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Archive for May 26th, 2011

G8 may back Ukraine on Chornobyl projects – European Commission President

Posted by the Editor on May 26, 2011


News / 26 May 2011 | 17:59

G8 may back Ukraine on Chornobyl projects – European Commission President

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged the participants in the G8 summit to fulfill their commitments on financing Chornobyl project. He stated this at a press conference in Deauville (France) during the Group of Eight summit, the European Commission reported on its website.
Barroso voiced hope that, during the G8 summit, the countries that have not yet fulfilled their commitments on Chornobyl would do so.
He also said that the Commission is ready to increase its share in financing Chornobyl projects with 20 million euros in addition to the already allocated 110 million.
As reported, on April 19, the donors’ conference in Kyiv on implementation of Chornobyl projects collected about 550 million euros. The biggest financial contributions were made by EBRD – 120 million euros, the European Commission – 110 million euros, the US – 123 million dollars, France – 47 million euros, Russia – 45 million euros, Germany – 42.4 million euros, UK – 28.5 million pounds. Ukraine’s contribution will be 29 million euros.
These funds will be used primarily for completion of the Shelter facility, which costs more than 1 billion euros. To date, it is needed to collect 740 million euros.

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EU concerned over suggestions of political motivation behind cases against the opposition

Posted by the Editor on May 26, 2011


News / 26 May 2011 | 16:17

EU concerned over suggestions of political motivation behind cases against the opposition

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today expressing the EU’s concern regarding the case against Yulia Tymoshenko: 
“The EU has closely followed recent developments in the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the former government of Ukraine. At the request of the High Representative, the EU Head of Delegation is in contact with the authorities in Kyiv regarding the court decision of 23 May to detain Mrs Tymoshenko, and to express our concern at suggestions of political motivation behind these cases. 
The EU will continue to underline to the Ukrainian authorities the need for respect for the rule of law, incorporating fair, impartial and independent legal processes. We note the danger of provoking any perception that judicial measures are used selectively, and we stress the importance of ensuring the maximum transparency of investigations, prosecutions and trials. We consider these principles especially important in a country with which we intend to enter into a deeper contractual relationship built upon political association, and we recall that Ukraine currently holds the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.”

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President Yanukovych: Ukraine awaiting active dialogue with PACE

Posted by the Editor on May 26, 2011


News / 26 May 2011 | 14:39

President Yanukovych: Ukraine awaiting active dialogue with PACE

Presiden Viktor Yanukovych expects active discussions with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), he was speaking during a meeting in Kyiv with PACE President Mevlut Cavusoglu. 
“Certainly, I look forward to active discussions with the leadership of the Council of Europe and members of the Assembly,” the president said, UKRINFORM reported. 
Yanukovych thanked Cavusoglu for the invitation to the June session of the PACE. “I am pleased to accept it,” he emphasized. 
The Ukrainian president also thanked Cavusoglu for his personal contribution to the dialogue between the PACE and Ukraine. 
As UKRINFORM reported, Kyiv will host on Thursday and Friday meetings of the PACE Bureau and Standing Committee. 
On May 11, Ukraine assumed a six-month chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. 

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President tells Bloomberg about Ukraine’s European integration, relations with Russia

Posted by the Editor on May 26, 2011


Analytics / 26 May 2011 | 13:36

President tells Bloomberg about Ukraine's European integration, relations with Russia

President tells Bloomberg about Ukraine’s European integration, relations with Russia

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said he wants to pursue European Union membership for the former Soviet republic that is also being wooed by a Russian-led customs union with the lure of lower natural-gas prices.

The country of 46 million is the main transit route for Russian fuel to EU countries, including Germany, Austria and Poland. Yanukovych, 60, wants to cut the price it pays for Russian gas by almost 20 percent to $240 per 1,000 cubic meters, he said in an interview in his office in Kiev yesterday.

Russia is trying to use fuel prices as a lure to pull Ukraine into a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan even as the former Soviet republic looks to deepen economic and political ties with the EU. Ukraine depends on Russia for more than 50 percent of its natural-gas supply, which its eastern neighbor shut off for two weeks in 2009.

“Our main priority is integration into the EU,” Yanukovych said, surrounded by 20th century paintings of Ukrainian landscapes. “We are ready to sign the association agreement this year. We want the prospects of Ukraine entering the EU to be included in this accord so that the accord would not be empty.”

Ukraine sought to reset relations with Russia after Yanukovych was elected last year. His predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, angered the Kremlin by backing Georgia during its five-day war with Russia in 2008 and pushing for Ukraine’s membership in the NATO. 

Barroso’s Message 

Yanukovych, from eastern Ukraine, pledged to improve relations by cooperating with gas producer OAO Gazprom and ruled out membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He kept the door open to the EU by taking his first trip as president to Brussels before visiting Moscow.

Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU may be concluded this year, European Commission President Jose Barroso said in Kiev on April 18, adding that the two sides have made progress on agreeing to visa-free travel.

Entering the customs union with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus would end the chances for the agreement, he added. Ukraine four days later said it won’t enter the customs union.

“Russia was, is and will be our strategic partner,” Yanukovych said. “We are now searching for mechanisms of cooperation. We do think we can reach an agreement that will allow us to work with the customs union to the extent which Ukrainian laws and our obligations to world organizations such as the World Trade Organization allow.”

Gas Stoppage

Russian halted gas shipments to Europe through Ukraine for two weeks in 2009, the second stoppage in three years, before then-Premier Yulia Tymoshenko signed a 10-year contract with

Russia. Last April, Russia agreed to reduce the price it charges Ukraine in exchange for extending the lease on a Black Sea naval base.

Ukraine wants to review the agreement, which it considers discriminatory, according to Yanukovych, whose office overlooks Independence Square in central Kiev. He ruled out a potential merger between NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy and Gazprom, proposed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“Should Ukraine sell part of its energy resources, it will be done in a transparent way on market conditions,” Yanukovych said. “Such big enterprises as energy companies will undergo registration for initial public offering in the near future.”

Yanukovych plans to meet his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, in the end of June, according to a statement posted on his website yesterday. 

Faster Growth 

Russia buys 27 percent of Ukraine’s exports, compared with 28 percent purchased by the EU. Ukraine’s economy will probably expand at a faster pace this year than in 2010, Yanukovych said. Gross domestic product may rise about 5 percent, compared with 4.2 percent in the previous year, he said.

Ukraine in July obtained a $15.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, its second bailout in two years. The fund has released $3.4 billion in two tranches, helping the

government cover its budget deficit and boost foreign-currency reserves. The third disbursement, initially planned for March, has been delayed as the Cabinet and legislature iron out pension system changes.

The country will continue its cooperation with the IMF, Yanukovych said.

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President: The world highly appreciates innovations introduced by State Border Guard Service

Posted by the Editor on May 26, 2011


News / 26 May 2011 | 12:48

President: The world highly appreciates innovations introduced by State Border Guard Service

The innovations introduced by the Border Guard Service of Ukraine in preparation for Euro 2012 are highly appreciated in the world, President Viktor Yanukovych said during his visit to the State Border Guard Service Training Center in Cherkasy region. 

“These technological innovations, especially in the area of biometric control, are already tested and commended by the international travellers,” he said. The President said that the biometric control system, he and other countries’ representatives had the opportunity to see at Boryspil International Airport, was impressive. He is convinced that Ukraine can become a leader in a whole range of directions of border control organization. 

He expressed confidence that the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine will show its worth during the holding of Euro 2012 finals in Ukraine. 

“I have a deep certainty that the State Border Guard Service will be a model during Euro 2012,” he said in an interview to the media. 

The President reminded that the Service has made significant steps to prepare for the event. “Only some specific questions in the preparation to Euro 2012 are remaining,” he added. 

The President stressed that Euro 2012 will be a test not only for the border guards, for the state in general. 

The President also noted that the State Border Guard Service demonstrates “practical proof of Ukraine carrying out its international obligations”. “I am very grateful to you for that,” he said. Referring to the effective system of control over the border movement of radioactive substances, introduced by the Service, Viktor Yanukovych noted that Ukraine is an active participant of international programs to reduce the threat of proliferation of mass destruction weapons.

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President demands speeding up introduction of integrated border management

Posted by the Editor on May 26, 2011


News / 26 May 2011 | 11:02

President demands speeding up introduction of integrated border management

President Viktor Yanukovych commends the beginning of realization of the Concept of Integrated Border Management in 2011. “In preparation for Euro 2012 we must speed up the introduction of integrated border management. And you have already made some steps in that direction,” Viktor Yanukovych said in during his visit to the State Border Guard Training Center in Cherkasy region. 

“Among the priorities in that area are border security, quick passing of border procedures, high level of personnel culture, and making the process of border crossing comfortable for citizens. It is our image,” he said. 

According to President Yanukovych, the implementation of the Concept would allow for systematic development of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. 

The President said it is important to make sure that border guards were equipped with supplies produced and developed in Ukraine.

“The priority of equipping border guards with supplies produced by national economy should be an example for other departments,” he said. 

Speaking about the border guards’ tasks, President Yanukovych drew attention to the need for establishing efficient mechanisms of preventing corruption schemes and abuses of their powers by the officials. 

“You must continue systematic work on technical equipment, re-equipment, and reconstruction of the border,” he said.

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