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Archive for January 22nd, 2010

Ukraine does not like new Russian ambassador

Posted by the Editor on January 22, 2010


News / 22 January 2010 | 17:55

Ukraine does not like new Russian ambassador

Moscow and Kiev could be plunged into a new diplomatic row with Ukraine’s presidential administration insisting the new Russian ambassador’s credentials should not be accepted, a Russian daily said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

Kommersant reported that Mikhail Zurabov’s documents do not contain the name of the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko.

President Dmitry Medvedev has accused Yushchenko of pursuing “intentionally anti-Russian policies,” and although Zurabov was appointed last August he remained in Russia in protest.

However, after the first round of the presidential elections in the country, which Yushchenko lost with slightly over 5% of the vote, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered Zurabov to formally assume office in Kiev. The envoy was expected to arrive in the Ukrainian capital next week.

Ukraine’s administration said the absence of the president’s name in Zurabov’s documents is a “violation of all diplomatic norms” and an attempt “to humiliate” Yuschehnko, who is still president, Kommersant reported.

A deputy head of the presidential administration, Andriy Honcharuk, told the paper he “hopes Moscow will observe the rules.” Another administration official said “otherwise we will insist the Foreign Ministry not accept the credentials,” the paper reported.

If the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry follows the presidential administration’s wishes, the Kremlin will either have to delay Zurabov’s dispatch again or send him as a presidential envoy on trade and business ties, the daily said.

Medvedev gave Zurabov the additional powers on Tuesday when he announced that the ambassador would finally take up his post in Kiev.

Zurabov, a former health minister, can start performing his ambassadorial duties after the Foreign Ministry accepts his credentials, but will only become fully legitimate once he presents his credentials to the president.

An unidentified Russian diplomat told the daily that Moscow’s decision was totally pragmatic. A ceremony to hand over the papers to the president normally takes place months after an ambassador’s visit to the Foreign Ministry, and by that time a new president will be in office.

Ukrainians will choose between opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a runoff election on February 7. Both candidates have vowed to improve relations with Russia.

The diplomat also said there are no strict rules obliging countries to indicate the president in their ambassadors’ credentials.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry denied official comments on the issue on Thursday, Kommersant said.

Ties between the two ex-Soviet neighbors have been strained under Yushchnko over a host of issues, including gas pricing disputes, the pro-Western leader’s drive to secure NATO and EU membership for Ukraine, Kiev’s support for Tbilisi during and since the brief August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

ForUm

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Tigipko says may agree to Ukraine premiership

Posted by the Editor on January 22, 2010


News / 22 January 2010 | 16:02

Tigipko says may agree to Ukraine premiership

Former central banker Sergei Tigipko, who came third in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election, said on Friday he may agree to become prime minister in the new government, RIA Novosti reported.

Current Premier Yulia Tymoshenko has offered the post to Tigipko, who garnered 13.6% of Sunday’s vote, in exchange for his support.

Tigipko said in an interview with the BBC’s Ukrainian service that he does not rule out his premiership.

“I am ready to risk my name and my image. I am not afraid as I can explain [my policy] to the people,” Tigipko said in the interview, adding he would focus on the “modernization” of the ex-Soviet nation.

“To me, the top priority is Ukraine’s modernization. This is what interests me. All people are free in a modernized country. … It means that politicians will change too, more pragmatic people will come to power,” he said.

Tymoshenko is desperate to win over voters who backed defeated candidates to consolidate her support base before the crucial battle with Yanukovych, who has a 10-percentage-point lead over her. Yanukovych garnered 35.32% and Tymoshenko took 25.05%.

Current President Viktor Yushchenko, swept to power by the 2004 pro-Western street protests, gained slightly more than 5% of the January 17 vote. His presidency has been marred by continuous political infighting and economic problems.

Tigipko, 49, earlier said he would not support any of the candidates. He said he had had talks with both Yanukovich and Tymoshenko.

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Yushchenko awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera

Posted by the Editor on January 22, 2010


News / 22 January 2010 | 14:12

Yushchenko awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera

Yushchenko awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded the title of the Hero of Ukraine to the leader of nationalistic OUN party Stepan Bandera. Yushchenko said during the ceremony dedicated to the Unification Day.

“I decree to award Stepan Bandera with the title of the Hero of Ukraine and to hand in the order of the state,” president said. Yushchneko underlined that this high title had been awarded to Bandera for “defending national idea and for the fight for independent Ukrainian state.”

Viktor Yushchenko handed the award to the grandson of the Hero, also Stepan Bandera.

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President’s statement for media on the results of first round of Presidential Election 2010

Posted by the Editor on January 22, 2010


Analytics / 22 January 2010 | 13:19

President's statement for media on the results of first round of Presidential Election 2010

President’s statement for media on the results of first round of Presidential Election 2010

As the Head of State I accept the choice of Ukrainian people expressed in elections on January 17, 2010.

The most important thing is that the elections were held freely, democratically and legitimately. Ukraine and Ukrainians have demonstrated high electoral standards, being exemplary throughout former Soviet Union. The fact is recognized by numerous international observers. Our nation has once again demonstrated commitment to European values.

Free and democratic nature of elections, I think, is our extremely important achievement, which is the result of five years of my presidency. As the President, and as a Ukrainian I am proud of this fact.

Being the President I have done everything to ensure free expression in Ukraine and ensured freedom of choice and speech without any administrative pressure. Freedom of choice is the essential tool and primary sign of democracy in our country.

The fact of free elections means that the Orange Revolution actually won, and it won not by words, but by deeds.

I would like to repeat: as the President I have complied with my guarantees of freedom of speech, rule of law in the election process and equality of rights of participants of the campaign. There was no blackmailing from the authorities in the election process, there was no persecution or administrative intervention, each candidate had access to the media, all people had equal voting opportunities, which they used, and the atmosphere of first round was generally radically different and more tolerant, than of previous elections in our country.

I thank the representatives of local governments, who in critical economic and financial conditions have facilitated the work of the polling stations. Local authorities have executed the instruction of the President on this issue. I am grateful to all the organizers of the electoral process and members of district commissions for the hard work during this time. I thank the police and security officers, who provided order, thwarted threats and did not allow disruption of the elections.

I thank all the citizens, who voted in these elections.

I thank the voters, who voted for me. I appreciate your conscience. Your votes are votes in favor of Ukrainian European democratic Ukraine. I am deeply convinced that we do not need seasonal moods.

We know that Ukrainian national, democratic, European idea is supported by millions of people, and our whole nation. It is so, and so it always will be. We have a continuous political stance, which says that Ukraine will remain Ukraine. By keeping this stance Ukraine will only strengthen.

 Ahead is a very difficult second round of elections.

It is difficult because although Ukraine has free elections, it doesn’t have choice.

As evidenced by past experience, for both candidates competing for the position of the Head of our state, national, European and democratic values are, in fact, incomprehensible, alien, and far.

In my opinion, the opinion of Ukraine’s citizen, there is no principled difference between the two candidates.

I have fulfilled my democratic obligations as the President of Ukraine, but my commitment to national cause and the state demand me to stay in the political life of Ukraine.

Main subject of protection in Ukraine is democracy. I have told about that many times lately. Only democracy promises us future and perspective. This principle must be protected at any cost.

As President of Ukraine, I remain a guarantor of the Constitution and will put all my efforts in ensuring free, legal and democratic second round of election.

I call the two candidates for presidency to tolerance and rationality – you face the challenge to adequately prepare for the second round and to accept the voters’ choice with dignity.

ForUm

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Tymoshenko offered Tigipko premiership for runoff support

Posted by the Editor on January 22, 2010


News / 22 January 2010 | 12:26

Tymoshenko offered Tigipko premiership for runoff support

Tymoshenko offered Tigipko premiership for runoff support

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Wednesday she had offered the post of prime minister to Sergei Tigipko, who came third in the first round of presidential elections, in exchange for his support in the runoff vote on February 7.

Tymoshenko, who will face opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych in the runoff vote, made the statement at a news conference in Kiev after meeting with Tigipko.

“I have offered him the post of prime minister,” she said, adding she had proposed uniting their programs.

“Ninety percent [of Tigipko’s policies] are my policies,” she said.

Tymoshenko is desperate to win over voters who backed defeated candidates to consolidate her support base before the crucial battle with Yanukovych, who has a 10-percentage-point lead on her. 

However, former central bank chief Tigipko, who came in with 13.06% of the vote, went on record as saying he would not support either side, and that Ukrainian voters were capable of making up their own minds.

Both Yanukovych and Tymoshenko have indicated a desire to better relations with Moscow, soured in recent years over Kiev’s NATO bid, gas disputes, and a host of other issues.

ForUm

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Ukraine celebrating Unification Day

Posted by the Editor on January 22, 2010


News / 22 January 2010 | 11:19

Ukraine celebrating Unification Day

Today, January 22, Ukraine is celebrating the anniversary of Unification Day.

On January 22, 1919 the Fourth Universal of Ukraine’s first government, Central Rada, was announced, when the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic were united into an independent state at the square nearby Sofia Cathedral of Kyiv at a rally involving foreign diplomats.

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