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Archive for November 3rd, 2009

71 persons die of flu and ARD epidemic in Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on November 3, 2009


News / 3 November 2009 | 17:56

71 persons die of flu and ARD epidemic in Ukraine

An outbreak of seasonal and swine flu, which hit Ukraine last week, has claimed the lives of 71 people, the country’s prime minister said on Tuesday.

“Seventy-one people have died of flu as of today,” Yulia Tymoshenko said reporting to parliament on the spread of flu and acute respiratory illness.

The death toll from the A/H1N1 virus has not changed since Monday’s 22 fatalities.

The health ministry said on Monday 255,000 flu cases had been reported in the country, with 15,000 receiving treatment in hospital.

The government has imposed quarantines in nine western provinces to curb the spread of swine flu, which originated in the Tirnopol Region, closed all education establishments in Kiev and obliged people to wear medical masks in all catering establishments, shops and social services facilities across Ukraine.

Tymoshenko and other top officials met a cargo of 300,000 doses of the Tamiflu medication against swine flu from Switzerland at an airport on Sunday.

Slovakia closed two of the five crossings on the border with western Ukraine on Monday over the flu scare, according the AFP. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through the border checkpoints every day.

However, Tymoshenko, who insisted there is no swine flu pandemic in the country, but instead an ordinary seasonal flu outbreak, said on Tuesday “the situation has stabilized,” as the growth of flu cases has slowed down somewhat.

Tymoshenko earlier criticized drug stores for shortages of medicines and blamed “media hysteria” and politicians’ populist statements for causing the deficit. She pledged further measures to curb the flu, as well as the panic.

Later on Tuesday, parliament approved the allocation of 1 billion hryvnias ($125 million) on measures to fight swine and seasonal flu.

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Yushchenko insists on reviewing of gas contracts with Russia

Posted by the Editor on November 3, 2009


News / 3 November 2009 | 16:43

Yushchenko insists on reviewing of gas contracts with Russia

Yushchenko insists on reviewing of gas contracts with Russia

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has demanded that the Ukrainian government officially amend the gas contracts with Russia dated January 19, 2009, his press secretary Iryna Vannykova said, UKRINFORM.

She said that Yushchenko wants the Cabinet of Ministers to determine the optimal amount of Russian gas to be purchased next year, taking into account the real state of economy.

Vannykova said that the head of state insists on a switch to mutually acceptable formulae for the gas price for Ukraine and the gas transit rate, taking into account the agreements reached between the presidents of the two countries on February 19, 2009.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier told the European Union that problems might arise with gas supplies via Ukraine.

He said after his phone conversation with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Friday that problems had again arisen in the question of Ukraine’s payments for Russian gas.

Quoting the Ukrainian premier, Putin said that the Ukrainian president puts obstacles to stable cooperation between the National Bank of Ukraine, which has gold forex reserves, and the government, and that he also blocks the transfer of respective funds.

During her last visit to Russia, Tymoshenko agreed with Putin that Ukraine would buy as much gas as the country really needs and that it would pay only for the amount of gas purchased, rather than contracted earlier. However, respective agreements have not been signed.

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Naftogaz owes Gazprom 4 billion

Posted by the Editor on November 3, 2009


News / 3 November 2009 | 14:33

Naftogaz owes Gazprom 4 billion

Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz must pay four billion UAH to Russian Gazprom for the consumed gas in October, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told the parliament.

“As of today the gas debt of all consumers, mostly of local heating companies, makes seven billion UAH. Ukraine must pay four billion only for this month,” Tymoshenko said.

The head of the government noted that Naftogaz must pay for the Russian gas having no payment from local private and communal heating companies. “But despite of this, we will check that every building, every hospital and every budget institution were heated,” she added.

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Russia, Ukraine to jointly seek release of crew seized in Congo

Posted by the Editor on November 3, 2009


News / 3 November 2009 | 12:57

Russia, Ukraine to jointly seek release of crew seized in Congo

Russian and Ukrainian diplomats will join efforts to seek the release of the crew of a cargo vessel accused of a murder in the Congo, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

The 23-member crew of the Island of Luck vessel, including 15 Ukrainians and four Russians, was detained on October 20 in Matadi, the chief sea port of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congolese police have accused the crew of murdering a local resident and beating several others.

The vessel brought 12 metric tons of rice worth $12,000 to Matadi on October 4. When preparing to release the ship from port, Congolese officials found three locals in the water near the vessel. The suspected illegal migrants were allegedly beaten by the crew and thrown overboard. A fourth reportedly drowned.

However, no traces of violence were found on three of the Congolese men, while the body of the fourth was buried without an autopsy on October 22.

The president of the Association of Sea Captains in the Russian Far East, Pyotr Osichansky, said the Russian sailors had appealed to Russian authorities for assistance in order to return home.

“The passports have been seized from the crew,” Osichansky said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Tuesday that “the Russian Embassy in Kinshasa [the Congolese capital] is keeping the situation under control.”

A Russian embassy source told RIA Novosti that no official charges had yet been brought against the crew and the Ukrainian members of the crew were the chief suspects.

A spokesman for the Victoria Oceanway Ltd., the operator of the ship, said Ukrainian diplomats had been informed of the situation and that the Ukrainian ambassador was likely to arrive in Kinshasa later on Tuesday.

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Poland urges EU to assist Ukraine in fighting swine flu pandemic

Posted by the Editor on November 3, 2009


News / 3 November 2009 | 11:03

Poland urges EU to assist Ukraine in fighting swine flu pandemic

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has appealed to the European Commission to provide urgent assistance to Ukraine in the fight against the swine flu pandemic, a government spokesman said.

According to latest data, the outbreak of swine flu, which hit Ukraine last week, has claimed the lives of at least 70 people.

“The nature of this threat, in my opinion, demands urgent measures at the EU level, which will serve the interests of both Ukraine and the European Union,” Tusk said in a letter addressed to President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

Tusk earlier said in a phone conversation with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko that his country and other EU members were ready to increase the supply of anti-flu medicine to Kiev.

While Poland appealed to the EU leadership, Slovakia, which is another EU country bordering Ukraine, closed two pedestrian border crossings with the H1N1 virus-hit country and ordered spot medical checks at others.

Ukraine’s Deputy Health Minister Vasil Lozoryshynets said on Monday that at least 255,000 flu cases had been reported in the country, with 15,000 receiving treatment at a hospital and 170 being admitted to intensive care units.

The government has imposed quarantines in nine western provinces to curb the spread of swine flu, which originated in the Tirnopol Region.

All education establishments in the capital, Kiev, were closed on Monday until further notice due to the flu pandemic. Wearing medical masks has been a must in all catering places, shops and social services facilities across Ukraine since Friday.

President Viktor Yushchenko has requested help from other countries.

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