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Archive for December 20th, 2011

Ukraine’s missing Femen activists resurface in Belarus

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 17:30

Ukraine's missing Femen activists resurface in Belarus

Ukraine’s missing Femen activists resurface in Belarus

Three Ukrainian activists from the feminist movement Femen, who disappeared in Belarus yesterday after staging a topless protest near Minsk’s KGB headquarters, have resurfaced, Femen’s head Anna Gutsol told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

The semi-naked activists, Inna Shevchenko, Oksana Shachko and Alexandra Nemchinova gathered in front of the Minsk KGB headquarters on Monday, marking the one-year anniversary of a crackdown on the opposition that followed protests against the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko. Soon after the protests, the women disappeared.

Gutsol said the activists were found on Tuesday in a forest in the Gomelsky district of Belarus after one of the women finally managed to get in touch with her. They claim the police subjected them to humiliating treatment.

“They were beaten up and doused with oil, they were threatened with being set on fire and their hair was hacked off with a knife,” Gutsol told RIA Novosti, adding that the women also had their documents seized.

Femen said earlier in its Livejournal blog that the activists managed to elude police for a time, but were detained on Monday night at the Minsk railway station. They were blindfolded and put on a bus that proceeded to drive all night long.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus has been notified, she said. Embassy personnel will collect the activists soon and organize their trip back to Ukraine.

Gutsol had earlier blamed the Belarusian security services for their disappearance.

Spokespersons for both the Belarusian KGB and the Interior Ministry refused to comment.

Besides the activists, the Belarusian police also arrested on Monday the Femen camerawoman, Australian journalist Kitti Green, but later in the day she was deported to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

Femen’s trademark topless protests have been used on a number of occasions to raise public awareness on various domestic and international issues. Most of the activists are university students.

Femen was protesting last year’s violent crackdown on the opposition in Minsk, when hundreds of people were detained during protests that broke out following presidential elections that gave Lukashenko almost 80 percent of the vote.

The opposition had said the polls were rigged. International election observers were also critical.

ForUm

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State Agency for Investment expects at least three contracts after Ukraine’s investment road-show

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 16:55

State Agency for Investment expects at least three contracts after Ukraine's investment road-show

State Agency for Investment expects at least three contracts after Ukraine’s investment road-show

Vladyslav Kaskiv, the Chairman of the State Agency for Investment and National Projects, believes that following a road-show to showcase Ukraine’s investment capacity in the world at least three contracts will be signed worth at least USD 2 billion, he told reporters in Kyiv on Tuesday, according to UKRINFORM.

“At least three contracts will be signed for an amount not less than USD 2 billion following the road-show. Already, there are more than 100 official requests from road show participants to the agency about the partnership and implementation of national projects,” Kaskiv emphasized. According to him, the presentations of Ukraine, which this October-December were held in four regions (Europe, North America, the Near and Far East) were attended by over 900 CEOs from leading global companies.

Kaskiv also added that the road-show was accompanied by a media campaign, which resulted in nearly 3,500 publications about Ukraine. In addition, during the very road show about 500 publications of the world’s leading print and electronic media were released.

Thanks to the road-show, Kaskiv says, the world’s awareness about the investment potential of Ukraine has increased.

ForUm

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EBRD pledges USD 100 million to support Ukrainian small business

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 16:24

EBRD pledges USD 100 million to support Ukrainian small business

EBRD pledges USD 100 million to support Ukrainian small business

The EBRD launched a US$ 100 million lending facility for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Ukraine. The facility, which will be utilised by the end of 2013, will provide much-needed support for smaller businesses in the country and will concentrate on the development of new loan products, including rural and agricultural lending through local commercial banks, ForUm learned from the EBRD press office.  

Credit Europe Bank Ukraine (CEBU) is the first bank to use the facility through a US$ 10 million loan signed in Kiev today. CEBU, which operates in 11 regions of Ukraine, plans to use loan proceeds to increase its MSME portfolio four-fold to become a major player in this market segment within two years. This is the first project in Ukraine between the EBRD and CEBU, the Ukrainian subsidiary of the Turkish Fiba Group. It builds on the successful cooperation between the two institutions in Russia.

The new MSME facility is the third large-scale EBRD programme designed for support of smaller businesses in this country since 1994. Their total value is almost US$ 520 million, which makes the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development the largest and most consistent lender to small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine.

The facility is supported by the government of Denmark and the EU Neighbouring Investment Facility, which will finance advisory services to partner banks and specialised centralised training to the MSME facility clients.

The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine. As of 15 November 2011, the Bank had committed over 7 billion (US$ 9.3 billion) through 287 projects.

ForUm

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Yanukovych: Ukraine ready for active cooperation within CIS

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 15:50

Yanukovych: Ukraine ready for active cooperation within CIS

Yanukovych: Ukraine ready for active cooperation within CIS

Ukraine is ready to actively cooperate within the Commonwealth of Independent States, President Viktor Yanukovych said in Moscow at a meeting of the CIS Heads of States Council.

“The statement I made (at the previous meeting of the Council) that we would take an active stand and take active part in the Commonwealth – we do it,” said Viktor Yanukovych, adding that Ukraine acceded a number of CIS agreements.

He expressed confidence that effective cooperation in the framework of the Commonwealth would continue, especially in the current difficult economic situation in the world. “The global economy compels us to find more and more tools of integration. We see competition on the world markets. We gather each year and discuss, how we should consolidate our efforts to be stronger,” he said.

ForUm

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President: Ukraine ready to discuss simultaneous ratification of CIS free trade agreement

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 15:18

President: Ukraine ready to discuss simultaneous ratification of CIS free trade agreement

President: Ukraine ready to discuss simultaneous ratification of CIS free trade agreement

Ukraine is ready to discuss simultaneous ratification of the Agreement on Free Trade within the CIS, President Viktor Yanukovych said at the 20th Commonwealth of Independent States Summit in Moscow, ForUm learned from the presidential press office.

The President praised the creation of free trade within the CIS, stating that it was a long-awaited decision pending discussion for several years. “We all wish that we could remove barriers to goods, services and finance movement. We now watch these instrumets being created,” he said.

ForUm

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Prosecution draws attention to Tymoshenko’s shoes

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 14:46

Prosecution draws attention to Tymoshenko's shoes

Prosecution draws attention to Tymoshenko’s shoes

The prosecution in Tymoshenko’s appeal believes that former Premier tries to manipulate public conscience demanding to bring her to court lying down, representative of the state prosecution Lilia Frolova told journalists during a break in court hearings.

“I believe this is pure manipulation of public conscience. Do you remember Mass Medias showed on TV the cell of the medical wing, where Tymoshenko is being kept now? I paid attention to the shoes near the bed – there were big platform shoes. Tell me please, if a person has pain in the back would she wear platform shoes or heels? The answer is no,” Frolova said.

As a reminder, today’s court hearings are going in Tymoshenko’s absence. Earlier this morning Tymoshenko asked the management of the Kyiv detention facility to deliver her to court for the hearing in her appeal.

“In spite of her health and the fact that she can’t walk on her own, because there is so much speculation about her health, she demanded that she be brought to court,” Serhiy Vlasenko told journalists before the start of the court session.

ForUm

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Party of Regions preparing for worst gas price

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 14:11

Party of Regions preparing for worst gas price

Party of Regions preparing for worst gas price

Head of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction Olexander Yefremov says that the budget for 2012 will be tough, but all social guarantees will be fulfilled.

“The main question that should be considered at this session is the budget for 2012 and the program of socio-economic development of Ukraine,” the politician told a briefing in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, ForUm learned from the Party of Regions press office.

Adoption of the budget, according to Olexander Yefremov, will be a difficult decision, because the gas price still remains the one signed by Tymoshenko. “This is the highest gas price in Europe. In fact, the state is paying more than $ 6 billion a year. It also affects the formation of the budget,” the MP said.

Yefremov also expressed hope that negotiations with Russia will be completed positively for Ukraine, and it will be agreed to reduce gas price. “Today the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov flies to Russia on this issue. So there is hope that till the end of the year this issue will be resolved,” he said.

“Hopes are one thing, but the real course of events is quite another one. And today we are preparing for the worst events, that is why we pass the budget on the basis of gas price of 416 dollars. Next year’s budget will be tough, but it will fulfill all social guarantees. Talks that some social benefits will not be funded are not true,” Olexander Yefremov said.

“On Friday, December 23, the parliament will adopt the budget. With this we will finish the work for the current year and will perform the tasks, set before the parliament in 2011,” he concluded.

ForUm

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Ukraine to receive more than $300 million from Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS

Posted by the Editor on December 20, 2011


News / 20 December 2011 | 13:46

Ukraine to receive more than $300 million from Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS

Ukraine to receive more than $300 million from Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed an agreement with Ukraine on financing the programs to curb HIV/AIDS.

The total amount of the grant for Ukraine is $301.7 million, the press service of the Ukrainian Network of People with HIV reported, according to UKRINFORM.

Now the Fund guarantees financing in the amount of $86 million for 2012-2013.

The main recipients that will be responsible for implementation of the grant are the Ukrainian health ministry’s center for prevention and control of AIDS, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV.

The grant is aimed at activities for AIDA prevention, treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and their environment, the general population.

ForUm

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