KIEV, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has criticized the efficiency of anti-corruption activities in the country's southern Odesa region, promising that he would not let Ukraine become a "banana republic," UNIAN news agency reported Thursday.
"If you do not know how to fight corruption and smuggling, I will tell you. Do the same thing I did this morning. I sent my aides to a market, they investigated 11 sales outlets to see whether they had customs documents, and not a single one had; yet there are plenty of goods, destroying the Ukrainian economy. I will not let you turn Ukraine into a 'banana republic'," the president said at a meeting with the Odesa authorities.
Torn by an internal conflict in its southeastern regions, Ukraine is experiencing a severe economic crisis. The Ukrainian government and international institutions forecast a 5-7 percent decrease in Ukraine's GDP in 2014. The country's National Bank estimates that inflation in 2014 will reach 17 percent.
In April, the International Monetary Fund approved a two-year $17 billion loan to Ukraine, $4.6 billion of which has already been disbursed to the country.
"Banana republic" is a term for a poor, underdeveloped country, dependent on a single export commodity.