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Archive for October 24th, 2008

Ukraine says Russian Navy must get ready to leave Crimea

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 18:20

Ukraine says Russian Navy must get ready to leave Crimea

Russia should start preparing to withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from bases in the Crimea now, because the process could take up to six years, a Ukrainian diplomat said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.Under bilateral agreements, Russia`s Black Sea Fleet has the use of the Crimean Sevastopol base and other naval facilities until 2017. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced in the summer that Ukraine would not extend the lease beyond that date.

“According to our estimates, the pullout and preparation of alternative facilities [for the Black Sea Fleet] may take a while. We expect this process to last five or six years,” said Leonid Osavolyuk, director of the First Territorial Department at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

“The Russian leadership must therefore start getting ready to withdraw its fleet as soon as possible,” he told a news briefing at the ministry.

Osavolyuk said on Friday that Russian combat ships frequently transport undeclared cargo and refuse to submit customs declarations while crossing Ukrainian territorial waters, in violation of a decree issued by the Ukrainian president.

Although the agreement foresees a possible extension of the base lease, and Moscow has repeatedly said it wants negotiations on the issue, Ukraine reiterated its position on Thursday that it would not permit an extension of Russia`s naval presence in the country after 2017.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine heightened after several Black Sea Fleet warships dropped anchor off the Georgian coast during and after August`s armed conflict with Tbilisi over breakaway South Ossetia.

President Yushchenko has called for the Russian Navy`s early withdrawal from the Sevastopol base, as well as tougher deployment requirements and higher fees, demands that have not been backed by his former coalition ally, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Russia condemned Yushchenko`s actions as a violation of the bilateral agreements on the presence of the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine and said its fleet would continue carrying out its activities as usual.

Russia`s naval base in the Crimea currently has 50 warships and patrol boats, along with around 80 aircraft, and employs coastal defense troops.

The next round of Russian-Ukrainian talks on the presence of the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine has been tentatively scheduled for November.

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New coalition formed in parliament – Tymoshenko

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 17:30

New coalition formed in parliament – Tymoshenko

Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko believes that Party of Regions leader Victor Yanukovych and President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko formed a de-facto coalition.

Premier told journalists on Friday.

“A coalition was de-facto formed between Yanukovych and Yushchenko, and this coalition really works”, she said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that all votings that take in parliament are carried out jointly by the factions of the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense.

“It’s a pity they are ruining the country pushing it for a snap poll”, Yulia Tymoshenko said.

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Tymoshenko asks central bank to take urgent measures

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 16:40

Tymoshenko asks central bank to take urgent measures

Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko asks the central bank of Ukraine to take measures to stabilize the hryvnia exchange rate.

Premier told journalists Friday.

The Prime Minister noted that the central bank is an independent body, and the government can’t interfere into its activities. “I want to address the central bank of Ukraine to do their best to urgently stabilize the hryvnia exchange rate”, she said.

Yulia Tymoshenko pointed out that the c.bank has enough gold and currency resources to prevent hryvnia fluctuations.

The Prime Minister stressed that the government will never support hryvnia fluctuations, and is confident that there are no grounds for that.

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S&P cuts Ukraine rating to B

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 15:50

S&P cuts Ukraine rating to B

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor`s said on Friday it had cut Ukraine`s long-term foreign currency rating to B from B+ and said the outlook was negative, citing the cost of bailing out the country`s banking sector, Reuters reported.“The downgrade reflects the rising cost to the government of a necessary recapitalisation of the banking sector against a backdrop of declining growth and heightened exchange rate risk,” S&P credit analyst Frank Gill said in a client note.

S&P said that a substantial IMF loan for Ukraine was likely to be approved soon.

But Gill added: “The negative outlook indicates that the sovereign ratings on Ukraine could be cut again if there are significant delays in reaching agreement with the IMF, or if the lack of an internal political consensus undermines the government`s ability to implement an IMF program.”

Reuters

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Ukraine threatens to start border demarcation with Russia

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 15:00

Ukraine threatens to start border demarcation with Russia

Ukraine can start border demarcation of land area of the Ukrainian-Russia border unilaterally.  Director of the first territorial department of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Leonid Osavolyuk informed today at the briefing.

He said that at the moment the Russian side blocked the works on demarcation of the lad area of the joint border that contributes to development of illegal migration.

“In this relation we are forced otake the corresponding measures for demarcation of the border with Russia unilaterally,” he said.

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Russia hampers Ukraine by means of "blackmail and pressure" – Foreign Ministry

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 14:10

Russia hampers Ukraine by means of "blackmail and pressure" – Foreign Ministry

The Russian Federation, by means of “pressure and blackmail”, has been trying to deprive Ukraine of its right to put the issue of Holodomor of 1932-33 for consideration of the United Nations General Assembly.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s press-service, on October 23 of the current year, the General Committee of the UN General Assembly, upon debates, put off the adoption of recommendations on putting the Holodomor issue on agenda of the current UN General Assembly session.

“The Russian Federation, using its gears of influence as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, by means of an open blackmail and pressure, is trying to deprive a UN member country of its right to put an important for it issue on the agenda of UN, the most reputed world organization. Such actions are contrary to the spirit and letter of the UN Statute, as well as to the procedure of the General Assembly”, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry emphasizes.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stresses that the unconstructive position of the Russian Federation is contrary to the attitude of the world community to the Holodomor tragedy. “In particular, it is reflected in the Resolution on Holodomor unanimously adopted by the European Parliament on October 23 of the current year. The Resolution recognizes Holodomor as an appalling crime against the Ukrainian people, and against humanity.  The text then “strongly condemns these acts, directed against the Ukrainian peasantry, and marked by mass annihilation and violations of human rights and freedoms”.

Ukraine continues its work on putting the Holodomor issue on the agenda of the UN General Assembly.

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Yanukovych and Kyrylenko were blocked with 5 kopeck

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 13:20

Yanukovych and Kyrylenko were blocked with 5 kopeck

Voting systems of some MPs from the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine were blocked with 5 kopeck coins.

Andriy Zhygulin, the press secretary of the VRU chairman told journalists in the parliament .

According to Zhyhulin, 46 voting panels of Rada system were broken. In particular, the spokesman showed coins, foil, clips and paper, which were pulled from the voting panels by parliament employees and transferred to Speaker Arseniy Yatseniuk.

Asked who exactly broke the voting system Zhyhulin said: “It was done by those who spent the night here”.

In particular, the voting panels of OU-PSD and Party of Regions factions were blocked. The panels of Party of Regions leader Victor Yanukovych and OU-PSD faction leader Vyachelsav Kyrylenko did not work as well.

As it is known, representatives of the BYuT faction spent a whole night in parliament.

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Gazprom, Naftogaz sign long-term cooperation deal

Posted by the Editor on October 24, 2008


News / 24 October 2008 | 12:30
Gazprom, Naftogaz sign long-term cooperation deal

Gazprom, Naftogaz sign long-term cooperation deal

Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom and Ukraine`s national energy company Naftogaz have signed a long-term cooperation deal envisaging direct gas supplies without any intermediaries, a Ukrainian daily said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.Under the deal, Ukraine will receive Russian natural gas directly from Gazprom, Zerkalo Nedeli reported. Naftogaz will be the sole importer of Russian natural gas. Ukraine has imported around 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually in the past few years.

RosUkrEnergo, which was established in July 2004 on a parity basis between Gazprom and Naftogaz, has since been the exclusive supplier of natural gas to Ukraine. RosUkrEnergo supplies Ukraine with most of the natural gas it gets from Gazprom and delivers the rest to Europe.

The newspaper reported that the contract does not fix gas volumes to be bought from Gazprom in 2009 or beyond, nor does it give any approximate price. However, the two parties will stick to the previous $179.5 per 1,000 cubic meters until the end of this year.

Under the deal, Ukraine and Russia have to sign a contract for gas supplies to Ukraine and a bilateral gas transit agreement by November 1.

The deal also prohibits Naftogaz from re-exporting Gazprom gas unilaterally, but the two parties are allowed to supply some volumes to Europe jointly.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, agreed at the start of October on a memorandum on direct natural gas supplies from Gazprom and Naftogaz without intermediaries. The parties are to move to market prices for gas over the next three years.

Ukraine expects Russia to fix a gas price for 2009 after signing contracts with Central Asian countries, which pump natural gas to Ukraine via Russia.

RIA Novosti

 

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