Ukraine Wishes It Was a Bit More like Poland ; Kiev's Antiquated Laws and Rules Need Updating If Western Aid Is to Help

By Hakim, Danny | International New York Times, March 13, 2014 | Go to article overview

Ukraine Wishes It Was a Bit More like Poland ; Kiev's Antiquated Laws and Rules Need Updating If Western Aid Is to Help


Hakim, Danny, International New York Times


Businesses say antiquated laws and regulations must be changed if the billions in aid headed to the struggling nation are to help.

Every kind of business in this restless pro-European stronghold near the border with Poland has an idea about how to make Ukraine more like its relatively prosperous neighbor.

For Yaroslav Rushchyshyn, founder of a garment manufacturer, it is abolishing bizarre regulations that have had inspectors threatening fines for his handling of fabric remnants and for reporting financial losses. For Andrew Pavliv, who runs a technology company, it is modernizing a rigid education system to help nurture entrepreneurs. For Natalia Smutok, an executive at a company that makes color charts for paint and cosmetics, it meant starting an antibribery campaign, even though she is 36 weeks pregnant.

With the West poised to pump billions of dollars into Ukraine, the money may prove a Band-Aid unless the government addresses some of the country's festering structural and regulatory challenges.

The International Monetary Fund, which is finishing its on-the- ground review of Ukraine this week, is expected to call for reforms as a condition of any long-term aid. Economists stress that the problems run deep in Ukraine, a country still dealing with the legacy of its Soviet past as it tries to embrace trade opportunities beyond Russia.

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine's growth has badly lagged other onetime communist states. And it has fared especially poorly against Poland, its neighbor to the west, which, while by no means perfect, has been a model of how much faster a former Soviet bloc country can advance.

In the decades after communism's fall, Ukraine and Poland have taken notably different tacks.

As part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, a largely agrarian society that was later industrialized, has been tied to an old regulatory system under which widespread corruption and oligarchs flourished. Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, has continually pressured Ukraine, which he recently called a "brother nation," to resist the West.

In comparison, Poland, an Eastern bloc country without the same influence from Russia, quickly shed its communist past, with a shock therapy approach to privatization of state enterprise and regulation. It has also been considered by the World Bank a model of education reform in the region.

The results have been stark. The output of Ukraine, which counts steel and agricultural products among its chief exports, has fallen since the last days of the Soviet Union. Poland's output has risen sharply and is far larger now than Ukraine's, even though it has a smaller population. While Poland's growth has slowed of late, its per-capita gross domestic product of $13,000 is roughly three and a half times as large as Ukraine's.

In Lviv, an hour's drive east of the Polish border, such differences are visible, said Ms. Smutok and her deputy, Iryna Bulyk. "Better roads," Ms. Bulyk said. "Better houses," Ms. Smutok added.

Victor Halchynsky, a former journalist who is now a spokesman for the Ukrainian unit of a Polish bank, said the divergence of the two countries was a source of frustration. "It's painful because we know it's only happened because of policy," he said, adding that while both countries had started the reform process, Poland "finished it."

Ukraine has been held back by a number of policies. Steep energy subsidies have kept consumption high and left the country dependent on Russian gas, draining state coffers.

Mr. Pavliv said the state university system, which he called "pure, pure Soviet," was too inflexible to set up a training program for project managers, or to allow executives without specific certifications to teach courses. An agriculture industry once a Soviet breadbasket has been hurt by antiquated rules, including restrictions on land sales. Aggressive tax police have been used to shake down businesses. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ukraine Wishes It Was a Bit More like Poland ; Kiev's Antiquated Laws and Rules Need Updating If Western Aid Is to Help
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.