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Archive for July 12th, 2010

Ukraine-NATO military drills to begin on Monday

Posted by the Editor on July 12, 2010

News / 12 July 2010 | 16:35

Ukraine-NATO military drills to begin on Monday

Ukraine-NATO military drills to begin on Monday

Ukraine-NATO Sea Breeze military exercises starts in Ukraine’s Black Sea region on Monday.

The land phase of the drills, which will focus on fighting sea piracy, will be held at a military training area in the Nikolayev region, while the sea drills will take place in northwestern Black Sea.

The exercises will be held until July 23. Ukraine will be represented by a naval infantry battalion and five Coast Guard vessels.

Sea Breeze drills have been conducted in Ukraine since 1997 and involve troops from NATO countries on rotation basis.

In 2009, the Ukrainian parliament defied then-President Viktor Yushchenko and refused to approve the exercises. This year, Ukrainian lawmakers voted in favor of the drills, which will see the participation of some 3,000 military personnel from at least 15 countries.

Ukraine will also host this year a series of other international military and peacekeeping exercises, including Ukrainian-U.S. Rapid Trident 2010, Ukrainian-Romanian Cossack Steppe 2010 and Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian-Canadian Maple Arch 2010.



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First results on visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU may appear in November

Posted by the Editor on July 12, 2010

News / 12 July 2010 | 14:51

First results on visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU may appear in November

First results on visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU may appear in November

Negotiations on the agreement on associated membership of Ukraine in the EU, free trade area and visa regime between Ukraine and the European Union are in a dynamic and results may appear during the EU-Ukraine summit in November 2010, acording to the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.

Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister for naming the three main goals that we can achieve in the coming months. These are the Association Agreement – I think that negotiations are sufficiently dynamic, a little more complicated are the negotiations on the trade issues, but I hope that all outstanding issues will be settled. Regarding the dialogue on visa-free regime for Ukraine – we now go beyond the final stage. I hope that at the time of the EU-Ukraine summit in November, we will have the first results,” he said during meeting with the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov, Cabinet’s press office reported.

Mykola Azarov noted that in Brussels another round of expert-level talks is completed between Ukraine and EU to establish a free trade area. “We are concerned that it was really a free trade agreement foe Ukraine has not to face various restrictions, quotas, as now. For example, in negotiations on agricultural products,” the Head of the Government said, stressing that during the 14th Council meeting on Ukraine-EU Cooperation, held in Luxembourg, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Füle and Vice President of the European Commission on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton bear with Ukraine’s position on this issue.

The Prime Minister urged the EU to take active part in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system: “For us it is extremely important for EU participation in the modernization of our transport system. Recently, our Minister of Fuel and Energy met with EU Energy Commissio
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We look forward for your reply.”

The President of the European Council highly valued the reforms undertaken by the government in the economy and social life.
“I welcome all the reforms initiated by the President of Ukraine, which are now being implemented by your Government,” he said, adding that the continuation of the stand-by program between Ukraine and the IMF is a positive signal, which enables the EU to give Ukraine the possibility for macro-financial assistance amounting to 600 million Euro.


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Verkhovna Rada adopts law on local elections

Posted by the Editor on July 12, 2010

News / 12 July 2010 | 13:00

Verkhovna Rada adopts law on local elections

Verkhovna Rada adopts law on local elections

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has adopted a Law on the election of the deputies of the Crimean Supreme Council, local councils and the heads of villages, towns and cities.

While considering the document at second reading, the lawmakers did not support the amendment proposing to allow self-nomination for the post of mayor. The wording of the law passed at first reading, under which only a political party can nominate a candidate for mayor, remained in force.

The parliament also rejected the amendment that foresaw that not only the local organizations of political parties registered a year before local elections, but also other local organizations registered in a manner prescribed by law could participate in the elections.

According to the decision taken by MPs, on October 31, 2010, elections will be conducted in all local authorities, except the election of Kyiv mayor, the elections to Kyiv Regional Council and the elections to Ternopil Regional Council. A total of 256 lawmakers voted for such a proposal.

The law envisages a mixed system of elections. Half of the total number of local council deputies is elected on the lists of political parties in a multi-mandate constituency. The other half is elected under a majority system in single-mandate constituencies.

The participation of the blocs of political parties in the local elections is not stipulated by the document.



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Yanukovych meeting European Council President

Posted by the Editor on July 12, 2010

News / 12 July 2010 | 11:01

Yanukovych meeting European Council President

Yanukovych meeting European Council President

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych conducted a meeting with the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, presidential press office informed.

Welcoming the distinguished guest in Ukraine, the President said that Ukraine appreciates the fact that the first official visit of the President of the European Council to Eastern Partnership countries is being made to our country. “It confirms high attention of the EU to Ukraine and proves that our country’s strategic course towards European integration is continuous,” he said.

The President reminded that during his first meeting with Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels on March 1 this year he had outlined ways to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, and that the state was able to achieve significant improvements in this direction.

“Of course our primary goal was to stabilize the economic situation and create an effective system of government. Many of the issues we discussed are almost completely resolved, ” he said.

The President said that all the conditions for the beginning of systemic reforms in Ukraine were created, pointing also to the establishment of the Committee on Economic Reforms under his chairmanship, creation of the Corruption Fighting Committee, etc..

The President also highlighted a number of approved and elaborated important bills aimed at overcoming the economic crisis and fighting corruption, particularly the draft Tax Code, the Law on Foundations of Domestic and Foreign Policy, Public Procurement Law, the Law on the Judiciary and the Status of Judges, etc..

Viktor Yanukovych also drew attention to the improvement of economic situation in Ukraine with growth in GDP of 6.1%, industrial production – of 12.5% and exports – of 28%, and budget deficit decrease.

The President stressed the government attaches great importance to improving investment attractiveness of the Ukrainian economy. In particular, it is planned this year to at least halve the number of permits and licenses necessary to conduct entrepreneurial activity.

Of course, said President Yanukovych, implementation of reforms requires considerable financial support. Therefore, he said, Ukraine hopes to sign the program of cooperation with the IMF for the next 2.5 years soon in order to get 4.9 billion dollars.

The President thanked the leadership of the European Council for a positive decision to grant Ukraine the macro-financial assistance of 500 million Euros.

Speaking about Ukraine’s foreign policy, the President stressed that European integration was defined in the Law on Foundations of Domestic and Foreign Policy of Ukraine approved on May 1.

The Ukrainian side hopes that it will sign the Association Agreement with the EU already in 2010 in order to achieve positive results in introducing Ukraine – EU FTA and beginning implementation of the visa-free travel action plan, said Viktor Yanukovych. Sure, he added, the visa-free travel action plan will require great work of the Foreign Ministries of Ukraine and the EU countries. “But we are ready for that work,” he said.

Speaking about the “Eastern Partnership”, Viktor Yanukovych noted the importance of development of dialogue between the EU and Belarus. According to the Head of State, this dialogue will help to establish EU-Belarus relations, in which “Ukraine is ready to act as a bridge”.

“Rapprochement of Belarus and the EU, strengthening of the European vector in this country’s foreign policy, integration of the Belarusian economy into the EU market meet national interests of Ukraine,” said President Yanukovych.

Speaking about Ukrainian-Russian relations, the President stressed that currently Ukraine has restored normal relations with Russia and perceives them as long-term, pragmatic and mutually beneficial. “We are convinced that we should focus on achieving real results,” said Viktor Yanukovych, pointing to quite significant growth of turnover between our countries and our proposal on modernization of the Ukrainian gas transit system jointly with the EU.

The President noted that we are working on deepening cooperation with Russia in rocket building and space industry, aircraft construction, shipbuilding, nuclear power, transportation, energy and agricultural engineering, other knowledge-intensive and high technology sectors.

“Mutually-beneficial economic cooperation between Ukraine and CIS countries is going on with preserving Ukraine’s strategic course to join the EU and Ukraine’s commitments to the WTO,” he said.


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