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Archive for January 26th, 2009

Yushchenko does not give a damn about Rada decision

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 18:00

Yushchenko does not give a damn about Rada decision

Secretariat of the President of Ukraine states that despite the today’s decision of the parliament Volodymyr Stelmakh remains the head of the National bank of Ukraine. First deputy chief of staff Oleksandr Shlapak told journalists in Kyiv on Monday.

According to him, despite the above mentioned decision, the first deputy head of the National bank of Ukraine Anatoly Shapovalov, who now performs the duties of the head, also remains in office.

Shlapak also underlined that today’s decision of the parliament will bring panic and chaos to the currency market.

ForUm

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Ukraine to launch annual NATO program in April

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 17:20

Ukraine to launch annual NATO program in April

Ukraine’s foreign minister revealed plans on Monday to develop and adopt in April an annual national program for NATO integration, UNIAN said.

“We have set ourselves the goal to draft, approve and start implementing this program in April,” Volodymyr Ohryzko was quoted as saying.

He said the program should be 100% completed by the end of 2009.

The minister said an expert group from NATO’s secretariat would arrive in the country in February to bring the positions of the military alliance and Ukraine closer.

Ukraine’s bid to join NATO was derailed by West European powers led by Germany and France in early December during a meeting of foreign ministers from the alliance’s member states. Ukraine had received strong U.S. backing for its bid.

Surveys have consistently shown more than half of Ukrainians oppose NATO membership.

ForUm

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Ukraine’s parliament dismissed NBU head

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 16:40

Ukraine's parliament dismissed NBU head

Ukraine’s parliament dismissed NBU head

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has voted to recognize the appointment of national bank chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh as invalid, ForUm’s corresponded reported.

227 out of 245 MPs, registered in the Rada hall, approved the resolution to cancell the decree on appointment Stelmakh as NBU head of December 16, 2004.

Commenting on the vote, first vice speaker Oleksandr Lavrynovych stated that the MPs violated the Constitution and law basics.

“Shame on those deputies who make such decisions,” he underlined.

In addition, the parliament laid blame for the situation in the financial and credit sphere on the president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko.

ForUm

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Tymoshenko: Government has enough resources to stabilize the situation in building sector

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 15:50

Tymoshenko: Government has enough resources to stabilize the situation in building sector

The government initiates the development of national action plan to support the building sector, Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko told a meeting with heads of regional state administrations and their deputies on the building sector.

Tymoshenko noted that today the government has enough resources, which would stabilize the situation in the building sector, shaken by the global financial crisis. According to the premier, first of all it is necessary to estimate objectively the volumes of problems of every building organization.  

Yulia Tymoshenko has charged the Ministry of Regional Development and Building along with representatives of the local authorities and banking institutions with urgent making up of a list of projects on incomplete building.

According to the Prime Minister, to help out the sector of crisis it is necessary to draft an action plan, for every article of which the government, National Bank of Ukraine, local authorities and participants of the market will be commonly responsible.

ForUm

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Gov’t to initiate detailed inventory of uncompleted construction objects

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 15:00

Gov’t to initiate detailed inventory of uncompleted construction objects

Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko has commissioned heads of regional state administrations, mayors of towns jointly with building companies and commercial banks to hold inventory of uncompleted objects. A respective commission was given by the Head of Government during a meeting with heads of regional state administrations and their deputies dedicated to the issues of support of building branch.

According to Yulia Tymoshenko, the first step of letting the building branch out from the complicated situation, resulted from the world financial-economic crisis, has to be holding of inventory of building. “We should start, first of all, from detailed inventory of all, we have unfinished,” the Head of Government stressed.

Prime Minister is convinced inventory will afford to receive information about real volumes of uncompleted building as well as enable to determine possible sources of financing which building companies would be able to draw to complete construction works.

“In the shortest terms, with all the information in store and based on data of commercial bank, which provides us with incontestable analysis, we will know definitely about flaws in different areas, in different places, problems of building companies and banks which we should cover,” Yulia Tymoshenko stressed.

The Head of Government added that without detailed analysis of the state of every construction company no mechanism of efficient recipe to come out of the complicated situation can be elaborated.

Government portal

ForUm

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Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 13:20
Nato has 'no will' to admit Georgia or Ukraine

Nato has ‘no will’ to admit Georgia or Ukraine

Mr Sikorski, who is a leading contender to become Nato`s secretary-general when the Alliance selects a new chief in April, told The Daily Telegraph that membership for both countries was a “fairly distant prospect”. According to The Daily Telegraph, he denied that Russia, which attaches great importance to thwarting Nato`s enlargement, had achieved a victory.

Ukraine and Georgia were both promised Nato membership at a summit in Bucharest last April. But no timetable was offered and, four months later, Russia raised the stakes by invading Georgia.

Mr Sikorski said that Nato should “maintain the Bucharest consensus” and the “credible promise of membership”.

Asked whether the will to admit Ukraine and Georgia existed, however, he replied: “Not at the moment. At the moment, there`s a will to encourage them to reform themselves. But I believe all of our institutions, both the EU and Nato, suffer from enlargement fatigue.”

He added: “It`s always harder to enlarge in a recession.”

Yet the onset of “enlargement fatigue” did not amount to a victory for Russia. “I don`t have the feeling that Russia has increased its credibility in the last six months,” he said. “The Soviet Union never cut off gas supplies to Western Europe. Soviet strategists had a wonderful expression called `correlation of forces` which meant all the factors – material and immaterial – affecting any situation. I don`t believe that either through the Georgia crisis or the gas dispute Russia has improved the correlation of forces to its advantage.”

Mr Sikorski, 45, escaped from Communist Poland and was given asylum in Britain in 1982. While studying at Pembroke College, Oxford, he was a member of the Bullingdon drinking club along with David Cameron and Boris Johnson. Mr Sikorski took British citizenship – and diplomats say that he kept his British passport until he was made Poland`s foreign minister in 2007.

During the 1980s, he was a foreign correspondent, covering the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan for The Sunday Telegraph. His firsthand experience of war in Afghanistan gives him a unique qualification for taking the helm of Nato, which now deploys 55,000 troops in the country.

The Alliance`s 26 members will probably choose a new secretary-general at their 60th anniversary summit in April. When Nato Ambassadors meet on Monday, they will begin considering possible candidates, who include Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister.

As for whether he might be Nato`s next secretary-general, Mr Sikorski replied: “I believe that Nato needs continued leadership from the front. We have a war in Afghanistan that we mustn`t lose. Nato is the most successful alliance in history and that needs nurturing. I believe that the appointment should be made on merit.

“I`m flattered by such suggestions because they imply that Poland is now a regular member and that indeed we`ve made worthwhile contributions to Nato and that therefore we deserve to be seriously considered for the top job.”

The Daily Telegraph

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Foreign Ministry: Period of brotherhood has passed for Ukraine and Russia

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


News / 26 January 2009 | 14:10

Foreign Ministry: Period of brotherhood has passed for Ukraine and Russia

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko states that regarding the relations with Russia, “the period of brotherhood and unity of Slavic peoples” passed long time ago.

“It is time to get rid of stereotypes and clichés of brotherhood, historical unity and other things. We are two sovereign states and must build our relations on the basis of international law,” he told a press conference in Kyiv.

In addition, the minister noted that “when they speak about Slavic unity, a question arises: how many Slavic peoples are the members of NATO, and how many are not?”

ForUm

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Euro 2012 co-hosts make progress; work still ahead

Posted by the Editor on January 26, 2009


Analytics / 26 January 2009 | 13:38

Euro 2012 co-hosts make progress; work still ahead

Euro 2012 co-hosts make progress; work still ahead

Poland and Ukraine have put their 2012 European Championship preparations back on track after months of speculation that UEFA could strip them of the football tournament — although recent visits to host cities reveal the giant task that lies ahead.

The jubilation that erupted in Poland and Ukraine after UEFA’s April 2007 decision to award them the event evaporated last year as construction delays with stadiums, roads, airports and hotels in both countries fueled reports that UEFA could hand the tournament to a backup host — possibly Italy, Germany or Scotland.

But those concerns have eased following a successful meeting with UEFA president Michel Platini in December, after which the former France star said he has “full confidence in Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.”

While progress has been made, recent visits by Associated Press reporters to five of the eight planned host cities indicate both eastern European states still have much to do.

With 3 years to go, Ukraine has the tougher task, a job made all the more difficult by rampant corruption, poor management and endless political turmoil.

Evhen Chervonenko, the former head of the country’s 2012 organizing committee, said the tournament “is one of our great chances to turn Ukraine into a European country, but with each day we lose these chances and risk losing this opportunity forever.”

Preparations in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, nestled in rolling hills about 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the Polish border, lag farthest behind and show just how far Ukraine has to go to reach western European levels.

A crumbling, one-lane road riddled with potholes runs from the border to Lviv, winding though towns and villages along the way. Chickens peck at the muddy shoulder of the road in some spots, while in others dogs wander across the pavement.

The city’s airport dates from the late 1950s. The main waiting lounge is no larger than a tennis court and doesn’t have a bathroom.

Work has begun, however, on a new 33,000-seat stadium near the city’s southern bypass that provides easy access to the main road east to Kiev.

Preparations are more advanced in Ukraine’s three other host cities — Kiev, Donestk and Dnipropetrovsk — although the trio are all grappling with at least one of the problems that plagues Lviv.

In the capital Kiev, after a nearly yearlong delay, work has finally begun on a $260 million (euro200 million) overhaul of the Olympic Stadium, which is slated to finish in 2010 and be launched in 2011.

“Ukraine has come out of the crisis zone in preparing the Kiev stadium,” said Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Vasyunyk, who is in charge of the Euro 2012 preparations.

The venue is to host the tournament’s final, and UEFA has warned without a renovated stadium Ukraine will not co-host Euro 2012.

Donetsk already boasts a sparkling new stadium built by the owner of a local club, while Dnipropetrovsk should finish its stadium in the coming months.

But badly needed upgrades to Ukraine’s infrastructure, including airports, roads and hotels, pose the greatest challenge.

The country has to add or modernize runways and build new terminals in all of the host cities. Construction work is already under way at Kiev’s two airports and in Donetsk, but the Lviv landing strip and terminal is still on the drawing board.

The country has also vowed to upgrade thousands of kilometers (miles) of dilapidated roads that outside of the main cities are often little more than single-lane ribbons, cracked and crumbling.

Ukraine‘s underdeveloped hotel system is still dominated by shabby and expensive Soviet-era hotels, few of which currently accept credit cards.

Vasyunyk said the country has to build and renovate a total of 300 hotels, about 100 of which are still being designed. But the former head of Ukraine’s organizing committee, Yevhen Chervonenko, said that construction of 80 percent of the hotels that need to be built has been frozen due to the financial crisis.

Ukrainian officials estimate the entire project will cost around $30 billion — 1/3 coming from state coffers and the rest from private investors.

But the world financial turmoil has devastated Ukraine’s economy, raising concerns the country may not be able to raise the necessary funds. Ukraine’s currency, the hryvna, has lost about 40 percent of its value since September, the banking sector lies in tatters and the economy is plunging into deep recession.

The situation is further complicated by a bitter power struggle between Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko and her former political ally, President Viktor Yushchenko. The two leaders are likely opponents in presidential elections expected in late 2009 or early 2010, and both are eager to take credit for Euro 2012 and control the vast funds set aside for the project.

Despite the
enormous challenges, Vasyunyk vowed Ukraine will be on time: “We’ll make sure that all objects are ready.”

By Ryan Lucas, Associated Press Writer

USA Today

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