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Archive for February, 2006

Ukraine faces resistance from Austrian regulators

Posted by the Editor on February 28, 2006


News / 28 February 2006 | 11:10

Ukraine faces resistance from Austrian regulators

Ukraine faces resistance from Austrian regulators

An attempt by Ukrainian industrialists to buy a provincial bank in Austria is facing resistance from Austrian regulators, who may reject the Ukrainian approach in favour of a politically safer bid by a local company, according to people close to the negotiations, the FT informed.

But Austrian officials are worried that rejection of the Ukrainian bid to buy Bank Burgenland could damage ties with Kiev, particularly since Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank recently became the largest banking group in Ukraine after purchasing Aval Bank.

The Ukrainian bid for Bank Burgenland of 140m (£95m) plus a 100m capital injection is greater than a rival bid of about 105m by the Austrian insurance group Grazer Wechselseitige.

The Ukrainian consortium wants to buy Bank Burgenland, which is being privatised by the Burgenland regional government, and merge it with a small Ukrainian bank, Aktiv Bank. Sergiy Klyuyev, chairman of the Ukrpodshipnik metallurgy group, said the consortium wanted to use Bank Burgenland as a base to expand across central Europe and as a vehicle for trade finance connected to metallurgy exports.

The Burgenland government is anxious the sale goes smoothly because a previous effort to sell the bank last year was mired in scandal.

The Burgenland government is said to be worried at the possibility the FMA, Austria’s financial market regulator, might reject the Ukrainian bid, forcing it to restart the privatisation process.

“We will only start to investigate [the bid] after the sale is completed,” an FMA spokesman said. Austrian law required proof the new owners were capable of a “solid and sustainable bank management”, he added.

The FMA will be under pressure to apply strict standards because approval would, in principle, give the Ukrainian group permission to operate throughout the European Union.

People close to the negotiations said the regulator had several concerns, including a lack of certainty about the would-be buyers’ intentions.

But Mr Klyuyev was confident his group could secure approval.

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President of Ukraine held medical conference

Posted by the Editor on February 28, 2006


News / 28 February 2006 | 10:36

President of Ukraine held medical conference

President of Ukraine held medical conference

Victor Yushchenko took part in a grand ceremony to open a nationwide conference of medical workers in Vinnytsya, the President press office informed.

In his speech, the Head of State said it was incumbent on both government and society to globally reform the medical sector. The President said health was one of the key elements of Ukraine’s national security. He reiterated that he had recently signed a decree toacceptHealth Minister Yuriy Polyachenko as a member of the National Security and Defense Council.

 
Addressing the medical workers, the President urged them to discuss a National Action Plan on Health Protection in detail.
 
“I expect an honest conversation about fundamentals of national health reforms. You are the side to which the nation and government appeal,” Yushchenko said.
 
The Head of State remarked that the medical sector needed serious structural changes. On one hand, Ukraine’s medicine should be highly technological but, on the other hand, it must be affordable, he said.

Yushchenko added that we should train family doctors, which work successfully in many European countries. He also insisted on improving medical services in rural areas.The President reminded those present that in 2006 the government would spend UAH 250 mln to equip medical facilities in villages throughout Ukraine. He also hopesdistrict hospitals will be fully reequipped in four-five years.

“We must do it professionally and find partners in government and business,” he said.

The President then pledged to personally control the implementation of national programs to fight HIV/AIDS, TB, cancer, heart and blood disease.

The National Action Plan on Health Protection was worked out by the Health Ministry and medical institutions in accordance with Victor Yushchenko’s Decree on Urgent Measures to Reform the Health System. The Health Minister has recently presented the five-year plan at a cabinet meeting. This documentdefines legislative, structural, administrative and financial changes in the sector and is intent to introduce insurance in our budget medicine.

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Polish President visits Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on February 28, 2006


News / 28 February 2006 | 10:16

Polish President visits Ukraine

Polish President visits Ukraine

Today the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski launches his two-day official visit to Ukraine.

Poland and Ukrainian Presidents will discuss the international and bilateral issues. The main attention will be focused on Brody-Plotsk pipeline construction and NATO membership for Ukraine.

Earlier, President Lech Kaczynski stated that the pipeline must be constructed at the expense of the private investors; regarding NATO, he said Ukraine will enter it in 2008.

President Kaczynski is to visit Kharkiv.

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President Victor Yushchenko honours Mykola Pyrohov

Posted by the Editor on February 27, 2006


News / 27 February 2006 | 17:56

President Victor Yushchenko honours Mykola Pyrohov

President Victor Yushchenko honours Mykola Pyrohov

In Vinnytsya oblast, Victor Yushchenko honored Mykola Pyrohov, Ukraine’s prominent surgeon.
 
He laid flowersat his sarcophagus in the burial-vault of the world famous doctor. The President also visited the Mykola Church in the Pyrohov Museum.

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President of Ukraine on the sugar crisis

Posted by the Editor on February 27, 2006


News / 27 February 2006 | 17:30

President of Ukraine on the sugar crisis

President of Ukraine on the sugar crisis

In an interview for reporters in Vinnytsya, Victor Yushchenko urged politicians not to make a big fuss over the so-called sugar crisis. He believes Ukraine’s sugar production capacity and sugar consumption make him confidently say there is an “optimal balance of sugar in the state” but “some players of this market and particularly wholesale companies are acting inappropriately.”

The Head of State reminded those present that Ukraine had produced 1.600.000 tons of sugar in the last three months of 2005, the President press office informed.

“If we speak about a deficit, it can be 150-200 thousand tons but not more,” he said.

Yushchenko thinks sugar crisis speculations, whichcan be heard every year, have many causes, the greatestof them being dishonest competition. He opined that local authorities and the Anti-Monopoly Committee should more actively resolve these problems.

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President of Ukraine inspects Vinnytsya agricultural sector

Posted by the Editor on February 27, 2006


News / 27 February 2006 | 16:51

President of Ukraine inspects Vinnytsya agricultural sector

President of Ukraine inspects Vinnytsya agricultural sector

In an interview for reporters at the Podillya-OBST Ukrainian-Austrian joint venture, Victor Yushchenko said he was visiting Vinnytsya to study ways to develop the agricultural sector in the region, the President press office informs.

The Head of State plans to introduce land and insurance reforms, settle fiscal and rental relations and liberalize land allotment procedures.

He reiterated that in 2006 the government would spend UAH 10 bln on agriculture for the first time over the years of independence. Yushchenko said this year the government intended to launch ten development programs to reform each branch of the village economy. Other ten programs will be considered within a few weeks, while five of them are being formulated today, he said. Farmers believe some of these programs (gardening and wine-making) are not transparent and thereby should be revised.

Yushchenko opined that the liberalization of regulatory policies would help boost investment. The government has already repealed 80% of five thousand legal acts impeding it.

When visiting Podillya-OBST, the President was told the rate of agricultural produce had grown by 3.5% in the past year. UAH 76 mln was spent to purchase agricultural equipment. The local cattle-breeding industry is also successfully developing.

Then he visited Ukrflora-Vinnutsya in the village of Dorozhne. This company plants and grows flowers. The Head of State met with its workers and then inspected reconstructed buildings, modern equipment and conservatories.

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Ukraine and Egypt finished the negotiations on the WTO

Posted by the Editor on February 27, 2006


News / 27 February 2006 | 16:30

Ukraine and Egypt finished the negotiations on the WTO

Ukraine and Egypt finished the negotiations on the WTO

Ukraine and Egypt finished the negotiations on Ukraine’s admission in the WTO. The sides signed the base document which is necessary for the ratification of the Protocol on Market Access within the framework of WTO membership for Ukraine, Economy Ministry press service reported.

Ukraine Deputy of Economy Minister Valery Pyatnitsky headed the Ukrainian delegation.

As a reminder, there are six countries left for Ukraine to hold the bilateral negotiations concerning the WTO membership: the USA, Australia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Panama and Taiwan. Foreign Minister Tarasyuk supposes Ukraine to be the WTO member next year.

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PACE mission comes to Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on February 27, 2006


News / 27 February 2006 | 16:09

PACE mission comes to Ukraine

PACE mission comes to Ukraine

February 27 – March 3, the mission of PACE Special Committee on observation of Ukrainian parliamentary election comes to Ukraine.

The scheduled program of the visit consists of the meetings with the members of Verkhovna Rada, the Chairman of the Central Election Campaign Yaroslav Davydovych, the Head of the OSCE Election Observation Mission Ambassador Lubomir Kopaj and the ambassadors of the countries-members of the Council of Europe.

PACE representatives are also to meet Ukraine Justice Minister Serhiy Holovaty, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Ukraine Vasyl Malyarenko and the representatives of the parties and blocs taking part in the election.

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