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Archive for October 19th, 2011

Yefremov: The vector of Ukraine’s foreign policy towards European integration remains unchanged

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 18:05

Yefremov: The vector of Ukraine's foreign policy towards European integration remains unchanged

Yefremov: The vector of Ukraine’s foreign policy towards European integration remains unchanged

MP of Ukraine, Chairman of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction Olexander Yefremov said that the main priority of the external development of Ukraine is collaboration with the European countries. And the Association Agreement will be signed by the end of this year, he said on Wednesday, October 19, in the Parliament, ForUm learned in the press office of the Party of Regions.

“Eighteen months ago, at the initiative of the Party of Regions was adopted the Law on domestic and foreign policy of our state. This Law clearly defines the vector of Ukraine’s development on European integration. And President Viktor Yanukovych has repeatedly affirmed that Ukraine’s course remains unchanged, and our priority is cooperation with European countries,” the politician said.

Concerning the Association Agreement signing with the EU, according to Olexander Yefremov, EU Ambassador Manuel Teixeira expressed hope that in December this year it will be signed. “And the other experts who are directly involved in development of this document do not deny this view,” Chairman of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction stated.

He also reminded that on Thursday, the First Vice Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev on behalf of the President flies to Brussels, where he will be involved in refinement of the main points that remain uncoordinated on the Association Agreement with the EU.

“For example, the Association Agreement with the EU doesn’t have the main point, which would give the timing of European integration for Ukraine. On this occasion, there is nothing concrete written. And our party gave a clear signal to EU colleagues in order this point to be written. But we don’t find an understanding of specific timing of this perspective yet,” the politician said.

ForUm

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Free Trade Area: We start with CIS, Europe will come later

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


Analytics / 19 October 2011 | 17:43

Free Trade Area: We start with CIS, Europe will come later

Free Trade Area: We start with CIS, Europe will come later

So, it has happened. Ukraine has taken the first step on the way to free trade area on foreign markets.

On Tuesday, during a meeting of the Heads of Governments of the CIS countries in St.-Petersburg, Prime Ministers of the CIS countries signed the Agreement on free trade areaž

The work over the agreement lasted 3 years, and 14 rounds of negotiations took place.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov underlined that signing of the Agreement on free trade area within the frameworks of the Commonwealth of Independent States and signing of the agreement on EU free trade area are the points of one plan on opening foreign markets for Ukraine for steady economic development.

Mykola Azarov named the signing of the free trade area Agreement as a historical moment, saying it will extend Ukraine’s capabilities on foreign markets.

ForUm addressed experts with a request to reveal merits and flaws of the signed document, as well as to explain the difference between FTA with CIS and FTA with the EU.

Volodymyr Lapa, dorector general of the Ukrainian club of agricultural business:

– The free trade area agreement with CIS is not something unexpected. Ukraine already has bilateral agreements of free trade with a number of CIS countries. Now these agreements have been converted into the united free trade area. We expect that the so-called exemptions will be cancelled eventually. In particular, the sugar issue is rather urgent. For example, Belarus can supply sugar in Ukraine, but Ukraine cannot supply it to Russia.

Speaking about the forthcoming FTA agreement with the EU and its relations with CIS FTA, I believe these two agreements can easily coexist.

Maria Kolesnik, expert on agricultural business:

– It is important to know the conditions of the agreement, because with Russia, for example, we already have a free trade agreement, but there are too many exemptions, and as a result we cannot export some goods.

However, FTA with Europe would be bigger breakthrough. Such cooperation will stimulate production of poultry and its goods. The same thing concerns confectionery.

Agricultural complex and food production in general will reach totally new level of quality. European investors will be interested in placing their production on our territory, as the prime costs are lower here, while the level technology and personnel is quite high.

As for cooperation with CIS, well, Russia is inclined to pressing its partners. For example, 40% of grain harvest in Kazakhstan remained on the fields just because Russia did not provide transportation.

Natalia Vitrenko, leader of progressive Socialist party, doctor of economics:

– FTA with CIS countries is a saving chance for Ukraine to keep up production. Unlike Europe, CIS agreement does not require thousands of conditions. I remember EU set 80000 conditions for all kinds of production in order to make our goods correspond with their standards.

It is obvious Ukraine will never meet these conditions, not now not in three years. But for CIS countries our standards are just fine, and as a result out production will find sale on CIS markets.

However, we should fall under illusion, because FTA with CIS does not simplify customs regime, attraction of investments or free transfer of means, as it could be in case of Ukraine’s membership in the Common Economic Space. It also does not mean gas price reduction, as it could be in case of Ukraine’s membership in the Customs Union. But still, FTA is chance to distribute Ukrainian production on new opening market.

Volodymyr Lanovoi, director of marker reforms Center, former Economy Minsiter:

– Right now it is difficult to give evaluation of the signed agreement, because there are no specific details of it. There are only odd bits of information, which do not depict the whole picture.

But I can say some words about what is know for sure regarding the agreement signed in St.Petersburg. First of all oil, gas and sugar remain out of the duty-free trade, which means import procedure of energy resources remain unchanged.

As for sugar, Ukraine would like to export sugar in Russia, but Russia set very high import duties for this Ukrainian product and prefers to buy cane sugar from all over the world. As a result, limitations for sugar exports lead to high prices on the domestic market and running at a loss of out sugar-processing plants.

That’s why the signing of the agreement of free trade area with CIS is a bitter blow. In fact, it is suppression of Ukraine under Russian interests.

Volodymyr Fesenko, head of ‘Penta’ political research center:

– First of all, I want to remind that this agreement is not something new. The agreement on FTA within CIS was signed back in 1990ies, but it was not fully effective, as Russia made many exemptions. Ukraine initiated the renewal of the agreement back in May, but a number of CIS counties refused to sign it, mostly on mercantile reasons, like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. And there was a suspicion that Russia used the process of ‘unsigning’ as leverage – enter the Customs Union and you’ll get the rest. 

I believe that Russia suddenly agreed to sign the agreement only to reveal the contrast – you see that you have problems with Europe, but CIS is open and waiting, which means we are your real partners and you should prefer us.

However, the FTA agreement with CIS is beneficial for Ukraine, as we have a lot of economic interests in CIS countries. It is more civilized form of trade operations.

As for the differences between FTA with CIS and FTA with EU, the fact is that the agreement with the EU is a form of partial integration with the European Union, not a simple free trade area, which Ukraine has with many countries. It is more advanced format of economic relations, and it is very important step of integration into economic structure of Europe.

ForUm

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Mass food poisoning in Luhansk region school. 41 pupils hospitalized

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 17:40

Mass food poisoning in Luhansk region school. 41 pupils hospitalized

Mass food poisoning in Luhansk region school. 41 pupils hospitalized

October 19, 41 children of Krasnodon, Luhansk region, were hospitalized with food poisoning, ForUm learned from Emergency Control ministry press office.

The children are 1-4 grade pupils of Krasnodon city high school. The preliminary diagnosis is severe gastroenteritis. The condition of the hospitalized is grave.

There are 684 pupils in the school, 272 of them are pupils of 1-4 grade, who study and eat in separate building.

Specialists of the regional sanitary service are carrying out a complex of antiepidemic measures.

Samples of water and food remains were taken for analysis to determine accurate diagnosis.

ForUm

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Azarov told Putin Ukraine will look into Customs Union proposition

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 17:09

Azarov told Putin Ukraine will look into Customs Union proposition

Azarov told Putin Ukraine will look into Customs Union proposition

Ukraine ahs decided to study the possibility of joining technical regulations of the Customs Union, Ukraine’s PM Mykola Azarov said at a meeting of Eurasian economic community in St.Petersburg.

“We have considered the possibility and I charged the Economy ministry to study technical regulations,” he said. The Premier expressed an opinion that such step will significantly simplify the trade operations among the countries-members of the Union.

In his turn, Russian PM Vladimir Putin welcomed the decision saying it is very important step towards integration. Putin also added Russia would provide any possible assistance in agreement making process.

As a reminder, till now the Ukrainian authorities have been persistently refusing the proposition to join the Customs Union, giving preferences to free trade area and Association Agreement with the EU.

ForUm

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Ukraine’s parliament is asked not to forbid homosexuality promotion

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 16:28

Ukraine's parliament is asked not to forbid homosexuality promotion

Ukraine’s parliament is asked not to forbid homosexuality promotion

International organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has addressed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with a request to remove from consideration the draft bill on prohibition of homosexuality promotion in mass media. According to the organization, the document is discriminating towards sexual minorities. Nevertheless, authors of the draft bill do not intend to listen to HRW recommendations.

Human Rights Watch declares the adopted draft bill will result in illegal censorship of information about homosexuality. “Those who support this draft bill doom Ukrainians to ignorance rather than defend the population from any harm,” the letter says. “If the parliament approves the document Ukraine will isolate itself from other countries, members of the council of Ukraine,” HRW representative Boris Dietrich added.

At the same time, one of the authors of the draft bill Evgeny Tsarkov (Communist party) says HRW is ‘not the organization, whose opinion must be always taken into account’. “Ukraine must be protected from sodomy, brought here by Europe, and homosexuals must be offered a treatment. When I walk along the street with my son and see newspapers with kissing men, it violates my constitutional rights. Zoophiles and pedophiles also have desire or animals and children, but we don’t defend them, right,” Tsarkov said. According to him, none of declarations of European organizations will prevent the adoption of the draft bill.

ForUm

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EU says CIS free trade area agreement does not affect relations with Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 15:53

EU says CIS free trade area agreement does not affect relations with Ukraine

EU says CIS free trade area agreement does not affect relations with Ukraine

The European Commission does not see direct influence of the signed by Ukraine CIS free trade area agreement on Ukraine’s relations with the European Union, EC representative John Clancy said in Brussels.

“CIS countries, including Ukraine, are free to conclude trade agreements in accordance with their economic priorities, and that includes other agreements on free trade area,” he said.

The EC representative underlined that the free trade area is not the Customs Union and does not provide for introduction of common tax tariffs at external frontiers.

“CIS agreement on free trade area does not affect our trade relations,” Clancy said.

ForUm

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Defense Ministry of Russia trying to get back United Energy debts for years

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 15:30

Defense Ministry of Russia trying to get back United Energy debts for years

Defense Ministry of Russia trying to get back United Energy debts for years

Defense Ministry of Russia has been trying for years to get back the debts of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine in the amount of 405 million dollars, Defense Minister of Russia Anatoly Serdiukov told Wednesday, according to RIA Novosti.

“We’ve been in the legal proceedings for years, and we will continue defend our position in courts,” Serdiukov told a briefing during his working visit to Kyiv.

“The debt certainly exists,” he noted.

ForUm

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Azarov: There are only a few days left till gas compromise

Posted by the Editor on October 19, 2011


News / 19 October 2011 | 15:00

Azarov: There are only a few days left till gas compromise

Azarov: There are only a few days left till gas compromise

The decision to review gas contracts of 2009 will be made within days, the Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told on briefing in St. Petersburg, according to governmental portal.

“These negotiations, conducted at the level of Presidents and at the level of our managers of fuel and energy complex, show (and yesterday Prime Minister Vladimir Putin confirmed this) that negotiations are close to completion. There are a few days left until we find a compromise solution,” Mykola Azarov said.

He also added that until the adoption the parties agreed not to disclose additional information.

ForUm

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