods, especially high-tech, should be imported in an incomplete form and refined internally, thus allowing Ukrainians to earn. Thirdly, we will have to create a State All-Ukrainian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the main purpose of which is to preferential crediting of investment projects and export contracts and to provide national producers with state guarantees for foreign loans. Such an event would breathe new life into the Ukrainian industry for several years. The following principle: to protect the domestic market during the period of reorientation of Ukrainian enterprises from some markets to other WTO mechanisms are used.
After modernizing the domestic manufacturer, the government is obliged to focus its work on finding opportunities to increase the volume of government orders for domestic products. Also, a program of incentive schemes for industrial enterprises to maintain existing and increase new jobs should be developed.
— Would it not trigger the introduction of such economic principles of change in taxation?
— Definitely. The current tax legislation is overly complex and confusing. We must make it simple, clear and transparent. To do this you need to do just a few steps: simplify administration of taxes, including significantly reducing and simplifying tax reporting; to minimize the release of individual transactions or business entities from the general rules for paying taxes; to establish investment-attractive rates of rent for the use of natural resources. And the main thing is to establish strict criminal and administrative responsibility of officials of the controlling bodies, the action or inaction of which caused damage to the taxpayer.
That’s what’s interesting. If we take the rating of the 30 most developed economies in the world, then we will see a paradoxical fact. Most of the problem areas in terms of the society economically underdeveloped countries — legalized in developed countries. It is about legalization of prostitution, gambling business, free circulation of weapons, etc. All these areas are tightly controlled by the state, from which considerable taxes are paid to the budget, and most importantly — the essential factor of corruption of officials is eliminated. I do not argue that Ukraine should begin to legalize everything in a row — our society still needs to «grow up». But, for example, speeches and appeals to legalize arms turnover are increasingly appearing, which will eliminate corruption in this area and will strengthen the control of the state over the circulation of weapons. Some economists also stand for the legalization of gambling business. After all, the play did not stop. Throughout the country, underground casinos, and police officers who «cover» this business — have golden. Is not it wise to send these millions not in the pocket of corrupt officials, but in the state budget, and then on the same pensions, social payments, and infrastructure projects?
— What changes, in your opinion, are necessary for the state apparatus?
— Under the guise of reforms over the last three years in Ukraine, the entire old state system and its mechanisms have been destroyed. It was promoted both as a goal and as a victory. However, the main rule was not followed: «destroy, build.» The new system has never been built, and this is clearly seen on the example of the «new» police. As a principle of the formation of the state apparatus, rebellion, appointment to positions, based on political rumors and alliances, and not the experience and education of a candidate, have returned again. At ministry positions in key ministries were passing through. Political tourists from other countries flew to Ukraine as flies for honey for fast money and political dividends. All this has led to the fact that the state apparatus is now on the verge of collapse, with the fact that in any state it is his skeleton.
Experience of the economic miracle of Singapore, European countries confirmed that in such situations only one recipe helps — technocrats in power. Not their cheap copies, as it was in the Ukrainian government a few years ago, but real.
What is technocracy? This is the power of masters of his business, the power of professionals. This is the principle of building a society in which the power belongs to scientific and technical specialists. Leadership positions should take the most capable people, regardless of their social background and financial prosperity.
In the technocratic system, the economy is regulated by economists, the health care system is guided by medical specialists, the police — by lawyers and so on. In doing so, they must have real professional skills, have a successful field experience, have a pure reputation, have no political connections. We are also confident that it’s time to tie up with the «Vikings» — foreign experts are often just interested in «foreign tourists» money.
Another of our proposals is the election of governors. The idea is not new, but now it is relevant again. Judge for ourselves, we choose the president, heads of cities, settlements and united territorial communities, but the regions remain under the control of the proprietors of the president who seeks to put their power in the parliamentary-presidential republic. And this is also a field for corruption. The President must monitor the conditions that guarantee the implementation of the Constitution and laws throughout Ukraine, and for this he does not need to control all branches of government. Ukraine needs a new moral authority, not a cunning businessman or a scammer from politics, which in their personal interests seeks to impose absolute power.
Similarly, the work of MPs should be reorganized: the parliamentary immunity should be lifted, the number of deputies reduced, mechanisms for recalling deputies to be introduced, and raising labor discipline. The new Constitution and legislation will provide a barrier to the spread of corruption, and new rights and freedoms will completely eradicate it.
— How to defeat corruption in our country? Is this possible?
— Of course it is possible. On the one hand, a decent level for civil servants, on the other — the most severe responsibility for corruption crimes, without immunity, depends on party ties. Officials will have to be given high wages, privileged state consumer and mortgage loans, and child education privileges. However, in proportion to this, the personal responsibility of the employee for corruption in any of its manifestations will increase. In case of establishing the fact of obtaining a bribe or exceeding powers for the sake of someone’s interests — without a long conversation, such an official should receive 15 years’ imprisonment with complete confiscation of property in favor of the state. We have to introduce the way of «whip and stick»: on the one hand, we create a motivated employee with different preferences, and on the other hand, strict sanctions will always remind him of the severe personal consequences of the game, not according to the rules that we will begin to implement, having come to power. The dictatorship of the law, the rule of law — this is what Ukrainians lack today. The order in the country is new rules, understandable to all, and no exceptions!
And that is why it is necessary to remove a lot of prohibitions and restrictions, which bypasses and generates corruption. Our legislation needs to be made more liberal, as has been done in many countries with better quality of life. Take a simple study, and you will notice that the more freedoms people have, the lower the level of corruption and the higher the level of well-being. There are explicit interrelationships that do not use current power. Mentors exploit the imperfection of the laws, put people in unequal conditions and are rich in conditions of impunity and irresponsibility. This must be stopped!
Yes, it will be very difficult in practice. So, the society will shout «treason», and corrupt officials — to resist and sabotage the process. But any governor, any political authority, if he wants to succeed, must speak with the public and show an example of an unselfish desire to change the fate of the country; must prudently promote the rule of law in every sphere of life of Ukrainians. So, the history of other countries knows such, but, unfortunately, modern Ukraine is not familiar with it yet. I believe we have everything ahead! The sooner we begin to live according to the principle «Ukraine is for the sake of Ukraine», the sooner we learn from our mistakes, the sooner will appear the politics of a new formation, state men, and not scammers.
Translation — Olexandr Trocholis