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Archive for May, 2010

Russian security officers returning to Crimea

Posted by the Editor on May 31, 2010


News / 31 May 2010 | 17:59

Russian security officers returning to Crimea

Russian security officers returning to Crimea

The first group of officers from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) have resumed operations at Russia’s Black Sea Fleet naval base in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, a city administration source said on Monday, RIA Novosti reported.

“Russian counterintelligence officers, in conjunction with their Ukrainian colleagues, will work to counter terrorism and extremism, and ensure the protection of secret information,” the source said, adding that lists of FSB officers were being drawn up for approval by the Ukrainian side.

Ukrainian special services say they have not blacklisted any members of the FSB.

FSB officers were formerly stationed at the naval base but were ordered to leave in late 2009 by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko amid poor relations between the two countries.

On May 19, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement to return FSB officers to the Black Sea Fleet facilities in Ukraine.

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Party of Regions preparing new draft law on languages

Posted by the Editor on May 31, 2010


News / 31 May 2010 | 16:29

Party of Regions preparing new draft law on languages

Party of Regions preparing new draft law on languages

The Party Regions has prepared the draft of a basic law on the languages of Ukraine, which will soon be tabled in the Verkhovna Rada. Its author is the head of the Party faction in parliament, Oleksandr Yefremov, UKRINFORM has reported, citing the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror of the Week) newspaper.

The document foresees the introduction of amendments to a number of legal acts, in particular, laws on education, judicial system, legal profession, local government, the media, radio and television, elections and referendums, as well as procedural laws.

The bill states that the Ukrainian language will obligatorily be applied throughout the country during the execution by the authorities of their powers, and in the educational process under the mechanism stipulated by the bill.

In this case, the document reads that the “obligatory use of the state language or the promotion of its use in any sphere of public life should not be interpreted as denial or derogation of the right to use regional languages in this sphere.”

The bill contains a list of 16 languages that can be considered regional languages. The list includes Belarusian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Gagauz, Yiddish, Karaite, Crimean Tatar, Moldavian, German, Greek, Polish, Romany, Russian, Romanian, Slovak and Hungarian.

The bill empowers local councils of all levels to introduce regional languages. This could be possible if the number of native speakers in a certain area exceeds 10% of its population. If the number of native speakers is less than this figure, then measures on supporting regional languages are taken under decisions of local councils.

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Yanukovych taking part in Euro 2012 conference

Posted by the Editor on May 31, 2010


News / 31 May 2010 | 14:43

Yanukovych taking part in Euro 2012 conference

Yanukovych taking part in Euro 2012 conference

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych took part in the international conference “Euro 2012: long-term opportunities for investment in hotels and leisure industry in Ukraine”.

Welcoming the participants, the Head of State stressed that at present Ukraine is set to reforms. “Now all conditions for their implementation are created. At the moment the government works as a single mechanism. President-Prime Minister-Parliamentary Coalition are ready and able to adopt all necessary bills, to jointly implement them and to create conditions for the country’s development,” said Viktor Yanukovych.

The President noted that national economic development and modernization of the state will be based on innovation and investment model. “There are all the grounds to say that Ukraine’s economy will be successful,” he said, recalling that recent revitalization of the economy, including GDP growth at roughly 4.8%, is evident.

“This progress will continue,” stressed Viktor Yanukovych.

Speaking about Ukraine’s preparations for Euro 2012 finals, the President expressed confidence that we must effectively use time left before the event to develop hotel business. Viktor Yanukovych has also stressed that our country will benefit from timely built modern hotels in the cities hosting Euro 2012.

Obviously, hotel infrastructure must also be developed in the cities that business finds most interesting, Viktor Yanukovych said. According to him, entrepreneurs should first pay attention to tourist attraction regions of Ukraine.

The President emphasized that in preparations for Euro 2012 a number of bills, including the ones to reduce tax pressure on hotel business and to simplify procedures for permits issuing and licensing, will be adopted. Some of these laws have passed the first reading, he said, noting that they are likely to be adopted in June.

“You will see that everything, the government promises, will be done. In order to ensure it, state legislative guarantees will be created,” said Viktor Yanukovych, adding that the bureaucracy will not impede business development in Ukraine.

We will gradually liberalize all business areas in our state, and as for Euro 2012 target program, in fact, we have already launched it, said the President.

Viktor Yanukovych wished fruitful work to the conference participants. “Hopefully, we’ll become good partners,” summed up the Head of State.

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West heaved a sigh of relief after Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO

Posted by the Editor on May 31, 2010


News / 31 May 2010 | 12:55

West heaved a sigh of relief after Ukraine's refusal to join NATO

West heaved a sigh of relief after Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO

Ukraine’s leadership decision not to continue NATO membership policy should bring relief to many western capitals, as well as Russia, Guardian writes.

NATO membership was pursued, with the enthusiastic support of the Bush administration and the Labour government in Britain, by the pro-western former president Viktor Yushchenko. This was despite a lack of enthusiasm inside Ukraine and concern by some Nato members.

Ukraine was considered a potential Nato partner along with Georgia. Concern in many Nato countries increased in 2008 when Russia responded with military force to a Georgian attack on South Ossetia, an enclave in Georgia.

At a summit in Bucharest in April 2008, alliance leaders agreed that Ukraine “will become a Nato member” in the future, but added that it was up to the Ukrainian people and their elected leaders to determine the country’s path.

Since then, most Nato countries, including the US and Britain, have realised membership of Ukraine and Georgia would provoke conflict, notably with Russia. This month, the Albright report on Nato’s new strategic concept made no mention of prospective Ukrainian membership of the alliance, the newspaper reports.

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Tymoshenko initiates reregistration of BYuT deputies

Posted by the Editor on May 31, 2010


News / 31 May 2010 | 11:00

Tymoshenko initiates reregistration of BYuT deputies

Tymoshenko initiates reregistration of BYuT deputies

Yulia Tymoshenko is calling for the reregistration of people’s deputies and local council deputies from BYuT as a way of checking their readiness to work honestly and professionally for the good of Ukraine.

“We proposed the following reregistration procedure – deputies in the Verkhovna Rada and local councils, where necessary, will simply write a letter on joining the faction, in which they will say that they are ready to work for Ukraine and in the opposition,” Yulia Tymoshenko said during a press conference in Sumy, according to BYuT press office.

“Those who can’t reregister and work in an opposition faction remain outside the faction,” she said.

According to Yulia Tymoshenko, only people who are capable of serving Ukraine and are professionals in what they do will remain in her team.

“I think this type of clean up is very important for a team that is founded on principles, serving Ukraine and justice,” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

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Opposition drafted a package of reforms for small and medium business

Posted by the Editor on May 28, 2010


News / 28 May 2010 | 16:34

Opposition drafted a package of reforms for small and medium business

Opposition drafted a package of reforms for small and medium business

The opposition plans to submit to parliament next Wednesday a package of draft laws aimed to continue reforms and create a favorable climate for small and medium business, Yulia Tymoshenko has announced, BYuT press office reported.

“During the meeting of the opposition government we’re going to propose that next Wednesday the draft laws that our opposition team developed be considered,” Yulia Tymoshenko said during a meeting of the opposition government.

The first bill was developed by representatives of small business and would introduce a simplified tax system. “Every point has been verified and we’re going to insist that this draft law be put on the agenda for Wednesday [session of parliament] so that our small business owners can stop worrying that they’ll cancel the simplified tax system altogether,” Yulia Tymoshenko said.

Yulia Tymoshenko also noted that given that Viktor Yanukovych has failed to fulfill his promise to introduce a five-year tax holiday, the opposition has submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill introducing such a tax holiday until 2016. “Because Yanukovych forgot about this promise, we’ve introduced a bill that would give small businesses that make up to a certain amount in revenue annually a tax holiday for five years until 2016,” she said.

Yulia Tymoshenko believes that if Yanukovych does not want to deceive his electorate, “then on Wednesday they [the parliamentary coalition] are obligated to vote for this law in the first reading, and as a whole once it is revised.”

The opposition government is also calling for the adoption next Wednesday of a law that would increase accountability for authorities that obstruct business activities. “The problem is not that there aren’t enough laws, it’s that even the good laws that were adopted by the Verkhovna Rada and our government in 2008 aren’t being implemented by certain officials. That’s why we’d like to strengthen accountability for officials who obstruct business,” she said.

“The fourth draft law that we’re introducing was developed by our team and significantly reduces the number of activities that require licenses by 27 and oversight bodies by 45%,” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

“The final draft law deals with local government because at times they don’t facilitate but obstruct small and medium business. The fifth law we’re going to propose relates to certain rules according to which local government bodies have to support small and medium business.”

“This is a package of reforms to create a favorable climate for small and medium business, which have been developed together with small and medium business owners, and which I believe will fundamentally change the system and allow small and medium business to develop,” said Yulia Tymoshenko.

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Ukraine intends to sign free trade zone agreement with EFTA countries, then – with Turkey – Vice Premier Tihipko

Posted by the Editor on May 28, 2010


News / 28 May 2010 | 14:33

Ukraine intends to sign free trade zone agreement with EFTA countries, then - with Turkey - Vice Premier Tihipko

Ukraine intends to sign free trade zone agreement with EFTA countries, then – with Turkey – Vice Premier Tihipko

The association and free trade agreement with the European Union will be signed till the end of 2010, Vice Premier on the Economic Policy Serhiy Tihipko has said at the visiting session of the Council of Regions in Lviv.

“It is extremely necessary for us in order to give the Ukrainian producers an additional exit to external markets. In the light of this strategy, we intend to sign an agreement on a free trade zone with the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries, and then – with Turkey,” he said, UKRINFORM reported.

Tihipko emphasized that all important bills, in particular, the draft law on state purchases and on the gas market undergo mandatory adjustment with the European Commission.

The EFTA was set up in 1960. Presently, its members are Island, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

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Yanukovych initiates holding 2022 Winter Olympics in Ukrainian Carpathians

Posted by the Editor on May 28, 2010


News / 28 May 2010 | 12:49

Yanukovych initiates holding 2022 Winter Olympics in Ukrainian Carpathians

Yanukovych initiates holding 2022 Winter Olympics in Ukrainian Carpathians

Speaking at the meeting of the Council of Regions, he held today in Lviv, President Viktor Yanukovych suggested holding Winter Olympic Games 2022 in the Carpathians.

“If we are to step up with the initiative, we must start working on the official nomination of our country to hold Winter Olympic Games in the Carpathians,” said Viktor Yanukovych.

In this context, President Yanukovych pointed to the need for further effective development of tourism infrastructure in Bukovyna and creating proper motivations for that. He noted that there is still time before 2022 and although much is done, there is still more to do.

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