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Archive for April 21st, 2006

La Strada helps strayed children in Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 17:43

La Strada helps strayed children in Ukraine

La Strada helps strayed children in Ukraine

Today La Strada-Ukraine has held the action in Kyiv police station for juvenile offenders of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry Head Office. The action is aimed at educational activity related to children trafficking, the Interior Ministry press office informs.

La Strada experts regularly hold such meetings and activities with children temporary detained in police stations. The children are taught about danger of being trafficked, sexual compulsion, panhandling and get skills of secure behaviour.

For two years the International organization LA Strada has been taking care of the youth detained by the police-station, providing them with medicines, clothes, stationary, toys, hygiene essentials, video and informational materials, bulletins, leaflets on prevention trafficking in persons issue for the teachers working there.

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Ukraine’s Naftogaz threatens default, accuses Finance Ministry

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 17:23

Ukraine's Naftogaz threatens default, accuses Finance Ministry

Ukraine’s Naftogaz threatens default, accuses Finance Ministry

(RIA Novosty) Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz said Friday it might be unable to pay for gas imports if the Finance Ministry did not drop unfair financial claims to it.

“If Finance Minister [Viktor] Pynzenyk continues [to pursue] an inappropriate policy toward Naftogaz, we will not be able to pay for natural gas imports, and the finance minister will be responsible for that,” board chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko said.

Ivchenko dismissed the minister’s charges that Naftogaz had tax arrears in the first quarter of 2006 and accused him of attempting to solve the country’s financial problems at the company’s expense.

Popular Russian daily Vremya Novostei reported Thursday that the tax problem arose after Naftogaz started receiving gas from Rosukrenergo, a gas transportation company 50% of which is owned by a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom with the other 50% held by Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank. The January 4 deal ended a bitter dispute over gas prices between Russia and Ukraine, but terminated the previous inter-governmental agreement with Russia, under which Naftogaz was exempt of value-added tax.

Ivchenko also complained that Naftogaz had to sell gas to households 2.5 times cheaper than it was bought from Rosukrenergo. Ivchenko said Naftogaz could not afford to subsidize gas prices, as the company’s loss in the first quarter had hit 2.6 billion hryvnyas (over $500mln).

“If the situation persists, our company’s losses in 2006 would reach 7.5 billion hryvnyas ($1.5bln),” Ivchenko said.

Vremya Novostei said Naftogaz had proposed raising gas prices for households by 60% starting from July. The Finance Ministry opposed the move and proposed instead cutting the company’s investment in production in Ukraine and demanded Naftogaz drop planned and signed projects abroad.

The government’s further reluctance to address problems facing Naftogaz, which provides 10% of the state budget’s revenues, would result in the company’s “death from famine” and would be tantamount to a crime, Ivchenko said.

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European Commission actions since the Chernobyl Disaster

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 17:10

European Commission actions since the Chernobyl Disaster

European Commission actions since the Chernobyl Disaster

The 26th April will mark the 20th anniversary of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Since then, the European Commission has allocated over 470 million to Chernobyl-related projects. This assistance has supported safety improvements at Chernobyl, and provided help to people whose lives are still affected by the accident. The Commission has supported projects which address the social, health and environmental consequences of the disaster. Over and above the aid provided specifically to cope with the aftermath of Chernobyl, the Commission has also made a major contribution to the improvement of nuclear safety across the countries of the former Soviet Union.

The Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said: “The European Union has been at the forefront of the international efforts to mitigate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Overall the European Commission has allocated nearly half a billion euros to Chernobyl related projects, and we will continue working to ensure that the legacy of the Chernobyl disaster will be a safer environment for the people of the region and a more secure world for us all”.

Making the Chernobyl site safe

As the largest donor to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, the Commission has pledged some 240 million (over a quarter of the total) for the construction of a new shell over the damaged reactor. This will prevent releases of radiation from the existing “sarcophagus”, now almost 20 years old. In addition the Commission has allocated 50 million to the Industrial Complex for Solid Radioactive Waste Management (ICSRM), currently under construction, which will safely handle waste from the Chernobyl site.

The Commission has provided a further 20 million to the Nuclear Safety Account, a fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, around half of which covers projects at Chernobyl

In 1995, the G7 and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding where Ukraine committed having all the remaining reactors at Chernobyl closed by 2000. The Commission played a major role in this agreement and, amongst other initiatives, committed 65 million to help Ukraine compensate for the additional costs of power generation following the closure of the reactors.

Health and environmental consequences

The Commission has allocated 100 million to research and assistance to help mitigate the health and environmental consequences of the accident. Researchers from the EU and former Soviet Union addressed issues including: improved methods for treating highly exposed accident victims, decontamination strategies for urban and rural areas, measures to reduce contamination in foodstuffs, epidemiological studies of exposed populations, emergency management and the development of a European atlas of Chernobyl contamination.

Examples of the assistance provided in this context include: equipment and training for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer in young people, facilities to produce thyroxin (for the sufferers of thyroid cancer), iodization of table salt to help prevent the onset of thyroid cancer, information centres in several settlements both to inform and encourage more active involvement of the local population in the recovery process.

Socio-economic consequences

The Commission has granted 3.5 million to alleviate the social impact of the closure of Chernobyl by creating alternative sources of employment. This targeted people living in Slavutich (mostly workers from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, employees of auxiliary industries and their families).

The Commission has also allocated 6 million to the Cooperation for Rehabilitation Programme (CORE) in Belarus. This funds economic, social, health, and cultural projects which promote socio-economic recovery in the four contaminated regions of Belarus. The programme will also support several projects to create better employment conditions in the region.

Nuclear safety

The Chernobyl accident spurred efforts to improve the safety of nuclear plants designed in the former Soviet Union. In addition to the aid for the Chernobyl site mentioned above, a further 900 million has been allocated to other nuclear safety projects in the CIS. The Tacis Nuclear Safety Programme covers a vast array of projects to improve the safety of nuclear installations and resolve nuclear waste issues, particularly in North-West Russia.

The Program has allocated large sums to the modernization of the nuclear industry in the former Soviet Union, where nuclear power plants have shown clear progressed a long way towards meeting internationally recognized nuclear safety standards. The Commission has proposed to continue its assistance to improve the nuclear safety in third countries over the next financial period (2007-2013) though a new Nuclear Safety Instrument.

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The USA reported its actions since the Chornobyl Disaster

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 16:53

The USA reported its actions since the Chornobyl Disaster

The USA reported its actions since the Chornobyl Disaster

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine distributed a press release “United States Technical/ Social/Economic assistance associated with the 1986  Chornobyl Accident” in which the USA reported its actions since the Chornobyl Disaster.

“Since the horrific 1986 accident at Chornobyl, we have worked with our partners and Ukraine to improve the safety and security of the Chornobyl site and to mitigate the social and economic impact of its permanent closure. To ensure that such accidents will not happen in Ukraine, the United States Government has provided more than $400 million for enhancing nuclear safety of Ukrainian reactors.

This assistance has resulted in significantly improving operational safety of these plants – coupled with an increase in the capacity factor. These projects have ranged from provision of full scope training simulators to technology transfer related to nuclear fuel. In addition, we have implemented numerous nonproliferation programs that have enhanced security of Ukraine’s nuclear infrastructure,” states the document.

“Under the direction and coordination of the U.S. Department of State, the United States has been actively engaged in implementing numerous nuclear safety, waste management facilities, and social economic mitigation projects at Chornobyl and in Slavutych. In the area of nuclear safety assistance, working in coordination with other donors, the U.S. provided assistance for safety improvements and construction of the waste management facilities.

The United States is the largest single country donor to the Chornobyl Shelter Fund, the uniquely challenging program which will re-construct the sarcophagus that covers the ruined reactor unit 4 reactor with a pledge of $203 million, out of a total of approximately $1.00 billion pledged to date by the donor countries. United States through the Nuclear Safety Account of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is contributing towards the construction of Interim Spent Fuel Storage and Liquid Radioactive Waste Processing facilities at the Chornobyl industrial site,” says the press release.

In addition, United States provided $32.5 million for construction of the Chornobyl Replacement Heat Plant – the first decommissioning facility to be completed which became operational in June 2001.

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Aivazovsky has been awarded a title “Honorary Crimea citizen” posthumously

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 16:17

Aivazovsky has been awarded a title “Honorary Crimea citizen” posthumously

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea Borys Dache lodged in Aivazovsky’s national picture-gallery (Feodosiya city) a certificate and an order about awarding posthumously a title “Honorary Crimea citizen” to famous artist Ivan Aivazovsky.

The decision about awarding was made by the session of the Crimean VR at the suggestion of Crimean deputy, Feodosiya mayor Volodymyr Shaiderov.

As Dache noted, the name of Ivan Aivazovsky has been put on the stele of honor in the building of the Crimean VR along with names of other honoured citizens of Crimea.

“Crimea citizens are proud of that the name of the outstanding master of marine is inseparably linked with our beautiful peninsula. Ivan Konstantinovich glorified Crimea and pages of its history, connected first of all with fleet. He is still unsurpassed painter of sea-scapes, inspired singer of Black Sea. Life of the great patriot, his workmanship for the welfare of Feodosiya and its citizens are worthy examples for our generation,” said the Speaker of Crimean Parliament.

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Donbassaero renews its airpark

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 15:50

Donbassaero renews its airpark

Donbassaero renews its airpark

Donbassaero Company attached to Donetsk Regional Council has bought another new liner Airbus-320. It is a special purchase done according to the renewal air fleet program, Donetsk regional administration press service reports.

The liner has been already delivered to Donetsk.

“Donetsk Regional Council plans to purchase another airplane – RJ200 in the nearest future. Within the next three years we will do our best for complete renewal of Donbassaero airpark,” commented the Head of Donetsk Regional Council Borys Kolesnikov.

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Ukraine invites Niyazov to Kyiv

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 15:30

Ukraine invites Niyazov to Kyiv

Ukraine invites Niyazov to Kyiv

Ukraine continues negotiations with Turkmenistan on gas supplies and invites President Saparmurat Niyazov to Kyiv, as declared Naftogaz Presient Oleksiy Ivchenko during today’s press conference.

Ivchenko found it difficult to forecast further development of events, as “the Russian party behaves incorrectly toward Ukraine” with regard to supplies of Turkmen gas.

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CIS ministers decline to discuss 1930s "genocide" against Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on April 21, 2006


News / 21 April 2006 | 15:10

CIS ministers decline to discuss 1930s "genocide" against Ukraine

CIS ministers decline to discuss 1930s "genocide" against Ukraine

Former Soviet republics rejected Friday a proposal from Ukraine to discuss a famine in the 1930s that Kiev sees as an act of genocide perpetrated by Moscow, RIA Novosty reported.

Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk wanted his counterparts from the Commonwealth of Independent States to debate the famine, known as Holodomor, in Ukraine in 1932-1933, which claimed the lives of millions of people and which Kiev says was deliberately caused by the rulers of Soviet Russia.

But his colleagues from the other former Soviet republics failed to support his proposal to put the issue on the agenda of their meeting in Moscow.

Last year, President Victor Yushchenko called on the UN to recognize Holodomor as genocide and thanked the countries that had already done so for help in “breaking the conspiracy of silence.”

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