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Archive for August, 2011

President: Ukraine will launch local government reform soon

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2011


News / 31 August 2011 | 18:31

President: Ukraine will launch local government reform soon

President: Ukraine will launch local government reform soon

Ukraine will launch local government reform in the nearest future, President Viktor Yanukovych said at a meeting with candidates for district state administration chairmen. “Our goal is to decentralize the government, to gradually transfer functions from the center to the regions,” he said.

Viktor Yanukovych stressed that the reform is aimed at optimizing the system of governance in the regions, increasing its efficiency, removing the unnecessary levels of administration. “While providing public services you will not need to wait for permission or command from the center. This will be your responsibility, these functions will belong to you, and you will perform them,” the President of Ukraine said.

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Polish experts: EU should send Ukraine clear signal on membership prospects

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2011


News / 31 August 2011 | 16:08

Polish experts: EU should send Ukraine clear signal on membership prospects

Polish experts: EU should send Ukraine clear signal on membership prospects

The events in the Arab world indicate that the European Union cannot deal only with its affairs, and should pay significant attention to countries in eastern and southern neighborhood vectors. Brussels should support democratic reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries, in particular in Ukraine, and their European integration efforts, Polish experts were speaking during a debate in Warsaw entitled “What should be the Eastern policy in light of the “Arab spring?”, UKRINFORM reported Wednesday.

“The countries of Eastern Europe should by all means be encouraged to democratic change,” independent expert Grzegorz Gromadski said. The key in this context he called Ukraine. “The countries that are seeking to implement reforms, in particular Ukraine, should be given a clear signal about the prospects of membership,” he emphasized. Otherwise, for the Eastern countries – the EU’s neighbors – it will be hard to approach European standards, Gromadski noted.

Meanwhile, renowned expert and former vice-president of the European Parliament Janusz Onyszkiewicz believes that even in case of Brussels’ refusal to give Kyiv in an Association Agreement a membership prospect, Ukraine should attach to the document its own declaration of an attempt to integrate with the EU. He said that Poland did so in 1991 by signing a similar agreement with the EU. “It is necessary under any circumstances to support the European integration of Ukraine, whatever political force is in office in Ukraine,” Onyszkiewicz stressed.

Director of the Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation (PAUCI) Jan Peklo also stressed the necessity for the European Union and Poland to back Ukraine’s European integration. He noted that elections to the Verkhovna Rada will serve a test for democracy in Ukraine.

Most experts also stressed that the major obstacle to Ukraine on the path towards European integration could be the trial of opposition members, particularly, over ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

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Dictatorship Resistance Committee: EU concerned over political climate in Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2011


News / 31 August 2011 | 14:30

Dictatorship Resistance Committee: EU concerned over political climate in Ukraine

Dictatorship Resistance Committee: EU concerned over political climate in Ukraine

Deputy Head of Batkivshchyna and former Vice Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria says that any elections in Ukraine can’t be considered democratic if they are held without the leader of one of the largest opposition parties.

“Future parliamentary elections can’t and won’t be considered fair, honest and on par with European standards if the leader of the largest opposition party doesn’t participate in them. This is the opinion of parties that joined the Dictatorship Resistance Committee,” Hryhoriy Nemyria told journalists after the Committee’s meeting with EU diplomats in Ukraine, according to the official website of Yulia Tymoshenko.

The meeting was held at the initiative of the Dictatorship Resistance Committee, which was created by opposition parties following the arrest of Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

In turn, First Deputy Head of Batkivshchyna Oleksandr Turchynov said that European diplomats are concerned by trends in Ukraine. “They are most concerned by the fact that there is no reaction to many questions being posed to the current leadership of Ukraine, and so far there has been no clear answer to these questions,” he emphasized.

“Such meetings help diplomats better understand that processes taking place, and especially through the assessment of representatives of the opposition,” said Rukh leader Borys Tarasyuk.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the Front of Change Party, added that during the meeting representatives of the Dictatorship Resistance Committee stressed the importance of signing agreements on political association and a free trade zone with the EU. “We believe that before the ratification procedure, there must be a clear requirement to stop political repression and implement real independent judicial reform. And most important is the 2012 parliamentary election. There must be an honest, open and democratic campaign in Ukraine. This will help ensure a democratic parliamentary majority that is not controlled by President Yanukovych, will ensure fair and impartial trials, and give Ukraine a real opportunity to integrate into the European Union,” he said.

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Former Interior Ministry official Pukach admits murdering Godgadze on order of then authorities

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2011


News / 31 August 2011 | 12:42

Former Interior Ministry official Pukach admits murdering Godgadze on order of then authorities

Former Interior Ministry official Pukach admits murdering Godgadze on order of then authorities

Former Head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s External Surveillance Department Oleksiy Pukach, who is charged with the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze, has partially admitted his guilt, the Ukrayinska Pravda Web site reported Tuesday, referring to Valentyna Telychenko, the lawyer for the journalist’s widow, Myroslava Gongadze.

“[Pukach] has acknowledged that he committed the murder of Gongadze by his own hand, at the same time arguing that the surveillance operation against the journalist was legal,” Telychenko said while commenting on the first interrogation of Pukach in court.

“Pukach didn’t admit that he destroyed the documents on the surveillance of Gongadze in 2003. He said that he did not destroy the documents and that his subordinates didn’t do it when he was on leave,” she added.

Oleksiy Pukach also named in court those who ordered the murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze. According to the lawyer Telychenk these are the same names he announced during the pre-trial investigation.

“[Pukach] gave the same names he gave earlier. He named [Ukraine's second president, Leonid] Kuchma, [late former Interior Minister Yuriy] Kravchenko, [then head of the presidential administration Volodymyr] Lytvyn, [then First Deputy Interior Minister Mykola] Dzhyha,” she told reporters on Tuesday after the court’s sitting, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

“But it’s not enough to give their names, he should describe the circumstances honestly. Because only honestly described circumstances can be confirmed during the trial,” Telychenko said.

According to the lawyer, as of now the defendant has described only a part of the circumstances and he “pretended to be someone he is not.”

As reported, Pechersky District Court in Kyiv started questioning Pukach behind closed doors on Tuesday. Andriy Fedur, a lawyer for Lesia Gongadze, the mother of murdered journalist Georgy Gongadze, said Pukach gave very interesting testimony at a court session on Tuesday.

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Ukraine able to replace some 40% of energy balance by alternative sources

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2011


News / 31 August 2011 | 10:58

Ukraine able to replace some 40% of energy balance by alternative sources

Ukraine able to replace some 40% of energy balance by alternative sources

Ukraine is one of the key suppliers of alternative fuels to the European market. Using different types of biofuels in the country, about 40% of the energy balance can be replaced by alternative energy sources, Ivan Nadein, the chief of the Committee of Ukraine’s Energy Independence NGO, has said.

“Saving gas through biomass is obvious, since Ukraine provides up to 15% of European imports of these products. We are powerful players on the European market of this type of fuel. We estimate that 40% of the energy balance can be replaced using alternative energy sources,” he noted, UKRINFORM reported.

The expert added that by the end of this year, Ukraine is expected to produce about 1 million tons of solid biofuel. Notably, 80% of biofuels are bought by EU countries.

Nadein said Ukraine only through the straw can receive about 20 million tons of biofuel. At the same time, the potential of wood products industry, in particular, sawdust, is about 7 million tons.

One of the problems of introducing alternative energy sources inside the country is the creation of appropriate infrastructure, in particular, the installment of special boilers throughout Ukraine, the expert underscored.

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Tymoshenko remains jailed

Posted by the Editor on August 30, 2011


News / 30 August 2011 | 17:43

Tymoshenko remains jailed

Tymoshenko remains jailed

Pechersk District Court Judge Rodion Kireyev has denied the defense’s motion to change the measure of restraint imposed on former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and adjourned the trial until 9 am on Wednesday, August 31.

Yulia Tymoshenko’s lawyers had stressed that there is no reason to keep the ex-premier in custody as she is not interfering in the establishment of truth.

Meanwhile, Yulia Tymoshenko had asked the court to give her time to prepare for her testimony. “I would like to say that when you’ll be announcing my continued arrest, you take into consideration the circumstances and schedule a 1 or 2 day break in the trial so that my lawyers can work with me,” she said.

“I would like to support Mr. Plakhotnyuk’s motion and implore you to stop torturing me in prison together with the prosecutors, Yanukovych and the Presidential Administration. Either change or lift this measure of restraint, because this can’t continue. You still have the chance to be a judge,” Yulia Tymoshenko told Judge Kireyev, according to her official website.

This was the 13th motion filed by the defense to release Yulia Tymoshenko from custody since the judge ordered her arrest on August 5.

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President instructs Government to prepare for Ukraine’s 2012 presidency in the CEI

Posted by the Editor on August 30, 2011


News / 30 August 2011 | 16:10

President instructs Government to prepare for Ukraine's 2012 presidency in the CEI

President instructs Government to prepare for Ukraine’s 2012 presidency in the CEI

President Viktor Yanukovych instructed Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to develop and adopt an action plan to prepare for the presidency of Ukraine in the Central European Initiative (CEI) in 2012. 

The President also instructed to form an organizing committee on the preparation and implementation of measures related to the presidency of Ukraine in the CEI in 2012, and solve the question of financing these activities.

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PM Azarov: Ukraine still geared up for equal gas talks with Russia

Posted by the Editor on August 30, 2011


News / 30 August 2011 | 14:33

PM Azarov: Ukraine still geared up for equal gas talks with Russia

PM Azarov: Ukraine still geared up for equal gas talks with Russia

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has voiced hope that gas deals with Russia would be revised through negotiations, he told reporters in Kharkiv region Tuesday.

“We are still configured to hold talks with the Russian Federation. We have a lot of those areas in which we cooperate,” Azarov emphasized, UKRINFORM reported. Therefore, he said, both sides are not interested in conflict situations.

The prime minister said that he supports the negotiations on terms of equality, respect. “So that our partners listen to our arguments. And our arguments are serious,” the prime minister noted.

As previously reported, at the Ukrainian-Russian economic forum Azarov said that the existing gas contracts in the future will undermine the foundations of long-term cooperation between Ukraine and Russia.

Later, Azarov said that the Ukrainian side had consulted on the possibility of breaking the gas agreement with Russia, and reiterated that the so-called “Belarusian scenario” of gas cooperation is not suitable to Kyiv.

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