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Archive for August, 2010

Ukraine to export 120,000 tons of bread wheat to Georgia

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2010


News / 31 August 2010 | 17:59

Ukraine to export 120,000 tons of bread wheat to Georgia

Ukraine to export 120,000 tons of bread wheat to Georgia

Ukraine is ready to export 120,000 tonnes of bread wheat to Georgia, as requested by that country, Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysiazhniuk said.

According to him, the Georgian government addressed Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov with such a request.

“The government of Georgia has asked Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to sell it 120,000 tonnes of bread wheat. Of course we will meet this request,” he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Prysiazhniuk said that Ukraine would fulfill this order and will “try to fulfill those orders which come from our neighbors and other countries at state level”.

The minister stressed that he is still against introducing quotas on grain exports. Though the grain harvest has shrunk by six million tonnes, the 40.5 million tonnes of grain that Ukraine expects to harvest this year will fully cover domestic needs and still allow the export of grain.

Prysiazhniuk also said that since the start of this marketing year Ukraine has already exported around two million tonnes of grain.

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President instructs to stabilize situation at food market

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2010


News / 31 August 2010 | 16:25

President instructs to stabilize situation at food market

President instructs to stabilize situation at food market

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych signed the order to stabilize the situation at the food market, and ensure availability of first priority goods to the public by preventing unreasoned growth of their prices, presidential press office reported.

The Government, Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, and regional executive authorities are to immediately inspect the cause for rapid increase in prices of agricultural goods, particularly of buckwheat.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov was instructed to provide intervention of the State Reserve Committee and Agrarian Fund of Ukraine into the market by selling buckwheat from their stocks. The Government is to prepare the infrastructure for accepting and storing this year’s harvest of buckwheat with minimal losses.

Also, the officials are to immediately begin negotiations with exporters of buckwheat in order to cover demand in Ukraine, and consider introducing subsidies on crops of buckwheat and futures contracts for the purchase of buckwheat by the Agrarian Fund from agricultural producers.

The question of introducing export duties on buckwheat under WTO rules must be considered separately.

By the end of the year, the Government must ensure long-term forecasts of the balance of production, consumption and exports and imports of agricultural products in order to prevent imbalances in food markets.

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Germany interested in modernization of Ukrainian GTS and accepts Ukraine’s decision on NATO

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2010


News / 31 August 2010 | 14:38

Germany interested in modernization of Ukrainian GTS and accepts Ukraine's decision on NATO

Germany interested in modernization of Ukrainian GTS and accepts Ukraine’s decision on NATO

Germany and the European Union are interested in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system,  German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference after talks with  Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Berlin on Monday.

During the talks Ukraine’s president stressed that Ukraine is, and will be a reliable partner to Russia – the owner of gas, and to the EU – its consumer. “Besides, we see Germany as a partner in the future reconstruction of the Ukrainian GTS. And I made such a proposal today,” Viktor Yanukovych said.

In ger turn Merkel said that the prospect of the EU’s participation in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transit system would be discussed at a Ukrainian-German energy forum, which is to be held in Ukraine this autumn. “The Ukrainian gas sector should be reformed. And German businessmen, of course, are interested in investing in the Ukrainian energy sector,” Merkel said.

The Ukrainian president, in turn, welcomed the desire of the German side to promote the reconstruction of the Ukrainian gas transport system. Yanukovych noted that discussions on this subject should be “transparent and open” in order to avoid problems with gas supplies to Europe in future.

Furthermore, said Angela Merkel, making comments on questions of foreign policy, Ukraine’s role in settlement of the Transnistrian conflict is very important. “We accept Ukraine’s approach to cooperation with NATO,” also said Angela Merkel – “This is a very pragmatic approach.”

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President thanks Germany for returning Caravaggio’s “The Kiss of Judas” to Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2010


News / 31 August 2010 | 12:50

President thanks Germany for returning Caravaggio’s “The Kiss of Judas” to Ukraine

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych thanked Germany for returning Caravaggio’s “The Kiss of Judas”, which had been stolen from the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, to Ukraine.”

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to bring back this great painting, which belongs to Ukraine. This is a gift to the Ukrainian people from law enforcement officers, who performed their professional duty,” Viktor Yanukovych said at the joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

A Caravaggio painting stolen from a museum in Ukraine two years ago was recovered by police as four men tried to sell it in Berlin, official said Monday.

Police confiscated the 16th-century painting – known as “The Taking of Christ,” or “The Kiss of Judas” – and arrested the three Ukrainians and a Russian on Friday, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office said.

They are believed to be members of an international gang of art thieves, and 20 other suspected members of it were arrested in Ukraine, the police said.

The painting, worth several million euros (dollars), was stolen from the Museum of Western and Eastern Art in Odessa, Ukraine, in July 2008 by thieves who entered the museum at night and cut the painting out of its frame. From a Reuters report “Police said they entered through a window, bypassing an outdated alarm system by removing a pane of glass rather than breaking it. They then escaped across the museum’s roof.”

Anke Spriestersbach, a police spokeswoman, declined to release any information about the potential buyer, saying the investigation is still under way.

The arrests in Berlin were made in cooperation with Germany’s special GSG 9 forces and Ukrainian police.

The painting is dated by 1573-1602. The Ambassador of the Russian Empire in France acquired the painting and transferred it to the Odessa Art College early in the 20th century. Then it belonged to the Gallery of the old painting (today’s Museum of Western and Eastern Art) However, Caravaggio authorship was under question. In mid 1950s, it was proven that the Italian master in fact painted this work.

Kiev specialists restored the masterpiece in 2006.

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Yanukovych promised German businessmen new opportunities

Posted by the Editor on August 31, 2010


News / 31 August 2010 | 10:56

Yanukovych promised German businessmen new opportunities

Yanukovych promised German businessmen new opportunities

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych met in Berlin with representatives of business circles of Germany, presidential press office reported.

Addressing the audience, the Head of State stressed that most of them have the experience of work in Ukraine, so are well aware of the current situation in our country. In particular – they surely have seen the negative influence of global financial crisis and unprofessionalism of previous government on the Ukrainian economy and business climate.

“I am confident that the business climate in Ukraine needs to improve significantly,” Viktor Yanukovych said.

The President stressed that the new Ukrainian government aims to correct the situation, reform and modernize the economy. He expressed confidence that the process provides new opportunities for German investors.

“We all know well that there were no reforms in Ukraine but talks of them, struggle for power, collisions, sorting relationship during last twenty years. Now, Ukraine must be quickly reformed for the future,” he said.

One of the urgent tasks President Yanukovych named reforming the tax system and adopting a new Tax Code as soon as possible. The President said that the draft Tax Code is being finalized after public hearings and that the Government will set clear, transparent rules for relations between the state and business.

According to him, legislative measures to protect lenders and investors will be taken already this year. Intensifying investment policy and improving business climate will be top priorities. “We are determined to reduce the number of existing permits and licenses, significantly reduce the number of regulatory bodies,” said Viktor Yanukovych.

Besides, according to the Head of State, the government will simplify the process of registering investments and elaborate the mechanism of their involvement in the areas identified as priority for modernizing the country. Among such areas Viktor Yanukovych named fuel and energy complex, transport industry, agriculture, infrastructure development, innovation sector, social services and so on.

Undoubtedly, said the President, the projects related to preparation for hosting Euro 2012 in Ukraine are also promising for investors.

President Yanukovych said that each region of Ukraine is working out regional development programs that focus on creating a favorable investment climate, competitive development of modern industries, and involvement of regions in transnational programs. First of all, these programs focus on attracting investment to the development of new technologies and creating new industries.

“So we invite you to examine the potential and opportunities in the Ukrainian regions more carefully,” said Viktor Yanukovych.

In his speech President Yanukovych also mentioned that conditions for doing business in Ukraine are improving due to the process of approximation of Ukrainian legislation to EU standards. Besides, the new government dedicates much attention to fighting corruption, so legal climate in Ukraine is also improving gradually.

He said Ukraine soon hopes to complete negotiations on the Association Agreement, Free Trade Agreement, and visa-free travel between Ukraine and EU.

“Only real demonstration of intentions in the area of European integration and reforms will help today to overcome the existing stereotypes in the EU regarding Ukraine. This is a goal of my team, and we aim all our actions at reaching it,” said Viktor Yanukovych.

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Yanukovych: New stage opening in relations between Ukraine and Germany

Posted by the Editor on August 30, 2010


News / 30 August 2010 | 16:58

Yanukovych: New stage opening in relations between Ukraine and Germany

Yanukovych: New stage opening in relations between Ukraine and Germany

Integration with the European Union is a strategic direction for Ukraine, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said after talks with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday, UKRINFORM reported.

The head of state described work on drafting an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU as “successful”. Yanukovych noted that prospects for Ukraine’s membership of the European Union should be secured in the document. “Membership of the EU is not an end in itself. We understand that we still need to do a lot of homework, but the prospect of membership of this community is very important for the Ukrainian people,” Yanukovych said.

He said that his visit to Berlin was opening a new stage in relations between Ukraine and Germany, which will be based on concrete decisions regarding cooperation in many spheres.

Merkel, in turn, said that the relations between Kyiv and Berlin were “on a solid foundation and they will be stepped up.” At the same time, she said that Berlin was interested in Ukraine’s further democratization, including in the development of freedom of speech in Ukraine. “If the problems in this area happen in future, we need to speak about this openly,” she said.

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Gazprom promises cheap gas for Ukraine after JV with Naftogaz

Posted by the Editor on August 30, 2010


News / 30 August 2010 | 14:30

Gazprom promises cheap gas for Ukraine after JV with Naftogaz

Gazprom promises cheap gas for Ukraine after JV with Naftogaz

A joint venture of Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukrainian state oil and gas company Naftogaz will enable Ukrainians to buy Russian gas at the price of about $60 per 1,000 cu m, Gazprom CEO said.

Gas prices for Ukrainian consumers now vary from 725.4 hryvnas ($91.9) per 1,000 cu m to 2,954.1 hryvnas ($374.5) per 1,000 cu m.

“Gazprom’s point of view is that we could set up a joint venture of Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine… In this case, the Ukrainian population could buy gas at the price for Russian consumers. Gas prices in Russia are fixed by the state and now stand at 1,880 rubles per 1,000 cu m. It is slightly more than $60 per 1,000 cu m,” Alexei Miller told the Vesti TV channel, RIA Novosti reported.

The Ukrainian government had to introduce a 50% increase in gas prices for individuals and heating enterprises from August 1, and plans a further 50% increase from August 1, 2011. The price hike was one of the conditions under which the country could receive a $15.15-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

While Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the companies should push for a joint venture, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed a merger, something that the Ukrainian opposition fears would put the country’s sovereignty at risk.

A Ukrainian delegation headed by Ukrainian energy minister Yury Boiko, arrived in Moscow on Friday for talks with Gazprom management on gas issues.

“We are now conducting an intensive dialog to boost our cooperation, and various options are being considered. The key requirement is to find a solution to benefit the two companies and consumers of the two states,” Boiko said.

In April, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych agreed during their meeting in Kharkov in east Ukraine that Russia would grant Ukraine a 30% discount on the gas price of $330 per 1,000 cu m over the next ten years.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said earlier in the week that Ukraine is seeking to revamp the current gas contract it has with Russia as it is “enslaving” and could possibly lead the country into an economic collapse.

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Yanukovych excludes new gas crisis with Russia

Posted by the Editor on August 30, 2010


News / 30 August 2010 | 12:51

Yanukovych excludes new gas crisis with Russia

Yanukovych excludes new gas crisis with Russia

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Saturday there will not be another gas crisis or disruption of gas supplies to EU countries.

“I absolutely rule out a recurrence of this situation. This will not happen as long as I am president,” Yanukovych said in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

He said Ukraine was working to build a kind of relations that would satisfy both the EU as a consumer of energy resources and Russia as energy supplier.

On January 1, 2009, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom cut off all natural gas supplies to Ukraine over Kiev’s failure to pay for past shipments and sign a new price contract for 2009.

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