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Archive for July 14th, 2009

PM vows change in campaign-style speech

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 19:02

PM vows change in campaign-style speech

Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told a political rally on Tuesday if elected president she will hold a referendum asking people whether they want a presidential or parliamentary system of government, Kyiv Post reported.

Tymoshenko, second in opinion polls ahead of the election in January, vowed in a two-hour speech to 5,000 supporters of her Batkivshchyna (Homeland) party she would proceed quickly with proposals for constitutional change.

“The first thing we will do is to conduct a nation-wide referendum…with a single question — what form of government the people of Ukraine want,” she said, dressed in her party’s white colours and sporting her trademark peasant braid.

“The answer is very simple — a presidential system with no prime minister…or a parliamentary system with only a prime minister elected by the people…But it is not for politicians to decide this, but rather the people in a referendum.”

Tymoshenko said she had no intention of dissolving Ukraine’s fractious parliament, where heated debate frequently degenerates into fistfights or blockades halting its activity. She pledged instead to “unite this parliament and strengthen it”.

The prime minister has been locked for months in debilitating policy rows with President Viktor Yushchenko, her estranged ally from the 2004 “Orange Revolution”.

Ukraine’s last major constitutional change — cuts in the president’s powers — were approved at the height of the 2004 protests against poll fraud that vaulted Yushchenko to power.

With the economy shrinking over 20 percent in the first quarter of 2009, nearly all politicians have been calling for some form of constitutional change to halt the rows and improve the functioning of institutions.

Twice prime minister since 2004, Tymoshenko is credited with about 15 percent support behind former premier Viktor Yanukovich, with about 20 percent.

Lying in third place is Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who portrays himself as Ukraine’s “new face”, unlinked to the various rows.

Yanukovich’s political base is in Russian-speaking eastern industrial regions, while Tymoshenko draws much of her support from the nationalist west and central areas. Yatsenyuk said he hopes to overcome the country’s traditional divisions.

Yushchenko is running for re-election but is widely derided by ordinary Ukrainians and his rating stands in single figures.


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Kyrylenko: Yesterday everything was ok but today PR again does not like smth

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 18:06

Kyrylenko: Yesterday everything was ok but today PR again does not like smth

BYuT faction agrees to consider at least one draft law of today’s agenda of the parliament. Leader of BYuT faction Ivan Kyrylenko told journalists, the ForUm’s correspondent informs.

“We are ready to consider at least one draft law. We want to move ahead. Not for us but for the country. We ask our partners not to close the session but to come to VRU and work,” he said.

He noted that MPs from the BYuT are not on vacations and will insist on parliament to keep working.

Kyrylenko said that yesterday the issue on unblocking the VRU work was solved but today PR again does not like something.

As a reminder, PR has been blocking the VRU for two weeks, demanding to adopt law on increase of living wage and minimal salary.

BYuT initiated plenary session on Tuesday but it has not opened yet.


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PS welcomes signing of agreement on Nabucco pipeline construction

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 17:30

PS welcomes signing of agreement on Nabucco pipeline construction

Ukraine welcomes the signing of an agreement on the construction of the Nabucco pipeline, according to the deputy head of the presidential secretariat, Andriy Honcharuk, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

“The signing of this agreement will lead to geopolitical shifts in the region and will allow the diversification of supply routes not only for consumers but also for the suppliers of energy resources, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in the first place, and possibly other states of the Caspian region and the Middle East,” which will help boost trade and stabilize several regions simultaneously, the presidential press service quoted Honcharuk as saying.

The agreement has confirmed the consistency and seriousness of the European Union’s intentions to contribute to cooperation between the countries of these regions, based on international laws and standards, deputy head of the presidential secretariat said.

“This is why Ukraine as a state, which initiated the establishment of the Caspian-Black Sea-Baltic energy space, which is intended to diversify the routes and sources of energy supply and support free energy transit, welcomes the signing of the intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco pipeline’s construction,” Honcharuk said.

He also noted that the Nabucco project would change the form of the regional infrastructure for energy transit. According to Honcharuk, the construction of a new gas artery will make the process of gas shipments to Europe more transparent, will raise competition on the European gas market, eliminate the political aspect of the gas trade and will help develop profoundly different approaches to relations between the suppliers, transit agents and consumers.”

At the same time, the deputy head of the presidential secretariat stressed that: “Ukraine has been and remains a reliable transit country and possesses considerable unused potential, which is capable of satisfying the growing needs of European consumers, despite the relatively small investment needed in the modernization of our gas transportation system.”


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Tymoshenko: Direct payments with Russia give Ukraine energy independence

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 16:00

Tymoshenko: Direct payments with Russia give Ukraine energy independence

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is confident that a mechanism of paying for Russian gas set from this year gives Ukraine a real independence, she told the grant meeting on the occasion of the Batkivschyna Party’s10th anniversary in Kyiv, UKRINFORM reports.

“Everybody has forgotten today what is crisis and chaos. We removed all corruption, all shadow, all exorbitant randomness and unpredictability of gas market,” the Ukrainian Premier noted.

“Every month everyone from Ukrainian officials to Europe says that Ukraine is just about to fail to pay for gas, three days remain and NJSC [Naftogaz of Ukraine – UKRINFORM] will go bankrupt. Let not they be happy! As far as I am a Premier, as far as our team in the office, Ukraine will be paying to the day. Since this is our independence, independence of the country and our future,” Tymoshenko claimed.

She stressed that starting from 2004, BYuT, being in opposition, has prevented privatization of the national gas transit system of Ukraine. “We stopped this process. We prevented removal of the greatest treasury from Ukraine. Our law once for all fixed the gas transit system in state ownership. We removed all mediators. Direct contracts hold out hope that we will be working successfully,” the Premier said.

According to the gas contract between Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz dated January 19, 2009, Naftogaz should pay for Russian gas by the seventh day of the month following the supply month. Otherwise, Naftogaz will have to make payments for gas in advance.


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Yanukovych is for constructive and joint work in the parliament

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 12:30

Yanukovych is for constructive and joint work in the parliament

Yanukovych is for constructive and joint work in the parliament

Party of Regions is ready to support draft laws which are expected on agenda of the plenary session of the parliament today. However PR calls MPs to fulfill their constitutional obligation and protect poor people. It is said in the statement of PR leader Viktor Yanukovych, the ForUm’s correspondent informs.

“Party of Regions stands for effective work of the parliament. And we call all MPs – lets not to compete for political victories. Let’s stand for people’s interests. Let’s vote for increase of minimal wage and let it be our joint victory – all politicians and people,” the statement says.

Yanukovych noted that PR stands and insists on this draft law, which will facilitate life for poor people, to be adopted in the parliament.

Yanukovych also noted on necessity to adopt other necessary laws in the parliament.

“We are for constructive and joint work in the parliament,” he added.


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Ukraine delays signing nuclear fuel deals with Russia

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 12:17

Ukraine delays signing nuclear fuel deals with Russia

Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom has delayed signing nuclear fuel deals with Russian state-controlled nuclear fuel producer TVEL, a Ukrainian newspaper reported on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

Energoatom and TVEL were expected to sign a contract on the supply of fresh nuclear fuel to Ukraine after 2010 and a memorandum on the construction of a plant to produce fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants on July 15, 2009, Delo reported, citing a source close to the negotiation process.

Energoatom has declined to comment so far, the paper said.

Ukraine operates four nuclear power plants, which generated over 90,000 GWh in 2008. The country mines uranium, but has no industrial capacity for its enrichment. All of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel is imported from Russia under an agreement that expires in 2010.

Ukraine has also started cooperation with U.S.-based Westinghouse. The company currently supplies fuel to the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, whose reactors were designed to operate on Russian fuel. The Ukrainian leadership does not rule out further cooperation with the U.S. supplier, the paper said.

At the same time, if Energoatom signs a deal with Russia’s TVEL on nuclear fuel supplies until 2026, the expediency of continuing cooperation with Westinghouse will be questioned, the paper says.

Delo cited Olga Kosharnaya, a leading researcher of the Institute of National Security Issues at the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council as saying that the Ukrainian-Russian talks were being delayed over TVEL’s attempt to consolidate entire nuclear fuel cooperation with Ukraine into a single package of long-term contracts slated for signing, the paper said.

Apart from the construction of a plant for nuclear fuel production in Ukraine, other issues include uranium enrichment in Russia and the construction of new reactors for Ukrainian nuclear power plants, the paper said.


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Ukraine harvests 1.7 million tonnes of grain by July 1

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 11:46

Ukraine harvests 1.7 million tonnes of grain by July 1

Ukraine had harvested 1.7 million tonnes of grain in weight before threshing as of July 1, which is 25.4% less compared to the same period of 2008, Kyiv Post reported, referring to the State Statistics Committee.

Farmers harvested grain and leguminous crops on 657,000 hectares, or 200,000 hectares more than by July 1, 2008, the committee said.

The average yield of grain and leguminous crops was 15.3% less as of July 1, 2009 year-over-year, at 26 centners per hectare.

As reported, the Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry predicted this year’s grain harvest at 42-43 million tonnes compared to last year’s 53.3 million tonnes. This year, the harvesting campaign in Ukraine started earlier than usual due to favorable weather conditions.


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Tymoshenko: There is certain economic stability in Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on July 14, 2009

News / 14 July 2009 | 11:12

Tymoshenko: There is certain economic stability in Ukraine

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko hopes in Ukraine, as it is in the world, the peak of financial crisis has already passed. The Head of Government noted during her meeting with representatives of all-Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations on Monday, government protal reported.

“The fact that we haven’t led the country to default, to non-payment of salaries and pensions, to complete ruining of economic system, is God’s blessing and also a huge joint work,” Yulia Tymoshenko emphasized. The Head of Government added in Ukraine we can establish there is certain economic stability as during three last months gradual growth of industrial output is observed.

The Premier noted it will be possible to evaluate the Government’s activity with time: “Reality can be seen from the distance of 20-25 years… Yes, it is difficult for us, but we have preserved Ukraine, protected from extreme radical shocks which were real. God has protected Ukraine in these hard times, given it hope and strength,” Yulia Tymoshenko emphasized.


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