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Archive for February 21st, 2011

Constitutional reform has started in Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on February 21, 2011


News / 21 February 2011 | 17:55

Constitutional reform has started in Ukraine

Constitutional reform has started in Ukraine

President Viktor Yanukovych has signed the Decree “On Supporting the Initiative to Establish the Constitutional Assembly”, presidential press office reported. 

The first session of the Scientific Expert Group to create the Constituent Assembly attended by President Viktor Yanukovych and the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk, leading scientists, experts, lawyers-constitutionalists was held. 

The Constitutional Assembly, whose creation had began under the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk and under supervision of President Viktor Yanukovych, will elaborate the new Constitution of Ukraine. 

The draft will be widely discussed in the society, and will be submitted to the Parliament in the status of Presidential Bill. 

The Constitutional Assembly will also be working closely with the Venice Commission. 

“Through stability of the government we will achieve stability in the society; further constitutional changes will contribute to the development of democracy in our country,” Leonid Kravchuk said in his opening remarks at the first session of the Scientific Expert Group to create the Constituent Assembly.

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Tihipko: Construction of Russian underground gas storage facilities in Slovakia threatens Ukraine’s transit potential

Posted by the Editor on February 21, 2011


News / 21 February 2011 | 16:22

Tihipko: Construction of Russian underground gas storage facilities in Slovakia threatens Ukraine's transit potential

Tihipko: Construction of Russian underground gas storage facilities in Slovakia threatens Ukraine’s transit potential

Vice Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko, heading the Strong Ukraine Party, believes that the plans for construction of three Russian underground gas storages are a threat to Ukraine’s transit potential, the Party press service informs.

“Russia pursues a consistent policy in the sphere of diversification of gas supply routes to Europe. It is internal affair of Russia, but Ukraine should realize what threats such a policy brings from the viewpoint of the country’s energy security,” the politician stated, UKRINFORM reported.

According to him, the largest in Europe underground gas storages is the main competition advantage of the Ukrainian gas transportation system.

“If we are deprived of this advantage, the value of the gas transportation system will considerably drop,” Tihipko is convinced.

He believes that it is necessary for Ukraine to intensify a gas dialogue with Russia and Europe. “Our arguments are simple – construction of roundabout gas pipelines and gas storage facilities alternative to Ukrainian is economically groundless. It is cheaper and simpler to find a scheme for modernization of the Ukrainian GTS suitable for all,” the Vice Prime Minister noted.

According to him, negotiations of Russia and Slovakia on development of cooperation in the gas sphere are a consequence of the slippage of a dialogue of Kyiv, Moscow and Brussels on the gas issue. “Just Ukraine should be the initiator and the driving force of such negotiations,” Tihipko said.

Earlier, the Russian Energy Ministry and Gazprom proposed to realize a project for setting up three underground gas storages on the territory of Slovakia for 60-65 billion cubic meters of gas.

Gazprom is planning by 2015 to increase almost twofold capacities of its underground gas storages in Europe to 4.9 billion cubic meters. Presently, the company uses capacities of underground gas storages in Austria (first stage of the Haidach underground gas storage), as well as rents them in Great Britain (Humbly Grove), Germany (Reden and capacities of the underground gas storage VNG) and France (capacities of Vitol Company).

50 billion of cubic meters of Russian natural gas are transported annually via the territory of Slovakia to the European countries.

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Tigipko: Pension reform will solve the problem of poor pensioners

Posted by the Editor on February 21, 2011


News / 21 February 2011 | 14:36

Tigipko: Pension reform will solve the problem of poor pensioners

Tigipko: Pension reform will solve the problem of poor pensioners

Opponents to the pension reform should understand that if no changes in the pension system are made, the most affected will be the retired. Thus the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Social Policy Serhiy Tigipko commented on the position of the Communist Party of Ukraine, which categorically refuses to support governmental reforms, including the pension one.

According to Tigipko, the pension reform is aimed at improving lives of pensioners. The official said that if the changes proposed by the government were not implemented now, the retirees could not count on decent pensions in the future.

“People will continue to retire and receive 48% of their salary, that means that one day a person will become half poorer”, the Vice Prime Minister said in an interview to Channel 5.

Vice  Prime Minister pointed out that pension in other countries makes 80-90% of the salary, while there are states where retirees receive 100% of salary.

“I know one thing – we need to implement the pension reform because it is the challenge of time for the whole country, for the Ukrainian people”, Serhiy Tigipko is convinced.

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Tymoshenko: Yanukovych is taking hostage relatives of opposition politicians

Posted by the Editor on February 21, 2011


News / 21 February 2011 | 12:49

Tymoshenko: Yanukovych is taking hostage relatives of opposition politicians

Tymoshenko: Yanukovych is taking hostage relatives of opposition politicians

President Viktor Yanukovych, through his control over the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), has begun persecuting relatives of opposition politicians, Tymoshenko’s official website cited the opposition leader as saying.

“Yanukovych has decided to take relatives of opposition politicians hostage because some of the opposition politicians are already in jail. This is genuine terror and Yanukovych is demanding payment for the life and freedom of people close to opposition politicians – that they stop their opposition activities,” Yulia Tymoshenko told journalists today before her latest round of questioning at the PGO.

She recalled on that Feb. 18 a relative of MP Andriy Kozhemyakin was arrested on the basis of oral testimony given by a Kyiv official.

“I can also say that a close relative of Oleksandr Turchynov was also summoned to the Prosecutor General’s Office for questioning today,” she added.

Yulia Tymoshenko also said that SBU investigator Horbatenko has been putting pressure on the wife of BYuT-Batkivshchyna MP Ruslan Lukyanchuk as well as the 77-year-old mother of former head of the State Treasury Tetyana Slyuz.

“Former head of the State Treasury Tetyana Slyuz today is being wrongly terrorized by the Prosecutor General’s Office and the SBU. The police are visiting her 77-year-old mother. Oleksiy Sytnykiv is threatening her with some strange things, telling her that her daughter was killed by opposition forces. Tetyana Slyuz’s mother, who is 77, is in a preinfarction state. Tetyana Slyuz’s son, Andriy, is also being dragged to questionings,” she said.

“They’re intimidating relatives because they want to influence politicians, want in some way to influence our opposition activities,” Yulia Tymoshenko believes.

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Poll shows financial standing worsens for more than half of Ukrainians

Posted by the Editor on February 21, 2011


News / 21 February 2011 | 11:02

Poll shows financial standing worsens for more than half of Ukrainians

Poll shows financial standing worsens for more than half of Ukrainians

A majority of Ukrainians (61.7%) said their financial situation has worsened over the past 12 months. Only a third of respondents (33.3%) said their financial standing has not changed, and for 4% – it has improved. These figures were released by Verkhovna Rada Deputy Chairman Mykola Tomenko, commenting on the findings of the poll conducted by the Ukrainian Democratic Circle on the order of the Institute of Politics, UKRINFORM reported Monday.

The politician noted that a majority of the population in all regions of the country point to the worsening of financial situation over the past 12 months. Thus, one in ten Ukrainian families (11.2%) do not have enough money even for food, and two fifths (41.3%) – although having enough money for food – find it difficult to buy clothes or shoes. The share of families who do not have enough money even for food, in the western, central and eastern regions, is almost identical, but in southern regions there are more such people.

Tomenko also added that the vast majority of Ukrainians (97.5%) in one way or another are concerned over price hike, compared to only 1.7% of those surveyed who do not worry about it. Almost half of respondents believe that the main culprit of the current skyrocketing prices is both current and previous government (49.2%), while 27.6% condemn the current government, and 12.3% – the previous one. At the same time, 7.8% of those surveyed are of the opinion that the price increase – it is an objective consequence of the global crisis, 3.1% failed to answer.

The Ukrainian survey was conducted from January 29 to February 7 by the Ukrainian Democratic Circle on the order of the Institute of Politics. The sampling represents the adult population of Ukraine and covers all regions of the country. A total of 1,200 respondents aged 18 years were interviewed, the statistical sampling error without design effect with certainty of 0.95 does not exceed plus or minus 2.9%.

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