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Archive for January 27th, 2009

BYuT wants to revise the law on presidential election

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 17:33

BYuT wants to revise the law on presidential election

BYuT wants to revise the law on presidential election

BYuT believes that the next session of the parliament should be devoted to the revision of the law on presidential elections, BYuT deputy Andriy Shevchenko told journalists at a press conference.

Shevchenko noted that following the current law on presidential election “it would be difficult to hold the election, if possible at all.” According to him, at the next session the parliament must consider the economic crisis and preparation to the presidential election.

“It means that we must set the date for the election and we must revise the law on presidential election, which was adopted in 1999 and edited in 2004,” he said.

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President to dispute Verkhovna Rada’s decision on National Bank Chairman in Constitutional Court

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 16:40

President to dispute Verkhovna Rada’s decision on National Bank Chairman in Constitutional Court

In Brussels President Yushchenko informed the media that he would dispute Verkhovna Rada’s decision regarding National Bank Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, president’s press office reported.

Explaining his decision President Yushchenko reminded that according to the law, National Bank Chairment is elected for a fixed ter in order to protect the person from political pressure.

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Ukraine assures EU gas agreements to be fulfilled – Barroso

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 15:50

Ukraine assures EU gas agreements to be fulfilled - Barroso

Ukraine assures EU gas agreements to be fulfilled – Barroso

The Ukrainian president has assured the EU that a recently signed agreement on natural gas transits from Russia to Europe through Ukraine will be fully implemented, the European Commission president said Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

Jose Manuel Barroso said after a meeting with Viktor Yushchenko in Brussels that the Ukrainian leader had assured him that Kiev would stick to the gas deal even though he is not fully content with the agreement.

Russian gas transits to Europe through Ukraine stopped on January 7 after Russia accused Ukraine of stealing Europe-bound gas and both sides failed to reach an agreement over a new gas contract.

Transits resumed January 20 after supply and transit contracts were signed with EU mediation. Days after the contracts had been signed, however, Yushchenko’s aides said the president was unhappy with the deal and demanded new talks.

Barroso also said an international investment conference on modernizing the Ukrainian gas transportation system, involving representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, will be held in Brussels March 21.

A gas pricing row between the former Soviet neighbors in 2006 also led to disruptions in shipments to some European consumers, and the latest spat has reawakened concerns about the reliability of Russia as a supplier.

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Putin ‘optimistic’ Obama not to push Ukraine to NATO

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 15:00

Putin ‘optimistic’ Obama not to push Ukraine to NATO

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed George W. Bush for the dispute with Ukraine that left much of Europe without gas this month, saying the former U.S. president fostered political chaos in the region.

Putin, in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday, said he is “cautiously optimistic” that relations with the U.S. will improve with Barack Obama in the White House. The new president spoke by phone today with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters in Washington.

The Bush administration supported NATO membership applications from Ukraine and Georgia, which Russia opposes, and planned to site a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The U.S. under Bush also signed a “strategic partnership” with Ukraine.

“What happened in recent years in Ukraine is the result, to a significant extent, of the activities of the previous U.S. administration and the European Union, which supported it,” Putin said.

On another issue of importance to Russia, NATO expansion, there are also “positive signals,” Putin said in the interview. “They are saying that it is possible to provide security for Ukraine and Georgia in various ways and it is not essential to accept them into NATO now,” he said. “We welcome that and are ready to take part in any discussion on working out the best options to ensure international security.”

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Tymoshenko: AIC has every prospect of success to get ready for spring-field works

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 14:10

Tymoshenko: AIC has every prospect of success to get ready for spring-field works

Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko believes that agro-industrial complex has every prospect of success to get ready for the spring-field works efficiently and in full. Yulia Tymoshenko disclosed this at a meeting with heads of regional state administrations and their deputies on issues of supporting the agro-industrial complex.

According to the Prime Minister, in 2008 the agrarian sector of economy demonstrated unique results having achieved record harvests of grain crops – 53.3bn tons. “Both in 2008 and in 2009 the country pins its hopes, key expectations on the agrarian sector,” Yulia Tymoshenko stated.

At that she noted, the country faces difficulties this year as we have to overcome the consequences of the global financial crisis, “We have to prepare for the spring-field works under very difficult conditions being resulted from the global financial crisis. This requires joint agreed action to accept challenges by one team”.

The Prime Minister noted that in its turn, the Government would do its best to “successfully pass this year and give the most record result, the most powerful harvest as we had in 2008”.

Government portal

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EU sees no negative impact on Ukraine ties

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 13:20

EU sees no negative impact on Ukraine ties

EU sees no negative impact on Ukraine ties

(Reuters) The European Union will not punish Ukraine for its role in a gas dispute with Russia that cut off supplies to Europe for days, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday.

“In our bilateral relations, we are not taking any negative consequences,” Barroso told a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko after the two met for talks.

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President gives interview to Financial Times

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 12:30

President gives interview to Financial Times

In Brussels President Yushchenko gave an interview to Financial Times, focused on Ukrainian-Russian gas dispute and its impact on Ukraine-EU relations, internal political situation in Ukraine, etc.

President Yushchenko denied that the dispute affected bilateral relations between Ukraine and the EU or our country’s perspectives of European integration. Instead, according to him, the situation improved mutual understanding between the sides.

At the same time the President expressed opinion that January events showed how dependent the EU countries were on a single supplier of energy resources and added that such a situation harms interests of the Europeans.

Making comments on the agreements, Ukraine reached with Russian side on gas supply and transit President Yushchenko said that they were badly thought out and uneasy for Ukraine, bu assured that Ukraine will keep up to these obligations properly no matter the fact.

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Ukrainian banks should merge to survive crisis-S&P

Posted by the Editor on January 27, 2009


News / 27 January 2009 | 10:50

Ukrainian banks should merge to survive crisis-S&P


Most Ukrainian banks need additional capital to withstand the effects of the global financial crisis and the best way may be through consolidation in the sector, a Standard & Poor`s analyst said on Monday, Reuters reported.Yekaterina Trofimova, S&P`s analyst for banks in the former Soviet Union, said the credit crunch had left Ukrainian banks in the lurch, and the central bank had limited means to help because of the conditions for its $16.4 billion IMF loan.

The majority of banks in Ukraine need additional capital either linked to the fact that their real economic capital is already negative, or because the quality of their assets is deteriorating,” Trofimova told Reuters.

She did not state the banks that S&P considers to be struggling, or how much recapitalisation the sector needed.

“Mergers among banks could be one of the ways of solving the problem of a lack of capital, but we have not seen any active moves for such deals, particularly from solid banks,” she said.

The lack of mergers was linked to “uncertainty over the market, uncertainty in the future and fears of skeletons in the cupboard, including hidden costs which often occur after a merger or acquisition”, she said.

There are more than 180 banks in Ukraine, the sector experiencing rapid growth in recent years, although no single bank has more than 10 percent market share.

Foreign lending helped credit sector to develop, with Ukrainians borrowing for the first time in their lives to buy homes and cars.

Banks` lending portfolios rose more than 70 percent in 2008. Foreign currency lending amounts to 59 percent of all credit, up from 50 percent at the start of 2008, and is worth 433.8 billion hryvnias ($56 billion), central bank data showed.

Many Ukrainians borrowed in dollars, because interest rates were lower than hryvnia-denominated loans as inflation soared. The strategy backfired when the hryvnia fell sharply in the last four months of 2008, making the loans far more expensive.

Now there are fears of default.

“Careless decisions were made when the number of new credits (lending) was on the rise. The economy, after a long period of free access to sources of credit, cannot adapt quickly to their almost total curtailment,” Trofimova said.

“We believe more than 20 percent of loans have signs of problems and that number is still rising,” she said.

S&P cut Ukraine`s rating to B from B+ in October because it was concerned about recapitalisation.

At Jan. 1, 2009, 184 banks were operating in Ukraine with a total capitalisation of 121.4 billion hryvnias ($16 billion) and assets worth 972 billion hryvnias ($126 billion).

Ukraine`s largest bank is privately owned Privatbank, followed by Raiffeisen Bank Aval, belonging to Raiffeisen, UkrSibbank, majority owned by BNP Paribas and Ukrsotsbank, owned by UniCredit.

The country`s No.5 bank, Prominvestbank, was bought by Russian state-controlled VEB bank after spending several months in receivership. Officials said a run on its deposits in October was unconnected to the financial crisis.

Last week, the country`s No. 15 bank, Ukrprombank, was also placed in receivership.

Reuters

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