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Archive for September 5th, 2011

Lytvyn party may merge with Party of Regions

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 17:39

Lytvyn party may merge with Party of Regions

Lytvyn party may merge with Party of Regions

Chairman of the Ukraine’s parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn does not exclude a possibility that his force People’s party may merge with the Party of Regions, he told a briefing.

“I won’t reveal a big secret if I tell that the dialogue about unification of both parties has been held since 2007,” he said.

At the same time he underlined that the decision cannot be made by him personally, as the party leader, but only collectively. “If the country and the party need it, we will make a constructive decision,” Lytvyn noted.

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Ukraine signs declaration on customs cooperation with Moldova and Romania

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 17:10

Ukraine signs declaration on customs cooperation with Moldova and Romania

Ukraine signs declaration on customs cooperation with Moldova and Romania

Chairman of the State Customs Service of Ukraine Ihor Kaletnik, Director General of the Moldovan Customs Service Tudor Balitchi and Head of the Romanian National Customs Authority Viorel Comanita signed a Joint Declaration about tripartite customs cooperation.

A meeting of heads of customs agencies, during which the document was signed, was held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of creation of the Moldovan customs system, UKRINFORM reports.

New tripartite partnership in the customs sector concerns different spheres of customs cooperation and raising efficiency of fighting against violations, simplification of freightage and exchange of experience, including within the framework of European programs.

The signature of the declaration became possible after holding bipartite meetings over recent two years, as a result of which interagency bipartite agreements were concluded on customs cooperation and customs mutual assistance in the sphere of fighting against violations and simplification of freightage.

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Parliament to decide on the future of the Law on Pension Reform

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 16:41

Parliament to decide on the future of the Law on Pension Reform

Parliament to decide on the future of the Law on Pension Reform

On Tuesday, the Parliament will decide on the future of the Law on Pension Reform, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Lytvyn informed at a briefing on Monday, according to rada official portal.

“If everything is alright, tomorrow the Verkhovna Rada will decide on the future of the Law on Pension Reform,” he stated. He informed that the draft resolution by People´s Deputies Olha Bodnar and Yurii Karmazin cancel the resolutions adopted in regard to this law. He explained that the resolution was passed at night, when there were not enough People´s Deputies. Along these lines, V.Lytvyn reminded that at that time the Verkhovna Rada decided to work until the bill on pension reform was scrutinized.

At the same time, the Head of the Parliament informed that the Verkhovna Rada received a proposal concerning application of clause 131 of the Standing Orders of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. V.Lytvyn explained that this clause is applied when technical discrepancies or inconsistencies with the Constitution are discovered while preparing the law for signing.  “If the resolution is not passed, four novations regarding the law will be scrutinized at the session hall,” he stated. According to the Head of the Parliament, they concern the status of the Pension Fund, the date of enactment of the law on pension reform, and the public servants who were permitted to continue working till 65 years of age. V.Lytvyn stated, “It should be entrenched that those who received such permits should be allowed to work by the end of the permission.” Moreover, there is an issue which year should be taken as the basis for calculating the pension.

During a short meeting with the leaders of deputy factions, V.Lytvyn stressed, “It is important to find the way out of the situation, not to destroy the Verkhovna Rada, and not to burn the bridges to find the compromises in the parliament.”

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France: ratification of EU-Ukraine association agreement will depend on outcome of Yulia Tymoshenko trial

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 16:16

France: ratification of EU-Ukraine association agreement will depend on outcome of Yulia Tymoshenko trial

France: ratification of EU-Ukraine association agreement will depend on outcome of Yulia Tymoshenko trial

If a political association agreement is signed between the EU and Ukraine, its ratification will depend on whether the ‘unjustified’ legal proceedings against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko are scrapped, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Saturday.

“The majority view (in the EU) is that the agreement can be finalised only if the Tymoshenko case is solved,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said at a press conference in Sopot, Poland, after an informal summit of EU foreign ministers. “It means having a free and fair trial and abandoning the unjustified charges against her.”

The EU-Ukraine deal is expected to be a main topic of discussion at a Warsaw summit on September 29-30 between the EU and its Eastern neighbours.

Calling on the EU to be ‘loyal’ towards its Eastern partners, Juppe said they should be told clearly that there was no chance for them to join the club. “We should not let them imagine” that, he said.

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Cabinet urges parliament to speed up realization of visa free regime with EU

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 15:52

Cabinet urges parliament to speed up realization of visa free regime with EU

Cabinet urges parliament to speed up realization of visa free regime with EU

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine asks Parliament to consider in the accelerated manner the bills “On combating human trafficking” and “On legal status of foreigners and persons without citizenship”.

According to the First vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Andriy Klyuyev, adoption of these documents would accelerate realization of the national plan of action concerning simplification of the visa regime with the European Union.

Andriy Klyuyev reminded that both of bills have already been accepted in the first reading in July.

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Azarov informed Martin Schulz on cooperation trend of the Party of Regions and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 15:34

Azarov informed Martin Schulz on cooperation trend of the Party of Regions and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

Azarov informed Martin Schulz on cooperation trend of the Party of Regions and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

Chairman of the Party of Regions, Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov sent to the Chairman of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament Martin Schulz a letter, in which he expressed his views on cooperation of the Party of Regions and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and on the prospects of Ukraine’s European integration.

Also, in addition to plans and intentions of cooperation with European partners of the Party of Regions in the new political season, taking into consideration the attention of the European community to the trial on ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is accused of abuse of authority, Chairman of the Party of Regions informed Martin Schulz on the circumstances of this case.

See brief summary of the case

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The Case of Ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – Azarov

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


Analytics / 5 September 2011 | 15:16

The Case of Ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko - Azarov

The Case of Ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – Azarov

Brief summary

Ukraine has been independent for already 20 years, but only after the Presidential elections of 2010 the new Government began to carry out a broad programme of reforms in every aspect of state and civil life. This policy has met positive response from the international community. The downfall of the economy has stopped, macroeconomic indicators have changed into positive figures, enabling Ukraine to renew its programme of cooperation with the IMF.

A crucial element of the reform is the fight against corruption. As a result of anti-corruption measures more than 400 criminal cases were opened against top figures in the executive and self-governing bodies. Against this background criminal cases against persons from the past government are just an insignificant percentage of all cases opened so far.

The leadership of the country is aware of the great responsibility to the people of Ukraine and to the international community in relation to the resonance case of the former Prime Minister Mrs. Yulia Tymoshenko. This case is in fact the indicator of the maturity of democratic standards and institutions in Ukraine.

According to the Constitution of Ukraine and to the European democratic law principles the Ukrainian State functions on the basis of legislative, executive and judicial powers. That means neither President nor Government or Verhovna Rada shall have any straight influence over the functioning of the national judicial system, inter alia, in the case of the former Prime Minister. Mr.Yanukovich, President of Ukraine, stressed this several times in his public statements.

Of particular concern is the fact that the Mrs. Tymoshenko’s defense together with some political forces, realizing the seriousness of charges, began a loud and deliberate campaign in Ukraine and abroad to discredit the court and the trial itself.

The aim of this campaign is to disrupt the trial, to harm the national and international prestige of the current government on the eve of parliamentary elections in 2012 and, eventually, to try to recover much lost popularity ratings of Mrs. Tymoshenko. 

The defendant side actively imposes its opinion about alleged political motives of the “Tymoshenko case”, about biased investigation and the court, as well as about Ukraine’s leadership allegedly interfering into the case proceedings.

The aim of this non-paper is to remind some basic facts about this case Mrs. Tymoshenko should either confirm herself or should not confront in her public statements. It is necessary to keep in mind, however, that the last instance to make final conclusions is the Court.

 Clear facts about the substance of Mrs. Tymoshenko’s case.

1. According to the paragraph 4, Art. 6 of the Law on International Treaties of Ukraine, adopted in its initial version as early as in 1993 and based on the principles of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969, authorization to conduct negotiations and to sign international treaties on behalf of the Government of Ukraine is provided exclusively by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as a collegial body. The Prime Minister herself could not authorize anybody to conduct negotiations on behalf of the Government.

2. The Government of Ukraine has been the only responsible side and a sovereign guarantor on behalf of Ukraine in the sphere of purchasing the Russian natural gas during all the 20 years of relations with the Russian Federation.

3. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine held two consecutive meetings on 19 and 21 January of 2009, dedicated to the negotiations with Russia on the natural gas deal and on the item of issuing relevant authorization (directives) to the Prime Minister. No respective decisions or directives whatsoever were issued at those meetings.

According to the official verbatim report of the meeting of 19 January 2009, the drafted directives have not been approved due to the position of the majority of the ministers, who were against the proposed formula of the gas price.

4. However, in the course of negotiations, a document, entitled “Directives of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine” and having all necessary requisites of authorization to conduct negotiations and to conclude agreements, including Mrs. Tymoshenko’s signature and the official Governmental seal, has been delivered to the members of Ukrainian negotiating team. This document, taken as genuine, has finally determined the position of the Ukrainian side on the terms of the gas treaty with the Russian Federation, inflicting substantial damage to the national interests of Ukraine as well as significant financial losses.

 Conclusions:

  • Mrs. Tymoshenko and her accomplices have authorized the Ukrainian governmental team to negotiate with Russia by forging the decision of the Government, which in reality did not exist.
  • Mrs. Tymoshenko has abused her powers in negotiating with Russia, since she did not have the right to decide on her own about conferring any directives to the negotiators.
  • In case the Cabinet of Ministers would have approved the said powers to negotiate and to sign the agreement, there would be a place for the political responsibility of the whole Government. But in the situation where the Prime Minister made the decision alone, abusing her powers and forging necessary procedures, she clearly became liable to the criminal proceedings, and not to political responsibility.

 Clear facts about Mrs. Tymoshenko’s trial.

1. The Ukrainian Government and the Kiev City administration have guaranteed the unprecedented openness of the trial, permitting direct TV broadcast of the court hearings as well as permanent civil protest actions in the immediate vicinity of the court premises. The judge, who is considering the case, shows outstanding patience and tolerance to the parties in trial.

2. In spite of this, Mrs. Tymoshenko permanently and demonstratively humiliates the court, with insults and threats, especially during direct TV broadcasts. At the same time her supporters which gather near the court premises, day by day are disturbing the court by creating permanent noise and pressure on the trial participants arriving at the court. Among others, they assaulted the witnesses Mr. Shlapak and Mr. Yuschenko.

3. Permanent and grave violations of the norms of the procedural law and of traditional morality forced the court to rule to detain Mrs. Tymoshenko, who seemed to provoke the court to make such a rule with the aim of increasing her publicity.

Clear fact about damage to the national interests of Ukraine as the result of the agreements concluded by the former Prime Minister without proper authorisation.

As the result of the agreements made by the former Prime Minister, Ukraine has received perhaps the worst conditions on Russian natural gas imports among all consumer States.

1. The price of Russian gas imported by Ukraine has skyrocketed. In 2008 Ukraine paid $179,5 for the thousand cubic meters of Russian gas. In 2011 the average annual price will reach $309 for the thousand cubic meters (including the discount of $100 due to the Kharkiv agreements of 2010), and in the 4th quarter of the year it will reach $401. Just to compare, if the basic formula for the gas price calculation for Ukraine had been the same as for Germany, Ukraine would have paid in 2011 for the Russian gas only $233 for the thousand cubic meters.

2. The contracted basic price in the overall Russian gas price formula for Ukraine is established at the level of $450, which is significantly higher than the average price for the EU member states.

3. The price of transit of Russian gas through the territory of Ukraine is understated by almost a half. For example, in the first quarter of the year 2011 the trans
it tariff was $2,84 for the transportation of 1 000 cubic meters of gas for a distance of 100 km while the rationally required tariff should be at least $5,85.

4. According to the agreement signed by Mrs. Tymoshenko, Ukraine is obliged to purchase the yearly volume of 52 bln. cubic meters of the Russian gas, which significantly exceeds real demand, without the right to re-export it. For example, Ukraine intends to purchase only 40 bln cubic meters in 2011, more than enough for all its demands.

5. Consequently, if gas is not purchased in the volumes defined by the contract, a fine of 300 % of the contractual value that has not been purchased, is imposed on Ukraine.

6. Only in 2011 financial losses, inflicted by this agreement, are estimated at nearly $5 bln. Similar or even higher losses are expected for the following years.

Clear facts considering the possible conflict of interest in Mrs. Tymoshenko’s actions.

The Ministry of Defense of Russia in 1996 signed an agreement with the United Energy Systems Corporation, headed at that time by Mrs. Tymoshenko, on the barter operation of selling gas in exchange for goods for the need of the Ministry. The terms of the contract have never been fully met by the Corporation, and there is still a corporate debt of $405 mln on its part, as confirmed by the letter from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

This puts a question mark on Mrs. Tymoshenko’s ability to impartially handle the gas negotiations while having such a substantial conflict of interests.

Official website of the Party of Regions

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National Bank: Gas tariffs remain main obstacle to IMF loan

Posted by the Editor on September 5, 2011


News / 5 September 2011 | 15:02

National Bank: Gas tariffs remain main obstacle to IMF loan

National Bank: Gas tariffs remain main obstacle to IMF loan

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has fulfilled almost all of the conditions of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), apart from a rise in gas tariffs, since a sharp increase in tariffs would be tantamount to political suicide.

National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Governor Serhiy Arbuzov announced this in an interview with the Mirror Weekly, UKRINFORM reported.

“Unfortunately, this question is too politicized. Taking into account the fact that almost every politician is trying to speculate on these things, making a show out of this and such a socially significant event with a sharply negative tone, the government found itself in a situation where the required sharp rise [in gas tariffs] is tantamount to political suicide. On the other hand, the IMF still does not want to hear about the revision of the terms,” he said.

At the same time, Arbuzov described the results of the Ukrainian delegation’s recent visit to Washington as “positive.”

“The main positive thing, in my opinion, is that we are continuing to cooperate with the IMF and look forward to the arrival of its mission. And as a result of a delay in the visit, the government received more time to complete a number of programs,” he said.

As a part of implementing a program of cooperation with the IMF, Ukraine in 2011 promised to reduce the budget deficit by increasing gas tariffs for households and raising the retirement age.

Earlier, it was planned that an IMF mission would visit Kyiv August 29 through September 9, but it had been later postponed until the end of October 2011.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, while commenting on the postponement of the visit by the IMF mission to Kyiv, said that Ukraine was not experiencing an acute need to attract IMF funds.

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