Monthly Archives: May 2006

AUR#702 May 30 Macroeconomic Situation Update By SigmaBleyzer; New Website: TravelToUkraine.org; World Cup Warmup; NATO Is The Enemy; NO To NATO:

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 702
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
WASHINGTON, D.C., TUESDAY, MAY 30, 2006 
           –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
         Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.               UKRAINE – ECONOMIC SITUATION – APRIL 2006
REPORT & ANALYSIS: By Olga Pogarska and Edilberto Segura
SigmaBleyzer Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
The Bleyzer Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 30, 2006
 
2DESTINATION: UKRAINE, A LIBERATED LION CITY IS ROARING
                Westerners have discovered Lviv, a place of fine dining,
                    Baroque and Rococo treasures and excellent prices.
By Barry Zwick, Special to The Times, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California, Sunday, May 28, 2006

3.            NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHED: TRAVEL TO UKRAINE

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #702, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006

5.   TEN UNDERPRICED AND ON-THE-RISE EUROPEAN CITIES
                           NUMBER 6 OF 10: KYIV, UKRAINE
By Rae-Jean Stokes, Staff, SmarterTravel.com
Boston, Massachusetts, May, 2006

6.                      UKRAINE – A BRADT TRAVEL GUIDE
Author: Andrew Evans, Washington, D.C., January 2004
1st edition (reprinted with amendments 2005)
Bradt Travel Guides, 336 pages · 8 pages colour photos
30 maps, ISBN: 1 84162 084 X £13.95

7. TOUR OF FORMER GERMAN VILLAGES IN CRIMEA, UKRAINE
        Visiting Hoffnungstal, Daughter Colony of the Glueckstal Villages
                     Visiting the village of Kassel, Glueckstal District
Michael Miller and Tour Members, Internet Cafe
Odessa, Ukraine, Saturday-Monday, May 27-29, 2006

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #702, Article 7
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006

8BENEFIT CONCERT IN MEMORY OF DARIA TELIZYN (1961-2005)
         Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, Friday, June 2nd, at 7:00 P.M.
The Washington Group Cultural Fund
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006

9VOLOSHKY UKRAINIAN DANCE ENSEMBLE TO PRESENT STEPPES
        A Ukrainian Dance and Music Spectacular, Saturday, August 19, 2006
          The gala evening will honor Mr. Anatolij Kryvokhyzha with the first
                       annual  STEPPES TOWARD LIBERTY AWARD
By Anne Ehrhart, Managing Director for Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
A Ukrainian Summer, Supplement to The Ukrainian Weekly
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, May 7, 2006

10.                  UKRAINE SHINES IN WORLD CUP WARMUP

Chris Lehourites, AP Worldstream, Monday, May 29, 2006

11UKRAINIAN TYCOON, DMYTRO FIRTASH, UNVEILS PLAN

                              TO UPGRADE TITANIUM PLANT
By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times,
London, United Kingdom Sunday, May 28 2006

12DOZENS PROTEST US NAVY, NATO SUPPLIES IN UKRAINE 
Associated Press (AP), Kiev,Ukraine, Monday, May 29, 2006 

13.    RESIDENTS OF CRIMEAN TOWN RALLY TO BAN NATO 

Ukrayina TV, Donetsk, in Ukrainian 1800 gmt 29 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 29, 2006

14.       RUSSIAN TV PORTRAYS NATO RECEIVED AS “ENEMY”
                                 IN UKRAINE’S CRIMEA
Centre TV, Moscow, in Russian 1550 gmt 29 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 29, 2006

15. UKRAINE BLOC SLAMS RUSSIAN DUMA MOVE ON CRIMEA 
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1325 gmt 29 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 29, 2006

16GAZPROM REBUFFS EU OVER ACCESS TO RUSSIAN PIPELINES 

By Thomas Catan in London and Arkady Ostrovsky in Moscow
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, May 30 2006

17.                                    STILL A GENOCIDE
                         There should be no ambiguity about Darfur.
LEAD EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006; Page A16

18.                                 EXCLUDING FRIENDS
   The Senate moves to keep branding human rights victims as terrorists.
EDITORIAL
: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006; Page A16

19.       AT AUSCHWITZ, POPE INVOKES A ‘HEARTFELT CRY’ 
           In Poignant Visit, Pontiff Prays In German at Nazi Death Camp
By Craig Whitlock, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.. Mon, May 29, 2006; Pg A14

20.  AUSCHWITZ SPEECH SEEN AS MOVING BUT INCOMPLETE
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
Reuters, Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 29, 2006

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1
         UKRAINE – ECONOMIC SITUATION – APRIL 2006
 

REPORT & ANALYSIS: By Olga Pogarska and Edilberto Segura
SigmaBleyzer Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
The Bleyzer Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 30, 2006
                                               SUMMARY
[1] The Ukrainian economy continued to revive; over the first quarter of
2006, real GDP grew by an encouraging 2.4% yoy.

[2] Over January-March, the consolidated fiscal balance posted a surplus of
0.4% of GDP; however, considerable recurrent social expenditures on the

back of decelerating budget revenues raise concerns.

[3] Since the government suspended the issuance of new debt instruments in
autumn last year, the stock of Ukraine’s total public debt continues to
decline.

[4] In March, consumer inflation decelerated to 8.6% yoy; however, this is

a temporary phenomenon, as the government has already approved price
increases on gas and electricity and is considering further increases in order
to bring service tariffs to cost-covering levels.

[5] The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) continued the policy of de-facto
pegging the hryvnia exchange rate to the US dollar. Since the beginning of
the year, the NBU’s gross international reserves declined by 11% to $17.3
billion, but were comfortably above the three-months of imports threshold.

[6] The merchandise trade balance continued to worsen, registering a $1
billion deficit over January-February 2006; however, some positive
developments were observed in the commodity structure of Ukraine’s foreign
trade flows.

                                     ECONOMIC GROWTH


In March, economic activity in the country continued to revive. Real GDP
grew by 2.4% yoy during January-March, significantly accelerating to 4% yoy
in March compared to 2.2% yoy in February. Unlike in previous years, the
largest contributors to economic growth were services.

In particular, value added in transport accelerated to 6.7% yoy over the
period, up from 5.9% yoy over January-February. Growth of value added in
distribution of electricity, gas, and water (utilities) decelerated to 7.4%
yoy (down from 9% yoy in January-February), but remained the second largest
contributor to GDP growth. Domestic trade continued to recover this year;
value added in the sector accelerated to 2.2% yoy over the first quarter, up
from 1.6% yoy over January-February.

January-March data signaled the revival of construction and the extractive
industry. For the first time since the beginning of 2005, value added in
construction increased by 5% yoy, a significant improvement from -0.2% yoy
in January-February. The acceleration occurred primarily on account of
higher growth in residential construction and infrastructure works, with the
latter enhanced by improved budget financing.

Following the price hike for imported gas, the increasing demand for
domestic energy resources contributed to the acceleration of value added
growth in the extractive industry (up by 3.4% yoy over January-March,
compared to a 2.5% yoy increase in the previous period).

Positive developments were also observed in manufacturing, which reported a
0.8% reduction in value added over January-March, a notable improvement
compared to the first months of the year (-1.8% yoy in January-February).
The improvement in industrial performance was primarily driven by
food-processing and machine-building. Food-processing demonstrated a solid
7.7% yoy increase in output over January-March, encouraged by 24.1% yoy real
income growth of households.

Production expansion in machine-building accelerated to 9.1% yoy, up from
8.6% yoy over the first two months of the year, which may reflect the
recovering external demand for Ukraine’s machinery and increasing investment
demand in the country stemming from the need for technical renovation of
existing production capacities.

Ukrainian metallurgy, which is energy intensive and vulnerable to changes in
external demand, showed signs of recovery after an increase in gas prices, a
fall of world steel prices and a shortage of gas supplies in the winter
months. In March, metallurgical output increased by an encouraging 2.7% yoy,
but fell by 1.7% yoy in the three months to date. Metallurgical production
may continue to rebound in the coming months as world steel prices have been
on an upward trend since mid-February.

On the downside, coke and oil-refining production fell by 21.3% yoy over
January-March, a reflection of lower demand on the side of metallurgical
enterprises and the reduction of import tariffs on oil products introduced
in 2005.

Despite recent improvements, GDP and industrial output are forecasted to
show moderate growth in 2006 – 2.8% yoy and 3% yoy respectively, according
to the recent forecast by the Ministry of Economy. The forecast looks quite
realistic as real sector performance this year will be negatively affected
by higher prices on energy resources, sluggish investment activity in the
first half of the year due to political uncertainty (related to
parliamentary elections and a formation of a coalition government), and
worsening of external conditions for Ukrainian exports.

On the upside, the driving force of economic growth in 2006 will be domestic
consumption stimulated by further increase in household real income.

                                         FISCAL POLICY

According to preliminary data, the consolidated budget posted a small
surplus of UAH 380 million ($75 million) in January-March, which is
equivalent to about 0.4% of period GDP. The consolidated budget usually

runs a surplus at the beginning of the year due to under-execution of
expenditures, turning to a deficit closer to the end of the year.

This year, however, the trend is much steeper, suggesting that the
consolidated budget balance may reverse into a deficit in the coming months.
Actually, for the first quarter 2006, the state budget has already reported
a deficit of UAH 1.6 billion (or 1.7% of period GDP) while it was in surplus
of UAH 2.1 billion (about 2.5% of period GDP) in the corresponding period
last year.

Consolidated budget revenues increased by a nominal 29% yoy to UAH 32.9
billion ($6.52 billion) at the end of March; however, their rate of increase
was slightly lower than expected considering the low base effect (amendments
to the 2005 budget, eliminating a number of tax privileges and exemptions as
well as free economic zones, became effective in April 2005). According to
State Treasury information, revenues of the general fund of the state budget
were just 2.7% above the target for the period.

Tax receipts, accounting for about 70% of total state budget expenditures,
was fully in line with target, while non-tax revenues were over-executed by
15.3%. At the same time, data suggests some deterioration of fiscal
discipline. In particular, revenues from enterprise profit tax (EPT) were
under-fulfilled by 21.6%, which may be attributed to sluggish economic
growth, reduction of enterprise profitability in the industrial sector and
increasing tax evasion.

However, the shortfall in EPT collections was compensated for by 17.1%
over-execution of value added tax (VAT) receipts. High growth of VAT
proceeds is primarily attributed to booming imports, stimulated by robust
domestic demand. In addition, fiscal authorities reported a decline in VAT
refund arrears by about 4% in the first quarter to UAH 616.3 million ($122
million).

Over the period, consolidated budget expenditures grew by about 45% yoy to
UAH 32.6 billion ($6.45 billion), significantly up from 36% yoy a month
before. At the same time, the acceleration occurred on the back of
under-execution of expenditures (typical for the beginning of the year.)

According to State Treasury information, expenditures of the general fund of
the state budget were under-fulfilled by 8.7% over January-March 2006
compared to 7% in the respective period last year. The acceleration may be
explained by considerable social liabilities and a low base effect as a
number of recurrent social payment increases came into effect in April last
year.

As the Ministry of Finance did not issue new debt instruments on both
domestic and external markets in the first quarter of this year, the stock
of public debt (guaranteed and non-guaranteed) declined by 3.6% year-to-date
(ytd) to $14.9 billion at the end of March, which translates into 15.8% of
forecasted full-year GDP.

External debt declined by 4.4% ytd to $11.2 billion (or 11.2% of forecasted
2006 GDP) as the government met the interest and principal payments on
Eurobonds due in March. Domestic debt diminished by 1.3% ytd to $3.6 billion
due to repayment of domestic bonds (auctions of domestic securities were
suspended in mid-2005).

According to the 2006 state budget law, the government plans rather low new
borrowings (about $61 million and $230 million on domestic and external
markets respectively), while the forecasted full-year budget deficit of 2.5%
of GDP will be primarily financed by “Kryvorizhstal” privatization receipts
accumulated on the treasury account.

At the same time, considering faster than expected shrinkage of the
consolidated budget surplus and the sluggish privatization process (the
proceeds from privatization amounted to UAH 53.1 million as of the end of
March, or 2.5% of the targeted amount for 2006), the government may have to
resort to larger borrowings. In any case, the budget is likely to be amended
shortly after the new government is formed.

                                        MONETARY POLICY

In March, the consumer price index (CPI) decelerated to 8.6% yoy, down from
10.7% yoy a month before. The price growth slowdown was the result of money
supply growth deceleration, government measures to stabilize the situation
on particular markets (sugar and gasoline), and deceleration of service
tariffs, albeit temporary. By components, the driving force of the consumer
price deceleration was the descending prices on food products, which account
for more than 60% in the consumer basket.

The food price index decelerated to 8.5% yoy, considerably down from 11.4%
yoy in February, primarily thanks to lower price growth on sugar, meat and
milk. A surge in sugar prices by 25% month-over-month (mom) in February was
caused by an increase in sugar prices in Russia (which, in turn, were
affected by soaring world prices for white and raw sugar), which stimulated
Ukraine’s sugar exports to Russia.

However, due to licensing of sugar exports introduced by Ukrainian
authorities in February, sugar prices started to decelerate in March,
advancing by a moderate 0.7% mom. Meat and milk prices continued to
decelerate to 2.7% yoy and 11.6% yoy (down from 9% yoy and 14.2% yoy
respectively), which is explained by domestic market saturation after Russia
introduced bans on these products at the beginning of the year.

Non-food prices continued their moderate descending trend posting a 3.6% yoy
increase, down from 3.8% yoy in February. Despite soaring world crude oil
prices, non-food price developments are unlikely to change considerably in
the coming months due to a high base effect, the low share of this group in
the non-food consumer basket (about 4.5%), and an agreement between the
government and oil-traders to keep from abrupt increases in gasoline prices
during the spring sowing campaign.

Services tariffs decelerated slightly to 14.2% yoy in March (down from 14.6%
in February), but the trend will reverse in the coming months as the
government declared intentions to bring service tariffs to cost-covering
levels in two years. Gas and electricity prices, for instance, were kept
unchanged since 1999, at a level considerably below the cost-covering level.
The first wave of administered price increases will occur in May as the
government has already approved a 25% increase in gas and electricity prices
starting May 1st.

In March, the growth of the monetary base and money supply continued to
decelerate as a result of considerable sale interventions by the NBU and
slowing growth of deposits to the banking system. In particular, the growth
of the monetary base declined sharply to 25.2% yoy, down from 36.4% yoy in
February, while money supply growth decelerated more moderately to 49.2% yoy
compared to 52.1% yoy a month before.

The developments of monetary aggregates were primarily driven by NBU
measures to balance the foreign exchange market. During March, the NBU sold
$724.4 million to keep the hryvnia exchange rate stable at 5.05 UAH/$. As a
result, NBU gross international reserves declined to $17.3 billion, or 11%
since the beginning of the year. At the same time, the import coverage
constituted 4.1 months of future imports at the end of March, notably above
the three-month benchmark.

Commercial bank deposits continued to decelerate, advancing by 40.8% yoy
(down from 50.3% yoy in February), reflecting the effect of an increasing
statistical base, declining deposit rates (which are below the annual
inflation rate) and political uncertainty related to parliamentary
elections.

Despite deceleration, the growth of deposits, together with March’s easing
of monetary policy, was high enough to support commercial banks’ lending
activities. Slight deceleration of the growth of bank loans to the real
sector to 65% yoy from 66.1% yoy a month before is attributable to a high
statistical base (in the corresponding period last year, commercial banks
resumed their lending programs with the end of political instability).

According to NBU data, there is evidence of a growing financing gap in the
banking system (the difference between the banks’ loans disbursed to the
real economy and attracted deposits), which may signify liquidity
difficulties in the future. Already in March, the interest rate on interbank
credits, the closest indicator of banks’ liquidity and monetary stance,
started to rise and reached 4.9% per annum by the end of the month (up from
2.8% per annum at the beginning of the month).

This happened despite the relaxation of monetary policy in March through the
NBU’s fine-tuning instruments (since the beginning of the month, the daily
requirement for the amount of commercial bank funds to be kept on the
correspondent account with the NBU was reduced from 90% to 70% of the
previous month’s obligatory reserves). Thus, the NBU may take additional
measures to support commercial banks liquidity in the coming months.

                      INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND CAPITAL

Over January-February, Ukraine’s merchandise foreign trade performance
continued to deteriorate on the back of declining exports and booming
imports. In particular, goods exports declined by a cumulative 5.4% yoy over
the period, while imports surged by an impressive 39.6% yoy. As a result,
the two-month merchandise trade balance registered a deficit above $1
billion.

Exports was negatively affected by a weak industrial sector, declining world
steel prices, and bans on Ukraine’s meat and milk products exports
introduced by the Russian Federation at the beginning of the year. Export of
metallurgical products, the largest item group in goods exports (42%),
declined by 9.6% yoy due to weakening external demand and higher production
costs (mostly energy).

On the positive side, recovering external demand for Ukraine’s machinery and
transportation vehicles stimulated export of these commodities, which grew
by 10.4% yoy and 22.5% yoy respectively over the period.

The high growth rates of commodity imports were primarily driven by more
expensive energy resources, which account for more than one-third of total
merchandise imports, continuous expansion of domestic demand supported by
growing population income and extensive commercial bank lending activities.

Import of energy materials soared by 42.2% yoy over the first two months of
2006, which may be explained by a 41.5% price hike on imported natural gas
at the beginning of the year, larger volumes of imported gas due to very
cold weather, and Russia’s increase of export duty on crude oil in December
2005.

On a positive note, imports of investment goods have been posting a further
increase in 2006. In particular, imports of machinery and transportation
equipment grew by 35.6% yoy and 100% yoy respectively in January-February
2006 (up from 33.8% yoy and 29.1% yoy in 2005).

Tensions in the trade relations with Russia and higher prices for imported
energy resources drove the changes in the geographical structure of Ukraine’s
merchandise foreign trade. In particular, Russia’s share in exports has been
declining since the beginning of the year, constituting 20% at the end of
February (compared to 22% in 2005).

The CIS countries’ share in total merchandise imports increased from about
47% in 2005 to more than 50% at the end of February 2006, while the share of
goods imported from Russia slightly declined to about 34% from 35.5% in
2005. This development may reflect the substitution of Russia’s more
expensive fossil fuels with those from other CIS countries (in particular
Turkmenistan).

        OTHER DEVELOPMENTS AND REFORMS AFFECTING

                             THE INVESTMENT CLIMATE 

Ukraine continues to make progress in improving its legal environment and
bringing legislation to western standards. At the end of March, the
president signed the law “On Securities and Stock Market” adopted by the
parliament at the end of February.

The law improves regulation of professional activity on the stock market,
sets uniform requirements for organization of trading and disclosure of
information, describes procedures for IPO and private placement of
securities, tackles problems with insider trading and transferring the right
of ownership for securities. The law will encourage stock market
transactions, thus stimulating the development of Ukraine’s financial
sector.

At the end of March, Ukraine completed WTO negotiations with Panama.

It became the 43rd country with which Ukraine signed the bilateral agreement
on joint access to the market of goods and services. Ukrainian authorities
declared that Ukraine can still become a member of WTO in summer-autumn
2006.

However, Ukraine still has to adopt a number of politically sensitive laws
and complete negotiations with the remaining countries, the toughest of
which are expected to be with Australia. Due to the pause in the legislative
process (as a result of parliamentary elections) and the prolonged process
of formation of a government coalition, the more realistic date of Ukraine’s
entry to WTO looks like the end of 2006.                   -30-

—————————————————————————————————–
NOTE: To see the entire SigmaBleyzer/The Bleyzer Foundation Ukraine
Macroeconomic Situation report for April 2006 in a PDF format, including
several color charts and graphics click on the following link:
————————————————————————————————————-
CONTACT: Olga Pogarska, Economist, The Bleyzer Foundation,
—————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2. DESTINATION: UKRAINE, A LIBERATED LION CITY IS ROARING
                Westerners have discovered Lviv, a place of fine dining,
                    Baroque and Rococo treasures and excellent prices.

By Barry Zwick, Special to The Times, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California, Sunday, May 28, 2006

SATURDAY along Prospekt Svobody – Freedom Street – and here come
the brides. Granddaughters of Kulaks, Cossacks and Tatars, they promenade
from the grand Hapsburg wedding cake of an opera house down three
canopied blocks of chestnut and walnut trees, past chess players, balloon
sellers and street artists. They finish at the statue of Taras Shevchenko,
Ukraine’s most beloved poet and patron saint of the newly wed.

These are the best of times on the cobblestone streets of Ukraine’s Lion
City, named for 13th century Galician prince Lev Danylovich. In November
2004, the Orange Revolution against Russian influence bore fruit, and
Ukraine was free at last.

Lviv, a Polish or Austrian city for much of its history, is filled with
Baroque pastel Polish-style town houses, gingerbread-trimmed Austrian
university halls, heroic Russian statues and distinctively Ukrainian parks
as densely wooded as the thick birch forests to the city’s east.

Last summer, Ukraine dropped its visa requirements for Westerners, including
Americans, and tourists are visiting now. I came here in September to
explore the country where my mother was born.

During prime travel time, from April to September, there’s a three-month
wait list for the once-a-day 40-minute flight from Warsaw to Lviv. The
city’s elegant Grand Hotel, flying an American flag, must be booked months
ahead. As prices soar in other Eastern European cities, Lviv’s $2 taxi
fares, $12 five-course dinners with wine and hotel rooms half the price of
those in Budapest, Hungary, have become a potent lure.

Lviv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to more than half of Ukraine’s
architectural treasures, was spared the bombings of World War II. It is the
Ukrainian city most often compared to Prague, Czech Republic.

In 1990, when Prague drew international attention, the city was ready for
backpackers, but not luxury travelers. Restaurants, for example, were noted
more for their Czech Budweiser than for their food.

There’s no such problem in Lviv. As I strolled down Prospekt Shevchenka,
a broad boulevard lined with turn-of-the-last-century luxury apartments, I
found a patisserie called Veronika under candy-striped umbrellas.

Veronika’s 40-page English-language menu read like the Escoffier-inspired
Queen Mary cookbook: spinach-stuffed breast of chicken Veronique in
pistachio sauce, escalope de veau Prince Orloff with liver pâté in cream
sauce, tournedos de boeuf Rossini with pâté de foie gras, a choice of black
or red caviar. The chicken was so good – my plate brimming with burgundy
Black Sea grapes – that I returned the following week and ordered it again.

Finding Ukrainian food in Lviv took more work. At Sim Porosyat (Seven
Piglets), a peasant-costumed three-piece band – violin, accordion and
xylophone – welcomed customers to a Ukrainian country inn. Water streamed
from an overturned earthen jar onto a pile of rocks, waitresses wearing
dirndls escorted diners to a whole-log balcony, and a giant pig wearing a
pearl necklace sat on a saddle, riding a chicken.

As I studied the leather-wrapped menu bound like an Orthodox monk’s holy
book, the band played “If I Were a Rich Man” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
(Sholem Aleichem, the Yiddish-language writer whose tales were the basis for
the musical, was born and raised in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky, Ukraine.)

The feast had begun long before I ordered. My waiter brought me a glass of
honeyed vodka and dishes of marinated mushrooms and dilled onions. As I
sipped a bright and fruity Crimean merlot, a steaming platter of chicken
Kiev arrived, accompanied with crisp potato pancakes stuffed with veal in a
hearty mushroom sauce.

                             ACCESSIBLE LANDMARKS
NEARLY all that a visitor would want to see in this city of 800,000 is an
easy walk from the center. Rynok Square, just two blocks from Prospekt
Svobody in the heart of Old Town, has 44 Baroque and Rococo landmarks –
each with a documented history – built from the 16th to 19th centuries. Most
are three stories high and three windows wide.

All belonged to wealthy merchants who tried to outdo one another. Cluttered
shops at street level stocked vodkas, antiques, samovars and blown glass. I
wandered amid statues, reliefs and intricate carvings. Lions were
everywhere, on staircases, balconies and doorknobs.

The most visited mansion on the square is No. 6, the Italian Courtyard,
built by the Greek wine tycoon Constantine Kornyakt in 1580. The interior
court of this neoclassical beauty is enclosed by gracefully turned arches
and sculptured columns and filled with flowers, Greek statues and green
shrubs. It’s a popular lunch and snack stop.

The top of Town Hall’s neo-Renaissance tower, 213 feet high, is the best
place to view Lviv.

I followed three giggling teenage couples up the 289 steps. Halfway up was a
window and a fine view of Lviv, of red tile roofs amid the treetops and a
bit of ramshackle shabbiness as well. This is the city’s bell tower, and on
the hour we all were in for a surprise.

From the observation deck, I saw a panorama of domes and churches, of
spires and statuary. Many of central Lviv’s 40 churches, built as Russian

Orthodox or Roman Catholic, are today Greek Catholic, following the
majority faith of Lviv.

Of Lviv’s many old synagogues – the city was one-quarter Jewish before
nearly all its 100,000 Jewish residents were murdered during World War II –
the ruins of only the Golden Rose Synagogue survive.

Just three blocks east of Prospekt Svobody is one of Lviv’s oldest churches,
the Armenian Cathedral, finished in 1360.

Its dark stone exterior looks forbidding, but in the church’s cool, shaded
courtyard, young people strum guitars and sing and eat lunches of fat poppy
seed-studded buns stuffed with sausages. The Russians shuttered the church
in 1953 and turned it into an icon storehouse. After Ukraine became
independent from Russia in 1991, the government gave the building to the
Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Armenian community, substantial during the 18th and 19th centuries,
numbers only 1,000 now. Many left when communism made commerce
impossible.

Many of the churches needed a coat of paint, but not the Church of the
Transfiguration, the largest one in Lviv. The Baroque church was in
beautiful condition – the golden iconostasis, the purple and blue interior,
the stunning light and the dazzling paintings of biblical scenes. It was
built by Roman Catholics in the 18th century, then Soviet officials gave it
to Lviv’s Greek Catholic majority in 1989.

Near the 17th century Gothic Boims Chapel one sunny afternoon, I stopped
for lunch with Slav Tsarynnyk, owner of Lviv Ecotours. The restaurant,
Amadeus, looked like a bit of Salzburg, Austria: fin-de-siècle oil paintings
of
crowds at cabarets, etched-glass paneled windows, delicate linen curtains
and a big clock with a pendulum.

“Mozart’s son, Franz Xavier, was a music teacher in Lviv, when it was
Lemberg,” Tsarynnyk said. He ordered a typical Lvivian lunch – vanilla ice
cream with blackberries, raspberries, strawberry jam, a mint leaf and lots
of whipped cream.

Tsarynnyk was my guide for three of my eight days in Ukraine. I found him on
Lonely Planet’s online Thorn Tree forum and reserved his services by e-mail
from home. For my day tour of Lviv, he charged $80, and for our later
two-day excursion into the countryside, it was $100 per day plus expenses.

In a country where English is not widely spoken, not even at customs, a good
guide – and Tsarynnyk was extraordinary, as well as good company – can be
indispensable. Most taxi drivers don’t speak English, nor do they know our
alphabet.
                                 A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
THE highlight of my visit was a night at the opera, officially the Ivan
Franko Opera and Ballet Theatre. You’ll see Franko’s name in places
throughout the city, including on its university and one of its bigger
parks.

Franko, who lived from 1856 to 1916, was a poet beloved by Ukrainians
because he was a nationalist and was acceptable to the Soviets because he
was a socialist. In 1905, he wrote “Moses,” a poem ostensibly about the last
days of the leader of the ancient Hebrews but actually about the
emancipation of the Ukrainians.

Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk set an opera called “Moses” to Franko’s
words; its premiere was in 2001, when Pope John Paul II came here. The
city’s distinguished opera company has performed it periodically ever since
at the spectacular opera house. I had a ticket – front row center for $10.

Crowds gathered day and night in front of the Viennese neo-Renaissance opera
house, built by Austria in 1900. It’s heavy on the gilt and marble. Among
the fine touches: a majestic double staircase, Corinthian columns, a hall of
mirrors, huge oil paintings on the walls and ceilings, statues of the Muses
and, on top, large bronze statues symbolizing glory, poetry and music.

The season lasts most of the year, and you’ll find few more ambitious
schedules. Typically, eight operas and eight ballets are presented each
month, most of them standards.

Inside, the crowd was giddy. Teenagers snapped digital photos of one
another. Young couples craned their necks to take in the details on the
ceilings. As the lights dimmed, we took our seats, comfortably upholstered
in burgundy velvet. It was a full house – all 1,002 seats were taken. Swells
took their places in the boxes overhead and whipped out binoculars. Most in
the audience spoke Ukrainian, but I heard French, German and Italian and,
here and there, English.

The music was sweeping, stirring and heroic. Skoryk created a mood of
historic majesty not so much through melody as through chords, for a 1940s
Hollywood epic sound. Costumes and sets were lavish, and dances compelling.
Moses sang of a somewhat unfamiliar Promised Land, of “oak forests and green
grass.”

Opera is an international comfort food for those of us who like it. The
rituals are universal: flowers for the soprano and shouts of “Bravo!” In
Lviv, though, the bass got the flowers. The applause, a do-your-own thing
elsewhere in the world, was in lock-step unison, clap for clap. And the
audience rose as one for the standing ovation.

At the opera, at the airport and on the teeming streets of Lviv, I ran into
Canadians and Americans who had emigrated from the city and were back in
town for weddings.

Traditionally, as the bride in a Lviv wedding leaves the church, she hurls
candies – symbolizing a life of sweetness – to the waiting crowd. At the
Dominican Church, Tsarynnyk and I caught a handful and shared in the
dream.
                                OPEN-DOOR POLICY IN LVIV
GETTING THERE:
From LAX, Lufthansa has connecting flights (one change
of plane) to Lviv, Ukraine. United and American have connecting service with
two changes of planes. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,855 until
June 25, dropping to $1,765 until Sept. 5.

TELEPHONES: To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the
international dialing code), 380 (country code for Ukraine), then 322 (city
code for Lviv) and the local number.

WHERE TO STAY: Grand Hotel, 13 Prospekt Svobody; 72-40-42,
http://www.ghgroup.com.ua/ . Elegant rooms in a prime location facing the
Shevchenko statue. Doubles from $165, including breakfast buffet.

Hotel Dnister, 6 Mateiko St.; 97-43-17, http://www.dnister.lviv.ua/ . New
York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech
Republic, stayed here (separately). Much better service than the Grand.
Doubles from $82, including breakfast buffet.

Lion’s Castle, 7 Glinki St.; 97-15-63. Friendly boutique hotel, 15-minute
walk to Old Town. Doubles from $91, with breakfast.

WHERE TO EAT: Amadeus, 7 Katedralna St.; 97-80-22. Beside the Boims
chapel, just off Rynok Square. Wonderfully seasoned Austrian dishes with
lots of fresh vegetables. Dinner with wine from $11.

Veronika, 21 Prospekt Shevchenka; 97-81-28. Haute cuisine in a festive
indooroutdoor setting, friendly service offering good wine advice: “Stick
with Merlot.” Dinner with wine from $13.

Sim Porosyat (Seven Piglets), 9 Bandera St.; 97-55-58. An over-the-top
Ukrainian theme restaurant with musical entertainment. Reservations a must.
Dinner with wine from $14.

GUIDE: Slav Tsarynnyk, 37 Tiutiunnykiv St., Lviv 79011, Ukraine; (067)
670-0840, lvivecotour.com. In a country where English is not widely spoken,
a good guide is indispensable.

TO LEARN MORE: Ukrainian Embassy, 3350 M St. N.W., Washington, DC,
20007; (202) 333-0606, http://www.ukraineinfo.us/ . U.S. citizens can spend
90 days in Ukraine without a visa.                    -30-
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http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-ukraine28may28,1,1540817,full.story?coll=la-travel-headlines
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3.          NEW WEBSITE: WWW.TRAVELTOUKRAINE.ORG
     Valuable information resource for business and pleasure travel to Ukraine.

John Kun, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF)
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006

WASHINGTON – It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the U.S.-
Ukraine Foundation has significantly improved its Internet presence!

In order to further develop and expand the Foundation’s Business and
Economic Development Program and to promote a sector of Ukraine’s
economy previously ignored by our Business Links webpages, we are
now unveiling the comprehensive website, Travel to Ukraine
(www.TravelToUkraine.org ) , which will serve as a valuable information
resource for business and pleasure travel to Ukraine.

As you know, the Foundation has been promoting Ukraine’s economic
development through business promotion such as its Business Links web
pages, the business e-newsletter BizLinks, and the business e-journal,
Potential.  In addition, the Foundation has been a strong supporter of
professional travel exchanges between the U.S. and Ukraine.

Its major programs, such as the U.S.-Ukraine Community Partnerships Project
and U.S.-Ukraine Policy Dialogue, have conducted over 500 professional
exchanges during the past eight years. These programmatic connections make
Travel to Ukraine a natural asset for USUF.

We now hope that Travel to Ukraine will become the official travel website
and guide of Ukraine, serving millions of people seeking to discover
tremendous business, educational and travel opportunities in Ukraine.

Discover Ukraine by going to www.TravelToUkraine.org !    -30-
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4. LVIV ECOTOUR – ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TOURISM

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Vladyslav Tsarynnyk

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #702, Article 4
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Lviv Ecotour is run by Vladyslav and Miya Tsarynnyk, a young
Ukrainian couple living in Lviv. One of our goals is to help develop rural
areas of southwestern Ukraine through environmentally friendly tourism.
 
We love skiing, hiking and biking in the mountains and would like to
introduce others to this beautiful part of Ukraine.
 
LVIV ECOTOUR: URL: www.lvivecotour.com.
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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    Send in names and e-mail addresses for the AUR distribution list.
========================================================
5. TEN UNDERPRICED AND ON-THE-RISE EUROPEAN CITIES
                           NUMBER 6 OF 10: KYIV, UKRAINE

By Rae-Jean Stokes, Staff, SmarterTravel.com

Boston, Massachusetts, May, 2006

You’ve done London, Paris, and Rome. You’ve been to “up-and-coming”
Prague and Budapest. Think you’ve seen the best of Europe? Think again.

While even Prague is pricey and crowded these days, there remain many
affordable European cities rarely visited by American tourists. Here are our
picks for the 10 cities that should make your “must-visit” list.

[1] Tallinn, Estonia; [2] Krakow Poland; [3] Dubrovnik, Croatia, [4]
Istanbul, Turkey; [5] Ljubljana, Slovenia; [6] Kyiv, Ukraine; [7] Briges,
Belgium; [8] Kosice, Slovakia; [9] Sarajevo, Bosnia; [10] Gdansk, Poland.

                                      KYIV, UKRAINE
Perched on a hill above the Dneiper River, the gold-domed city of Kyiv
(Kiev is the Russian spelling) is still reeling from the Orange Revolution
in 2004. However, Kyivans are equipped with a can-do attitude, having
successfully protested a bogus election, and it’s starting to show in the
local tourist industry.

Due to the lingering Soviet mindset in some establishments, don’t be
surprised by less-than-stellar service from some public employees, but at
the same time, you can expect some of the most genuine hospitality in the
world from everyday people. It is truly a city at a crossroads.

A trip to Kyiv would be incomplete without a visit to one of Christian
Orthodoxy’s most important sites, the Percherska Lavra. Expect to spend a
least a few hours exploring its 10th- and 11th-century churches and their
underground catacombs that hold the mummified remains of early monks.

To get a sense of modern Kyiv, take a leisurely stroll along Khreshchatyk,
the city’s main avenue. Perfect for shopping, grabbing a snack, or watching
street performers, it’s also famous for its part as the center of the Orange
Revolution.

One of the best and most economical options for accommodations in the city
is renting a private apartment. Former Peace Corps volunteer (and this
reporter’s husband) Nick Stokes, who spent two years living in Ukraine,
rented apartments when visiting the city with friends.

“Whenever we needed a break from our villages, we all met in Kyiv. More than
once, a large group of us rented a three-bedroom apartment, complete with a
Jacuzzi and sauna, just steps from Khrystchatyk, for about $75 a night.”

There are countless ads in the English language newspaper, the Kyiv Post, as
well as on the Internet. You can even arrange for a room at the local train
station by approaching any of the old women holding signs (they may not
speak English, however). Most rental agents are reputable-if you’re at all
wary, just ask to see the place before you commit.

Ukrainian food is cheap, and what it lacks in price is makes up for in
taste-if you like starches, fats, and meats, that is. If you’re not counting
carbs or fat grams, you should make sure to have at least one lengthy
sit-down traditional Ukrainian meal. This will cost about $10 for two people
at a touristy restaurant in the city center.

However, at a local cafes away from the tourist attractions, expect to pay
no more than $3 for everything. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a shot
of Ukrainian vodka, which you can buy by the bottle for less than $2
(although paying a little extra for higher quality spirits is definitely
worth it).

Before taxes and fees, flights from New York usually go for about $600 in
the winter low season and $1,100 during the summer. Cheaper deals can
sometimes be found with Aerosvit Airlines, the country’s national carrier.

Besides paying less, flying with Aerosvit has an additional benefit-or
danger, depending on how you look at it: “While domestic carriers will now
charge you for your vodka, Aerosvit will treat you to a litre of your own
for free,” says Stokes.                              -30-
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http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/Ten-underpriced-rise-European.html?id=332877&page=1
http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/Ten-underpriced-rise-European.html?id=332877&page=6
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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6.                     UKRAINE – A BRADT TRAVEL GUIDE

Author: Andrew Evans, January 2004
1st edition (reprinted with amendments 2005)
Bradt Travel Guides, 336 pages · 8 pages colour photos
30 maps, ISBN: 1 84162 084 X £13.95

The new Bradt guide to Ukraine is a travel manual to read before, during
and after a trip; it features comprehensive practical information, while
revealing the country’s personality through in-depth exploration of its
history, culture and natural beauty.

Traditional churches. monasteries and sacred sites provide a contrast to
the notorious, but compelling, landmark of Chernobyl.

Andrew Evans shows how Ukraine can easily be explored by rail, river
cruise or sea ferry, and also on foot, the ideal way to take in rustic
villages of old-world Eastern Europe.
————————————————————————————————
                    AUTHOR’S NOTE, BY ANDREW EVANS
When I first set foot in Ukraine, there was no such country in my world
atlas, let alone anything like a travel guide. My first impressions were
stringent and few: the streets were too dark and the cars didn’t run. Public
payphones were free (if they worked) and you could buy bread and milk with
subway tokens.

In winter there was no heat, and in summer, no water. One chose to eat
cabbage, potatoes, bread and mustard, or nothing at all. I stayed two years
and cried when I left.

Ten years later, hope has overcome despair and I have witnessed remarkable
changes towards a secure society and better lifestyle for Ukrainians. Yet,
it is the memory of the darker years that keeps me returning to this country
again and again. Few countries boast a history so imminent as Ukraine’s, and
every little place bears such deep human meaning.

The timeless exercise of daily survival allows little room for show, and
that is why I love the bunches of dogs that roam the streets, the bundled-up
grandmothers selling pails of bruised apples and the silent white blocks of
apartments lined up in a row.

Ukraine is a land made from the simplest ingredients: wheat fields and wide
skies, green mountains and rippling rivers. The resilient Ukrainian people
complete the panorama, so that the child pulling weeds in a potato patch
matches the splendour of the lofty gold domes of so many painted cathedrals.

When I consider the famous sites people know and visit in Europe, I can only
think what they are missing in Ukraine: hidden monasteries, picturesque
mountain villages in the Carpathians, the rocky shores and sunshine of
Crimea, the inland beauty of the Ukrainian steppe and the most undisturbed
bits of old-world eastern Europe.

While most of central Europe gets swept into the backpackers’ circuit, and
the avant-garde start to ‘discover’ Russia, Ukraine remains a sort of
secret, in-between no man’s land. There are still not enough beaten tracks
near Ukraine to place it ‘off the beaten track’, but foreign tourists are
scarce enough that you should feel special having made it this far.

Ironically, Ukraine supports all the infrastructure needed for trouble-free
travel: a stable hospitality industry has emerged and efficient trains,
buses and planes allow travellers to go anywhere they choose with ease. In
fact, the Ukrainian landscape engenders a mood for overland travel with its
bustling stations and mesmerising views laid out between destinations.

I have never experienced anything quite like that feeling of gazing out
across the everlasting plain from a bus window, or staring at a white moon
from a slow night train. Hopefully, many others will get to know the beauty
and simplicity of this land that is ‘on the edge’. May all your adventures
be happy and unusual. Schaslivoyi dorohy.

Additional update (12 April, 2005)
And there’s never been a better time to visit Kiev! Not only is the city
still reeling with the positive energy from Ukraine’s exuberant Orange
Revolution, but the whole town is about to host Europe’s biggest party-the
Eurovision Song Contest.

In anticipation for the big event, and in a show of traditional Ukrainian
hospitality, from May and through the summer, visas will not be required for
citizens from the European Union, United States or Canada. It’s a great
opportunity to come and see Kiev’s famous chestnut blossoms, visit a myriad
of gold-domed churches and stroll though the historic streets of this
beautiful, ancient city.

Andrew Evans is a writer with a significant background in Ukrainian culture,
history and politics. He has lived in Ukraine and continues to travel there
regularly.  http://www.bradtguides.com                 -30-
———————————————————————————————-
FOOTNOTE: I have known Andrew Evans for some time but had not
seen him lately.  Luckily I ran into Andrew Evans at a dinner last night in
Washington.  He told me he has just returned from traveling around
Ukraine for several weeks and would be doing another update to his
outstanding travel book. You can contact Andrew at
drooski@gmail.com.
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7. TOUR OF FORMER GERMAN VILLAGES, CRIMEA, UKRAINE
         Visiting Hoffnungstal, Daughter Colony of the Glueckstal Villages
                     Visiting the village of Kassel, Glueckstal District

Michael Miller and Tour Members, Internet Cafe
Odessa, Ukraine, Saturday-Monday, May 27-29, 2006

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #702, Article 7
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006

ODESSA – Just a short note to let you know that we arrived safely in
Odessa from Prague! All is well with the tour members and in good health.

Some tour members left to visit the former German villages in Crimea near
Simperofol, Ukraine including a two-night stay.  Other tour members travel
for 27-28 May to the Gluecktal villages in Moldova with overnight stay.

Tour members on 27 May have visited with separate trips to Kassel, to
Hoffnungstal, and to the Kutschurgan villages including Mannheim, Baden,
Kandel and Selz. On Sunday, 28 May, tour members and I will go back to
visit Strassburg and Elsass with lunch at the home of Louisa Rielsing in
Selz.

On 27 May, in Selz the room for the new Museum was opened for the first
time. This is most impressive and the first cultural museum in one of the
Kutschurgan villages. The items in the museum are most impressive and a
good beginning. The school director, teachers and community members attend
this event. They would like to add items of identified photographs from
Kutschurganers in North America. We were most honored and pleased to
participate with the opening and dedication of this Selz Museum near to
the former Catholic Church.

We will send another email in next day with text prepared by tour members
of their thoughts and memories visiting the villages of their ancestors
including the Glueckstal, Kutschurgan, Crimean, Liebental and other
villages.

For those who have joined us for past Journey to the Homeland Tours, you
will be interested to know that in Odessa progress with development and
construction is growing including new hotels. There is an impressive
indoor 5-story shopping mall developed by Greece near to the Black Sea.

The Chorne More Hotel as improved significantly in many ways as well as
the airport. There is no longer need for a Ukrainian visa when traveling
to Ukraine only for USA citizens since August, 2005. This makes the
airport arrival much easier.

Special regards from tour members from the Black Sea port city of
Odessa and Ukraine,

Michael M. Miller,Bibliographer
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC),

Fargo, North Dakota
———————————————————————————————
       VISITING HOFFNUNGSTAL, DAUGHTER COLONY OF
                            THE GLUECKSTAL VILLAGES

Darlene Brown Robertson, Hayward, California
Arlene Wagner Lundgren, Sartell, Minnesota
Internet Cafe, Odessa, Ukraine, 28 May 2006, Part II

We left at 8:30 am with our guide and driver. On the way to Hoffnungstal,
we stopped at the outdoor market near Kutschurgan. There were many
vegetables, clothering, appliances and more. We purchased sandals for our
grandchildren.

When we arrived in Hoffnungstal where our ancestors lived from 1818 to
1902, we were pleased to see how much remained.

First we drove to the school. The original portion is 140 years old. The
addition was added in the 1850s. As luck would have it, we met the Head
of Studies. Her name is Oxanna who let us into the school. We visited the
computer lab and faculty room. In the hallway, we were able to see the
children’s artwork which is on display in the new school section. Our
grandparents likely went to this school before immigrating to North Dakota
and the Mercer area.

Oxanna gave each of us a copy of the book published to celebrate
Hoffnungstal 1804-2004. What a thrill!

We gave Oxanna pencils, pens, notebooks, candy and gum for the children.
Then we said good bye. “Remember who you are”, Oxanna said as she waved.

Next we visited with Rosa, a wonderful lady who lives in the village. She
came to Hoffnungstal in 1928 and attended the German School. She told of
the damage to the Jewish and German cemeteries. She remembered her school
days and her German friends many of whom she is in touch with today. She
is expecting many visitors for her 85th birthday. She described the damage
to the tombstones with tears in her eyes. She was very witty, very kind
and very generous with her time. Rosa is a Jewish woman born in Ukraine.

Rosa gave us a jar of homemade jam. We have Rosa flower and vegetable
seeds and a broch.

We drove by the cemetery and filled a bag with soil to be placed on our
grandparents and parents graves back home. We then drove by the German
houses. There are no Germans living there today.

Then we drove to Neuburg and saw more German houses traveling on to Berlin
on our way back to Odessa. Our driver found the cemetery near Berlin. He
helped us dig through the lilac bushes to find tombstones. We ere not able
to read any names.

We wish to compliment our guide, Lydia, and our driver, Alex. We had a
wonderful experience!
————————————————————————————————–
 VISITING THE VILLAGE OF KASSEL, GLUECKSTAL DISTRICT

Natalie Weber Hansen; Marysville, Washington
Lavern Weber & Patrica Lewis; South Beach Oregon
Internet Cafe, Odessa, Ukraine, Sunday, 28 May 2006, Part III

“On May 27, we visited our main objective traveling to Kassel. Kassel is
about 2.5 hours driving from Odessa through beautiful agricultural land
and very green. It was a wonderful day. Kassel was much as expected. It
was Saturday and it seemed much of the population of 400 was not to be
seen. The post mistress was the only person we talked to. She named a few
families of German heritage who have immigrated back to Germany. She did
sell us some stamps to send a few cards.

We got a good look at the former German Lutheran Church today in ruins but
still impressive.

The countryside feels more like Tanzania than a developed country. Driving
to Kassel, the number of people walking, working in yards and fields was
impressive. We counted over 30 people in one field alone who were hoeing or
cutting hay using sickels. People were using horse power with wagons and
carts having auto tires. There are farm animals everywhere – chickens,
ducks, geese, turkeys, cows, goats and horses.

There are long houses that are German in origin with red tiles on the
roofs. The German houses in some cases were torn down for building
materials.

We searched the grave yard but it was impossible to identify gravestones.
There are thick patches of lilac bushes which have grown over the German
grave sites. Our efforts revealed no stones or other markers such as
German iron crosses.

Our guide, Tamara, said we could identify cemetery sites by the clumps of
iris nicely in bloom which we found a number in the old and new areas of
the cemetery.

We did see a number of old motorcycles with side car. Sometime the side car
carried a person but more often they acted as a trailer carrying many
items including hay.

We left Kassel just as it started to rain. We did manage to stop at the
outdoor market near Kutschurgan and purchased some strawberries – not that
we needed to eat after a great lunch of quantity and quality.”
———————————————————————————————–
   FORMER GERMAN VILLAGES NEAR SIMPEROFOL, UKRAINE

Gary and Peggy Sinnemaki Haar; Boise, Idaho
Internet Cafe, Odessa, Ukraine, Monday, 29 May 2006

“We arrived at the Ukraine Hotel in Simperofol after traveling through
land that looked very much like South Dakota (where I was born). We had a
wonderful dinner and walked around the town of Simperofol. It was a very
cosmopolitan city – lots of young people in the streets.

On 28 May, our translator, Albina, found the way to Friedenstal where we
had located the cemetery. After walking through the Russian part of the
cemetery, we were told by a villager where the German graves were. Many
gravestones have been broken, some have been placed into a pile, but some
remained standing even through they are surrounded by trees and brush. We
photographed those we could see easily to try to interpret later.

After leaving the cemetery, we walked down the main street of Friedenstal
and discovered old German houses that had been deserted. They had walls
that were 12 to 18 inches thick. They were built to last forever. At the
bottom, were limestone blocks. The top were bricks made of some kind of
animal refuse and straw. The house we investigated was quite large – about
seven rooms.

After Friedentstal, we drove to Neutatz where we located the school that
was built by the Germans in 1878. Finding the school director was harder.
We did fine her and her name was Galina Bondarchuk. She was a very fine
lady who stopped to put on her finest clothing before she took us into the
school. We left two shopping bags of paper, pens, crayons and color books.

In exchange, we received a narrative of how the school was built and her
desire to teach the children not only of their history as a village, but
also to import the feeling of good will to all races and ethnic
backgrounds. Galina was a remarkable person – just the kind of person you
hope are teaching the children.

While at the school, it began to rain and then pour. We were not able to
see the rest of the village od visit the cemetery there. Also when we got
back to Simperofol, the streets had turned into rivers so we were unable
to visit the cemetery there.

On Monday, 29 May, we attempted to locate the village of Bulatsche on our
way back to Odessa. Our translator, Albina, did her best to ask the local
people where this village might be, and we were in the process of tracking
it down,but the roads were so muddy raining so hard that our driver could
continue now further on the country roads.

We discovered a lot and we enjoyed the trip gathering enough material to
keep us occupied awhile. We felt it was an excellent tip hindered only by
the weather.”                                  -30-

——————————————————————————————–
Michael M. Miller, Bibliographer
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC)
Marie Rudel Portner Germans from Russia Room
North Dakota State University Libraries
P.O. Box 5599; 1201 Albrecht Blvd.
Fargo, ND 58105-5599 USA
Tel: 701-231-8416; Cell: 701-306-3224
E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection Website:
http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc
Personal Home Page: http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/biography.html
————————————————————————————————
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     NOTE: Send in a letter-to-the-editor today. Let us hear from you.
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8. BENEFIT CONCERT IN MEMORY OF DARIA TELIZYN (1961-2005)
         Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, Friday, June 2nd, at 7:00 P.M.

The Washington Group Cultural Fund
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Washington Group Cultural Fund under the

patronage of the Embassy of Ukraine cordially invites you to attend a
Benefit Concert in memory of Daria Telizyn (1961-2005) featuring aspiring
young musicians performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Skoryk
and others.

Friday June 2nd, 2006 at 7:00 p.m at the Embassy of UKRAINE,
3350 M St. NW, Washington, DC, Suggested donation: $50.00

RSVP: 202 349-2961, Nataliia Holub, nholub@ukremb.com

All proceeds from the Benefit Concert will be used to assist qualified young
musicians from Ukraine with expenses associated with participation in the
University of Maryland’s William Kapell International Piano Competition or
any other international music competition in the Balt-Wash Metropolitan
area. http://www.americuscd.com/.                      -30-

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9. VOLOSHKY UKRAINIAN DANCE ENSEMBLE TO PRESENT STEPPES
       A Ukrainian Dance and Music Spectacular, Saturday, August 19, 2006
          The gala evening will honor Mr. Anatolij Kryvokhyzha with the first
                       annual  STEPPES TOWARD LIBERTY AWARD

By Anne Ehrhart, Managing Director for Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
A Ukrainian Summer, Supplement to The Ukrainian Weekly
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, May 7, 2006

PHILADELPHIA – Join us for a gala summer evening at the prestigious Kimmel
Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.  On Saturday, August 19,
2006, The Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia will present

STEPPES, a Ukrainian Dance and Music Spectacular.

The evening will feature the well-known Dance Ensemble and the brilliant
violinist, Vasyl Popadiuk, in a captivating concert performance celebrating
the magnificence of Ukrainian performing arts.

Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble was founded in the Philadelphia area 35
years ago.  Known for its exuberant, richly costumed interpretation of
traditional Ukrainian folk dance, the 35-member Ensemble combines the
strengths of classical ballet with the vigor of Ukrainian traditional dance.

Its excellence has been recognized with funding from the National Endowment
for the Arts, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Philadelphia
Cultural Fund and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Dance Advance program.  It is
also a current member of the artist’s roster of the Pennsylvania Performing
Artists on Tour (PennPAT).

Under the artistic direction of Taras Lewyckyj since 1995, the Ensemble is
among the most accomplished Ukrainian dance companies of North America,
and is in frequent demand for performances and workshops. In 2005, it was
selected to greet and perform for the new president of Ukraine, Victor
Yuschenko, during his visits to both Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA.

Vasyl Popadiuk, a concert violinist who makes his home in Ontario, is well
known to international audiences for his mesmerizing, virtuoso performances.
Currently he is the premier performer of “Papa Duke”, a dynamic group of
highly talented musicians that performs a genre-defying fusion of gypsy,
classical pop, jazz and Slavic music.

Mr. Popadiuk has toured extensively, and has performed for various
international dignitaries, including Jordan’s late King Hussein. In 1988 he
was featured in a concert at the Calgary Winter Olympics.  He performs
regularly on Canadian public television, in concerts and at music festivals.
Voloshky is pleased to present Mr. Popadiuk in his first Philadelphia main
stage appearance.

STEPPES TOWARD LIBERTY AWARD: ANATOLIJ KRYVOKHYZHA
At an accompanying ceremony, the first STEPPES TOWARD LIBERTY
WARD will be presented.  This award will be presented annually to an
individual or group in recognition of significant contributions made toward
cultural freedom.

Voloshky is proud to announce that the premier STEPPES TOWARD
LIBERTY AWARD will be presented to Mr. Anatolij Kryvokhyzha.

A highly respected and treasured choreographer of Ukrainian folk dance, Mr.
Kryvokhyzha served as a particular inspiration to the Ukrainian Diaspora
during his controversial tour to the United States in 1978.

Mr. Kryvokhyzha is currently a Professor of Dance History and Theory at the
Kirovograd Ukrainian Dance Educational Complex in Ukraine. He is perhaps
best known, however, for his 20-year leadership of Yatran Ukrainian Dance
Company, during which time it grew from an enthusiastic collection of
amateurs into one of the finest professional folk ensembles of Europe,
winning critical acclaim and many awards in Europe and North America.

Yatran’s 1978 tour included performances in the Philadelphia area.  By
responding to eager overtures from the culturally hungry Ukrainian-American
community in the Philadelphia region, he awoke in younger generations a love
for Ukrainian heritage, and dance in particular.

But due to the cold war climate of the times, this interaction entailed
considerable risk. And indeed, upon his return home to Ukraine, Mr.
Kryvokhyzha was relieved of his position with Yatran, then relocated, and
forbidden from working again in the field of dance.

Mr. Kryvokhyzha has accepted the invitation to travel from Kirovograd,
Ukraine in order to receive the STEPPES TOWARD LIBERTY AWARD.

For further information, contact Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble at
215-663-0294, info@voloshky.com, or visit the website at www.voloshky.com.
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Anne Ehrhart. Managing Director for Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
Anne@voloshky.com,  215-848-2068
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The Ukrainian Weekly, Ukrainian National Association (UNA),
Parsippany, NJ, Roma Hadzewycz, Editor-In-Chief, staff@ukrweekly.com
Ukrainian Weekly Archive: www.ukrweekly.com.
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10.              UKRAINE SHINES IN WORLD CUP WARMUP

 
Chris Lehourites, AP Worldstream, Monday, May 29, 2006

Ukraine was the only team headed to the World Cup that looked like it may be
ready for the tournament to begin. Despite missing the injured Andriy
Shevchenko, the Ukrainians easily beat World Cup qualifier Costa Rica 4-0
Sunday in a warmup match.

Serhiy Nazarenko, Andriy Vorobei, Maxim Kalinichenko and Olexiy Belik all
scored for Ukraine, which will make its World Cup debut in Germany.

Four other World Cup teams also played Sunday, with the United States
beating Latvia 1-0, Croatia and Iran drawing 2-2, and Ecuador losing to
Macedonia 2-1. Also, Estonia and Turkey drew 1-1, and Mali beat Morocco 1-0.

Nazarenko gave Ukraine the lead in the 29th minute in Kiev by knocking in a
rebound off Costa Rica goalkeeper Wardy Alfaro.

Vorobei scored the second goal in the 35th off a pass from Vladyslav
Vashchyuk, and Kalinichenko made it 3-0 in the 40th. Belik scored the final
goal in the 56th with help from Andriy Husin.

Ukraine, playing in Group H at the World Cup with Spain, Tunisia and Saudi
Arabia, was without Shevchenko because he hurt his knee earlier this month.
He was expected to recover in time for the team’s first match against Spain
on June 14.

Before that, the team has more friendlies against Italy, Libya and
Luxembourg.

Costa Rica, which is in Group A with Germany, Poland and Ecuador, will face
the hosts in the World Cup opener on June 9 in Munich. Brian McBride tipped
in a cross from Steve Cherundolo for the Americans’ only goal against Latvia
two minutes before halftime in East Hartford, Connecticut. It was McBride’s
30th goal in 92 internationals, and left him four shy of matching the
American record.

The United States leaves for Germany on Thursday, play Angola on June 5 in
Hamburg, then meet the Czech Republic in its Cup opener on June 12 in
Gelsenkirchen.

In Osijek, Croatia, Marko Babic converted a penalty in injury time to help
the hosts draw 2-2 with Iran. “It’s not a bad test. We dominated and could
have scored many more goals,” Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar said.

Ali Karimi put Iran ahead in the 22nd, but Dado Prso equalized nine minutes
later after Niko Kranjcar flicked a cross into his path.

Substitute Arash Borhani appeared to have given Iran a late winner in the
82nd, but Babic converted from the spot in injury time after Ivica Olic was
brought down in the box by goalkeeper Ebrahim Mirzapour.

“We were close to winning even though there are still some things we need to
work on,” Iran coach Branko Ivankovic said. “I am satisfied with the way my
players performed in this tough game against a tough rival.”

At the World Cup, Croatia will face Brazil, Australia and Japan in Group F,
while Iran takes on Portugal, Mexico and Angola in Group D.

Ecuador took the lead against Macedonia in Getafe, Spain, in the 18th minute
when Carlos Tenorio beat several defenders and scored with a deft shot.

But Macedonia equalized 10 minutes later when striker Goran Maznov took
advantage of some defensive uncertainty.
Tenorio left the field with an injury in the 64th minute and Igor Mitrevski
converted a penalty eight minutes later after Ivan Hurtado committed a foul.

Ecuador kicks off its second World Cup appearance against Poland in Group A
on June 9, and then meets host Germany and Costa Rica.

Frederic Kanoute scored the lone goal in the 65th minute to lead Mali over
Morocco 1-0 in a friendly in Paris, and Tarmo Neemelo equalized in the 85th
to give Estonia a 1-1 draw with Turkey in Hamburg, Germany. Gokhan Unal gave
Turkey the lead in the 53rd. None of those four teams qualified for the World Cup.
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11.    UKRAINIAN TYCOON, DMYTRO FIRTASH, UNVEILS
                   PLAN TO UPGRADE TITANIUM PLANT

By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times,
London, United Kingdom Sunday, May 28 2006

Dmytro Firtash, the Ukrainian tycoon who last month revealed his ownership
of RosUkrEnergo, the natural gas trader, has taken a further step out of the
shadows by revealing his other holdings, including a titanium plant in
Ukraine.

Robert Shetler Jones, Mr Firtash’s British partner, told the Financial Times
in an interview that he was working on a plan to consolidate Mr Firtash’s
holdings in the chemicals sector, which include Crimean Titan, Crimean Soda
and the Rivneazot, Nitrofert and Tajikazot fertiliser plants in Ukraine,
Estonia and Tajikistan, respectively.

Both Crimean plants are currently owned by RSJ Erste, a German company in
which Mr Shetler Jones is the sole shareholder. But he said RSJ was an
“interim structure” and after the consolidation Mr Firtash would emerge as
main owner.

Mr Shetler Jones said the consolidation of Mr Firtash’s chemicals companies
was aimed primarily at attracting financing for an upgrade of Crimean Titan
to enable it to produce a broader range of titanium and titanium alloy
products for the aviation, space and defence industries.

He said it would take up to five years at a cost of $500m-$800m
(Euro392m-Euro628m) to upgrade the plant, which produces titanium dioxide
for paint production.

“One of the options we look at very strongly is the introduction of
strategic partners from the west,” Mr Shetler Jones said.
By revealing his ownership of the plants and his ambitions for Crimean
Titan, Mr Firtash is raising the stakes in his effort to gain acceptance
both in the west and in Ukraine.

Whether his efforts succeed will depend partly on the outcome of
negotiations in Ukraine on a new government. The leading candidate to take
over as prime minister, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has been an
outspoken critic of RosUkrEnergo and has vowed to cancel a deal with Russia
in January that made RosUkrEnergo Ukraine’s sole supplier of imported gas.

Mr Firtash’s plans for Crimean Titan come as Russia’s government is moving
to rein in VSMPO-Avisma, a Russian titanium producer. Russia’s powerful
state arms-export company, Rosoboronexport, wants to secure supplies of
titanium for Russia’s defence industry and has pressed the plant’s owners to
cede control.

“What we would like to do is create additional product to fill the supply
gap but one that is also not Russian-based,” Mr Shetler Jones said.

Mr Shetler Jones said Mr Firtash also owned other companies in the gas
industry including Russia’s Zangas, a pipelines builder, and an Austrian
sister company also called Zangas, which recently built a stretch of
pipeline for Turkmenistan in exchange for gas.

Separately, officials in Russia’s southern Astrakhan region announced last
week that Mr Firtash had taken control of an undeveloped gas field by
acquiring control of the Astrakhan Oil and Gas Company.   -30-

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12. DOZENS PROTEST US NAVY, NATO SUPPLIES IN UKRAINE 

Associated Press (AP), Kiev,Ukraine, Monday, May 29, 2006 

KIEV – Dozens protested the arrival of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty
Organization military equipment on Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, accusing the
military alliance of interfering in the ex-Soviet republic’s affairs,
Ukrainian media reported Monday.

The Sunday night protest was sparked by the arrival at the port of Feodosiya
of the USS Advantage, which Defense Ministry spokesman Andryi Lysenko said
was to take part in NATO Sea Breeze-2006 exercises, the Interfax-Ukraine
news agency reported.

Russia’s NTV television showed several dozen local residents trying to
prevent cargo trucks from unloading equipment from a ship, while others held
banners reading “Russia is a Friend! NATO is the Enemy!”

One elderly lady was shown trying to push away a large yellow military truck
as protesters applauded. NATO officials in Ukraine refused to comment on
either the protest or the operation.

President Viktor Yushchenko has campaigned for membership in the alliance,
but has met resistance from many Ukrainians, especially in Russian-speaking
provinces.                                         -30-

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13. RESIDENTS OF CRIMEAN TOWN RALLY TO BAN NATO 
Ukrayina TV, Donetsk, in Ukrainian 1800 gmt 29 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 29, 2006

DONETSK – [Presenter] A non-stop rally is under way at the seaport in
Feodosiya for the second day in a row. A new speaker addresses the rally
every hour. The residents of Feodosiya have only one demand – not to let
NATO to Crimea.

The protests erupted after the US navy’s military transport vessel Advantage
arrived in the seaport. The vessel has left the port in Feodosiya already,
but its cargo has been left on the quay. [Video shows a crowd chanting “No
to NATO!”]

[Correspondent] Such was people’s reaction to the arrival of a NATO warship
in Feodosiya. The vessel arrived in Crimea under the American flag and
unloaded technical equipment, construction materials and containers on the
quay. The Ukrainian military maintain that the Americans delivered
construction materials only. The residents believe that the vessel delivered
NATO arms to Feodosiya.

The leader of the [opposition] Progressive Socialist Party, Nataliya
Vitrenko, has come to Feodosiya to offer support to its residents. She
believes that the Americans are going to build a NATO military base in
Crimea. Nataliya Vitrenko has recalled again that Ukraine’s cooperation with
NATO should be put on an all-Ukrainian referendum.

[Vitrenko, in Russian] The worst thing that can happen to our country is the
dragging of Ukraine to NATO against the Ukrainian people’s will and the
occupation of Ukraine’s territory by NATO troops. This is what [President
Viktor] Yushchenko is working on.

This is what [Defence Minister Anatoliy] Hrytsenko is planning to do. This
is what [Foreign Minister Borys] Tarasyuk has sworn to do. Our people’s will
is protected by a referendum. This is the supreme expression of will, like
the referendum of 1 December 1991 [when Ukrainians voted for their
independence].

[Correspondent] The Ukrainian navy’s press service has said that the
Americans came to Ukraine to assist it with upgrading a training range near
Feodosiya. They allegedly are going to build barracks, bathrooms and dining
rooms. Ukrainian sailors are going to use them during the [Sea Breeze-2006]
military exercise. But the residents of Feodosiya do not believe this and
are ready to rally around the clock to prevent the NATO military from
setting their feet in town.

Members of the [Feodosiya] city council have sent an open letter to the
Supreme Council [parliament] to declare Feodosiya a NATO-free town. In the
afternoon, the city council adopted a decision to declare the delivered
technical equipment abandoned cargo and, therefore, communal property.

[Video shows a few-hundred-strong rally, participants carrying red, Soviet
Ukrainian flags, slogans reading “No to NATO!”, “NATO will not pass!”,
Vitrenko presented with flowers, addressing the rally.]

[In its 1600 gmt bulletin on 29 May, Ukrainian NTN TV broadcast footage of
what was said to be the cargo unloaded from the US vessel recorded from the
top of a nearby facility. The video showed a military Humvee vehicle, what
appears to be a mine-clearing vehicle, about a dozen personnel carriers and
a uniformed individual near them.]                    -30-
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14.  RUSSIAN TV PORTRAYS NATO RECEIVED AS “ENEMY”
                                 IN UKRAINE’S CRIMEA

Centre TV, Moscow, in Russian 1550 gmt 29 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 29, 2006

MOSCOW – [Female presenter] There has been popular unrest in Crimea. The
seaport of Feodosiya, which a NATO ship came into on Saturday [27 May], has
been blockaded by local residents. The demonstrators are preventing military
hardware and containerloads of weapons from being unloaded. The people are
furious that NATO service personnel are roaming around the town.

[Male presenter] The Feodosiya town council is expected to adopt the
decision to ban NATO hardware from the area. The spontaneous demonstration,
which began on Sunday [28 May] evening, is still under way. (?Darina
Koshelenko) reports.

[Correspondent] The Feodosiya seaport is under a tight blockade. Townspeople
have blocked off the gates and are not letting vehicles out. A rally is
continuing nonstop. Every minute new speakers come along. All their speeches
come down to one thing: not to allow NATO into Crimea.

[Protesters – chanting in Russian] No to NATO! No to NATO! No to NATO!

[Correspondent] What prompted this vehement protest was the appearance of a
NATO military [transport] vessel in the Feodosiya harbour. The vessel came
under the American flag and offloaded military hardware.

Army trucks and numerous containers are clearly visible through this gate.
The Ukrainian military insists that the American ship delivered building
materials and engineering works vehicles. But townspeople are convinced that
the Americans have brought NATO weapons to Feodosiya.

[Danyla Havrylov, Feodosiya town councillor, captioned, in Russian] Port
workers come out and say that the containers, which are sealed by customs,
hold grenades, pistols, M16 automatic rifles. Just how can this be called
humanitarian aid?

[Correspondent] Nataliya Vitrenko, the leader of Ukrainian Progressive
Socialists [Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine], has come to support the
people of Feodosiya. She is sure the Americans are about to build a NATO
military base in Crimea.

[Vitrenko, in Russian] It’s an enemy. We know for sure: it’s an enemy. The
enemy wants to capture our country. The enemy wants to turn us into an enemy
of Russia. This is why they need Ukraine. They need a beachhead. They want
to torpedo Russia from Ukraine’s territory. By lopping off Crimea, they want
to add an insult to Russia’s injury.

[Correspondent] However, the Ukrainian military insists the Americans have
come to Crimea only to improve the training facilities at a training ground
outside Feodosiya. They will build barracks, shower rooms and canteens
there, for the exclusive use of Ukrainian sailors during exercises.

Nonetheless, Feodosiya residents do not believe these statements and are
prepared to stand for days at the gate to keep NATO troops out of their
town.                                           -30-
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15. UKRAINE BLOC SLAMS RUSSIAN DUMA MOVE ON CRIMEA 

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1325 gmt 29 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 29, 2006

KIEV – The Our Ukraine bloc has condemned “populist” moves by several
members of the Russian State Duma who initiated an inquiry to the Russian
government about the possibility of annexing Crimea to Russia.

A statement posted on the Our Ukraine website today says: “Acts of political
provocation carried out by certain Russian politicians regarding the status
of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea ever since Ukraine gained independence
culminated on 26 May 2006. On that day, the Russian Duma decided to send an
inquiry to the Russian government about the possibility of annexing Crimea
(under the Kuchuk- Kainarji [Kucuk Kaynarca] treaty of 1774).”

“It does not befit Russia’s top legislative body to adopt political
decisions based on historical events that happened 250 years ago,” the
statement says.

International relations must take account of the modern-day political
reality, Our Ukraine believes. “Russian MPs who are so concerned about
‘history’ should be reminded that the Kuchuk-Kainarji treaty of 1774 was
concluded by the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire – two countries

which no longer exist,” the statement says.

“Such interpretations by certain Russian politicians can provoke radical
Ukrainian parties to make similar steps like [demanding] the annexation of
all Kievan Rus lands (Moscow and Kuban included) to Ukraine,” the statement
says.

Our Ukraine supports “the development of friendly ties and partnership
between Russia and Ukraine, in particular, continued delimitation of the
border based on this approach”.

Our Ukraine condemned the practice of “historical manipulations” and said it
not only negatively affected relations between Ukraine and Russia but also
“paints an unbecoming picture of activities by Russian State Duma members”.
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16. GAZPROM REBUFFS EU OVER ACCESS TO RUSSIAN PIPELINES 

By Thomas Catan in London and Arkady Ostrovsky in Moscow
Financial Times, London, UK, Tuesday, May 30 2006

Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy chief executive, has rejected European
Union demands for Russia’s state-controlled gas monopoly to open its
pipeline network to access by independent producers and other countries.

He also called plans to bypass Russia with a gas pipeline from Kazakhstan to
Europe “unrealistic”.

The planned trans-Caspian pipeline has strong backing from the EU, which is
seeking ways to loosen Russia’s stranglehold on gas supplies from central
Asia. Dick Cheney, US vice-president, recently met the Kazakh president to
push for the project.

However, Mr Medvedev said Kazakhstan did not have enough gas to justify the
planned pipeline, nor Europe enough demand.
“I’m rather sure that without Russian gas, no projects in new supply will
fly,” he said. “Today, due to the absence for the additional markets for
this gas in Europe, it is absolutely unrealistic.”

The EU gets a quarter of its gas from Russia, the country with the biggest
reserves in the world. However, fears over its reliability as a supplier
were prompted by an interruption on January 1 after a spat with Ukraine over
gas prices.

Gazprom’s chief executive, Alexei Miller, deepened concerns by warning EU
ambassadors that if its European expansion plans were thwarted, Gazprom
would respond by shifting its investment focus to new markets in Asia.

Mr Cheney warned Russia against using its vast energy reserves to
“blackmail” neighbours.

Mr Medvedev said Gazprom had been unfairly portrayed and hit out at Mr
Cheney. “When Mr Cheney is saying that Russia is using blackmail [as a]
negotiating technique, that is nothing to do with our normal business
practice.”

“I believe that Russia didn’t use gas supplies as a weapon, and didn’t
blackmail anybody. “We have done our utmost to secure transit routes through
Ukraine.” Russia will host a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialised
nations in July to discuss energy security.                      -30-

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17.                                  STILL A GENOCIDE
                         There should be no ambiguity about Darfur.

LEAD EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006; Page A16

IT’S BEEN MORE than three weeks since a Darfur peace accord was signed,
bringing hope for an end to the genocide in Sudan’s western territory. Since
then the news has been terrible. The two rebel factions that refused to sign
the peace deal have continued to snub it. Violence between rebel factions
has generated blood-curdling attacks on civilians. Human Rights Watch has
reported fresh evidence of atrocities committed by government-backed
Janjaweed death squads across the border in Chad.

The cash-strapped U.N. World Food Program has been forced to reduce the
already meager rations it distributes to 6 million Sudanese, including 3
million in Darfur. And Sudan’s government has waffled on the crucial
question of whether it will allow in an expanded peacekeeping force, without
which violence, hunger and mass death are likely to continue.

The only external force at present is a 7,000-strong African Union
contingent. It is too small and ill-equipped to cover a territory the size
of France, and its mandate allows it to monitor violence but not actually
stop it. Gunmen in Darfur have learned that it is toothless. Even the
displaced civilians whom the African Union is trying to help have staged
violent demonstrations against the force out of frustration with its
shortcomings.

There is no way that this contingent can oversee the implementation of
Darfur’s peace treaty, which envisages the complex demobilization of
combatants and the eventual repatriation of some 2 million displaced people.
Recognizing this, the African Union has agreed to fold its soldiers into a
larger U.N. peacekeeping force.

After much prevarication, Sudan’s government appeared to agree last Thursday
to allow in a team of U.N. military planners. But that concession came just
a day after the speaker of Sudan’s parliament ruled out a foreign deployment
in Darfur, and it was undermined by the foreign minister’s simultaneous
statement that “any forces, if that is agreed upon, would be a force for
supervision and not a force for peace implementation.”

In a repeat of its tactics toward humanitarian workers, Sudan’s regime
plainly means to stall peacekeepers for as long as possible — and never
mind that the aid workers and peacekeepers are trying to save the lives of
Sudanese civilians.

The U.S. government has described the killing in Darfur as genocide, a term
that Sudan’s government rejects and that the United Nations and Europeans
have also shrunk from using. The more that the conflict in Darfur features
infighting between rebel factions rather than just atrocities by the
government’s militia, the more observers may resist pointing the finger at
the government and accusing it of genocide.

But the reason that Sudan’s government is culpable, today as in the past, is
that it is deliberately creating the conditions in which thousands of
civilians from rebel-aligned tribes are likely to die. First the government
and its militia drove these people from their villages. Then it impeded
humanitarian workers so that thousands of them fell prey to disease or
starved. Now it is obstructing a serious peacekeeping deployment, with the
result that its victims will continue to face shortages of medicines and
food.

This may not be genocide by gas chamber or machete. But it is still a
calculated policy of targeting ethnic groups and planning, meticulously, to
eliminate them.
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18.                               EXCLUDING FRIENDS
  
 The Senate moves to keep branding human rights victims as terrorists.

EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 30, 2006; Page A16

THE SENATE HAD an opportunity last week to fix the horrendous mess
Congress has inadvertently made out of the law governing the admission of
refugees to the United States. In an overwhelming, bipartisan vote, it
passed it up —  much to its shame.

The body voted 79 to 19 to reject an amendment put forth by Sen. Patrick J.
Leahy (D-Vt.) that would have restored discretion to the government to admit
human rights victims bizarrely branded under current law as terrorists or
supporters of terrorism.

The vote followed gross misrepresentations of the proposal by Sen. Jon Kyl
(R-Ariz.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). Indeed,
given their descriptions, it’s a wonder even 19 senators voted for it. Mr.
Kyl portrayed it as permitting the admission of Taliban fighters; Mr.
Specter warned of members of Hamas and other terrorists showing up on
American shores.

The proposal would have done nothing of the kind. The government has wide
latitude to exclude people who pose a national security threat. The problem
with the existing laws are that they define a terrorist group so broadly as
to include virtually any organization that has ever used weapons. And they
not only permit but also require the exclusion of all members and material
supporters of such groups — with no exceptions for people who acted under
the threat of violence.

So a Liberian woman used as a sex slave in her own house or a Northern
Alliance soldier who fought alongside American troops in Afghanistan would
both be excluded — the former for providing shelter to terrorists, the
latter for membership in a “terrorist” group. Tens of thousands of refugees
around the world are held up because of these strictures, many of them for
affiliations with armed groups this country has actively supported and
certainly never regarded as terrorists.

The Leahy proposal would have clarified that the bar applies only to groups
the government has designated foreign terrorist organizations, and it would
have created an exception for people who were forced to provide support to
such organizations. Its rejection puts a huge burden on the
administration — which also shamefully opposed Mr. Leahy’s amendment — to
exercise its very limited discretion under existing law aggressively.

Current law allows the government to waive the ban for supporters, though
not members, of terrorist groups. Following a lengthy intra-governmental
skirmish, the administration has finally begun using this power —
permitting one large group of ethnic Karen victims of Burmese oppression to
move forward in the process. But it won’t be enough. The Senate needs to
revisit this.                                              -30-

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19.    AT AUSCHWITZ, POPE INVOKES A ‘HEARTFELT CRY’ 
            In Poignant Visit, Pontiff Prays In German at Nazi Death Camp

By Craig Whitlock, Washington Post Foreign Service
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.. Mon, May 29, 2006; Pg A14

OSWIECIM, Poland, May 28 — Pope Benedict XVI, a conscripted member of the
Hitler Youth and the German army as a teenager, walked through the gate of
the death camp at Auschwitz on Sunday and somberly confronted the sites
where his countrymen killed an estimated 1.5 million people, the vast
majority of them Jews.

Dressed wholly in white, the 79-year-old pope strode slowly past a boulevard
of brick barracks as his entourage of dark-suited bishops and security
agents walked several steps behind. He passed under the infamous iron gate
wrought with the Nazis’ mocking slogan, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or “Work Makes
You Free.”

 He paused to light a candle and pray silently in front of a stone wall
where the Nazis executed thousands of prisoners with bullets. Then he
entered a cellblock and descended the stairs to inspect an underground
dungeon where a Polish Catholic priest, Maximilian Kolbe, was left to starve
after he offered his life to the Nazis if they would spare a fellow
prisoner. Kolbe was made a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Later, Benedict spoke and prayed at a ceremony in front of a slate-gray
victims’ monument in the Birkenau section of the camp, near remains of the
crematoria and gas chambers where most of the Nazis’ victims were killed.

“To speak in this place of horror, in this place where unprecedented mass
crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible — and it is
particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a pope from
Germany,” he said in an address delivered in Italian.

“In a place like this, words fail. In the end, there can only be a dread
silence — a silence which is itself a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did
you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?”

Benedict also gave a brief prayer in German at the camp, the only time
during his trip to Poland when he spoke in his native language.

It was the third visit to Auschwitz for Benedict, but the first since he
became pope in April 2005. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Munich, he
accompanied John Paul on a historic visit to the camp in 1979 and returned a
year later with a group of German bishops. On Sunday, he recalled those
moments.

“Pope John Paul II came here as a son of the Polish people. I come here
today as a son of the German people,” Benedict said. “For this very reason,
I can and must echo his words: I could not fail to come here. I had to come.
It is a duty before the truth and the just due of all who suffered here.”

The ceremony began in a misty drizzle, but the sun broke out and a bright
rainbow shone on the horizon in time for Benedict’s address.

Unlike German political leaders who have visited Auschwitz over the decades,
Benedict did not explicitly apologize on behalf of his country or articulate
a notion of German collective responsibility for the Holocaust. Instead, he
lay the blame squarely on Germany’s Nazi rulers.

In that vein, he described himself as “a son of people over which a ring of
criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness and the
recovery of the nation’s honor, prominence and prosperity, but also through
terror and intimidation, with the result that our people were used and
abused as an instrument of their thirst for destruction and power.”

The symbolism of the Auschwitz visit — intended to promote reconciliation
between Christians and Jews, as well as Germans and Poles — was undercut by
an assault Saturday on the chief rabbi of Poland.

Rabbi Michael Schudrich, a native of New York, said he was punched and
pepper-sprayed in Warsaw by a young man shouting “Poland for the Poles!”
Authorities with the Polish Interior Ministry said they were looking for a
25-year-old suspect and called the attack a “provocation aimed at creating
an image of Poland as an anti-Semitic country.”

Schudrich participated in Sunday’s ceremony at Auschwitz and chanted the
kaddish, or Jewish prayer for the dead, before Benedict’s speech. Schudrich
called the altercation in Warsaw a reflection of worsening anti-Semitism in
Poland but said he did not want it to overshadow the pope’s visit.
“Ultra-rightists who felt somehow constrained in their behavior now feel
they can do whatever they want,” he told the Associated Press.

John Paul was credited by many during his 26-year reign for his emphasis on
improving relations between Christians and Jews. He was the first pope to
visit a synagogue, and he established diplomatic relations between the
Vatican and Israel. He visited Jerusalem in 2000 and deplored “the terrible
tragedy” of the Holocaust.

Some Jewish leaders in Poland spoke favorably of Benedict’s work to continue
those efforts, noting that he also visited a synagogue in Cologne, Germany,
last August during his first trip outside Italy as pope.

“If the present pope follows the path shown by John Paul II, then we can
only be grateful and very proud about it,” Tadeusz Jakubowicz, the leader of
the Jewish community in Krakow, said in an interview. “It doesn’t matter
what origins or nation he represents. He will be the pope of all of us.”

For centuries, Krakow — about 40 miles from Auschwitz — had a thriving
Jewish population, numbering about 70,000 before World War II. Today,

there are about 200.

Jakubowicz, 67, was imprisoned by the Nazis in the nearby Plaszow
concentration camp as a child. He said 31 of his relatives were killed
during the Holocaust. It was both remarkable and proper, he said, for
Benedict to make Auschwitz the symbolic climax of his visit to Poland.

“The very fact that a German pope is coming to the concentration camp at
Auschwitz and praying, isn’t it a gesture of asking for forgiveness?” he
said. “I’m almost certain that John Paul knew that Ratzinger was destined to
become pope, and I think he knew what he was doing in helping to make that
happen.”

Benedict’s stop at Auschwitz capped a four-day tour of Poland in which the
pope honored his popular predecessor, John Paul, at nearly every public
event.

Earlier Sunday, Benedict led Mass for an estimated 900,000 people in a field
in Krakow, a place where John Paul regularly greeted huge crowds during his
papacy and his years as archbishop of the city.

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20. AUSCHWITZ SPEECH SEEN AS MOVING BUT INCOMPLETE

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor
Reuters, Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 29, 2006

WARSAW – Pope Benedict’s speech in Auschwitz was the most
introspective and moving address of his papacy, but some who heard
it still thought he did not go far enough.

Ending a four-day pilgrimage to Poland on Sunday, the 79-year-old Pontiff
reflected on how hard it was for a German to visit the former Nazi death
camp and how challenging the evil committed there was for anyone who
believed in a loving God.

 His bold decision to ask at the infamous death camp the question that made
millions lose their faith after the Holocaust won headlines in many
newspapers around Europe on Monday.

“God, why did you remain silent?” Rome’s La Repubblica quoted him as
asking in reference to the killing there of about 1.5 million people, mostly
Jews. Germany’s Berliner Zeitung chose another of his blunt questions:

“Where was God?”

But just as many commentators focused on what he did not say, especially
about Catholic anti-Semitism and the role the Vatican played while the
Holocaust was raging.

Some faulted him for not clearly mentioning anti-Semitism, others for saying
Germany was taken over by criminals in the 1930s, as if Adolf Hitler had not
had any popular support.

John Wilkins, former editor of the British Catholic weekly The Tablet, gave
Benedict high marks for the speech but said he felt sensitive issues such as
the long history of Catholic anti-Semitism were left out.
                                     MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
“It was a wonderful speech, but I think some opportunities were missed,” he
told Reuters. “Something could have been said about how many Christians did
not act very well back then.”

“It’s symbolically important that Pope Benedict went to Auschwitz, but I was
expecting a different speech,” Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League
told La Stampa in Turin, noting that the Pope did not expressly condemn
anti-Semitism.

Commentators also asked about the Vatican’s role during the Holocaust, when
Pope Pius XII did not speak out against Nazi oppression of the Jews.

One sore point is that the Vatican has not opened all its wartime files to
historians, who want to know what Pius knew, when he knew it and what he
discussed with his aides about it.

While the Pope made clear in Auschwitz that he did not want to close the
book on the past, the Vatican is not ready to open its archives from the war
years,” wrote the Rotterdam daily Algemeen Dagblad.
                                     VERY JEWISH SPEECH
The Paris Catholic daily La Croix said dwelling on what was not in the
speech “risks missing the great profundity of what he said” about God’s
absence or silence in the face of such evil. “Loyal to his calling as a
teacher, Benedict asked the question everyone — believer or not — asks.”

In Poland, where the media mixed some criticism with mostly positive
coverage of the visit, several commentators noted subtler tones than those
highlighted abroad.

“The Pope’s speech and visit were very Jewish to me,” said Stanislaw
Krajewski of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. “The Pope quoted
the psalms, which are also part of the Jewish tradition, and that creates a
link.

“It was moving when he said clearly that the Nazis, by killing the Jewish
nation, aimed to kill God,” he said. “Linking Christianity’s roots with
Judaism is a strong argument against anti-Semitism,” said sociologist
Jadwiga Staniszkis. “I think this speech should be read.”       -30-
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AUR#701 May 26 Parliament June 7 Next Meeting; No Coalition Yet, When?; Gas & Hot Air; I Want To Be Ukraine’s Thatcher

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR
An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World

ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 701
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2006

——- INDEX OF ARTICLES ——–
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1. UKRAINE: NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES BRIEFLY
SETS JUNE 7 DEADLINE FOR COALITION
By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 25, 2006

2. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS PROFESSIONAL GOVERNMENT

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 25, 2006

3. GAS AND HOT AIR,

UKRAINE’S POLITICAL SQUABBLING CONTINUES
From The Economist Global Agenda
London, UK, Thursday, May 25th 2006

4. NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES IN KIEV
By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, May 25, 2006

5. I WANT TO BE UKRAINE’S THATCHER
INTERVIEW: With Yulia Tymoshenko
By Allister Heath, The Spectator
London, UK, Saturday, 27 May 2006

6. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT IN USA NEXT WEEK

Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Will meet with Laura Bush at the White House

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

7. DANCE TEACHER FROM UKRAINE WAS THERE FOR THE
PITTSBURGH FOLK FESTIVAL’S START
Luba Hlutkowsky has been director of the Ukrainian dance troupe Poltava
By Phuong Ngan Do, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thursday, May 25, 2006

8. MITTAL STEEL TO INCREASE SALARIES BY 15 PERCENT
FOR WORKERS AT GIANT UKRAINE STEEL MILL
AP Worldstream, Kiev,Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

9. MITSUBISHI HEAVY RECEIVES UKRAINE STEEL PLANT ORDER
Arran Scott, Dow Jones Newswires, Tokyo, Japan, Wed, May 24, 2006

10. UKRAINE ELECTIONS CONFIRM WESTERN ORIENTATION
AND AN AGGRESSIVE REFORM AGENDA
INTERVIEW: With Oleh Shamshur, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US
By Thomas Cromwell, Managing Editor, Diplomatic Traffic
Washington, D.C., Week of May 22, 2006

11. IS UKRAINE PART OF EUROPE’S FUTURE?
Is European Enlargement Dead?
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Excerpt from The Washington Quarterly, Vol 29, No. 3
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Washington, D.C., Summer, 2006

12. EU EXPANSION CHIEF: BLOC SHOULDN’T DRAW FINAL BORDERS
“It would be a strategic error if we for example said ‘never’ to Ukraine.”
Associated Press (AP), Brussels, Belgium, Wed, May 24, 2006

13. NATO LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE IMAGE IN RUSSIA
Associated Press, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 18, 2006

14. PROSPECTS FOR A PARLIAMENTARY COALITION
Coalition building most watchable Ukrainian soap-opera for several weeks.
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY:
By Yuriy BUTUSOV
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

15. IN THE SHADOW OF RUSSIA
Russian influence can be especially felt in Ukraine and Georgia
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos by Donald Weber
Maclean’s Magazine, Toronto, Canada, May 2006

16. UKRAINE’S PENITENTIARY SYSTEM FAR BEHIND STANDARDS
Cells are packed with 50-100 prisoners, normal is two to four
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0820 gmt 11 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, May 11, 2006

17. HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE – 2005
STATEMENT: Forum of Ukrainian Human Rights Organizations
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 May 2006

18. ROUND TABLE: GUAM-2006: INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE
& PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT, MONDAY, MAY 29, KYIV
Sarah Jewett, Eurasia Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

19. NATO GIVES UKRAINE EUR5.8M TO DISPOSE OF

SURPLUS WEAPONS
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

20. EU, RUSSIA AGREE ON ENERGY INTERDEPENDENCE
President Putin comments on Russian-Ukraine gas deal and US criticism
Associated Press (AP), Sochi, Russia, Thu, May 25, 2006

21. WHY DID A RUSSIAN PROFESSOR FAIL ON HIS HOMEWORK?
LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: Compiled from discussion by
the university students of Ukraine’s Modern History Class, taught by
Professor Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv Franko University
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 21
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2005

22. LOOKING FOR DENTISTS, HYGIENISTS TO BE PART OF
SMILE ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM IN UKRAINE
LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Vicki Nelson
Smile Alliance International, Kyiv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR)# 701, Article 22
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

23. STILL DYING OF HUNGER
More Can Be Done to Ease the Toll on Children and Countries
OP-ED Column: By James T. Morris, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006; Page A29

24. 62ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
“PROTEST MEETING” SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA WENT BY PEACEFULLY
By Idil P. Izmirli, US IREX IARO scholar, Simferopol, Crimea
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 24
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

25. “EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT AT THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE
WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music by
Ukrainian artists in the elegant Ukrainian Embassy, a national treasure.
WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE:
Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W.
=======================================================
1
. UKRAINE: NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES BRIEFLY
SETS JUNE 7 DEADLINE FOR COALITION

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 25, 2006

PRAGUE – All seemed in order as the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada convened
for its first session today — but the composure on the Ukrainian
parliamentary rostrum was short-lived.

A dispute among deputies erupted immediately after the Yuliya Tymoshenko
Bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party — the three allies in the 2004
Orange Revolution — proposed that the session be postponed until June 7.

By that time, they pledged, the three groups will have agreed on the
principles of a renewed coalition. The motion eventually passed with 240
votes.
RIFT REMAINS
Dissent came from the ranks of the Party of Regions and the Communist Party,
whose members argued that the Orange Revolution allies have had enough time
to agree on a coalition and should allow the legislature get to work.

The March 26 parliamentary vote in Ukraine, which was internationally
praised as fair and democratic, produced a legislature comprising five
forces: the Party of Regions (186 seats), the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (129),
Our Ukraine (81), the Socialist Party (33), and the Communist Party (21).

Over the past two months, the five parliamentary groups have held several
joint meetings chaired by President Viktor Yushchenko and many bilateral and
trilateral conferences devoted to the formation of a parliamentary majority,
but all of them proved to be fruitless.

In mid-April the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist
Party signed a protocol pledging to work toward creating such a
parliamentary majority. Their subsequent efforts led to the preparation of
two draft coalition accord — one endorsed by the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc
and the Socialists, the other worked out by Our Ukraine.
THE TYMOSHENKO HURDLE
The main stumbling block in the coalition talks is the question of who will
become prime minister. Tymoshenko has made no secret of her desire to regain
the post she held before being dismissed by Yushchenko in September. But the
restoration of Tymoshenko as prime minister is exactly what the president
and his political partners from Our Ukraine would like to avoid.

Yushchenko officially split with Tymoshenko after she accused some of his
closest allies of corruption practices and of running a “second” government.
All of them were subsequently elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the Our
Ukraine list.

If the former Orange Revolution allies eventually decide to restore their
coalition and Tymoshenko becomes prime minister once again, the old conflict
may reignite.

There is also another source of potential discord between the president and
Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko promised during the election campaign to cancel a
gas-supply deal that Yushchenko’s cabinet signed with Gazprom in January.

The deal raised the gas price for Ukraine from $50 to $95 per 1,000 meters
and gave RosUkrEnergo, an opaque Swiss-based company owned half by
Gazprom and half by two Ukrainian businessmen, the role of sole supplier.

The cancellation by Tymoshenko of the gas deal with Gazprom could lead to a
serious conflict between Kyiv and Moscow. Russia could cut gas supplies to
Ukraine, as it did for a short time in January, or impose trade sanctions,
as it recently did with regard to Georgian and Moldovan wines. Ukraine,
which currently sends some 22 percent of its exports to Russia, would hardly
benefit from any trade ban from Moscow.

Another hurdle to an “Orange” coalition is the Socialist Party’s opposition
to some goals pursued by Yushchenko’s presidency. In particular, the
Socialists object to Ukrainian aspirations to join NATO. They also object to
the privatization of land, thus undermining Yushchenko’s efforts to
implement reforms he pledged during the 2004 Orange Revolution in an effort
to bring the country closer to the European Union.
UNLIKELY MARRIAGE
Our Ukraine fails to fulfill Tymoshenko’s dream of regaining her seat as
prime minister, she will most likely switch to the opposition, and
Yushchenko will have to seek a coalition with the Party of Regions led by
Viktor Yanukovych — his former presidential rival.

Such a coalition, with 267 votes in the Verkhovna Rada, would provide solid
support for its cabinet, provided that the two seemingly mismatched parties
could adopt a consistent program.Both parties represent the interests of
major oligarchic groups in Ukraine, so in theory they could very easily
agree on a set of basic economic reforms.

But difficulties could emerge in the determination of foreign-policy
priorities, as Yanukovych’s party is generally seen as Russia-leaning, in
contrast to the Western-oriented Our Ukraine.

But for Yushchenko, this coalition option is fraught with much more serious
dangers than mere differences of opinion on foreign policy. The Party of
Regions, which won the March 26 vote, would most likely demand the post of
prime minister. It is not clear whether Yushchenko would prefer Yanukovych
or someone else from his party to Tymoshenko as prime minister.

Under the constitutional reform that went into effect in January, the
presidential powers in Ukraine were substantially reduced to the benefit of
the parliament and the prime minister.

Since the Party of Regions has many politicians with great experience in
running the government during former President Leonid Kuchma reign,
Yushchenko should think twice before handing the keys to the cabinet over to
them. Such experienced politicians could do more to diminish the role of the
president in practice than the constitutional reform did in theory.
EUROPEAN COURSE
Yushchenko told the Verkhovna Rada today that he will expect the new
cabinet to embody his future vision for Ukraine.

“The government should be made up of those who, as a single team, will
ensure Ukraine’s development on the basis of European values, who are
capable of consolidating the nation, stimulating economic reforms, and
respecting the rights and freedoms of the people,” Yushchenko said.

However, the president could find these goals very difficult to achieve —
not only because of discrepancies among the potential coalition parties but
also because of the personal ambitions of their leaders.
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2. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS PROFESSIONAL GOVERNMENT

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 25, 2006

In an address to the newly elected Verkhovna Rada, Victor Yushchenko has
stated that Ukraine’s future government should consist of professionals that
work as one team to ensure the country’s development on the basis of
European values and are capable of consolidating the nation, stimulating
economic reforms and protecting human rights.

He congratulated the deputies on being elected and wished them success but
said, “Being responsible for the country, the President will now play one of
the leading roles in the process to form a government.”

The Head of State also urged the parliamentarians to hold a swearing-in
ceremony to convene Ukraine’s Constitutional Court. Then he said the
above-mentioned requirements determined a few major directions for the
cabinet.

FIRST, they should improve the system of government in Ukraine to make
the interaction of governmental agencies rational and effective. The stronger
autonomy of local governments and administrative reform are among the
most important priorities, he added.

“I have always been a supporter of European political traditions. I believe
that adequate and pragmatic political reform, which will be based on
Ukrainian political traditions, will only strengthen our strategic advance.
I am convinced it will only be possible when we change the constitution,” he
said.

SECOND, it is important to develop the system of legal institutions in order
to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, “for the citizens of
Ukraine are still unprotected against injustice and arbitrariness.”

“This explains why our society expects the parliament to pass new laws
ensuring radical judicial reforms,” he said.

THIRD, the government must create favorable conditions for an economic
breakthrough. He opined that Ukraine needed “a new philosophy of economic
policies.” Mr. Yushchenko said there were a few “springs” that could make
the economy grow.

We should profoundly change the whole economic structure, use modern
technologies, save resources, liberalize basic pricing mechanisms, and
continue introducing social reforms. The Chief of State said this kind of
philosophy “will make GDP grow by not less than five per cent annually,
which is important to successfully carry out our ambitious social programs.”

FOURTH, the government must spare no effort to reunite the nation by
building a common humanitarian space absorbing our lingual and cultural
diversity. “We must build an authentic system of values based on our
heritage and European traditions,” he said.

The President reiterated that it was unacceptable to divide Ukraine but
described regionalism as “an integral element of the national formation.”

“Each Ukrainian land is unique, but we must not split and weaken the
country,” he said.

When speaking about the language issue, the President said the government
should make sure both the Ukrainian language and languages of national
minorities develop equally.

Addressing representatives of the three branches of government, Victor
Yushchenko said: “Our society expects you to harmoniously interact and
achieve results that will make the country and its people confident and
secure.” -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_8514.html
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3. GAS AND HOT AIR,
UKRAINE’S POLITICAL SQUABBLING CONTINUES

From The Economist Global Agenda
London, UK, Thursday, May 25th 2006

A NEW parliament holds its first session in Ukraine today, two months
after an election in March. But the politicians are still lost in their
selfish haggling, meaning that the country has no new government as yet,
merely the prospect of an unlikely coalition between old foes.

The hiatus has forced an embarrassing delay on Ukraine’s prospects for
joining the WTO, on privatisation, and on other reforms. Worse, President
George Bush wants to visit Ukraine before or after his trip to Vladimir
Putin’s G-8 summit in St Petersburg in July. A proper government to
welcome him would be nice.

The idealism of the Orange Revolution, which removed the corrupt
bureaucratic regime of Ukraine’s previous president, Leonid Kuchma, looks
faded. Greed for the spoils of office seems the most likely explanation for
the behaviour of at least two of the three main parties.

The most probable coalition at the moment is a rum one between the small
Our Ukraine party of president Viktor Yushchenko, and the big Party of the
Regions led by his opponent in the tumultuous presidential election of 2004,
Viktor Yanukovych. Such a deal would sideline Mr Yushchenko’s former ally,
the flaxen-haired and demagogic Yulia Tymoshenko.

Publicly, Mr Yushchenko’s lot say she is too unpredictable and divisive.
Privately, his aides insinuate that she has not abandoned her past interests
in the energy business.

In turn, Ms Tymoshenko says that the president’s aides are conspiring
against her. Her hopes for a deal with Mr Yushchenko, which would keep
the old guard out of office, are looking increasingly forlorn. The most
likely outcome is for the deadlock to continue until the end of June, giving the
current caretaker government the chance to renegotiate an all-important gas
deal with Russia.

The fear is that this will be as bad as the temporary six-month agreement
struck in January, after a brief cut-off, which enriched a murky
intermediary company called RosUkrEnergo. That firm’s ownership is
enigmatic, as are the reasons that Mr Yushchenko allowed its lucrative
involvement.

Ukraine’s amended constitution gives the parliament more power than its
predecessor had, including the ability to dismiss the prime minister and his
government colleagues. If no coalition is formed in a month, the
constitution allows Mr Yushchenko to call new elections. That may break
the deadlock. But it would not, on current form, look likely to create the
strong reforming government that Ukraine so badly needs. -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.economist.com
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4. NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES IN KIEV

By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, May 25, 2006

KIEV — Leaders from Ukraine’s reformist, pro-Western parties pledged
Thursday to bring an end to their messy coalition talks and be ready to
present a governing agreement to the parliament and the nation within 15
days.

The promise came as the 450-seat parliament held its inaugural session,
setting into motion a 30-day deadline to form a coalition and a 60-day
deadline to name the new government. If talks fail, President Viktor
Yushchenko can call new elections.

The new lawmakers took their seats in the ornate chamber that once served as
home to Soviet Ukraine’s parliament, as the poem “Love Ukraine” was recited.
Their election on March 26 was praised as the most free and fair ever in
Ukraine.

The pro-Moscow Party of the Regions won the most votes and took 185 seats in
the new parliament. Ousted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the most
popular figures during the 2004 mass protests, won 129 parliamentary seats
for her bloc, while Yushchenko’s bloc took 80. The Socialists, who back
Yushchenko, and the Communists have 33 and 21, respectively. Two lawmakers
have not yet been registered.

“The election was recognized as worth imitating across the whole region,”
Yushchenko told the lawmakers. “I did what I promised as president.” He said
he had come to the hall Thursday “to show my respect for the conscious
choice of our people.”

Tymoshenko’s lawmakers arrived wearing identical white sweaters emblazoned
with her red heart campaign logo, which the former prime minister said
symbolized her party’s hopes that the new parliament would embrace “clean
and transparent politics.”

Leaders from the estranged Orange Revolution allies held a joint news
conference to announce the formation of a working group charged with
reaching an agreement on the coalition by June 7. The agreement will include
the coalition’s main policy agenda, and only then will the three blocs start
discussing who gets what job, officials said.

“Of course, differences exist but we will find a way to solve them,”
Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz said. Tymoshenko, who wants to return
as prime minister, added, “We need time and we will find understanding.”

Tymoshenko’s bitter falling-out with Yushchenko last year soured relations,
and the president said he was reluctant to try such a partnership again.
Tymoshenko has lately stopped talking about the prime minister’s job in what
appears to be a negotiating strategy rather than a change in position. Her
staff continue to repeat that she is the best candidate for the job.

An opinion poll by Kiev’s Razumkov Center found that nearly 40 percent of
those polled would like to see a coalition between Yushchenko’s bloc,
Tymoshenko’s and the Socialists. Some 17 percent said they wanted to see a
union between Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and the Party of the Regions, led by
Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom Yushchenko accused of trying to steal the
presidency in 2004.

Some 13 percent said they wanted all the parties except the Communists to
unite. The poll, which surveyed 2,000 people, had a margin of error of 2.3
percentage points. On Thursday, lawmakers formally accepted the current
government’s resignation.

But Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov and the rest of the Cabinet — many
members of which also won parliamentary seats — were asked to stay on in an
acting capacity until a new Cabinet was formed. Previously, the president
appointed the prime minister and the Cabinet. -30-
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5. I WANT TO BE UKRAINE’S THATCHER

INTERVIEW: With Yulia Tymoshenko
By Allister Heath, The Spectator
London, UK, Saturday, 27 May 2006

To her legions of adoring groupies she is the Orange Princess, the goddess
of the Ukrainian revolution and the world’s most beautiful politician. Even
her critics admit that with her blonde hair braided in the traditional
Ukrainian peasant way like a crown around her head and her flamboyant
designer outfits, Yulia Tymoshenko cuts a surreal figure, a cross between
Princess Leia of Star Wars and Princess Diana.

Her striking appearance helped to turn her into a global cultural icon when
she took to the barricades during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and then
during her brief stint as prime minister last year.

Forbes magazine declared Tymoshenko the world’s third most powerful woman
after Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, and Wu Yi, the Chinese
vice-premier; any day now, depending on the outcome of the coalition
negotiations in Kiev, Tymoshenko will either return as Ukraine’s prime
minister or emerge as her country’s power-broker.

Given the popstar-style hype that invariably surrounds her, I was half
fearing disappointment when I went to see Tymoshenko last week. She was
on a fleeting visit to Britain to meet financiers and William Hague, the shadow
foreign secretary. I needn’t have worried.

After a lengthy wait in a corridor in front of her suite in the Savoy, which
was guarded by severe-looking Ukrainian bodyguards and American advisers,
I was finally ushered in, and there was Tymoshenko, exactly as advertised, a
petite figure exuding a huge presence. She was wearing an elaborate white
coat, skirt and matching pearls, handbag and stiletto heels. She is 45, but
looks at least ten years younger.

Even more striking than her hair is her mesmerising stare, of an almost
shocking intensity, which is in stark contrast to the quiet, almost
understated tone of her voice. She looked unwaveringly into my eyes until
she finished answering each question; unnervingly, she continued to stare
even as her interpreter translated after her.

My attempts at holding her gaze soon crumbled, and I pretended to fiddle
with my tape recorder to avoid admitting defeat. When I looked up again, her
brown eyes were still staring at me.

There was one question I was dying to ask her – and it had nothing to do
with her fairytale hair, which she claims to do herself every morning in
only seven minutes. Although she is sometimes known as Ukraine’s Iron Yulia,
Tymoshenko has never revealed what she thinks of Margaret Thatcher. So what
does she think of her?

‘There is probably natural solidarity, female solidarity,’ she began,
smiling. But there is a lot more than that. ‘I admire her strong, bright
personality,’ she said, something that none of today’s new generation of
timid, politically correct wannabe female Tory MPs would ever dare to admit.
Then came the punchline: ‘Yes, indeed, I have Margaret Thatcher as my model.’

When the Spice Girls claimed to be Thatcherites in an interview with The
Spectator in 1996, we all knew it was a bit of a joke; but when the
formidable Tymoshenko reveals for the first time that Thatcher is her role
model she should be taken with deadly seriousness.

There are many similarities between the two women. Like Thatcher, people
either hate Tymoshenko or idolise her; no one is ever indifferent. To her
numerous detractors in Ukraine and Russia, she is merely a populist
responsible for many of Ukraine’s woes, a vastly rich gas oligarch who made
her money running the giant United Energy Systems of Ukraine in the
mid-1990s.

Tymoshenko laughed this off, and drew parallels between herself and Lady
Thatcher: ‘I’m sure that any strong personality in politics gives rise to
both positive and negative emotions. The stronger the personalities, the
more radical the positive and negative emotions.’

Tymoshenko has long used her femininity for political advantage. She has
appeared on the cover of the Ukrainian edition of Elle magazine, has said
that any ‘real woman’ would be happy to appear on the cover of Playboy, and
makes sexually suggestive jokes.

But after serving as vice-prime minister for two years she was arrested in
2001 and accused of forging customs documents and smuggling gas. She was
subsequently released and cleared of all charges. Those who know her say her
42 days spent in jail gave her a steely determination to succeed and crush
her enemies.

Tymoshenko gained a reputation as a bit of a leftist during her first term
in office – she was sacked after seven months by President Viktor Yushchenko
after a spectacular row – but she is now keen to emphasise her Thatcherite
economics.

When she was prime minister, Tymoshenko demanded a large-scale review of the
privatisations carried out in dodgy circumstances during the reign of Leonid
Kuchma, the former president. At the time this was widely interpreted as an
attack on private property. She now emphatically supports further reforms
and claims that her original policy was misunderstood.

‘As a result of the severe political struggle between the old system and the
new Orange team, the mass media published lots of myths about
re-privatisations, nationalisation and price-fixing. All of these things I
would like to say are absurd, we want to pursue none of these things,’ she
assured me.

Any disputes over the legitimacy of past privatisations – some of which were
carried out at discounted prices to friends of the previous pro-Russian
regime – would be determined by the courts. ‘The legitimacy or otherwise of
privatisation or anything connected with private property is not in the
remit of any bureaucrat, only of the courts.’

Although the Orange Revolution is widely viewed as a disappointment,
Tymoshenko argues that it has done much good and that she can’t wait to be
in a position to rekindle its flames. ‘Before the Orange Revolution we had
an absolutely post-Soviet state with all the post-Soviet rules,’ she said.

There was ‘corruption, clans, unpredictability, helplessness, absence of an
effective courts system, absolute bias and a lack of independence of the
mass media. To understand the importance of the Orange Revolution one needs
to have lived in that period. The Orange Revolution has changed Ukraine
absolutely.’

She wants to restart an ambitious programme of free-market reforms. ‘While I
was in the government as prime minister, my government managed to abolish
more than 5,000 regulatory Acts which were creating terrible conditions for
corruption in businesses. Under my government, the only transparent, honest
privatisation took place. We would like to continue these policies.’

She assured me that she will continue to privatise Ukraine’s strategic
industries, starting with the communications sector, slash duties and
tariffs; remove barriers to foreign banks and insurance companies and
‘reform the judicial system to provide guarantees for stability and
reliability’.

One of the biggest challenges for both Tymoshenko and the West is that 80
per cent of Russia’s gas exports to Europe go through Ukraine. Earlier this
year, to punish the country for the Orange Revolution, President Vladimir
Putin massively hiked the price Ukraine pays for its gas; he briefly
switched off the supplies, which also affected Europe.

‘Ukraine respects Russia as its neighbour, as a political partner, but the
question of energy independence for Ukraine is the issue number one. The
reason why it hasn’t been solved is that there was no political will from
political authorities.’

She told me that she wants to attract foreign investors to help rebuild the
oil and gas sectors, to integrate Ukraine’s electricity network into Europe’s,
to burn more coal and less gas, build new pipelines and make nuclear power
stations safer.

In terms of raw politics, Tymoshenko is in a class of her own, an
astonishingly powerful communicator who perfectly projects a constantly
evolving image of herself; she was a long-haired brunette just four years
ago. She is a master at brand-building: her political party is called the
Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and she is probably the only living politician,
apart from Fidel Castro, whose clothes and hairstyles set fashions.

Her personal life – she is married but has been linked to many powerful
men – leads the magazines and gossip columns. Her website, which has an
English edition, is by far the most sophisticated of any politician this
side of the Atlantic. Tymoshenko-branded merchandise is available for
download, including a computer screensaver of her posing on a motorbike,
as well as dozens of mini-films, political broadcasts and audio files.

There are also photos of the recent wedding of her daughter Yevgenia, a
London School of Economics graduate who married Sean Carr, a long-haired
member of the Yorkshire rock band, the Death Valley Screamers.

Talks between Ukraine’s parties have been going on since the elections on 26
March. A new Orange coalition is most likely and could be announced as early
as this week. It would be led by the Tymoshenko bloc and also include two
other parties, Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and the Socialists.

‘For the second time, the population has voted for the European orientation,
the European vector of policy, for the integration in world markets, into
the civilised way of development,’ Tymoshenko said.

She acknowledged that the long-winded negotiations ‘could look to some like
instability or disorder but this I can assure you is not the case. All this
testifies that a rapid and intense transformation is going on. Ukraine today
is the Poland or the Czech Republic of the 1990s. All ways are open to us.’
On that note, Ukraine’s answer to Maggie got up, picked up her handbag and
bade me farewell. -30-
————————————————————————————————–
Allister Heath is associate editor of The Spectator and deputy editor
of the Business. letters@spectator.co.uk
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http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/22372/i-want-to-be-ukraines-thatcher.thtml
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6. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT IN USA NEXT WEEK
Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Will meet with Laura Bush at the White House


By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

WASHINGTON – Kateryna Yushchenko, first lady of Ukraine, will visit
the United States next week. She will arrive first in Washington for a
series of meetings, then move on to Philadelphia, and end the week
in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.

While in Washington Kateryna Yushchenko will meet with leaders
of the Ukrainian diaspora, health care professionals, businessmen,
economic development experts, government officials and have a
meeting with Laura Bush at the White House.

In Philadelphia The Ukrainian Federation of America, The World Affairs
Council of Philadelphia and the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee
will host Kateryna Yuschenko for a series of meetings regarding
improving Ukraine’s health care services and world affairs.

The first meeting will be a program and dinner on Tuesday May 30, 2006
hosted by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Ukrainian
Human Rights Committee. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is
the premier public policy platform in America’s birthplace and one of the
top speaking forums in the nation.

The event will beheld at the prestigious Union League at 100 S. Broad St. in
Philadelphia. Registration and reception will begin at 5:30 pm followed by
the address of the First Lady of Ukraine and dinner. The cost for the
event is $75.00. (For registration information see FOOTNOTE below.)

UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA “PROJECT LIFELINE”

The Ukrainian Federation of America through it’s Ukrainian health care
initiative “Project Lifeline” has organized a private program for Wednesday
in support of Kateryna Yushchenko’s primary program, through the
Ukraine 3000 Foundation, to substantially improve the health care received
by the people of Ukraine, especially Ukraine’s children.

The Federation, under the leadership of Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair,
Healthcare Commission and Vera Andryczyk, President, has arranged a
private breakfast on Wednesday for the first lady to meet with top U.S.
health care professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical
industries.

The first lady will then visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the
birthplace of pediatric medicine in the United States. The First Lady will
tour Children’s Hospital facilities and meet with Hospital leadership to
encourage a sharing of knowledge and experience between doctors in
the United States and the Ukraine, with the hope to improve healthcare
for children worldwide.

At the hospital Mrs. Yushchenko will meet with Lawrence McAndrews,
president, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related
Institutions (NACHRI), James M. Steven, M.D., S.M., senior vice president
for medical affairs and chief medical officer, The Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital physicians, researchers and administrators

Following the tour of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mrs.
Yushchenko will be the Guest of Honor at a private luncheon meeting,
set up by the Ukrainian Federation of America, with representatives of
the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia and charitable organizations.
The luncheon will be held at Neville Gallery at University of Pennsylvania
Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

Philadelphia is the second stop on the First Lady’s national tour. She will
also earlier visit Washington, D.C., and then stops in California. This is
Mrs. Yushchenko’s second visit to Philadelphia, after first coming to the
city in September 2005 when President Victor Yushchenko received the
Liberty Medal.

Since that time, Mrs. Yushchenko has met with many in the American
medical and pharmaceutical industries, through the “Project Lifeline”
program of the Ukrainian Federation of America, in order to further her
effort to elevate medical standards in Ukraine.
MEETINGS IN CALIFORNIA
In California the first lady will continue her meetings with health care
professionals, Ukrainian-American leaders, and other officials.

On June 1, Thursday, from 5:00 p.m to 6:00 PM, there will be a
reception in support of Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko’s humanitarian
projects hosted by business circles and Ukrainian American Community
of Northern California, at the Stanford Park Hotel, Menlo Park, CA.

On June 2, Friday, from 6:30-9:00 PM, there will be a reception and
buffet in support of Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko’s humanitarian projects
hosted by charity and business circles of Los Angeles at the Park
Hyatt in Los Angeles. -30-
——————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: For more information concerning the program set up
by the Ukrainian Federation of America on Wednesday please contact
Dr. Zenia Chernyk at 215 275 7902 or Vera Andryczyk at 610 539 8946.

For more information about the speech at the World Affairs Council in
Philadelphia go the following website:
http://www.wacphila.org/programs/speaker_eve.html#yushchenko
or call Adele Kauffman at 215 561 4700, extension 235. The Council
will be closed on Friday, May 26th and Monday, May 29th. You can
also contact Ubulana Mazurkevich at 215-858-3006 or by e-mail:
ubulana@aol.com.

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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7. DANCE TEACHER FROM UKRAINE WAS THERE FOR THE
PITTSBURGH FOLK FESTIVAL’S START
Luba Hlutkowsky has been director of the Ukrainian dance troupe Poltava

By Phuong Ngan Do, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thursday, May 25, 2006

The first time Luba Hlutkowsky danced at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival,
she was just two months away from having her first child.

She hadn’t expected to perform. Her assignment was to teach Ukrainian
dance steps to another woman, but her student didn’t dance well.

“Can you imagine?” Mrs. Hlutkowsky said. “I was then seven months
pregnant and had to play the part of a girl who wants to charm a guy.”
She laughed aloud at her 49-year-old memory.

The folk festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Mrs. Hlutkowsky,
68, has taken part in all of them. For many years she has been director of
the Ukrainian dance troupe Poltava. A resident of Carnegie, she also serves
as vice president of the festival’s board of directors.

Born in western Ukraine, she fled with her parents to Austria at the end of
World War II. After living for several years in a Displaced Persons camp,
her family came to Pittsburgh in 1949. She was 11 and spoke no English.
“My father chose the U.S., because he knew that he had an uncle there,”
she recalled.

The trip across the Atlantic Ocean was rough, and she was seasick. The first
English word she learned was “grapefruit.” “It was the only food I could
keep down,” she recalled.

The day after the family arrived in Pittsburgh, her father went in search of
work. Her father, Michael Baran, had been a barber in Ukraine, and he soon
found a barbershop.

Since he did not know a word of English, he first spoke to the owner in
German, according to family history. “Can you speak German?” “Yes,” the
owner replied. “Can you speak Ukrainian?” her father continued. “Yes,” he
said, in Ukrainian. The shop owner also was Ukrainian, and her father had
found a job.

Her mother, Gisela, had been a teacher in Europe, but because of her
unfamiliarity with English, she worked as a cleaning woman and dish washer.

As a child, Mrs. Hlutkowsky learned many Ukrainian dances. Starting as a
young woman, she both performed and taught those folk dance steps.

“My parents always taught me to love Ukraine,” Mrs. Hlutkowsky said.
She has passed on that love to many others, including her children and
grandchildren.

The annual folk festival, she said, is a good place for people to learn
about other cultures and other traditions and to show pride in their own
nationalities. “Children need to be proud of the legacy of their homeland,”
she said.

One of the all-time highlights of her folk festival experiences came in
1980. “My children and I danced, and my parents sang,” she said. Her
daughter, Sonya, and son, Roman, learned to dance at an early age and
were performing at the festival by the time they were 5 and 3, respectively.

Family connections with the festival have continued. Her daughter, now
Sonya Soutus, is a vice president for Coca-Cola International. Her
company is this year’s main festival sponsor.

Her son, Roman, a vice president of FedEx Ground, soon will take over
as director of the Ukrainian dance company.

A fourth generation of her family — granddaughters, Chrystyna, 13, and
Oriana, 11 — will dance at the festival this year, demonstrating some of
the many steps they learned from their grandmother.

Mrs. Hlutkowsky likes to quote the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, who
once wrote: “Learn, my brother! Think, read. Study the unfamiliar, but do
not shun your own.” Those dual goals are what the Pittsburgh Folk Festival
is all about, she said. -30-
————————————————————————————————-
(Phuong Ngan Do is the Post-Gazette’s 2006 Alfred Friendly Fellow. She
can be reached at 412-263-1510 or at dphuong@post-gazette.com. )
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06145/692899-34.stm
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8. MITTAL STEEL TO INCREASE SALARIES BY 15 PERCENT
FOR WORKERS AT GIANT UKRAINE STEEL MILL

AP Worldstream, Kiev,Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

KIEV – Netherlands-based Mittal Steel Co. has announced a 15 percent
hike in salaries for workers at the giant Ukrainian steel mill it purchased last
year, an increase that comes amid increasingly strong complaints by the
Ukrainian government about low salaries.

The company said in a statement Thursday that it will increase salaries by
10 percent backdated as of January and by 5 percent from June. The increase
was agreed during negotiations with the local coal and metallurgical trade
union, Mittal Steel said.

The average salary at the plant now is 1,590 hryvna (US$318, A248) a month,
said spokeswoman Natalya Sedova. After the increase, the average salary will
climb to 1,830 hryvna (US$366, A286) a month.

The State Property Fund, which oversaw Mittal Steel’s purchase of
Kryvorizhstal from the state last October, warned this month that it might
sue if the company did not fulfill an alleged promise to increase salaries
by June 6. Mittal Steel countered that it has fulfilled almost all of its 60
obligations and accused the property fund of misinterpreting just one of the
agreements.

Narendra Chaudary, general director of the mill, said in the statement that
the company is fulfilling and will continue to fulfill all its obligations,
and will aim “to solve all issues through negotiations.”

Mittal Steel bought Kryvorizhstal mill for 24.2 billion hryvna (US$4.8
billion; euro4.1 billion) in October in Ukraine’s biggest and most
profitable privatization auction ever. The sale earned Ukraine nearly six
times more than the amount the mill was sold for a year earlier under former
President Leonid Kuchma. That sale to Kuchma’s son-in-law and another
tycoon was later declared illegal and canceled. -30-
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9. MITSUBISHI HEAVY RECEIVES UKRAINE STEEL PLANT ORDER

Arran Scott, Dow Jones Newswires, Tokyo, Japan, Wed, May 24, 2006

TOKYO — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011.TO) said Thursday it has
received an order for two blast-furnace-gas fired gas turbine combined-cycle
power generators for a Ukrainian steel works company.

The order was placed through trading firm Sumitomo Corp. (8053.TO) for
Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works, an affiliate of Industrial Union of Donbass
Corp., the Tokyo-based heavy machinery marker said in a press release.

Mitsubishi Heavy said it was its first order for a large power generation
system from Ukraine. -30-
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By Arran Scott, Dow Jones Newswires; arran.scott@dowjones.com
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10. UKRAINE ELECTIONS CONFIRM WESTERN ORIENTATION
AND AN AGGRESSIVE REFORM AGENDA

INTERVIEW: With Oleh Shamshur, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US
By Thomas Cromwell, Managing Editor, Diplomatic Traffic
Washington, D.C., Week of May 22, 2006

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, is confident that
parliamentary elections in March only went to underline the support of
Ukraine’s voters for the political leaders and parties that worked together
to carry out the so-called Orange Revolution of late 2004, in which the
results of elections that were widely held to be rigged by international
observers were thrown out and a third round brought Viktor Yushchenko
to power as president.

And while some commentators have pointed to President Yushchenko’s poor
showing in March as a sign of popular dissatisfaction with his government’s
pace in implementing the sweeping reforms he had promised in 2004,
Ambassador Shamshur, in a recent interview with DiplomaticTraffic.com, said
the election results show continued support for the Orange faction and what
it stands for: closer relations with the West and an aggressive reform
agenda.

He argued that while people naturally expected to see rapid change in 2005,
this had not been possible, as the government had needed the time to
implement legislative and other reforms that were necessary prerequisites to
increased foreign investment and other evidence of political and economic
improvements.

He noted that the March elections were “the last test of Ukraine on the road
to democracy,” and that the universal praise for Ukraine’s handling of a
free and fair vote were in themselves evidence that Ukraine has come of age
as a truly democratic nation.

The high turnout, some 68 percent of eligible voters, was itself an
endorsement of the system, he said. He noted that President Yushchenko
was true to his own principles by insisting that the elections be
transparent and fair.

“The post-Soviet period of Ukraine is over,” the ambassador said. This means
that Ukraine should no longer be judged in the context of where it came from
in its recent history, as part of the Soviet Union, bur rather by what it
has to offer the world on its own terms, whether as a strategic partner, in
NATO for example, a good candidate for entry into the European Union, or
as a promising destination for international investment.

The ambassador stressed that Ukraine is now on an unwavering course to get
closer to the West, albeit while maintaining good relations with Russia and
other countries in the former Soviet Union. He said all of the major parties
agree with the idea of Ukraine joining the European Union, and only few
openly opposed NATO membership.

Commenting on the dangerous flare up with Russia over gas prices at the end
of last year, Ambassador Shamshur said the crisis had been a “wake-up call
to Ukraine,” alerting it to the need to deal with the energy issue soon. He
said that Ukraine’s leaders recognize that the country has to pay market
prices for gas eventually, but they want to negotiate agreements with Russia
that allow for a in incremental increase in prices to reach that point,
several years hence.

For Europeans, who are increasingly dependent on Russian gas, much of
which is shipped through Ukraine, the tiff over gas prices and Russia’s
decision to turn off supplies to put pressure on Ukraine to accept higher
prices, sent jitters through the corridors of power. What if Russia chose to
blackmail a European customer to get something it wanted?

Speaking of the close ties between Washington and Kiev following the Orange
Revolution, Ambassador Shamshur said, “We see the relationship [with
Washington] as becoming a strategic partnership.” This partnership manifests
in several ways.

Ukraine and U.S. are actively cooperating on stopping proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction, the war on terror and promoting human rights,
enhancing energy security, combating organized crime and trafficking inhuman
beings, as well as mitigating consequences of the Chornobyl disaster.

There are four areas in which obstacles to closer ties and greater
investment have recently been removed. [1] One is the ending of sanctions
imposed in 2000 for intellectual property rights infringements. [2] The
second is recognition of Ukraine as a market economy, which creates more
favorable conditions for an anti-dumping investigation.

[3] The third is a bilateral protocol through which Washington is helping
Kiev gain entry to the World Trade Organization. [4] Finally, the
Jackson-Vanik restrictions have now been lifted.

Ambassador Shamshur said it is now up to the Ukrainian and American
business leaders to work together to achieve success, now that most barriers
to business have been removed. On Ukraine’s plate is continued deregulation,
judicial and tax reform, stepped up fight against corruption.

“Our general feeling dealing with businesspeople here [in the US] is that
investors are sitting, with their cases packed, waiting for the new
government to be formed,” the ambassador said. He added that, “In 14
years, relations have never been so productive and promising.”
—————————————————————————————————
CURRICULUM VITAE OF AMBASSADOR OLEH SHAMSHUR
EDUCATION: 1978 – Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University, Department of
International Relations and International Law, specialization in
International Relations, cum laude
1982 – Ph. D. in History, Kyiv University
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
February 2004 – January 2006 – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
October 2003 – February 2004 – Head, European Union Department, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
1998-2003 – Minister/Counsellor, Embassy of Ukraine to the Benelux Countries
1996-1998 – Deputy Chairman, State Committee for Nationalities and Migration
of Ukraine, member of the President’s Commission on Citizenship
1993-1996 – First Secretary/Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine
to the UN, and other international organizations in Geneva
1993 – Visiting Scholar, University College, London
1981 -1993 – Work at the Institute of Social and Economic Problems of
Foreign Countries, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, including 1984 -1989 as
Director of Programs
1978-1981 – Post-graduate course at the Institute of Social and Economic
Problems of Foreign Countries, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
LANGUAGES: Fluent in English, French and Russian
PERSONAL: Born: July 6, 1956, Kyiv, Ukraine; Married, one daughter
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LINK: http://www.diplomatictraffic.com/highlights.asp?ID=151
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11. IS UKRAINE PART OF EUROPE’S FUTURE?
Is European Enlargement Dead?

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Excerpt from The Washington Quarterly, Vol 29, No. 3
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Washington, D.C., Summer, 2006

From 1994 until 2004, under the two terms of President Leonid Kuchma,
Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union was troubled.

After the Orange Revolution in late 2004 initiated a democratic
breakthrough, ushering in Viktor Yushchenko as Ukraine’s first reformist
president, hopes were high that a corresponding breakthrough would occur in
EU-Ukrainian relations. Yet, as time passed, such hopes proved unwarranted.

After his election in January 2005, Yushchenko soon announced “the end of
multivectorism,” Kuchma’s shifting, incoherent, and ideologically vacuous
foreign policy. Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk promised that Ukraine’s
foreign policy would now be consistent and predictable and would be
coordinated by a united group that was ideologically committed to Ukraine’s
Euro-Atlantic integration.

The EU’s door, however, has remained closed to Ukraine. Under Kuchma,
because both Russia and Ukraine were experiencing democratic regression,
Western fears of offending Russia were more legitimate. The EU often used
the argument that it could not invite Ukraine into membership negotiations
without also inviting Russia.

Although the slowdown of reform under Kuchma could be blamed on the lack
of a signal for membership from the EU, Kuchma’s oligarchic allies actively
opposed reform and sought refuge in a semiauthoritarian regime.

After his election, Yushchenko challenged the EU to embrace the new Ukraine.

[1] First, he argued it should recognize Ukraine as a market economy, a step
the EU took in December 2005 and the United States took two months later.

[2] Second, he said the EU should support Ukraine’s membership in the World
Trade Organization (WTO), a step that would allow Ukraine to create a
free-trade zone with the EU.

[3] Third, he said the EU should upgrade Ukraine from its Partnership and
Cooperation Agreement (PCA), offered only to members of the Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS), to an association agreement. In the final step,
he stated that Brussels should offer Ukraine EU membership.

The first two steps will be completed by the end of 2006, but the latter two
are not yet on the horizon. Ukraine’s March 2006 elections were recognized
as free and fair by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,
the Council of Europe, the EU, and the United States.

Yet, the EU has still not offered anything substantial to Ukraine, although
it is under increasing pressure from the European Parliament, which voted on
two resolutions praising Ukraine’s democratic progress.

The European Parliament called on the EU “to draft an association agreement
between the European communities and their member states and Ukraine, to
replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which expires in
2008.” The resolution also called on the EU to support movement toward a
visa facilitation agreement and WTO membership.

Ukraine’s progress in establishing relations with the EU is unlikely to be
similar to the progress it made with NATO. EU membership is not a divisive
issue in Ukrainian domestic politics. All non-Communist parties support EU
membership because of the benefits it would bring in terms of
democratization and improved standards of living. NATO, on the other hand,
is perceived differently.

Decades of Soviet propaganda against NATO, coupled with NATO’s
intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, continue
to cause regional divisions over attitudes toward NATO membership. Three
of he five party factions in the newly elected Ukrainian parliament are against
it. -30-
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NOTE: Taras Kuzio is a visiting professor at the Institute for European,
Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University.
—————————————————————————————————–
Download the full article, available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format.
LINK: http://www.twq.com/06summer/docs/06summer_kuzio.pdf
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12. EU EXPANSION CHIEF: BLOC SHOULDN’T DRAW FINAL BORDERS
“It would be a strategic error if we for example said ‘never’ to Ukraine.”

Associated Press (AP), Brussels, Belgium, Wed, May 24, 2006

BRUSSELS – The European Union’s enlargement commissioner warned European
leaders Wednesday not to draw-up final borders for the bloc, which he said
could unfairly exclude some countries.

“Borders can weaken the E.U.,” commissioner Olli Rehn was quoted as saying
in an interview with the Belgian daily De Standaard. “It is not wise to draw
thick geographic lines on a map.”

Several E.U. nations, including the Netherlands and Germany, want the E.U.
to consider limiting future expansion plans and to draw up final borders for
the bloc, a move Rehn said would destroy “the inherent dynamic” of the E.U.
to grow and evolve both economically and politically.

“It would be a strategic error if we for example said ‘never’ to Ukraine,”
said Rehn. “That would nullify our influence and weaken us.”

Future expansion and the wider future of European integration will be the
focus of special E.U. foreign ministers’ talks in Austria this weekend. E.U.
leaders will take up the issue at their June 15-16 summit in Brussels, where
they are to discuss the fate of the E.U. constitution, which has been passed
in 15 E.U. nations, but rejected in referendum votes in the Netherlands and
France last year. Acceptance by all member nations is required for it to go
into effect.

The constitution is meant to simplify the way the 25-nation E.U. makes
decisions and bolsters its role on the world stage. -30-

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13. NATO LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE IMAGE IN RUSSIA

Associated Press, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 18, 2006

MOSCOW – North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials launched a public
relations campaign to try to change Russian attitudes toward the military
alliance. The opening of a photo exhibition as part of the campaign was
marred by protests Thursday.

The NATO effort to change Russian perceptions comes amid a recent hardening
of rhetoric between Moscow and the European Union and the U.S., and Russian
overtures to China.

NATO officials say they do not expect the nine-city Russian tour to change
generations of ingrained suspicions of the alliance, which opposed the
Soviet Union during the Cold War and has since expanded to take in ex-Soviet
republics and former Soviet bloc nations. NATO and Russia have tried to
emphasize joint efforts to fight terrorism and piracy and respond to natural
disasters.

“It’s not so much the opposition to these efforts, but a lack of knowledge
of these efforts at all,” said Paul Fritch, a NATO political officer. “I
think we’re realistic. We’re not going to change three generations of
opinion in just two weeks.”

The tour, which will conclude in Russia’s Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad
next week, has seen small protests, mainly by communist and nationalist
demonstrators.

Speaking by videophone during a meeting with Russian officials in Moscow,
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said NATO was interested in
bringing other former Soviet republics Georgia and Ukraine, into the
alliance, but Russia would be closely consulted.

“This … would be very significant for Russia, because it could radically
change its relations with NATO for the worse, ruining all positive
achievements,” Sergei Rogov, the head of the USA and Canada Institute, a
government-funded think-tank, was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Later, at a ceremony to inaugurate a photo exhibition was disrupted for
about 15 minutes by three protesters who chanted “Death to NATO!” and
“NATO is Worse Than The Gestapo!”.

The three grabbed microphones, crushed a bouquet of roses and stomped on
alliance fliers before police removed them, prompting an impromptu lecture
by Yekaterina Geniyeva, director of the foreign language library hosting the
exhibit.

“This quite clearly demonstrates the hatred that is born from fascism, from
xenophobia and from fundamentalism,” she told a crowd of students,
dignitaries and journalists. “These may be rose petals today, but drops of
blood tomorrow,” she said, gesturing at the crushed roses.

Relations between Russia, the E.U. and the U.S. have chilled noticeably in
recent months amid E.U. concerns over Russian energy export policies and
warnings by top U.S. administration officials that Russia was backsliding on
democracy.

Gleb Pavolvsky, a Kremlin-connected political analyst, said the NATO
campaign was of marginal use, since it was reaching only a small number of
people, rather than influencing broader public opinion.

He also said the relationship between Russia and NATO was increasingly
directed by a more assertive E.U., as well as shifting U.S. policies toward
Russia. “NATO has a very bad image in Russia,” he said. -30-

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14. PROSPECTS FOR A PARLIAMENTARY COALITION
Coalition building most watchable Ukrainian soap-opera for several weeks.

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Yuriy BUTUSOV
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

The creation of a parliamentary coalition has been the most watchable
Ukrainian soap-opera for several last weeks. At the same time, it has been
the one most lacking in talent. The producers do not know what to show,
the script writers are afraid of reading their opuses out loud, the actors
do not know what to play and there is no director at all.

The audience demands a denouement, but every day yet another series is
being produced in a painstaking labor that has nothing to do with the actual
interests and motives of its characters.

It is clear that the chaos in coalition building in Ukraine is quite
natural. The correlation of forces, which was defined on March 26, caused a
stalemate. As a result, the coalition cannot be formed on a voluntarily
basis and there is no one who is capable of building it from the outside.

Moreover, the split between the Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc
(BYuT) is increasing every day and it seems impossible to bridge this gap
with a single move.

President Yushchenko and Our Ukraine have certain initiative in the creation
of the coalition. Yushchenko seems to be pleased with the awareness of this
influence, which he enjoys despite the constitutional reform. The process
and the status have always been much more important for Yushchenko than
the result.

That is why he conducts coalition negotiations in the same inconsistent
manner as the negotiations to take power in the winter of 2004. The
president means to remain “above the fray” as long as possible and would
like to become the “arbiter of the nation”.

He openly states his unwillingness to become a participant in the coalition
negotiations. Yet de facto it is clear than no one else except Yushchenko is
capable of consolidating the position of the Our Ukraine parliamentary
faction. Yuriy Yekhanurov still remains a nominal but not a real party
leader due to the large number of groups of influence within Our Ukraine.

Thus Petro Poroshenko, with whom Yekhanurov does not have good political
relations, openly claims the role of the chief negotiator. The president’s
statements on Our Ukraine’s independent participation in the negotiations
and on his personal non-involvement, because “it is ruinous for the
political system”, look like a nice PR stunt.

Yushchenko has been building the system of management in Our Ukraine for
his own needs and he himself determined a significant part of the party
membership list. Now nobody but he can manage this structure. Even if he
truly wanted to keep away from the coalition negotiations, he would not be
able to.

In addition, considering the great number of those who do their business by
providing information to the president and by controlling access to him, the
president’s friends will simply not allow him to forget about the formation
of the government.

The Party of the Regions keeps hoping for either a broad coalition of four
factions or a smaller one without BYuT. It remains an active participant in
negotiations and the confrontation between Our Ukraine and BYuT reinforces
its position. There is a ready formula of a possible consensus between
Yushchenko and the Party of the Regions.

It works quite well for the international community and for Ukrainian
voters. Its main purpose is not to ruin the image of the president. The need
to unite the East and West of Ukraine, to remove the grounds for
international tension, to overcome together the impendent economic crisis
and to stabilize the investment climate.

The arguments have already been worked out and approved by the president. In
addition, Yanukovych, unlike Tymoshenko, is ready to give up his claims to
the posts of Prime Minister’s and parliamentary speaker. Thus, the two
Viktors will not have to stand next to each other on the tribune.

The “Donetsk” group want Yushchenko to give them specific guarantees: safety
of their businesses, political control over the regions where they received
majority support, posts in the energy and industrial sectors of the
government, and the first vice prime minister’s post. They do not just sit
back and watch the pains of orange coalition. They are ready to create
favorable conditions for the “baby” from the very beginning.

According to some of our sources, the “Donetsk” group has already come up
with convincing arguments for the least loyal members of the prospective
orange coalition. According to prior estimates, there are eight such people
in Our Ukraine and twelve in BYuT.

The first group are the members of the Party of Industrialists and
Entrepreneurs lead by Anatoliy Kinakh, who is said to have a strong desire
to take up the speaker’s post. The second group are the “fellow travelers”
of Yulia Tymoshenko, who consider themselves free of any commitments
to her bloc, which they used, not for free, to obtain deputy’s mandates.

If we subtract these twenty people from the 243 deputies that might make up
the coalition of Our Ukraine, BYuT and the Socialist Party, this union of
three will not command a majority in parliament. And then we will try to
find out why some of the members of the orange coalition did not press the
“for” button or failed to return from a business trip in time to vote.

It is hard to believe that the President does not know about such a
scenario. Yushchenko distances himself from the negotiations in order to
minimize the risks for his political image. That is why in his speeches, the
President says that he does not take part in the formation of the coalition.
It is as if the President is saying in advance that it is not his fault if
Yekhanurov unites with Yanukovych.

The final breakup with Tymoshenko should be ideologically grounded
and the major forces have been engaged in that work.

By and large, both the President and Our Ukraine have not rethought their
priorities concerning the creation of the coalition.

Properly speaking, they have only one priority: not to allow Tymoshenko to
become either Prime Minister or the Verkhovna Rada speaker. There were
several brave hearts in Our Ukraine who proposed to give the Cabinet to
Tymoshenko and parliament to the Socialists and wait until the end of the
year, when according to forecasts, the price of gas for Ukrainian industry
will double at least.

However, realists realize that due to Tymoshenko’s oratorical gift even a
complete collapse of Ukrainian economy will not guarantee a political defeat
for Premier Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko capitalizes on crises. A new crisis,
most likely, will be another reason for her to expose another conspiracy of
oligarchs or of some criminals surrounding the head of state.

Many orthodox Our Ukraine members believe that Tymoshenko’s revenge will
be a war, which may result in emergency measures, up to early presidential
elections. Yet due to the current situation, Our Ukraine cannot initiate its
breakup with BYuT and rapprochement with the Party of Regions.

The ideal option would be if Tymoshenko were the first to announce their
divorce, if the negotiations were disrupted at the initiative of BYuT and if
there were as many obvious contradictions between BYuT and Our Ukraine as
possible. Protracting the negotiations helps create such perceptions; there
is even no need to wage information wars.

Having forgotten that the elections are over, the leaders of both orange
blocs enjoys kicking each other. In this case, Yushchenko and his team
benefit from the escalation of the conflict; nevertheless BYuT leaders apply
as much energy to perpetuate the conflict as their opponents do.

The position of BYuT is strikingly similar to that of Our Ukraine.
Tymoshenko is sure that aggravation will play into her hands as it usually
does and that Yushchenko will be forced to yield to her. That is why she
does not consider any other possible outcomes other than victory by
obtaining the Prime Minister’s seat.

The firm positions of the both sides and their growing aggression make
compromise between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko impossible. Tymoshenko’s
returning to power will be an utter defeat if not for Yushchenko than for
his party and his team. The positions of BYuT are weaker than those of Our
Ukraine, however Tymoshenko will retain her image regardless of the outcome.

BYuT does not fear that open hostility towards the president and his team
may result in a situation similar to that in the Kyiv Rada and district
councils of Kyiv. There the government turned out to be stronger and several
deputies from Tymoshenko’s bloc went cap in hand to the winners.

Tymoshenko cares about her strategic prospects and the 2009 elections. That
is why petty tactical failures and the worldly problems of the businessmen
who make it to the Rada as a part of BYuT are nothing in comparison with
Tymoshenko’s Napoleonic plans.

The Socialists are not in the front ranks of the negotiators; however, the
parliamentary configuration and the logic of events make Oleksandr Moroz an
influential player. He will be invited to become a third party under any
coalition arrangement. No matter how often Tymoshenko repeats “Moroz
and I”, it is obvious that the goal of the Socialists is not friendship with
BYuT, but the post of the Verkhovna Rada speaker.

One thing is certain: the session of the Verkhovna Rada will begin; the
deputies will want to work, to realize their plans and repay their political
investments. They need a speaker to begin working. Election of the

Verkhovna Rada speaker is the basis for the formation of the Cabinet.

The fact the socialist Ivan Boikiy will administer the opening of the
session suggests that Moroz stands a chance of heading the Rada yet another
time. However, the Our Ukraine leadership, unlike Tymoshenko, do not
support the ambitions of the Socialist leader. -30-
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LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/598/53427/

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15. IN THE SHADOW OF RUSSIA
Russian influence can be especially felt in Ukraine and Georgia

PHOTO GALLERY: Photos by Donald Weber
Maclean’s Magazine, Toronto, Canada, May 2006

With the collapse in relations between Russia and the Western world,
Moscow is looking to secure control over ring of states near its
country’s borders before the US and its European allies do.

This Russian influence can be especially be felt in Ukraine and Georgia,
as seen in this collection of photos by Donald Weber, on assignment
for Maclean’s. -30-
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LINK: http://www.macleans.ca/gallery/
http://www.donaldweber.com/; don@donweber.com
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16. UKRAINE’S PENITENTIARY SYSTEM FAR BEHIND STANDARDS
Cells are packed with 50-100 prisoners, normal is two to four

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0820 gmt 11 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, May 11, 2006

KIEV – The head of the state department for administering punishments, Vasyl
Koshchtinets, has said that at least 2bn dollars are needed to create normal
European conditions in Ukrainian prisons. Koshchtinets was speaking to
journalists today. “We need at least 2bn dollars,” he said.

Koshchtinets said that there are 182 penitentiary facilities in Ukraine
where around 170,000 prisoners are serving their terms. The average number
of prisoners per one cell is 39, but there are also cells packed with 50 or
even 100 prisoners, he said. Under common world practice, two to four
prisoners are usually kept in a cell. -30-
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17. HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE – 2005

STATEMENT: Forum of Ukrainian Human Rights Organizations
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Kiev, Ukraine, 20 – 21 May 2006

In reviewing the human rights situation in our country, the members of the
Forum of Human Rights Organizations believe it necessary to note both
positive trends and problems which continue to give grounds for concern.

The considerable improvement in the situation with freedom of speech and the
mass media in Ukraine are certainly to be welcomed. We would note also
better protection of human rights from administrative arbitrary actions
since the entry into force of the Code of Administrative Justice in 2005.
Another promising aspect is the greater level of openness within the
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

We further welcome the fact that the leadership of this Ministry has become
more open to cooperation with human rights organizations, while it is also
more active in its attempts to deal with cases of torture or cruel treatment
by members of the police.

At the same time, however, we must express serious concern at continuing
violations of human rights, as well as a lack of key reforms.

In presenting “Human Rights in Ukraine – 2005” which contains a detailed
analysis of the situation as regards all human rights and fundamental
freedoms, we would express our disappointment and concern that the
overwhelming majority of recommendations made by Ukrainian human rights
groups in the Report for 2004 have not been implemented.

We would draw attention to the fact that, despite our repeated demands and
the recent acknowledgement by the Ministry of Justice that the deportation
by Ukraine in February 2006 of 11 asylum seekers to Uzbekistan was in
violation of both domestic legislation and Ukraine’s international
commitments, the state officials responsible have still not been brought to
answer.

We call on the government and parliament as a whole to hold a public
investigation into all the circumstances of this deportation and to provide
a legal assessment of the actions of officials of the Security Service of
Ukraine and the State Committee for National Minorities and Immigration of
Ukraine.

We are forced to acknowledge that the Ukraine penal system remains extremely
secretive and unreformed, this leading to constant and dangerous violations
of human rights. We do however welcome the decision of the government to
transfer the penal system under the management and coordination of the
Ministry of Justice.

The statements by the Minister of Justice on 19 May 2006 regarding the need
for immediate demilitarization of the penal system and the development of
public control over penal institutions must also be considered positive. We
willingly accept Mr Holovaty’s invitation to work in cooperation with the
Ministry of Justice in carrying out this reform.

The situation which has developed in Ukraine where members of the public do
not have access to information regarding the activities of state bodies
remains highly disturbing. We invite the government to cooperate with human
rights organizations in ensuring greater openness of such bodies of power,
and of the right of access to information.

We would also mention that no steps have yet been taken to safeguard the
right to privacy and to put an end to illegal wiretapping and interception
of electronic correspondence.

We see constant violations of the right of individuals to legal redress,
while the public continue to identify the judiciary and the prosecutor’s
office as the most corrupt state bodies in Ukraine. The Constitutional Court
is still not working which demonstrates a lack of political will and legal
culture amongst the leadership in the country.

The above-mentioned violations of human rights are of a systemic nature and
are directly linked to the lack of fundamental reforms in safeguarding
social and economic rights.

We would strongly emphasize that progress in the area of human rights can
only become irreversible if effective reform takes place of the most
important state institutions – the judiciary, the law enforcement and penal
systems. We would stress also that dialogue between the authorities and
society and participation of all members of society in decision-making are
crucial steps in building a civic society which can safeguard the right of
all people to life and dignity. -30-
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For further information please contact: Dmitriy Hroysman, Vynnytsya
human rights group, +38 (067) 2846450 Yevgeniy Zakharov, head of
the board of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, phone:
+38 (057) 7143558, 8 050 4024064.
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18. ROUND TABLE: GUAM-2006: INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE
& PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT, MONDAY, MAY 29, KYIV

Sarah Jewett, Eurasia Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

KYIV – On Monday, May 29th, the Eurasia Foundation and the Foreign
Policy Research Institute at the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine will hold
an international expert round table “GUAM-2006: Institutional Structure
and Prospects for Development.”

The event is part of a joint initiative for institutional development of the
Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM through
independent analysis, monitoring and advice.

The event will take place at the Conference Room of the Kyiv City Council
of Trade Unions, vul. Kreschatik 16, 2nd floor. The round table will run
from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm.

For more information please contact Lyubov Teremova at the Foreign
Policy Institute, by phone at 536-23-39 or by email at teremova@ukr.net.
————————————————————————————————-
Sarah Jewett, Eurasia Foundation, sjewett@eurasia.kiev.ua
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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19. NATO GIVES UKRAINE EUR5.8M TO DISPOSE OF
SURPLUS WEAPONS

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

KIEV – The NATO trust fund gave Ukraine EUR5.8 million to dispose of 133
thousand of surplus ammunition, 1.5 million of small arms and thousands of
antiaircraft missile systems that the ex-Soviet republic inherited after the
Soviet collapse, Ukraine’s military official said.

Maj.-Gen. Leonid Holopatyuk, who is in charge of Euroatlantic integration
issues at the army’s general staff, said that the 12-year project on
disposal of surplus weapons costs EUR75 million, and that Ukraine will
cover the rest.

He said the first antiaircraft missile systems will be disposed of early
June. There are many ammunition depots which are overloaded with
“no-one-need” weapon and located too close to populated areas, Holopatyk
said.

In 2004, some 92,000 tons of ammunition exploded at an ammunition depot
in the southern Zaporizhia region, spraying debris and shells over several
kilometers and destroying buildings in nearby villages.

Military authorities have repeatedly warned that the poorly maintained
arsenals – some containing ammunition dating back to World War I –
represent a serious public hazard.

Ukraine has been seeking to integrate with the West since the election in
2004 of President Viktor Yushchenko, who has set the goal of NATO
and E.U. membership. NATO has said it would help Ukraine push through
the necessary reforms, but has dodged questions about when it might offer
membership. -30-
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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20. EU, RUSSIA AGREE ON ENERGY INTERDEPENDENCE
President Putin comments on Russian-Ukraine gas deal and US criticism

Associated Press (AP), Sochi, Russia, Thu, May 25, 2006

SOCHI, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Union leaders
said they had agreed at their summit Thursday that their countries have
common interests in easing their dispute over energy supplies and markets.

“We are aware of our common interests,” European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso said at the final news conference. “What we want is a
relationship based on…the principle of interdependence.”

The energy disputes have hung over the relationship since January, when a
brief disruption in Russian gas supplies to Western Europe amid a price
dispute with Ukraine tarnished Russia’s reputation as a reliable supplier
and encouraged the E.U. to intensify a search for alternative supply routes.

“We are as interested as Russia to avoid further misunderstandings,” said
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, whose country currently holds the
E.U. presidency. But Barroso said nonetheless there were “sensitivities”
that needed to be addressed.

“This is not at all, I want to underline this on our side, a problem of lack
of trust in Russia as a credible supplier, as Russia has always been,” he
said.

“But there are some sensitivities, it is true. Public opinion of the
European Union and its member states regarding this, and let’s also be
completely frank, the way public opinion in Europe received the problems at
the beginning of this year between Russia and Ukraine, also aggravated that
feeling.”

Also at the conference, Russian President Putin tried to assure his E.U.
partners that China was no substitute for Europe as a market for Russia’s
oil and gas. “China is not an alternative to Europe for energy supplies,”
Putin said.

Putin also said Russia wants good relations with the U.S. but he objected
vigorously to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent criticism of
democratic backtracking. “We see how the U.S. defends its interests, we see
what methods and means they use for this,” Putin said.

“When we fight for our interests, we also look for the most acceptable
methods to accomplish our national tasks, and I find it strange that this
seems inexplicable to someone.”

In a speech earlier this month in neighboring Lithuania, Cheney accused
Putin’s Kremlin of rolling back democracy and strong-arming its ex-Soviet
neighbors.

Even before Cheney’s speech, Russian-U.S. relations had been on a steady
downward slide. Last month, Putin claimed the U.S. had put up artificial
obstacles to slow Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, and the
Pentagon accused Moscow of slipping intelligence on U.S. troop movements in
Iraq to Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The crisis around Iran’s nuclear program has seen the two countries, which
proclaimed themselves “strategic partners” just a few years ago, firmly in
opposing camps. Putin said in spite of the friction, the U.S. remains “one
of our major partners.”

“For us, the U.S. is a very important partner in the economic sphere,
disarmament, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and their components, and
missiles. There are many other spheres including the fight against terrorism
in which partnership between the U.S. and Russia cannot be replaced,” Putin
said.

“I am sure that most of our partners in the U.S. have the same view,
including the president.” But he suggested no nation had the right to
interfere in Russia’s relations with third countries. “As far as the view of
our relations with other countries, we will discuss our relations with them
directly,” Putin said icily.

Speaking of U.S. criticism of a hard-fought Russian-Ukrainian gas deal,
which many Ukrainian politicians and the U.S. government have objected to as
putting the two sides on unequal terms, Putin asked: “How can leaders of
other states say it is bad for the Ukrainians?”

“I don’t understand if this criticism is addressed to us or the Ukrainian
leadership. But you should ask those who make these comments.”

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========================================================
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========================================================
21. WHY DID A RUSSIAN PROFESSOR FAIL ON HIS HOMEWORK?

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: Compiled from discussion by the
university students of Ukraine’s Modern History Class, taught by
Professor Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv Franko University
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 21
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2005

Ukraine has proven a tricky terrain for some academics. One of them, a
former premier, had problems spelling out his professorial title. The other,
a former justice minister, found himself in the middle of a scandal over his
academic credentials. It looks, more highbrows are on the way, this time
from Russia.

On May 4, AUR published an article “Let policy reflect the popular vote” by
a Mikhail A. Molchanov who signs himself as a professor of political science
at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Its main points are: 1) membership in NATO will be bad for Ukraine, 2)
membership in SES (Single Economic Space, a tight economic union of former
Soviet republics proposed by Russia), will be good for Ukraine, and 3) the
Party of Regions (PR) must be included in the ruling coalition and hold
ministerial posts in the new Ukrainian government.

Let’s analyze Mr. Molchanov’s arguments one by one.

1. About Ukraine’s pitiful plight, once it joins NATO, Mr. Molchanov writes:
“Do we want to see Ukrainian boys sent to Iraq? Or Afghanistan? Or do we
plan to get richer after billions of dollars have been spent on the purchase
of modern weaponry from Germany and Benelux countries? Or are we so
easily tricked as to trust those who say that NATO membership will somehow
automatically open EU doors?

Well, look at Turkey and make your own conclusions.”

FIRST, the Russian academic should know better that, under the NATO
charter, the decision on sending/withdrawing of troops is taken solely by
a NATO member country, not by the NATO command in Brussels. The
recent decision of Italy to withdraw its troops from Iraq is proof of it.

SECOND, the decision to deploy Ukrainian troops abroad must be
rubberstamped by the Verkhovna Rada. Thus, the deployment of
Ukrainian troops isn’t as easy as Mr Molchanov tries to present it. Most
importantly, the final decision to go or not will be taken, as in the case
of Iraq, by Ukrainian servicemen themselves. Our Iraqi contingent was
formed on a voluntary basis.

Mr. Molchanov should not really give us the garbage of multi-billion
military expenditure awaiting Ukraine in NATO, because old Russian MIGs
and tanks are still in service in Germany, Poland and other former Soviet bloc
countries.

And finally, let’s have a look at Turkey, chosen by Mr. Molchanov as a
hard-hitting argument. A long-standing NATO member, Turkey is still in EU’s
waiting room only because it is in no hurry to sort out its problems with
the Kurds and Greek Cypriots. In other words, Turkey is the only one to
blame for her present condition.

2. Not even bothering to explain the benefits of Ukraine’s membership in
SES, Mr Molchanov lectures the legitimate Ukrainian government, saying,

“It is extremely naive and disrespectful of Ukraine’s authorities to believe
that the country’s full membership in the Single Economic Space with Russia
and Belarus may somehow undermine Ukraine’s prospects for reform and hence
its prospects for European integration.”

But why should Ukraine really join SES? Can the promised trade benefits
outweigh the risks of being pulled back into Russia’s orbit? How about the
proposed open borders, single currency, supranational bodies and Russia’s
deciding vote making it the sole strongman in SES? A perfect picture of a
creeping Mother Russia, all at the backdrop of Pres Putin’s backsliding on
democracy.

Does Ukraine actually need such a fair-weather partner who cuts off gas
supplies in the dead of the winter, thinks up flimsy arguments about
Ukrainian meat and cheese to hit Ukrainian producers – in order to
destabilize the situation in Ukraine and pave the way to power to
Russia-leaning Ukrainian politicians?

3. And finally, to things political. Demanding a role in the would-be
government for the pro-Russian Party of Regions, Prof. Molchanov quite
aptly writes, “It’s an axiom of democracy that the shape of a Cabinet should
reflect the people’s vote.”

The Russian academic is seemingly unruffled by the fact that talks on the
orange coalition are under way and, if successful, will lead to a democratic
majority coalition of former allies who will hardly need the services of PR
to manage the country. Obviously, such an arrangement will perfectly fit the
axiom of democracy and reflect the popular vote.

On the other hand, what would happen if, to go by Mr Molchanov’s advice, all
the four major players enter a coalition? Won’t it violate another axiom of
democracy that a vibrant parliament must have an equally vibrant watchdog in
the form of the opposition?

In his desire to see PR at the helm, Mr Molchanov resorts to blackmail by
warning of the dangers of splitting Ukraine (if PR is denied seats in the
cabinet), a well-known campaign trump card of Ukrainian political
desperados: “This means some prominent positions, perhaps even the coveted
premiership, could go to Regions – that is, if the Orange reformers actually
care about preventing disenfranchisement and alienation of one-third of the
electorate.”

A professor of political science, as Mr Molchanov describes himself, should
do his homework better. He should be advised to learn that PR is a clan
party of Donbas tycoons with army-like discipline and a strong grip on its
voters due to docile media, administrative pressure and open coercion.

Incidentally, it was the PR and the multitude of its dwarfish replicas like
the Progressive Socialists who did their utmost in the 2004 and 2006
election campaigns to drive a wedge between Eastern and Western Ukraine.

And finally, to the perpetrators of Ukraine’s present misfortunes.

Invariably, it is Uncle Sam and the EU (“outside powers”), Ukraine’s
president (“weak and indecisive”) and orange political leaders
(“mouthpieces” [of Uncle Sam and EU] . (Mr Molchanov’s dear Pres
Putin has also recently decried foreign centers of influence over Ukraine.
Definitely, the president didn’t mean his own pitiful pratfall during the 2004
presidential election in Ukraine.)

Well, this is no secret that we wish to make it to Europe to embrace
European and American democratic, political, economic and social standards.
This angers increasingly assertive Russia who wants to see Ukraine at its
heel. Hence the stories like the one analyzed in this letter.

Bending the truth never helps. It merely leads to backlash and dwindling
support for Russia in Ukraine. -30-
—————————————————————————————-
Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv Franko University, vhryts@lviv.farlep.net
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22. LOOKING FOR DENTISTS, HYGIENISTS TO BE PART OF
SMILE ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM IN UKRAINE

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Vicki Nelson
Smile Alliance International, Kyiv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR)# 701, Article 22
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

Hello Morgan: I can’t live without the Action Ukraine Report. It was
going to vickig@inlandnet.com and now please send it to
UkraineAdventure@yahoo.com.

Thanks so much. I wrote a poem which you published in your report
around the time of the Orange Revolution. I really appreciate all the work
that goes into putting these reports together. You do a terrific job.

My husband and I moved to Ukraine last month. We sold our home and
belongings last summer and his dental practice in January. Our
organization, Smile Alliance International, bought a building about 15
kilometers to the west of Kyiv and we are hoping to find enough funding
to remodel it for use as a free dental clinic for orphans and underserved
children.

It will also be used as a training center for teachers and a retreat center
at times. We felt that this would be the best way to use our energy before
we turned too old to be able to.

We are donating our time and hopefully talents and as Christians feel that
this is God’s project and it’s in His hands. We will also be working with
senior dental students from a dental program in Kyiv.

We’ve been blessed to be able to help connect a couple dental hygiene
schools in the states with some government and private individuals who
are working to start the first dental hygiene program in Ukraine. We are
looking for dentists, hygienists, and assistants who would like to be a part
of these ongoing projects.

I included our project above because your website asked that we tell what
our interest in Ukraine is. We love the country and the wonderful people
and just want to share with them that there is a future and a hope for them
and for their country.

Thanks for changing our address for the Report. And may you be blessed.

Vicki and Richard Nelson (Ukraine) (UkraineAdventure@yahoo.com)

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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23. STILL DYING OF HUNGER
More Can Be Done to Ease the Toll on Children and Countries

OP-ED Column: By James T. Morris, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006; Page A29

The U.N. World Food Program recently had to make a terrible decision, one
that would give even King Solomon pause: either to halve food aid rations
for almost 3 million people in Darfur — one of the world’s worst
humanitarian emergencies — or halve the number of recipients.

The ultimate choice was to cut rations in half — well below survival
level — because of a shortage of funds and fears that we would run out of
food altogether during the looming “hungry season” before the harvest.

Thankfully, the United States and other donors, including the European
Commission, Canada and Denmark, have offered new funds and pledges,
enabling us to increase food rations soon. So there is some relief ahead for
the people of Darfur.

Yet the tragedy of the matter is that each day, around the world, hundreds
of thousands of poor parents must make such agonizing choices at the
household level: Which meals do they forgo so they can stretch limited food
stocks through the week, or month, or until life improves?

Today I will brief a congressional committee on ways of dealing with a
problem that has dogged mankind from the beginning: hunger. It’s a problem
that — I’m pleased to say — we have almost overcome in the United States.
Although we haven’t eradicated poverty, and plenty of Americans subsist on
poor diets, our welfare programs have ensured that no one in the United
States dies of hunger.

So, to my mind, it is unacceptable that you need travel only a few hundred
miles from our shores to find societies in which hunger is still a grim
component of daily life. In Haiti, for example, just across the Caribbean,
food supplies are sufficient for only 55 percent of the population.

More than 2 million Haitians cannot afford the minimum daily calories
recommended by the World Health Organization. In human terms, that means
Haiti’s children are growing up malnourished, compromising their physical
and mental development.

A few weeks ago I was in Africa with Ann Veneman, executive director of the
U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and António Guterres, the U.N. high
commissioner for refugees. We were there to see firsthand the devastating
effects of drought in the Horn of Africa. Seared into my memory is the
feeling of cradling in my arms an acutely malnourished girl in a remote
Kenyan village.

Although she was a year old, she weighed little more than your average
American newborn. I felt engulfed by two emotions: grief for her plight —
and that of so many others — but also shame that we can allow this to
happen in the 21st century.

The fact is that 18,000 children like her will die before today is over.
Their bodies will simply succumb to the burden of not getting the nutrition
they need to survive over weeks, months, years. Even before they were born,
their chances were diminished; born to malnourished mothers, their own
“half-life” started in the womb.

Last year the World Food Program provided food assistance to 97 million
people in 82 countries. To do so, we raised $2.8 billion — a huge sum in
anyone’s book. Nearly half of that was from the U.S. government,
consistently our largest donor. Yet, despite this generosity, our emergency
operations, like those in East Africa and Sudan, were only 57 percent
funded.

The need for food aid still outstrips the resources available. Although
donors have boosted overseas development aid to new heights, they are not
assigning food aid the priority it merits — and indeed must have if other
development initiatives are to succeed.

Today there are some 100 million hungry children in the world who get
virtually no assistance. We have calculated that it would cost around $5
billion a year to provide them and their mothers with a basic package of
food, nutrition and health care. A lot of money? Perhaps.

But it is about the same amount that Congress has allocated to assist 7
million American mothers and children this fiscal year through WIC, the
USDA-administered program for women, infants and children. If that
investment in America’s poor is worth making, why not reach out to all
mothers and children who need our help? -30-
—————————————————————————————-
The writer is executive director of the U.N. World Food Program.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/24/AR2006052402435.html

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24. 62ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
“PROTEST MEETING” SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA WENT BY PEACEFULLY

By Idil P. Izmirli, US IREX IARO scholar, Simferopol, Crimea
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 24
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

On May 18, 2006, 30,000 Crimean Tatars gathered in Simferopol to commemorate
the 62nd anniversary of their ancestor’s deportation from Crimea by Stalin’s
orders.

The general meeting of the “Day of Trauma” started at 10 am in the morning
when five different groups of people from five different locations in
Simferopol started to walk in five rows collectively towards the central
Lenin Square where the general meeting was going to be held at 1 pm.
Approximately 5,000 people participated in these five columns and they later
joined the other Crimean Tatars who arrived from different parts of the
Crimea on busses to commemorate this day of trauma with their compatriots.

The 62nd anniversary of the Crimean Tatar deportation meeting started at 1
pm in front of the Crimean Verhovnaya (Upper) Rada building in Lenin Square.
After the Crimean Tatar national hymn Ant Etkemen followed by the Ukrainian
national hymn, the meeting started with a prayer by the Crimean Tatar muftu
Emir Ali Abdlayev for the lost lives during and after the deportation.

The first speaker of the day was the newly elected (March 26, 2006) Anatoli
Gritsenko, the chair of the Verhovna Rada of the Autonomous Crimean Republic
(ARC), member of Party of Regions. The second speaker was Viktor Pavlyuk, a
representative of Viktor Yushchenko, who read a letter addressed to the
Crimean Tatar returnees by Yuschenko.

Consequently, Sergei Rudik, the first deputy chief of the Republican
Committee on Nationalities and Deported Citizens of the Council of Ministers
of ARC (Kiev), and two members of the Diaspora, Celal Icten and Saladdin
Acalay from the Crimean Tatar centers from Turkey and Romania respectively
addressed the crowd.

When Leonid Pilunsky, the head of the Crimean National Rukh party came to
the microphone, he started his speech in Crimean Tatar language. The crowd
clapped him for a few minutes for they welcomed his words in their own
Crimean Tatar native language. Consequently, Aziz Abdullayev (deputy prime
minister of Crimean Autonomous Republic who was elected at the March 26,
2006 elections), and Gennadi Udavenko (leader of the National Rukh Party)
followed by the newly elected mayor Gennadi Babenko came to the stage.

Among the other speakers were Abdurahman Egiz, the head of the Our Crimea
Crimean Tatar youth group, Vladimir Orneli, the head of the Crimean Qaraims,
the Crimean Tatar historian Gulnara Bekirova; and the Ukrainian Patriarch
(Kiev) Bishop Klimenko.

After these speeches, the head of the National Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars
and the deputy of the Ukrainian Verhovna Rada (from the National Rukh party)
Mustafa Cemilev addressed the crowd. In his speech, he stated that the
politics of assimilation still continued in Crimea and that the outside
forces were trying to break up the unity within the Crimean Tatar returnees.

During the March 26, 2006 elections, a political group that call themselves
the Crimean Tatar Block (under the leadership of Edip Gaffarov) worked
against the Rukh party and supported the Soyuz party. As a result, they won
3% of the votes taking votes from the National Rukh Party, and indirectly
taking from the Crimean Tatars.

If they did separate from the Rukh party, today in the Crimean parliament
there could have been more than 10 Crimean Tatar deputies instead of the
current 8 deputies who were elected during the March 26 elections.

After Cemilev’s speech, the Crimean Tatar and the Ukrainian hymns were
played again through the megaphones and the meeting ended quietly as it
started. The commemoration meeting lasted for 2 hours (1-3 pm). During the
hours of the meeting, most of the Simferopol streets were closed to the
public. Approximately 30,000 Crimean Tatars, and 4,000 Ukrainian military
officers participated in this meeting.

The entire population of the Crimean Tatars was deported from Crimea on May
18, 1944. The deportation, carried out at gunpoint, was well organized and
supervised by the 5,000 agents of the Soviet state security services,
supported by 20,000 interior ministry troops (NKVD) and thousands of regular
army soldiers.

During the Crimean Tatar mass deportation on guarded and sealed
cattle-trains without food, water, and inferior sanitary conditions, 46.2
percent of the total Crimean Tatar population perished. According to the
orders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (KPSS), Crimean Tatars
were “to live in exile forever with no right to return to the former
residence.”

Thus, immediately after their deportation the Soviet authorities took steps
to wipe all signs of previous Tatar settlements out in Crimea; Tatar
monuments, mosques, cemeteries, and cultural facilities were all destroyed.

Crimean Tatar place names (toponyms) were replaced by instantly constructed
Soviet alternatives. While these rapid changes were taking place in Crimea,
the survivors of the 1944 mass deportation were confined to highly
regimented and strict special settlement camps (spetsposolonets) in their
various places of exile until 1956, when the Soviet state dismantled the
special settlement regime.

A special [unpublished] decree issued on April 28, 1956 the Presidium of
Supreme Soviet (Ukaz 136/142) officially released the remaining Crimean
Tatars from special settlement restrictions. Through the same decree, most
of the exiled ethnic groups were granted permission to return to their
homelands except the Volga Germans, Meshketian (Ahiska) Turks and Crimean
Tatars.

Thus, while Crimean Tatars were not the only deported group of the Stalinist
era, but they were one of the few who were not allowed to return to their
homeland during Khrushchev’s “thaw.”

Throughout the exile years, Crimean Tatars started a unique national
movement, which was peaceful and democratic in character and followed a
conflict strategy of nonviolence. In fact, during the Soviet era, the
Crimean Tatars were the first ethnic group who staged a sit-in in Moscow’s
Red Square, demanding justice and repatriation.

As their leader Mustafa Cemilev often emphasizes, the Crimean Tatars who
were only to able to return to Crimea after the collapse of the Soviet
Union, still adhere to principles of nonviolence. -30-
———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: Idil P. Izmirli is in Crimea for 6 months with IREX IARO
grant. Izmirli is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and
Resolution at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) and the founder
of the ICC (International Committee for Crimea), misket@aol.com.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25. “EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT AT THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music by
Ukrainian artists in the elegant Ukrainian Embassy, a national treasure.
Violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv (with Roman Rabinovich on piano) is a winner
of the Prokofiev and Kocian International Competitions, recipient of
the Fritz Kreisler Gold Medal from the Curtis Institute of Music and
was awarded a scholarship from the President of Ukraine. Ukrainian
buffet to follow.

WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. ; COST: $75.00

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See

http://www.embassyseries.com/events.htm
To order tickets, call Jerome Barry at (202) 625-2361 or order easily
online at http://www.embassyseries.org.

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4. ESTRON CORPORATION, Grain Export Terminal Facility &
Oilseed Crushing Plant, Ilvichevsk, Ukraine
5. Law firm UKRAINIAN LEGAL GROUP, Irina Paliashvili, President;
Kiev and Washington, general@rulg.com, www.rulg.com.
6. BAHRIANY FOUNDATION, INC., Dr. Anatol Lysyj, Chairman,
Minneapolis, Minnesota
7. VOLIA SOFTWARE, Software to Fit Your Business, Source your
IT work in Ukraine. Contact: Yuriy Sivitsky, Vice President, Marketing,
Kyiv, Ukraine, yuriy.sivitsky@softline.kiev.ua; Volia Software website:
http://www.volia-software.com/ or Bill Hunter, CEO Volia Software,
Houston, TX 77024; bill.hunter@volia-software.com.
8. ODUM– Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent,
Minnesota Chapter, Natalia Yarr, Chairperson
9. UKRAINE-U.S. BUSINESS COUNCIL, Washington, D.C.,
Dr. Susanne Lotarski, President/CEO; E. Morgan Williams,
SigmaBleyzer, Chairman, Executive Committee, Board of Directors;
John Stephens, Cape Point Capital, Secretary/Treasurer
10. UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA, South
Brown Brook, New Jersey, http://www.uocofusa.org
11. UKRAINIAN AMERICAN COORDINATING COUNCIL (UACC),
Ihor Gawdiak, President, Washington, D.C., New York, New York
12. U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION (USUF), Nadia Komarnyckyj
McConnell, President; John Kun, Vice President/COO; Vera
Andruskiw, CPP Wash Project Director, Washington, D.C.; Markian
Bilynskyj, VP/Director of Field Operations; Marta Kolomayets, CPP
Kyiv Project Director, Kyiv, Ukraine. Web: http://www.USUkraine.org
13. WJ GROUP of Ag Companies, Kyiv, Ukraine, David Holpert, Chief
Financial Officer, Chicago, IL; http://www.wjgrain.com/en/links/index.html
14. EUGENIA SAKEVYCH DALLAS, Author, “One Woman, Five
Lives, Five Countries,” ‘Her life’s journey begins with the 1932-1933
genocidal famine in Ukraine.’ Hollywood, CA, www.eugeniadallas.com.
15. ALEX AND HELEN WOSKOB, College Station, Pennsylvania
16. SWIFT FOUNDATION, San Luis Obispo, California
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AUR#701 May 26 Parliament June 7 Next Meeting; No Coalition Yet, When?; Gas & Hot Air; I Want To Be Ukraine’s Thatcher

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR
An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World

ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 701
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2006

——- INDEX OF ARTICLES ——–
Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article

1. UKRAINE: NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES BRIEFLY
SETS JUNE 7 DEADLINE FOR COALITION
By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 25, 2006

2. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS PROFESSIONAL GOVERNMENT

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 25, 2006

3. GAS AND HOT AIR,

UKRAINE’S POLITICAL SQUABBLING CONTINUES
From The Economist Global Agenda
London, UK, Thursday, May 25th 2006

4. NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES IN KIEV
By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, May 25, 2006

5. I WANT TO BE UKRAINE’S THATCHER
INTERVIEW: With Yulia Tymoshenko
By Allister Heath, The Spectator
London, UK, Saturday, 27 May 2006

6. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT IN USA NEXT WEEK

Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Will meet with Laura Bush at the White House

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

7. DANCE TEACHER FROM UKRAINE WAS THERE FOR THE
PITTSBURGH FOLK FESTIVAL’S START
Luba Hlutkowsky has been director of the Ukrainian dance troupe Poltava
By Phuong Ngan Do, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thursday, May 25, 2006

8. MITTAL STEEL TO INCREASE SALARIES BY 15 PERCENT
FOR WORKERS AT GIANT UKRAINE STEEL MILL
AP Worldstream, Kiev,Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

9. MITSUBISHI HEAVY RECEIVES UKRAINE STEEL PLANT ORDER
Arran Scott, Dow Jones Newswires, Tokyo, Japan, Wed, May 24, 2006

10. UKRAINE ELECTIONS CONFIRM WESTERN ORIENTATION
AND AN AGGRESSIVE REFORM AGENDA
INTERVIEW: With Oleh Shamshur, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US
By Thomas Cromwell, Managing Editor, Diplomatic Traffic
Washington, D.C., Week of May 22, 2006

11. IS UKRAINE PART OF EUROPE’S FUTURE?
Is European Enlargement Dead?
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Excerpt from The Washington Quarterly, Vol 29, No. 3
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Washington, D.C., Summer, 2006

12. EU EXPANSION CHIEF: BLOC SHOULDN’T DRAW FINAL BORDERS
“It would be a strategic error if we for example said ‘never’ to Ukraine.”
Associated Press (AP), Brussels, Belgium, Wed, May 24, 2006

13. NATO LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE IMAGE IN RUSSIA
Associated Press, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 18, 2006

14. PROSPECTS FOR A PARLIAMENTARY COALITION
Coalition building most watchable Ukrainian soap-opera for several weeks.
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY:
By Yuriy BUTUSOV
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

15. IN THE SHADOW OF RUSSIA
Russian influence can be especially felt in Ukraine and Georgia
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos by Donald Weber
Maclean’s Magazine, Toronto, Canada, May 2006

16. UKRAINE’S PENITENTIARY SYSTEM FAR BEHIND STANDARDS
Cells are packed with 50-100 prisoners, normal is two to four
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0820 gmt 11 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, May 11, 2006

17. HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE – 2005
STATEMENT: Forum of Ukrainian Human Rights Organizations
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 May 2006

18. ROUND TABLE: GUAM-2006: INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE
& PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT, MONDAY, MAY 29, KYIV
Sarah Jewett, Eurasia Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

19. NATO GIVES UKRAINE EUR5.8M TO DISPOSE OF

SURPLUS WEAPONS
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

20. EU, RUSSIA AGREE ON ENERGY INTERDEPENDENCE
President Putin comments on Russian-Ukraine gas deal and US criticism
Associated Press (AP), Sochi, Russia, Thu, May 25, 2006

21. WHY DID A RUSSIAN PROFESSOR FAIL ON HIS HOMEWORK?
LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: Compiled from discussion by
the university students of Ukraine’s Modern History Class, taught by
Professor Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv Franko University
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 21
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2005

22. LOOKING FOR DENTISTS, HYGIENISTS TO BE PART OF
SMILE ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM IN UKRAINE
LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Vicki Nelson
Smile Alliance International, Kyiv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR)# 701, Article 22
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

23. STILL DYING OF HUNGER
More Can Be Done to Ease the Toll on Children and Countries
OP-ED Column: By James T. Morris, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006; Page A29

24. 62ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
“PROTEST MEETING” SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA WENT BY PEACEFULLY
By Idil P. Izmirli, US IREX IARO scholar, Simferopol, Crimea
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 24
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

25. “EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT AT THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE
WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music by
Ukrainian artists in the elegant Ukrainian Embassy, a national treasure.
WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE:
Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W.
=======================================================
1
. UKRAINE: NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES BRIEFLY
SETS JUNE 7 DEADLINE FOR COALITION

By Jan Maksymiuk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 25, 2006

PRAGUE – All seemed in order as the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada convened
for its first session today — but the composure on the Ukrainian
parliamentary rostrum was short-lived.

A dispute among deputies erupted immediately after the Yuliya Tymoshenko
Bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party — the three allies in the 2004
Orange Revolution — proposed that the session be postponed until June 7.

By that time, they pledged, the three groups will have agreed on the
principles of a renewed coalition. The motion eventually passed with 240
votes.
RIFT REMAINS
Dissent came from the ranks of the Party of Regions and the Communist Party,
whose members argued that the Orange Revolution allies have had enough time
to agree on a coalition and should allow the legislature get to work.

The March 26 parliamentary vote in Ukraine, which was internationally
praised as fair and democratic, produced a legislature comprising five
forces: the Party of Regions (186 seats), the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (129),
Our Ukraine (81), the Socialist Party (33), and the Communist Party (21).

Over the past two months, the five parliamentary groups have held several
joint meetings chaired by President Viktor Yushchenko and many bilateral and
trilateral conferences devoted to the formation of a parliamentary majority,
but all of them proved to be fruitless.

In mid-April the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist
Party signed a protocol pledging to work toward creating such a
parliamentary majority. Their subsequent efforts led to the preparation of
two draft coalition accord — one endorsed by the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc
and the Socialists, the other worked out by Our Ukraine.
THE TYMOSHENKO HURDLE
The main stumbling block in the coalition talks is the question of who will
become prime minister. Tymoshenko has made no secret of her desire to regain
the post she held before being dismissed by Yushchenko in September. But the
restoration of Tymoshenko as prime minister is exactly what the president
and his political partners from Our Ukraine would like to avoid.

Yushchenko officially split with Tymoshenko after she accused some of his
closest allies of corruption practices and of running a “second” government.
All of them were subsequently elected to the Verkhovna Rada from the Our
Ukraine list.

If the former Orange Revolution allies eventually decide to restore their
coalition and Tymoshenko becomes prime minister once again, the old conflict
may reignite.

There is also another source of potential discord between the president and
Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko promised during the election campaign to cancel a
gas-supply deal that Yushchenko’s cabinet signed with Gazprom in January.

The deal raised the gas price for Ukraine from $50 to $95 per 1,000 meters
and gave RosUkrEnergo, an opaque Swiss-based company owned half by
Gazprom and half by two Ukrainian businessmen, the role of sole supplier.

The cancellation by Tymoshenko of the gas deal with Gazprom could lead to a
serious conflict between Kyiv and Moscow. Russia could cut gas supplies to
Ukraine, as it did for a short time in January, or impose trade sanctions,
as it recently did with regard to Georgian and Moldovan wines. Ukraine,
which currently sends some 22 percent of its exports to Russia, would hardly
benefit from any trade ban from Moscow.

Another hurdle to an “Orange” coalition is the Socialist Party’s opposition
to some goals pursued by Yushchenko’s presidency. In particular, the
Socialists object to Ukrainian aspirations to join NATO. They also object to
the privatization of land, thus undermining Yushchenko’s efforts to
implement reforms he pledged during the 2004 Orange Revolution in an effort
to bring the country closer to the European Union.
UNLIKELY MARRIAGE
Our Ukraine fails to fulfill Tymoshenko’s dream of regaining her seat as
prime minister, she will most likely switch to the opposition, and
Yushchenko will have to seek a coalition with the Party of Regions led by
Viktor Yanukovych — his former presidential rival.

Such a coalition, with 267 votes in the Verkhovna Rada, would provide solid
support for its cabinet, provided that the two seemingly mismatched parties
could adopt a consistent program.Both parties represent the interests of
major oligarchic groups in Ukraine, so in theory they could very easily
agree on a set of basic economic reforms.

But difficulties could emerge in the determination of foreign-policy
priorities, as Yanukovych’s party is generally seen as Russia-leaning, in
contrast to the Western-oriented Our Ukraine.

But for Yushchenko, this coalition option is fraught with much more serious
dangers than mere differences of opinion on foreign policy. The Party of
Regions, which won the March 26 vote, would most likely demand the post of
prime minister. It is not clear whether Yushchenko would prefer Yanukovych
or someone else from his party to Tymoshenko as prime minister.

Under the constitutional reform that went into effect in January, the
presidential powers in Ukraine were substantially reduced to the benefit of
the parliament and the prime minister.

Since the Party of Regions has many politicians with great experience in
running the government during former President Leonid Kuchma reign,
Yushchenko should think twice before handing the keys to the cabinet over to
them. Such experienced politicians could do more to diminish the role of the
president in practice than the constitutional reform did in theory.
EUROPEAN COURSE
Yushchenko told the Verkhovna Rada today that he will expect the new
cabinet to embody his future vision for Ukraine.

“The government should be made up of those who, as a single team, will
ensure Ukraine’s development on the basis of European values, who are
capable of consolidating the nation, stimulating economic reforms, and
respecting the rights and freedoms of the people,” Yushchenko said.

However, the president could find these goals very difficult to achieve —
not only because of discrepancies among the potential coalition parties but
also because of the personal ambitions of their leaders.
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http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/05/aaf1dedd-bdc9-45ea-a2ee-c8c605d27eb5.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS PROFESSIONAL GOVERNMENT

Press office of President Victor Yushchenko
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 25, 2006

In an address to the newly elected Verkhovna Rada, Victor Yushchenko has
stated that Ukraine’s future government should consist of professionals that
work as one team to ensure the country’s development on the basis of
European values and are capable of consolidating the nation, stimulating
economic reforms and protecting human rights.

He congratulated the deputies on being elected and wished them success but
said, “Being responsible for the country, the President will now play one of
the leading roles in the process to form a government.”

The Head of State also urged the parliamentarians to hold a swearing-in
ceremony to convene Ukraine’s Constitutional Court. Then he said the
above-mentioned requirements determined a few major directions for the
cabinet.

FIRST, they should improve the system of government in Ukraine to make
the interaction of governmental agencies rational and effective. The stronger
autonomy of local governments and administrative reform are among the
most important priorities, he added.

“I have always been a supporter of European political traditions. I believe
that adequate and pragmatic political reform, which will be based on
Ukrainian political traditions, will only strengthen our strategic advance.
I am convinced it will only be possible when we change the constitution,” he
said.

SECOND, it is important to develop the system of legal institutions in order
to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, “for the citizens of
Ukraine are still unprotected against injustice and arbitrariness.”

“This explains why our society expects the parliament to pass new laws
ensuring radical judicial reforms,” he said.

THIRD, the government must create favorable conditions for an economic
breakthrough. He opined that Ukraine needed “a new philosophy of economic
policies.” Mr. Yushchenko said there were a few “springs” that could make
the economy grow.

We should profoundly change the whole economic structure, use modern
technologies, save resources, liberalize basic pricing mechanisms, and
continue introducing social reforms. The Chief of State said this kind of
philosophy “will make GDP grow by not less than five per cent annually,
which is important to successfully carry out our ambitious social programs.”

FOURTH, the government must spare no effort to reunite the nation by
building a common humanitarian space absorbing our lingual and cultural
diversity. “We must build an authentic system of values based on our
heritage and European traditions,” he said.

The President reiterated that it was unacceptable to divide Ukraine but
described regionalism as “an integral element of the national formation.”

“Each Ukrainian land is unique, but we must not split and weaken the
country,” he said.

When speaking about the language issue, the President said the government
should make sure both the Ukrainian language and languages of national
minorities develop equally.

Addressing representatives of the three branches of government, Victor
Yushchenko said: “Our society expects you to harmoniously interact and
achieve results that will make the country and its people confident and
secure.” -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/data/1_8514.html
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
3. GAS AND HOT AIR,
UKRAINE’S POLITICAL SQUABBLING CONTINUES

From The Economist Global Agenda
London, UK, Thursday, May 25th 2006

A NEW parliament holds its first session in Ukraine today, two months
after an election in March. But the politicians are still lost in their
selfish haggling, meaning that the country has no new government as yet,
merely the prospect of an unlikely coalition between old foes.

The hiatus has forced an embarrassing delay on Ukraine’s prospects for
joining the WTO, on privatisation, and on other reforms. Worse, President
George Bush wants to visit Ukraine before or after his trip to Vladimir
Putin’s G-8 summit in St Petersburg in July. A proper government to
welcome him would be nice.

The idealism of the Orange Revolution, which removed the corrupt
bureaucratic regime of Ukraine’s previous president, Leonid Kuchma, looks
faded. Greed for the spoils of office seems the most likely explanation for
the behaviour of at least two of the three main parties.

The most probable coalition at the moment is a rum one between the small
Our Ukraine party of president Viktor Yushchenko, and the big Party of the
Regions led by his opponent in the tumultuous presidential election of 2004,
Viktor Yanukovych. Such a deal would sideline Mr Yushchenko’s former ally,
the flaxen-haired and demagogic Yulia Tymoshenko.

Publicly, Mr Yushchenko’s lot say she is too unpredictable and divisive.
Privately, his aides insinuate that she has not abandoned her past interests
in the energy business.

In turn, Ms Tymoshenko says that the president’s aides are conspiring
against her. Her hopes for a deal with Mr Yushchenko, which would keep
the old guard out of office, are looking increasingly forlorn. The most
likely outcome is for the deadlock to continue until the end of June, giving the
current caretaker government the chance to renegotiate an all-important gas
deal with Russia.

The fear is that this will be as bad as the temporary six-month agreement
struck in January, after a brief cut-off, which enriched a murky
intermediary company called RosUkrEnergo. That firm’s ownership is
enigmatic, as are the reasons that Mr Yushchenko allowed its lucrative
involvement.

Ukraine’s amended constitution gives the parliament more power than its
predecessor had, including the ability to dismiss the prime minister and his
government colleagues. If no coalition is formed in a month, the
constitution allows Mr Yushchenko to call new elections. That may break
the deadlock. But it would not, on current form, look likely to create the
strong reforming government that Ukraine so badly needs. -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.economist.com
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
4. NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES IN KIEV

By Natasha Lisova, Associated Press, Kiev, Ukraine, Thu, May 25, 2006

KIEV — Leaders from Ukraine’s reformist, pro-Western parties pledged
Thursday to bring an end to their messy coalition talks and be ready to
present a governing agreement to the parliament and the nation within 15
days.

The promise came as the 450-seat parliament held its inaugural session,
setting into motion a 30-day deadline to form a coalition and a 60-day
deadline to name the new government. If talks fail, President Viktor
Yushchenko can call new elections.

The new lawmakers took their seats in the ornate chamber that once served as
home to Soviet Ukraine’s parliament, as the poem “Love Ukraine” was recited.
Their election on March 26 was praised as the most free and fair ever in
Ukraine.

The pro-Moscow Party of the Regions won the most votes and took 185 seats in
the new parliament. Ousted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the most
popular figures during the 2004 mass protests, won 129 parliamentary seats
for her bloc, while Yushchenko’s bloc took 80. The Socialists, who back
Yushchenko, and the Communists have 33 and 21, respectively. Two lawmakers
have not yet been registered.

“The election was recognized as worth imitating across the whole region,”
Yushchenko told the lawmakers. “I did what I promised as president.” He said
he had come to the hall Thursday “to show my respect for the conscious
choice of our people.”

Tymoshenko’s lawmakers arrived wearing identical white sweaters emblazoned
with her red heart campaign logo, which the former prime minister said
symbolized her party’s hopes that the new parliament would embrace “clean
and transparent politics.”

Leaders from the estranged Orange Revolution allies held a joint news
conference to announce the formation of a working group charged with
reaching an agreement on the coalition by June 7. The agreement will include
the coalition’s main policy agenda, and only then will the three blocs start
discussing who gets what job, officials said.

“Of course, differences exist but we will find a way to solve them,”
Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz said. Tymoshenko, who wants to return
as prime minister, added, “We need time and we will find understanding.”

Tymoshenko’s bitter falling-out with Yushchenko last year soured relations,
and the president said he was reluctant to try such a partnership again.
Tymoshenko has lately stopped talking about the prime minister’s job in what
appears to be a negotiating strategy rather than a change in position. Her
staff continue to repeat that she is the best candidate for the job.

An opinion poll by Kiev’s Razumkov Center found that nearly 40 percent of
those polled would like to see a coalition between Yushchenko’s bloc,
Tymoshenko’s and the Socialists. Some 17 percent said they wanted to see a
union between Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and the Party of the Regions, led by
Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom Yushchenko accused of trying to steal the
presidency in 2004.

Some 13 percent said they wanted all the parties except the Communists to
unite. The poll, which surveyed 2,000 people, had a margin of error of 2.3
percentage points. On Thursday, lawmakers formally accepted the current
government’s resignation.

But Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov and the rest of the Cabinet — many
members of which also won parliamentary seats — were asked to stay on in an
acting capacity until a new Cabinet was formed. Previously, the president
appointed the prime minister and the Cabinet. -30-
————————————————————————————————-
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========================================================
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========================================================
5. I WANT TO BE UKRAINE’S THATCHER

INTERVIEW: With Yulia Tymoshenko
By Allister Heath, The Spectator
London, UK, Saturday, 27 May 2006

To her legions of adoring groupies she is the Orange Princess, the goddess
of the Ukrainian revolution and the world’s most beautiful politician. Even
her critics admit that with her blonde hair braided in the traditional
Ukrainian peasant way like a crown around her head and her flamboyant
designer outfits, Yulia Tymoshenko cuts a surreal figure, a cross between
Princess Leia of Star Wars and Princess Diana.

Her striking appearance helped to turn her into a global cultural icon when
she took to the barricades during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and then
during her brief stint as prime minister last year.

Forbes magazine declared Tymoshenko the world’s third most powerful woman
after Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, and Wu Yi, the Chinese
vice-premier; any day now, depending on the outcome of the coalition
negotiations in Kiev, Tymoshenko will either return as Ukraine’s prime
minister or emerge as her country’s power-broker.

Given the popstar-style hype that invariably surrounds her, I was half
fearing disappointment when I went to see Tymoshenko last week. She was
on a fleeting visit to Britain to meet financiers and William Hague, the shadow
foreign secretary. I needn’t have worried.

After a lengthy wait in a corridor in front of her suite in the Savoy, which
was guarded by severe-looking Ukrainian bodyguards and American advisers,
I was finally ushered in, and there was Tymoshenko, exactly as advertised, a
petite figure exuding a huge presence. She was wearing an elaborate white
coat, skirt and matching pearls, handbag and stiletto heels. She is 45, but
looks at least ten years younger.

Even more striking than her hair is her mesmerising stare, of an almost
shocking intensity, which is in stark contrast to the quiet, almost
understated tone of her voice. She looked unwaveringly into my eyes until
she finished answering each question; unnervingly, she continued to stare
even as her interpreter translated after her.

My attempts at holding her gaze soon crumbled, and I pretended to fiddle
with my tape recorder to avoid admitting defeat. When I looked up again, her
brown eyes were still staring at me.

There was one question I was dying to ask her – and it had nothing to do
with her fairytale hair, which she claims to do herself every morning in
only seven minutes. Although she is sometimes known as Ukraine’s Iron Yulia,
Tymoshenko has never revealed what she thinks of Margaret Thatcher. So what
does she think of her?

‘There is probably natural solidarity, female solidarity,’ she began,
smiling. But there is a lot more than that. ‘I admire her strong, bright
personality,’ she said, something that none of today’s new generation of
timid, politically correct wannabe female Tory MPs would ever dare to admit.
Then came the punchline: ‘Yes, indeed, I have Margaret Thatcher as my model.’

When the Spice Girls claimed to be Thatcherites in an interview with The
Spectator in 1996, we all knew it was a bit of a joke; but when the
formidable Tymoshenko reveals for the first time that Thatcher is her role
model she should be taken with deadly seriousness.

There are many similarities between the two women. Like Thatcher, people
either hate Tymoshenko or idolise her; no one is ever indifferent. To her
numerous detractors in Ukraine and Russia, she is merely a populist
responsible for many of Ukraine’s woes, a vastly rich gas oligarch who made
her money running the giant United Energy Systems of Ukraine in the
mid-1990s.

Tymoshenko laughed this off, and drew parallels between herself and Lady
Thatcher: ‘I’m sure that any strong personality in politics gives rise to
both positive and negative emotions. The stronger the personalities, the
more radical the positive and negative emotions.’

Tymoshenko has long used her femininity for political advantage. She has
appeared on the cover of the Ukrainian edition of Elle magazine, has said
that any ‘real woman’ would be happy to appear on the cover of Playboy, and
makes sexually suggestive jokes.

But after serving as vice-prime minister for two years she was arrested in
2001 and accused of forging customs documents and smuggling gas. She was
subsequently released and cleared of all charges. Those who know her say her
42 days spent in jail gave her a steely determination to succeed and crush
her enemies.

Tymoshenko gained a reputation as a bit of a leftist during her first term
in office – she was sacked after seven months by President Viktor Yushchenko
after a spectacular row – but she is now keen to emphasise her Thatcherite
economics.

When she was prime minister, Tymoshenko demanded a large-scale review of the
privatisations carried out in dodgy circumstances during the reign of Leonid
Kuchma, the former president. At the time this was widely interpreted as an
attack on private property. She now emphatically supports further reforms
and claims that her original policy was misunderstood.

‘As a result of the severe political struggle between the old system and the
new Orange team, the mass media published lots of myths about
re-privatisations, nationalisation and price-fixing. All of these things I
would like to say are absurd, we want to pursue none of these things,’ she
assured me.

Any disputes over the legitimacy of past privatisations – some of which were
carried out at discounted prices to friends of the previous pro-Russian
regime – would be determined by the courts. ‘The legitimacy or otherwise of
privatisation or anything connected with private property is not in the
remit of any bureaucrat, only of the courts.’

Although the Orange Revolution is widely viewed as a disappointment,
Tymoshenko argues that it has done much good and that she can’t wait to be
in a position to rekindle its flames. ‘Before the Orange Revolution we had
an absolutely post-Soviet state with all the post-Soviet rules,’ she said.

There was ‘corruption, clans, unpredictability, helplessness, absence of an
effective courts system, absolute bias and a lack of independence of the
mass media. To understand the importance of the Orange Revolution one needs
to have lived in that period. The Orange Revolution has changed Ukraine
absolutely.’

She wants to restart an ambitious programme of free-market reforms. ‘While I
was in the government as prime minister, my government managed to abolish
more than 5,000 regulatory Acts which were creating terrible conditions for
corruption in businesses. Under my government, the only transparent, honest
privatisation took place. We would like to continue these policies.’

She assured me that she will continue to privatise Ukraine’s strategic
industries, starting with the communications sector, slash duties and
tariffs; remove barriers to foreign banks and insurance companies and
‘reform the judicial system to provide guarantees for stability and
reliability’.

One of the biggest challenges for both Tymoshenko and the West is that 80
per cent of Russia’s gas exports to Europe go through Ukraine. Earlier this
year, to punish the country for the Orange Revolution, President Vladimir
Putin massively hiked the price Ukraine pays for its gas; he briefly
switched off the supplies, which also affected Europe.

‘Ukraine respects Russia as its neighbour, as a political partner, but the
question of energy independence for Ukraine is the issue number one. The
reason why it hasn’t been solved is that there was no political will from
political authorities.’

She told me that she wants to attract foreign investors to help rebuild the
oil and gas sectors, to integrate Ukraine’s electricity network into Europe’s,
to burn more coal and less gas, build new pipelines and make nuclear power
stations safer.

In terms of raw politics, Tymoshenko is in a class of her own, an
astonishingly powerful communicator who perfectly projects a constantly
evolving image of herself; she was a long-haired brunette just four years
ago. She is a master at brand-building: her political party is called the
Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and she is probably the only living politician,
apart from Fidel Castro, whose clothes and hairstyles set fashions.

Her personal life – she is married but has been linked to many powerful
men – leads the magazines and gossip columns. Her website, which has an
English edition, is by far the most sophisticated of any politician this
side of the Atlantic. Tymoshenko-branded merchandise is available for
download, including a computer screensaver of her posing on a motorbike,
as well as dozens of mini-films, political broadcasts and audio files.

There are also photos of the recent wedding of her daughter Yevgenia, a
London School of Economics graduate who married Sean Carr, a long-haired
member of the Yorkshire rock band, the Death Valley Screamers.

Talks between Ukraine’s parties have been going on since the elections on 26
March. A new Orange coalition is most likely and could be announced as early
as this week. It would be led by the Tymoshenko bloc and also include two
other parties, Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine and the Socialists.

‘For the second time, the population has voted for the European orientation,
the European vector of policy, for the integration in world markets, into
the civilised way of development,’ Tymoshenko said.

She acknowledged that the long-winded negotiations ‘could look to some like
instability or disorder but this I can assure you is not the case. All this
testifies that a rapid and intense transformation is going on. Ukraine today
is the Poland or the Czech Republic of the 1990s. All ways are open to us.’
On that note, Ukraine’s answer to Maggie got up, picked up her handbag and
bade me farewell. -30-
————————————————————————————————–
Allister Heath is associate editor of The Spectator and deputy editor
of the Business. letters@spectator.co.uk
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http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/22372/i-want-to-be-ukraines-thatcher.thtml
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6. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT IN USA NEXT WEEK
Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Will meet with Laura Bush at the White House


By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 6
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

WASHINGTON – Kateryna Yushchenko, first lady of Ukraine, will visit
the United States next week. She will arrive first in Washington for a
series of meetings, then move on to Philadelphia, and end the week
in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.

While in Washington Kateryna Yushchenko will meet with leaders
of the Ukrainian diaspora, health care professionals, businessmen,
economic development experts, government officials and have a
meeting with Laura Bush at the White House.

In Philadelphia The Ukrainian Federation of America, The World Affairs
Council of Philadelphia and the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee
will host Kateryna Yuschenko for a series of meetings regarding
improving Ukraine’s health care services and world affairs.

The first meeting will be a program and dinner on Tuesday May 30, 2006
hosted by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Ukrainian
Human Rights Committee. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is
the premier public policy platform in America’s birthplace and one of the
top speaking forums in the nation.

The event will beheld at the prestigious Union League at 100 S. Broad St. in
Philadelphia. Registration and reception will begin at 5:30 pm followed by
the address of the First Lady of Ukraine and dinner. The cost for the
event is $75.00. (For registration information see FOOTNOTE below.)

UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA “PROJECT LIFELINE”

The Ukrainian Federation of America through it’s Ukrainian health care
initiative “Project Lifeline” has organized a private program for Wednesday
in support of Kateryna Yushchenko’s primary program, through the
Ukraine 3000 Foundation, to substantially improve the health care received
by the people of Ukraine, especially Ukraine’s children.

The Federation, under the leadership of Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair,
Healthcare Commission and Vera Andryczyk, President, has arranged a
private breakfast on Wednesday for the first lady to meet with top U.S.
health care professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical
industries.

The first lady will then visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the
birthplace of pediatric medicine in the United States. The First Lady will
tour Children’s Hospital facilities and meet with Hospital leadership to
encourage a sharing of knowledge and experience between doctors in
the United States and the Ukraine, with the hope to improve healthcare
for children worldwide.

At the hospital Mrs. Yushchenko will meet with Lawrence McAndrews,
president, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related
Institutions (NACHRI), James M. Steven, M.D., S.M., senior vice president
for medical affairs and chief medical officer, The Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital physicians, researchers and administrators

Following the tour of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mrs.
Yushchenko will be the Guest of Honor at a private luncheon meeting,
set up by the Ukrainian Federation of America, with representatives of
the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia and charitable organizations.
The luncheon will be held at Neville Gallery at University of Pennsylvania
Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

Philadelphia is the second stop on the First Lady’s national tour. She will
also earlier visit Washington, D.C., and then stops in California. This is
Mrs. Yushchenko’s second visit to Philadelphia, after first coming to the
city in September 2005 when President Victor Yushchenko received the
Liberty Medal.

Since that time, Mrs. Yushchenko has met with many in the American
medical and pharmaceutical industries, through the “Project Lifeline”
program of the Ukrainian Federation of America, in order to further her
effort to elevate medical standards in Ukraine.
MEETINGS IN CALIFORNIA
In California the first lady will continue her meetings with health care
professionals, Ukrainian-American leaders, and other officials.

On June 1, Thursday, from 5:00 p.m to 6:00 PM, there will be a
reception in support of Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko’s humanitarian
projects hosted by business circles and Ukrainian American Community
of Northern California, at the Stanford Park Hotel, Menlo Park, CA.

On June 2, Friday, from 6:30-9:00 PM, there will be a reception and
buffet in support of Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko’s humanitarian projects
hosted by charity and business circles of Los Angeles at the Park
Hyatt in Los Angeles. -30-
——————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: For more information concerning the program set up
by the Ukrainian Federation of America on Wednesday please contact
Dr. Zenia Chernyk at 215 275 7902 or Vera Andryczyk at 610 539 8946.

For more information about the speech at the World Affairs Council in
Philadelphia go the following website:
http://www.wacphila.org/programs/speaker_eve.html#yushchenko
or call Adele Kauffman at 215 561 4700, extension 235. The Council
will be closed on Friday, May 26th and Monday, May 29th. You can
also contact Ubulana Mazurkevich at 215-858-3006 or by e-mail:
ubulana@aol.com.

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7. DANCE TEACHER FROM UKRAINE WAS THERE FOR THE
PITTSBURGH FOLK FESTIVAL’S START
Luba Hlutkowsky has been director of the Ukrainian dance troupe Poltava

By Phuong Ngan Do, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thursday, May 25, 2006

The first time Luba Hlutkowsky danced at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival,
she was just two months away from having her first child.

She hadn’t expected to perform. Her assignment was to teach Ukrainian
dance steps to another woman, but her student didn’t dance well.

“Can you imagine?” Mrs. Hlutkowsky said. “I was then seven months
pregnant and had to play the part of a girl who wants to charm a guy.”
She laughed aloud at her 49-year-old memory.

The folk festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Mrs. Hlutkowsky,
68, has taken part in all of them. For many years she has been director of
the Ukrainian dance troupe Poltava. A resident of Carnegie, she also serves
as vice president of the festival’s board of directors.

Born in western Ukraine, she fled with her parents to Austria at the end of
World War II. After living for several years in a Displaced Persons camp,
her family came to Pittsburgh in 1949. She was 11 and spoke no English.
“My father chose the U.S., because he knew that he had an uncle there,”
she recalled.

The trip across the Atlantic Ocean was rough, and she was seasick. The first
English word she learned was “grapefruit.” “It was the only food I could
keep down,” she recalled.

The day after the family arrived in Pittsburgh, her father went in search of
work. Her father, Michael Baran, had been a barber in Ukraine, and he soon
found a barbershop.

Since he did not know a word of English, he first spoke to the owner in
German, according to family history. “Can you speak German?” “Yes,” the
owner replied. “Can you speak Ukrainian?” her father continued. “Yes,” he
said, in Ukrainian. The shop owner also was Ukrainian, and her father had
found a job.

Her mother, Gisela, had been a teacher in Europe, but because of her
unfamiliarity with English, she worked as a cleaning woman and dish washer.

As a child, Mrs. Hlutkowsky learned many Ukrainian dances. Starting as a
young woman, she both performed and taught those folk dance steps.

“My parents always taught me to love Ukraine,” Mrs. Hlutkowsky said.
She has passed on that love to many others, including her children and
grandchildren.

The annual folk festival, she said, is a good place for people to learn
about other cultures and other traditions and to show pride in their own
nationalities. “Children need to be proud of the legacy of their homeland,”
she said.

One of the all-time highlights of her folk festival experiences came in
1980. “My children and I danced, and my parents sang,” she said. Her
daughter, Sonya, and son, Roman, learned to dance at an early age and
were performing at the festival by the time they were 5 and 3, respectively.

Family connections with the festival have continued. Her daughter, now
Sonya Soutus, is a vice president for Coca-Cola International. Her
company is this year’s main festival sponsor.

Her son, Roman, a vice president of FedEx Ground, soon will take over
as director of the Ukrainian dance company.

A fourth generation of her family — granddaughters, Chrystyna, 13, and
Oriana, 11 — will dance at the festival this year, demonstrating some of
the many steps they learned from their grandmother.

Mrs. Hlutkowsky likes to quote the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, who
once wrote: “Learn, my brother! Think, read. Study the unfamiliar, but do
not shun your own.” Those dual goals are what the Pittsburgh Folk Festival
is all about, she said. -30-
————————————————————————————————-
(Phuong Ngan Do is the Post-Gazette’s 2006 Alfred Friendly Fellow. She
can be reached at 412-263-1510 or at dphuong@post-gazette.com. )
————————————————————————————————-
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06145/692899-34.stm
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========================================================
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========================================================
8. MITTAL STEEL TO INCREASE SALARIES BY 15 PERCENT
FOR WORKERS AT GIANT UKRAINE STEEL MILL

AP Worldstream, Kiev,Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

KIEV – Netherlands-based Mittal Steel Co. has announced a 15 percent
hike in salaries for workers at the giant Ukrainian steel mill it purchased last
year, an increase that comes amid increasingly strong complaints by the
Ukrainian government about low salaries.

The company said in a statement Thursday that it will increase salaries by
10 percent backdated as of January and by 5 percent from June. The increase
was agreed during negotiations with the local coal and metallurgical trade
union, Mittal Steel said.

The average salary at the plant now is 1,590 hryvna (US$318, A248) a month,
said spokeswoman Natalya Sedova. After the increase, the average salary will
climb to 1,830 hryvna (US$366, A286) a month.

The State Property Fund, which oversaw Mittal Steel’s purchase of
Kryvorizhstal from the state last October, warned this month that it might
sue if the company did not fulfill an alleged promise to increase salaries
by June 6. Mittal Steel countered that it has fulfilled almost all of its 60
obligations and accused the property fund of misinterpreting just one of the
agreements.

Narendra Chaudary, general director of the mill, said in the statement that
the company is fulfilling and will continue to fulfill all its obligations,
and will aim “to solve all issues through negotiations.”

Mittal Steel bought Kryvorizhstal mill for 24.2 billion hryvna (US$4.8
billion; euro4.1 billion) in October in Ukraine’s biggest and most
profitable privatization auction ever. The sale earned Ukraine nearly six
times more than the amount the mill was sold for a year earlier under former
President Leonid Kuchma. That sale to Kuchma’s son-in-law and another
tycoon was later declared illegal and canceled. -30-
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9. MITSUBISHI HEAVY RECEIVES UKRAINE STEEL PLANT ORDER

Arran Scott, Dow Jones Newswires, Tokyo, Japan, Wed, May 24, 2006

TOKYO — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011.TO) said Thursday it has
received an order for two blast-furnace-gas fired gas turbine combined-cycle
power generators for a Ukrainian steel works company.

The order was placed through trading firm Sumitomo Corp. (8053.TO) for
Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works, an affiliate of Industrial Union of Donbass
Corp., the Tokyo-based heavy machinery marker said in a press release.

Mitsubishi Heavy said it was its first order for a large power generation
system from Ukraine. -30-
————————————————————————————————
By Arran Scott, Dow Jones Newswires; arran.scott@dowjones.com
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10. UKRAINE ELECTIONS CONFIRM WESTERN ORIENTATION
AND AN AGGRESSIVE REFORM AGENDA

INTERVIEW: With Oleh Shamshur, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US
By Thomas Cromwell, Managing Editor, Diplomatic Traffic
Washington, D.C., Week of May 22, 2006

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, is confident that
parliamentary elections in March only went to underline the support of
Ukraine’s voters for the political leaders and parties that worked together
to carry out the so-called Orange Revolution of late 2004, in which the
results of elections that were widely held to be rigged by international
observers were thrown out and a third round brought Viktor Yushchenko
to power as president.

And while some commentators have pointed to President Yushchenko’s poor
showing in March as a sign of popular dissatisfaction with his government’s
pace in implementing the sweeping reforms he had promised in 2004,
Ambassador Shamshur, in a recent interview with DiplomaticTraffic.com, said
the election results show continued support for the Orange faction and what
it stands for: closer relations with the West and an aggressive reform
agenda.

He argued that while people naturally expected to see rapid change in 2005,
this had not been possible, as the government had needed the time to
implement legislative and other reforms that were necessary prerequisites to
increased foreign investment and other evidence of political and economic
improvements.

He noted that the March elections were “the last test of Ukraine on the road
to democracy,” and that the universal praise for Ukraine’s handling of a
free and fair vote were in themselves evidence that Ukraine has come of age
as a truly democratic nation.

The high turnout, some 68 percent of eligible voters, was itself an
endorsement of the system, he said. He noted that President Yushchenko
was true to his own principles by insisting that the elections be
transparent and fair.

“The post-Soviet period of Ukraine is over,” the ambassador said. This means
that Ukraine should no longer be judged in the context of where it came from
in its recent history, as part of the Soviet Union, bur rather by what it
has to offer the world on its own terms, whether as a strategic partner, in
NATO for example, a good candidate for entry into the European Union, or
as a promising destination for international investment.

The ambassador stressed that Ukraine is now on an unwavering course to get
closer to the West, albeit while maintaining good relations with Russia and
other countries in the former Soviet Union. He said all of the major parties
agree with the idea of Ukraine joining the European Union, and only few
openly opposed NATO membership.

Commenting on the dangerous flare up with Russia over gas prices at the end
of last year, Ambassador Shamshur said the crisis had been a “wake-up call
to Ukraine,” alerting it to the need to deal with the energy issue soon. He
said that Ukraine’s leaders recognize that the country has to pay market
prices for gas eventually, but they want to negotiate agreements with Russia
that allow for a in incremental increase in prices to reach that point,
several years hence.

For Europeans, who are increasingly dependent on Russian gas, much of
which is shipped through Ukraine, the tiff over gas prices and Russia’s
decision to turn off supplies to put pressure on Ukraine to accept higher
prices, sent jitters through the corridors of power. What if Russia chose to
blackmail a European customer to get something it wanted?

Speaking of the close ties between Washington and Kiev following the Orange
Revolution, Ambassador Shamshur said, “We see the relationship [with
Washington] as becoming a strategic partnership.” This partnership manifests
in several ways.

Ukraine and U.S. are actively cooperating on stopping proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction, the war on terror and promoting human rights,
enhancing energy security, combating organized crime and trafficking inhuman
beings, as well as mitigating consequences of the Chornobyl disaster.

There are four areas in which obstacles to closer ties and greater
investment have recently been removed. [1] One is the ending of sanctions
imposed in 2000 for intellectual property rights infringements. [2] The
second is recognition of Ukraine as a market economy, which creates more
favorable conditions for an anti-dumping investigation.

[3] The third is a bilateral protocol through which Washington is helping
Kiev gain entry to the World Trade Organization. [4] Finally, the
Jackson-Vanik restrictions have now been lifted.

Ambassador Shamshur said it is now up to the Ukrainian and American
business leaders to work together to achieve success, now that most barriers
to business have been removed. On Ukraine’s plate is continued deregulation,
judicial and tax reform, stepped up fight against corruption.

“Our general feeling dealing with businesspeople here [in the US] is that
investors are sitting, with their cases packed, waiting for the new
government to be formed,” the ambassador said. He added that, “In 14
years, relations have never been so productive and promising.”
—————————————————————————————————
CURRICULUM VITAE OF AMBASSADOR OLEH SHAMSHUR
EDUCATION: 1978 – Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University, Department of
International Relations and International Law, specialization in
International Relations, cum laude
1982 – Ph. D. in History, Kyiv University
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
February 2004 – January 2006 – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
October 2003 – February 2004 – Head, European Union Department, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
1998-2003 – Minister/Counsellor, Embassy of Ukraine to the Benelux Countries
1996-1998 – Deputy Chairman, State Committee for Nationalities and Migration
of Ukraine, member of the President’s Commission on Citizenship
1993-1996 – First Secretary/Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine
to the UN, and other international organizations in Geneva
1993 – Visiting Scholar, University College, London
1981 -1993 – Work at the Institute of Social and Economic Problems of
Foreign Countries, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, including 1984 -1989 as
Director of Programs
1978-1981 – Post-graduate course at the Institute of Social and Economic
Problems of Foreign Countries, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
LANGUAGES: Fluent in English, French and Russian
PERSONAL: Born: July 6, 1956, Kyiv, Ukraine; Married, one daughter
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.diplomatictraffic.com/highlights.asp?ID=151
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11. IS UKRAINE PART OF EUROPE’S FUTURE?
Is European Enlargement Dead?

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Taras Kuzio
Excerpt from The Washington Quarterly, Vol 29, No. 3
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Washington, D.C., Summer, 2006

From 1994 until 2004, under the two terms of President Leonid Kuchma,
Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union was troubled.

After the Orange Revolution in late 2004 initiated a democratic
breakthrough, ushering in Viktor Yushchenko as Ukraine’s first reformist
president, hopes were high that a corresponding breakthrough would occur in
EU-Ukrainian relations. Yet, as time passed, such hopes proved unwarranted.

After his election in January 2005, Yushchenko soon announced “the end of
multivectorism,” Kuchma’s shifting, incoherent, and ideologically vacuous
foreign policy. Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk promised that Ukraine’s
foreign policy would now be consistent and predictable and would be
coordinated by a united group that was ideologically committed to Ukraine’s
Euro-Atlantic integration.

The EU’s door, however, has remained closed to Ukraine. Under Kuchma,
because both Russia and Ukraine were experiencing democratic regression,
Western fears of offending Russia were more legitimate. The EU often used
the argument that it could not invite Ukraine into membership negotiations
without also inviting Russia.

Although the slowdown of reform under Kuchma could be blamed on the lack
of a signal for membership from the EU, Kuchma’s oligarchic allies actively
opposed reform and sought refuge in a semiauthoritarian regime.

After his election, Yushchenko challenged the EU to embrace the new Ukraine.

[1] First, he argued it should recognize Ukraine as a market economy, a step
the EU took in December 2005 and the United States took two months later.

[2] Second, he said the EU should support Ukraine’s membership in the World
Trade Organization (WTO), a step that would allow Ukraine to create a
free-trade zone with the EU.

[3] Third, he said the EU should upgrade Ukraine from its Partnership and
Cooperation Agreement (PCA), offered only to members of the Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS), to an association agreement. In the final step,
he stated that Brussels should offer Ukraine EU membership.

The first two steps will be completed by the end of 2006, but the latter two
are not yet on the horizon. Ukraine’s March 2006 elections were recognized
as free and fair by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,
the Council of Europe, the EU, and the United States.

Yet, the EU has still not offered anything substantial to Ukraine, although
it is under increasing pressure from the European Parliament, which voted on
two resolutions praising Ukraine’s democratic progress.

The European Parliament called on the EU “to draft an association agreement
between the European communities and their member states and Ukraine, to
replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which expires in
2008.” The resolution also called on the EU to support movement toward a
visa facilitation agreement and WTO membership.

Ukraine’s progress in establishing relations with the EU is unlikely to be
similar to the progress it made with NATO. EU membership is not a divisive
issue in Ukrainian domestic politics. All non-Communist parties support EU
membership because of the benefits it would bring in terms of
democratization and improved standards of living. NATO, on the other hand,
is perceived differently.

Decades of Soviet propaganda against NATO, coupled with NATO’s
intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, continue
to cause regional divisions over attitudes toward NATO membership. Three
of he five party factions in the newly elected Ukrainian parliament are against
it. -30-
—————————————————————————————————-
NOTE: Taras Kuzio is a visiting professor at the Institute for European,
Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University.
—————————————————————————————————–
Download the full article, available in Adobe Acrobat [.pdf] format.
LINK: http://www.twq.com/06summer/docs/06summer_kuzio.pdf
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12. EU EXPANSION CHIEF: BLOC SHOULDN’T DRAW FINAL BORDERS
“It would be a strategic error if we for example said ‘never’ to Ukraine.”

Associated Press (AP), Brussels, Belgium, Wed, May 24, 2006

BRUSSELS – The European Union’s enlargement commissioner warned European
leaders Wednesday not to draw-up final borders for the bloc, which he said
could unfairly exclude some countries.

“Borders can weaken the E.U.,” commissioner Olli Rehn was quoted as saying
in an interview with the Belgian daily De Standaard. “It is not wise to draw
thick geographic lines on a map.”

Several E.U. nations, including the Netherlands and Germany, want the E.U.
to consider limiting future expansion plans and to draw up final borders for
the bloc, a move Rehn said would destroy “the inherent dynamic” of the E.U.
to grow and evolve both economically and politically.

“It would be a strategic error if we for example said ‘never’ to Ukraine,”
said Rehn. “That would nullify our influence and weaken us.”

Future expansion and the wider future of European integration will be the
focus of special E.U. foreign ministers’ talks in Austria this weekend. E.U.
leaders will take up the issue at their June 15-16 summit in Brussels, where
they are to discuss the fate of the E.U. constitution, which has been passed
in 15 E.U. nations, but rejected in referendum votes in the Netherlands and
France last year. Acceptance by all member nations is required for it to go
into effect.

The constitution is meant to simplify the way the 25-nation E.U. makes
decisions and bolsters its role on the world stage. -30-

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13. NATO LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE IMAGE IN RUSSIA

Associated Press, Moscow, Russia, Thursday, May 18, 2006

MOSCOW – North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials launched a public
relations campaign to try to change Russian attitudes toward the military
alliance. The opening of a photo exhibition as part of the campaign was
marred by protests Thursday.

The NATO effort to change Russian perceptions comes amid a recent hardening
of rhetoric between Moscow and the European Union and the U.S., and Russian
overtures to China.

NATO officials say they do not expect the nine-city Russian tour to change
generations of ingrained suspicions of the alliance, which opposed the
Soviet Union during the Cold War and has since expanded to take in ex-Soviet
republics and former Soviet bloc nations. NATO and Russia have tried to
emphasize joint efforts to fight terrorism and piracy and respond to natural
disasters.

“It’s not so much the opposition to these efforts, but a lack of knowledge
of these efforts at all,” said Paul Fritch, a NATO political officer. “I
think we’re realistic. We’re not going to change three generations of
opinion in just two weeks.”

The tour, which will conclude in Russia’s Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad
next week, has seen small protests, mainly by communist and nationalist
demonstrators.

Speaking by videophone during a meeting with Russian officials in Moscow,
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said NATO was interested in
bringing other former Soviet republics Georgia and Ukraine, into the
alliance, but Russia would be closely consulted.

“This … would be very significant for Russia, because it could radically
change its relations with NATO for the worse, ruining all positive
achievements,” Sergei Rogov, the head of the USA and Canada Institute, a
government-funded think-tank, was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Later, at a ceremony to inaugurate a photo exhibition was disrupted for
about 15 minutes by three protesters who chanted “Death to NATO!” and
“NATO is Worse Than The Gestapo!”.

The three grabbed microphones, crushed a bouquet of roses and stomped on
alliance fliers before police removed them, prompting an impromptu lecture
by Yekaterina Geniyeva, director of the foreign language library hosting the
exhibit.

“This quite clearly demonstrates the hatred that is born from fascism, from
xenophobia and from fundamentalism,” she told a crowd of students,
dignitaries and journalists. “These may be rose petals today, but drops of
blood tomorrow,” she said, gesturing at the crushed roses.

Relations between Russia, the E.U. and the U.S. have chilled noticeably in
recent months amid E.U. concerns over Russian energy export policies and
warnings by top U.S. administration officials that Russia was backsliding on
democracy.

Gleb Pavolvsky, a Kremlin-connected political analyst, said the NATO
campaign was of marginal use, since it was reaching only a small number of
people, rather than influencing broader public opinion.

He also said the relationship between Russia and NATO was increasingly
directed by a more assertive E.U., as well as shifting U.S. policies toward
Russia. “NATO has a very bad image in Russia,” he said. -30-

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14. PROSPECTS FOR A PARLIAMENTARY COALITION
Coalition building most watchable Ukrainian soap-opera for several weeks.

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Yuriy BUTUSOV
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

The creation of a parliamentary coalition has been the most watchable
Ukrainian soap-opera for several last weeks. At the same time, it has been
the one most lacking in talent. The producers do not know what to show,
the script writers are afraid of reading their opuses out loud, the actors
do not know what to play and there is no director at all.

The audience demands a denouement, but every day yet another series is
being produced in a painstaking labor that has nothing to do with the actual
interests and motives of its characters.

It is clear that the chaos in coalition building in Ukraine is quite
natural. The correlation of forces, which was defined on March 26, caused a
stalemate. As a result, the coalition cannot be formed on a voluntarily
basis and there is no one who is capable of building it from the outside.

Moreover, the split between the Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc
(BYuT) is increasing every day and it seems impossible to bridge this gap
with a single move.

President Yushchenko and Our Ukraine have certain initiative in the creation
of the coalition. Yushchenko seems to be pleased with the awareness of this
influence, which he enjoys despite the constitutional reform. The process
and the status have always been much more important for Yushchenko than
the result.

That is why he conducts coalition negotiations in the same inconsistent
manner as the negotiations to take power in the winter of 2004. The
president means to remain “above the fray” as long as possible and would
like to become the “arbiter of the nation”.

He openly states his unwillingness to become a participant in the coalition
negotiations. Yet de facto it is clear than no one else except Yushchenko is
capable of consolidating the position of the Our Ukraine parliamentary
faction. Yuriy Yekhanurov still remains a nominal but not a real party
leader due to the large number of groups of influence within Our Ukraine.

Thus Petro Poroshenko, with whom Yekhanurov does not have good political
relations, openly claims the role of the chief negotiator. The president’s
statements on Our Ukraine’s independent participation in the negotiations
and on his personal non-involvement, because “it is ruinous for the
political system”, look like a nice PR stunt.

Yushchenko has been building the system of management in Our Ukraine for
his own needs and he himself determined a significant part of the party
membership list. Now nobody but he can manage this structure. Even if he
truly wanted to keep away from the coalition negotiations, he would not be
able to.

In addition, considering the great number of those who do their business by
providing information to the president and by controlling access to him, the
president’s friends will simply not allow him to forget about the formation
of the government.

The Party of the Regions keeps hoping for either a broad coalition of four
factions or a smaller one without BYuT. It remains an active participant in
negotiations and the confrontation between Our Ukraine and BYuT reinforces
its position. There is a ready formula of a possible consensus between
Yushchenko and the Party of the Regions.

It works quite well for the international community and for Ukrainian
voters. Its main purpose is not to ruin the image of the president. The need
to unite the East and West of Ukraine, to remove the grounds for
international tension, to overcome together the impendent economic crisis
and to stabilize the investment climate.

The arguments have already been worked out and approved by the president. In
addition, Yanukovych, unlike Tymoshenko, is ready to give up his claims to
the posts of Prime Minister’s and parliamentary speaker. Thus, the two
Viktors will not have to stand next to each other on the tribune.

The “Donetsk” group want Yushchenko to give them specific guarantees: safety
of their businesses, political control over the regions where they received
majority support, posts in the energy and industrial sectors of the
government, and the first vice prime minister’s post. They do not just sit
back and watch the pains of orange coalition. They are ready to create
favorable conditions for the “baby” from the very beginning.

According to some of our sources, the “Donetsk” group has already come up
with convincing arguments for the least loyal members of the prospective
orange coalition. According to prior estimates, there are eight such people
in Our Ukraine and twelve in BYuT.

The first group are the members of the Party of Industrialists and
Entrepreneurs lead by Anatoliy Kinakh, who is said to have a strong desire
to take up the speaker’s post. The second group are the “fellow travelers”
of Yulia Tymoshenko, who consider themselves free of any commitments
to her bloc, which they used, not for free, to obtain deputy’s mandates.

If we subtract these twenty people from the 243 deputies that might make up
the coalition of Our Ukraine, BYuT and the Socialist Party, this union of
three will not command a majority in parliament. And then we will try to
find out why some of the members of the orange coalition did not press the
“for” button or failed to return from a business trip in time to vote.

It is hard to believe that the President does not know about such a
scenario. Yushchenko distances himself from the negotiations in order to
minimize the risks for his political image. That is why in his speeches, the
President says that he does not take part in the formation of the coalition.
It is as if the President is saying in advance that it is not his fault if
Yekhanurov unites with Yanukovych.

The final breakup with Tymoshenko should be ideologically grounded
and the major forces have been engaged in that work.

By and large, both the President and Our Ukraine have not rethought their
priorities concerning the creation of the coalition.

Properly speaking, they have only one priority: not to allow Tymoshenko to
become either Prime Minister or the Verkhovna Rada speaker. There were
several brave hearts in Our Ukraine who proposed to give the Cabinet to
Tymoshenko and parliament to the Socialists and wait until the end of the
year, when according to forecasts, the price of gas for Ukrainian industry
will double at least.

However, realists realize that due to Tymoshenko’s oratorical gift even a
complete collapse of Ukrainian economy will not guarantee a political defeat
for Premier Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko capitalizes on crises. A new crisis,
most likely, will be another reason for her to expose another conspiracy of
oligarchs or of some criminals surrounding the head of state.

Many orthodox Our Ukraine members believe that Tymoshenko’s revenge will
be a war, which may result in emergency measures, up to early presidential
elections. Yet due to the current situation, Our Ukraine cannot initiate its
breakup with BYuT and rapprochement with the Party of Regions.

The ideal option would be if Tymoshenko were the first to announce their
divorce, if the negotiations were disrupted at the initiative of BYuT and if
there were as many obvious contradictions between BYuT and Our Ukraine as
possible. Protracting the negotiations helps create such perceptions; there
is even no need to wage information wars.

Having forgotten that the elections are over, the leaders of both orange
blocs enjoys kicking each other. In this case, Yushchenko and his team
benefit from the escalation of the conflict; nevertheless BYuT leaders apply
as much energy to perpetuate the conflict as their opponents do.

The position of BYuT is strikingly similar to that of Our Ukraine.
Tymoshenko is sure that aggravation will play into her hands as it usually
does and that Yushchenko will be forced to yield to her. That is why she
does not consider any other possible outcomes other than victory by
obtaining the Prime Minister’s seat.

The firm positions of the both sides and their growing aggression make
compromise between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko impossible. Tymoshenko’s
returning to power will be an utter defeat if not for Yushchenko than for
his party and his team. The positions of BYuT are weaker than those of Our
Ukraine, however Tymoshenko will retain her image regardless of the outcome.

BYuT does not fear that open hostility towards the president and his team
may result in a situation similar to that in the Kyiv Rada and district
councils of Kyiv. There the government turned out to be stronger and several
deputies from Tymoshenko’s bloc went cap in hand to the winners.

Tymoshenko cares about her strategic prospects and the 2009 elections. That
is why petty tactical failures and the worldly problems of the businessmen
who make it to the Rada as a part of BYuT are nothing in comparison with
Tymoshenko’s Napoleonic plans.

The Socialists are not in the front ranks of the negotiators; however, the
parliamentary configuration and the logic of events make Oleksandr Moroz an
influential player. He will be invited to become a third party under any
coalition arrangement. No matter how often Tymoshenko repeats “Moroz
and I”, it is obvious that the goal of the Socialists is not friendship with
BYuT, but the post of the Verkhovna Rada speaker.

One thing is certain: the session of the Verkhovna Rada will begin; the
deputies will want to work, to realize their plans and repay their political
investments. They need a speaker to begin working. Election of the

Verkhovna Rada speaker is the basis for the formation of the Cabinet.

The fact the socialist Ivan Boikiy will administer the opening of the
session suggests that Moroz stands a chance of heading the Rada yet another
time. However, the Our Ukraine leadership, unlike Tymoshenko, do not
support the ambitions of the Socialist leader. -30-
——————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/598/53427/

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15. IN THE SHADOW OF RUSSIA
Russian influence can be especially felt in Ukraine and Georgia

PHOTO GALLERY: Photos by Donald Weber
Maclean’s Magazine, Toronto, Canada, May 2006

With the collapse in relations between Russia and the Western world,
Moscow is looking to secure control over ring of states near its
country’s borders before the US and its European allies do.

This Russian influence can be especially be felt in Ukraine and Georgia,
as seen in this collection of photos by Donald Weber, on assignment
for Maclean’s. -30-
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LINK: http://www.macleans.ca/gallery/
http://www.donaldweber.com/; don@donweber.com
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16. UKRAINE’S PENITENTIARY SYSTEM FAR BEHIND STANDARDS
Cells are packed with 50-100 prisoners, normal is two to four

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 0820 gmt 11 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Thu, May 11, 2006

KIEV – The head of the state department for administering punishments, Vasyl
Koshchtinets, has said that at least 2bn dollars are needed to create normal
European conditions in Ukrainian prisons. Koshchtinets was speaking to
journalists today. “We need at least 2bn dollars,” he said.

Koshchtinets said that there are 182 penitentiary facilities in Ukraine
where around 170,000 prisoners are serving their terms. The average number
of prisoners per one cell is 39, but there are also cells packed with 50 or
even 100 prisoners, he said. Under common world practice, two to four
prisoners are usually kept in a cell. -30-
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17. HUMAN RIGHTS IN UKRAINE – 2005

STATEMENT: Forum of Ukrainian Human Rights Organizations
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Kiev, Ukraine, 20 – 21 May 2006

In reviewing the human rights situation in our country, the members of the
Forum of Human Rights Organizations believe it necessary to note both
positive trends and problems which continue to give grounds for concern.

The considerable improvement in the situation with freedom of speech and the
mass media in Ukraine are certainly to be welcomed. We would note also
better protection of human rights from administrative arbitrary actions
since the entry into force of the Code of Administrative Justice in 2005.
Another promising aspect is the greater level of openness within the
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

We further welcome the fact that the leadership of this Ministry has become
more open to cooperation with human rights organizations, while it is also
more active in its attempts to deal with cases of torture or cruel treatment
by members of the police.

At the same time, however, we must express serious concern at continuing
violations of human rights, as well as a lack of key reforms.

In presenting “Human Rights in Ukraine – 2005” which contains a detailed
analysis of the situation as regards all human rights and fundamental
freedoms, we would express our disappointment and concern that the
overwhelming majority of recommendations made by Ukrainian human rights
groups in the Report for 2004 have not been implemented.

We would draw attention to the fact that, despite our repeated demands and
the recent acknowledgement by the Ministry of Justice that the deportation
by Ukraine in February 2006 of 11 asylum seekers to Uzbekistan was in
violation of both domestic legislation and Ukraine’s international
commitments, the state officials responsible have still not been brought to
answer.

We call on the government and parliament as a whole to hold a public
investigation into all the circumstances of this deportation and to provide
a legal assessment of the actions of officials of the Security Service of
Ukraine and the State Committee for National Minorities and Immigration of
Ukraine.

We are forced to acknowledge that the Ukraine penal system remains extremely
secretive and unreformed, this leading to constant and dangerous violations
of human rights. We do however welcome the decision of the government to
transfer the penal system under the management and coordination of the
Ministry of Justice.

The statements by the Minister of Justice on 19 May 2006 regarding the need
for immediate demilitarization of the penal system and the development of
public control over penal institutions must also be considered positive. We
willingly accept Mr Holovaty’s invitation to work in cooperation with the
Ministry of Justice in carrying out this reform.

The situation which has developed in Ukraine where members of the public do
not have access to information regarding the activities of state bodies
remains highly disturbing. We invite the government to cooperate with human
rights organizations in ensuring greater openness of such bodies of power,
and of the right of access to information.

We would also mention that no steps have yet been taken to safeguard the
right to privacy and to put an end to illegal wiretapping and interception
of electronic correspondence.

We see constant violations of the right of individuals to legal redress,
while the public continue to identify the judiciary and the prosecutor’s
office as the most corrupt state bodies in Ukraine. The Constitutional Court
is still not working which demonstrates a lack of political will and legal
culture amongst the leadership in the country.

The above-mentioned violations of human rights are of a systemic nature and
are directly linked to the lack of fundamental reforms in safeguarding
social and economic rights.

We would strongly emphasize that progress in the area of human rights can
only become irreversible if effective reform takes place of the most
important state institutions – the judiciary, the law enforcement and penal
systems. We would stress also that dialogue between the authorities and
society and participation of all members of society in decision-making are
crucial steps in building a civic society which can safeguard the right of
all people to life and dignity. -30-
———————————————————————————————-
For further information please contact: Dmitriy Hroysman, Vynnytsya
human rights group, +38 (067) 2846450 Yevgeniy Zakharov, head of
the board of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, phone:
+38 (057) 7143558, 8 050 4024064.
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18. ROUND TABLE: GUAM-2006: INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE
& PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT, MONDAY, MAY 29, KYIV

Sarah Jewett, Eurasia Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, May 26, 2006

KYIV – On Monday, May 29th, the Eurasia Foundation and the Foreign
Policy Research Institute at the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine will hold
an international expert round table “GUAM-2006: Institutional Structure
and Prospects for Development.”

The event is part of a joint initiative for institutional development of the
Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM through
independent analysis, monitoring and advice.

The event will take place at the Conference Room of the Kyiv City Council
of Trade Unions, vul. Kreschatik 16, 2nd floor. The round table will run
from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm.

For more information please contact Lyubov Teremova at the Foreign
Policy Institute, by phone at 536-23-39 or by email at teremova@ukr.net.
————————————————————————————————-
Sarah Jewett, Eurasia Foundation, sjewett@eurasia.kiev.ua
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19. NATO GIVES UKRAINE EUR5.8M TO DISPOSE OF
SURPLUS WEAPONS

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

KIEV – The NATO trust fund gave Ukraine EUR5.8 million to dispose of 133
thousand of surplus ammunition, 1.5 million of small arms and thousands of
antiaircraft missile systems that the ex-Soviet republic inherited after the
Soviet collapse, Ukraine’s military official said.

Maj.-Gen. Leonid Holopatyuk, who is in charge of Euroatlantic integration
issues at the army’s general staff, said that the 12-year project on
disposal of surplus weapons costs EUR75 million, and that Ukraine will
cover the rest.

He said the first antiaircraft missile systems will be disposed of early
June. There are many ammunition depots which are overloaded with
“no-one-need” weapon and located too close to populated areas, Holopatyk
said.

In 2004, some 92,000 tons of ammunition exploded at an ammunition depot
in the southern Zaporizhia region, spraying debris and shells over several
kilometers and destroying buildings in nearby villages.

Military authorities have repeatedly warned that the poorly maintained
arsenals – some containing ammunition dating back to World War I –
represent a serious public hazard.

Ukraine has been seeking to integrate with the West since the election in
2004 of President Viktor Yushchenko, who has set the goal of NATO
and E.U. membership. NATO has said it would help Ukraine push through
the necessary reforms, but has dodged questions about when it might offer
membership. -30-
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20. EU, RUSSIA AGREE ON ENERGY INTERDEPENDENCE
President Putin comments on Russian-Ukraine gas deal and US criticism

Associated Press (AP), Sochi, Russia, Thu, May 25, 2006

SOCHI, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Union leaders
said they had agreed at their summit Thursday that their countries have
common interests in easing their dispute over energy supplies and markets.

“We are aware of our common interests,” European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso said at the final news conference. “What we want is a
relationship based on…the principle of interdependence.”

The energy disputes have hung over the relationship since January, when a
brief disruption in Russian gas supplies to Western Europe amid a price
dispute with Ukraine tarnished Russia’s reputation as a reliable supplier
and encouraged the E.U. to intensify a search for alternative supply routes.

“We are as interested as Russia to avoid further misunderstandings,” said
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, whose country currently holds the
E.U. presidency. But Barroso said nonetheless there were “sensitivities”
that needed to be addressed.

“This is not at all, I want to underline this on our side, a problem of lack
of trust in Russia as a credible supplier, as Russia has always been,” he
said.

“But there are some sensitivities, it is true. Public opinion of the
European Union and its member states regarding this, and let’s also be
completely frank, the way public opinion in Europe received the problems at
the beginning of this year between Russia and Ukraine, also aggravated that
feeling.”

Also at the conference, Russian President Putin tried to assure his E.U.
partners that China was no substitute for Europe as a market for Russia’s
oil and gas. “China is not an alternative to Europe for energy supplies,”
Putin said.

Putin also said Russia wants good relations with the U.S. but he objected
vigorously to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent criticism of
democratic backtracking. “We see how the U.S. defends its interests, we see
what methods and means they use for this,” Putin said.

“When we fight for our interests, we also look for the most acceptable
methods to accomplish our national tasks, and I find it strange that this
seems inexplicable to someone.”

In a speech earlier this month in neighboring Lithuania, Cheney accused
Putin’s Kremlin of rolling back democracy and strong-arming its ex-Soviet
neighbors.

Even before Cheney’s speech, Russian-U.S. relations had been on a steady
downward slide. Last month, Putin claimed the U.S. had put up artificial
obstacles to slow Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, and the
Pentagon accused Moscow of slipping intelligence on U.S. troop movements in
Iraq to Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The crisis around Iran’s nuclear program has seen the two countries, which
proclaimed themselves “strategic partners” just a few years ago, firmly in
opposing camps. Putin said in spite of the friction, the U.S. remains “one
of our major partners.”

“For us, the U.S. is a very important partner in the economic sphere,
disarmament, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and their components, and
missiles. There are many other spheres including the fight against terrorism
in which partnership between the U.S. and Russia cannot be replaced,” Putin
said.

“I am sure that most of our partners in the U.S. have the same view,
including the president.” But he suggested no nation had the right to
interfere in Russia’s relations with third countries. “As far as the view of
our relations with other countries, we will discuss our relations with them
directly,” Putin said icily.

Speaking of U.S. criticism of a hard-fought Russian-Ukrainian gas deal,
which many Ukrainian politicians and the U.S. government have objected to as
putting the two sides on unequal terms, Putin asked: “How can leaders of
other states say it is bad for the Ukrainians?”

“I don’t understand if this criticism is addressed to us or the Ukrainian
leadership. But you should ask those who make these comments.”

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21. WHY DID A RUSSIAN PROFESSOR FAIL ON HIS HOMEWORK?

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: Compiled from discussion by the
university students of Ukraine’s Modern History Class, taught by
Professor Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv Franko University
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 21
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2005

Ukraine has proven a tricky terrain for some academics. One of them, a
former premier, had problems spelling out his professorial title. The other,
a former justice minister, found himself in the middle of a scandal over his
academic credentials. It looks, more highbrows are on the way, this time
from Russia.

On May 4, AUR published an article “Let policy reflect the popular vote” by
a Mikhail A. Molchanov who signs himself as a professor of political science
at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Its main points are: 1) membership in NATO will be bad for Ukraine, 2)
membership in SES (Single Economic Space, a tight economic union of former
Soviet republics proposed by Russia), will be good for Ukraine, and 3) the
Party of Regions (PR) must be included in the ruling coalition and hold
ministerial posts in the new Ukrainian government.

Let’s analyze Mr. Molchanov’s arguments one by one.

1. About Ukraine’s pitiful plight, once it joins NATO, Mr. Molchanov writes:
“Do we want to see Ukrainian boys sent to Iraq? Or Afghanistan? Or do we
plan to get richer after billions of dollars have been spent on the purchase
of modern weaponry from Germany and Benelux countries? Or are we so
easily tricked as to trust those who say that NATO membership will somehow
automatically open EU doors?

Well, look at Turkey and make your own conclusions.”

FIRST, the Russian academic should know better that, under the NATO
charter, the decision on sending/withdrawing of troops is taken solely by
a NATO member country, not by the NATO command in Brussels. The
recent decision of Italy to withdraw its troops from Iraq is proof of it.

SECOND, the decision to deploy Ukrainian troops abroad must be
rubberstamped by the Verkhovna Rada. Thus, the deployment of
Ukrainian troops isn’t as easy as Mr Molchanov tries to present it. Most
importantly, the final decision to go or not will be taken, as in the case
of Iraq, by Ukrainian servicemen themselves. Our Iraqi contingent was
formed on a voluntary basis.

Mr. Molchanov should not really give us the garbage of multi-billion
military expenditure awaiting Ukraine in NATO, because old Russian MIGs
and tanks are still in service in Germany, Poland and other former Soviet bloc
countries.

And finally, let’s have a look at Turkey, chosen by Mr. Molchanov as a
hard-hitting argument. A long-standing NATO member, Turkey is still in EU’s
waiting room only because it is in no hurry to sort out its problems with
the Kurds and Greek Cypriots. In other words, Turkey is the only one to
blame for her present condition.

2. Not even bothering to explain the benefits of Ukraine’s membership in
SES, Mr Molchanov lectures the legitimate Ukrainian government, saying,

“It is extremely naive and disrespectful of Ukraine’s authorities to believe
that the country’s full membership in the Single Economic Space with Russia
and Belarus may somehow undermine Ukraine’s prospects for reform and hence
its prospects for European integration.”

But why should Ukraine really join SES? Can the promised trade benefits
outweigh the risks of being pulled back into Russia’s orbit? How about the
proposed open borders, single currency, supranational bodies and Russia’s
deciding vote making it the sole strongman in SES? A perfect picture of a
creeping Mother Russia, all at the backdrop of Pres Putin’s backsliding on
democracy.

Does Ukraine actually need such a fair-weather partner who cuts off gas
supplies in the dead of the winter, thinks up flimsy arguments about
Ukrainian meat and cheese to hit Ukrainian producers – in order to
destabilize the situation in Ukraine and pave the way to power to
Russia-leaning Ukrainian politicians?

3. And finally, to things political. Demanding a role in the would-be
government for the pro-Russian Party of Regions, Prof. Molchanov quite
aptly writes, “It’s an axiom of democracy that the shape of a Cabinet should
reflect the people’s vote.”

The Russian academic is seemingly unruffled by the fact that talks on the
orange coalition are under way and, if successful, will lead to a democratic
majority coalition of former allies who will hardly need the services of PR
to manage the country. Obviously, such an arrangement will perfectly fit the
axiom of democracy and reflect the popular vote.

On the other hand, what would happen if, to go by Mr Molchanov’s advice, all
the four major players enter a coalition? Won’t it violate another axiom of
democracy that a vibrant parliament must have an equally vibrant watchdog in
the form of the opposition?

In his desire to see PR at the helm, Mr Molchanov resorts to blackmail by
warning of the dangers of splitting Ukraine (if PR is denied seats in the
cabinet), a well-known campaign trump card of Ukrainian political
desperados: “This means some prominent positions, perhaps even the coveted
premiership, could go to Regions – that is, if the Orange reformers actually
care about preventing disenfranchisement and alienation of one-third of the
electorate.”

A professor of political science, as Mr Molchanov describes himself, should
do his homework better. He should be advised to learn that PR is a clan
party of Donbas tycoons with army-like discipline and a strong grip on its
voters due to docile media, administrative pressure and open coercion.

Incidentally, it was the PR and the multitude of its dwarfish replicas like
the Progressive Socialists who did their utmost in the 2004 and 2006
election campaigns to drive a wedge between Eastern and Western Ukraine.

And finally, to the perpetrators of Ukraine’s present misfortunes.

Invariably, it is Uncle Sam and the EU (“outside powers”), Ukraine’s
president (“weak and indecisive”) and orange political leaders
(“mouthpieces” [of Uncle Sam and EU] . (Mr Molchanov’s dear Pres
Putin has also recently decried foreign centers of influence over Ukraine.
Definitely, the president didn’t mean his own pitiful pratfall during the 2004
presidential election in Ukraine.)

Well, this is no secret that we wish to make it to Europe to embrace
European and American democratic, political, economic and social standards.
This angers increasingly assertive Russia who wants to see Ukraine at its
heel. Hence the stories like the one analyzed in this letter.

Bending the truth never helps. It merely leads to backlash and dwindling
support for Russia in Ukraine. -30-
—————————————————————————————-
Volodymyr Hrytsutenko, Lviv Franko University, vhryts@lviv.farlep.net
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
22. LOOKING FOR DENTISTS, HYGIENISTS TO BE PART OF
SMILE ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM IN UKRAINE

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Vicki Nelson
Smile Alliance International, Kyiv, Ukraine
Action Ukraine Report (AUR)# 701, Article 22
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

Hello Morgan: I can’t live without the Action Ukraine Report. It was
going to vickig@inlandnet.com and now please send it to
UkraineAdventure@yahoo.com.

Thanks so much. I wrote a poem which you published in your report
around the time of the Orange Revolution. I really appreciate all the work
that goes into putting these reports together. You do a terrific job.

My husband and I moved to Ukraine last month. We sold our home and
belongings last summer and his dental practice in January. Our
organization, Smile Alliance International, bought a building about 15
kilometers to the west of Kyiv and we are hoping to find enough funding
to remodel it for use as a free dental clinic for orphans and underserved
children.

It will also be used as a training center for teachers and a retreat center
at times. We felt that this would be the best way to use our energy before
we turned too old to be able to.

We are donating our time and hopefully talents and as Christians feel that
this is God’s project and it’s in His hands. We will also be working with
senior dental students from a dental program in Kyiv.

We’ve been blessed to be able to help connect a couple dental hygiene
schools in the states with some government and private individuals who
are working to start the first dental hygiene program in Ukraine. We are
looking for dentists, hygienists, and assistants who would like to be a part
of these ongoing projects.

I included our project above because your website asked that we tell what
our interest in Ukraine is. We love the country and the wonderful people
and just want to share with them that there is a future and a hope for them
and for their country.

Thanks for changing our address for the Report. And may you be blessed.

Vicki and Richard Nelson (Ukraine) (UkraineAdventure@yahoo.com)

————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23. STILL DYING OF HUNGER
More Can Be Done to Ease the Toll on Children and Countries

OP-ED Column: By James T. Morris, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006; Page A29

The U.N. World Food Program recently had to make a terrible decision, one
that would give even King Solomon pause: either to halve food aid rations
for almost 3 million people in Darfur — one of the world’s worst
humanitarian emergencies — or halve the number of recipients.

The ultimate choice was to cut rations in half — well below survival
level — because of a shortage of funds and fears that we would run out of
food altogether during the looming “hungry season” before the harvest.

Thankfully, the United States and other donors, including the European
Commission, Canada and Denmark, have offered new funds and pledges,
enabling us to increase food rations soon. So there is some relief ahead for
the people of Darfur.

Yet the tragedy of the matter is that each day, around the world, hundreds
of thousands of poor parents must make such agonizing choices at the
household level: Which meals do they forgo so they can stretch limited food
stocks through the week, or month, or until life improves?

Today I will brief a congressional committee on ways of dealing with a
problem that has dogged mankind from the beginning: hunger. It’s a problem
that — I’m pleased to say — we have almost overcome in the United States.
Although we haven’t eradicated poverty, and plenty of Americans subsist on
poor diets, our welfare programs have ensured that no one in the United
States dies of hunger.

So, to my mind, it is unacceptable that you need travel only a few hundred
miles from our shores to find societies in which hunger is still a grim
component of daily life. In Haiti, for example, just across the Caribbean,
food supplies are sufficient for only 55 percent of the population.

More than 2 million Haitians cannot afford the minimum daily calories
recommended by the World Health Organization. In human terms, that means
Haiti’s children are growing up malnourished, compromising their physical
and mental development.

A few weeks ago I was in Africa with Ann Veneman, executive director of the
U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and António Guterres, the U.N. high
commissioner for refugees. We were there to see firsthand the devastating
effects of drought in the Horn of Africa. Seared into my memory is the
feeling of cradling in my arms an acutely malnourished girl in a remote
Kenyan village.

Although she was a year old, she weighed little more than your average
American newborn. I felt engulfed by two emotions: grief for her plight —
and that of so many others — but also shame that we can allow this to
happen in the 21st century.

The fact is that 18,000 children like her will die before today is over.
Their bodies will simply succumb to the burden of not getting the nutrition
they need to survive over weeks, months, years. Even before they were born,
their chances were diminished; born to malnourished mothers, their own
“half-life” started in the womb.

Last year the World Food Program provided food assistance to 97 million
people in 82 countries. To do so, we raised $2.8 billion — a huge sum in
anyone’s book. Nearly half of that was from the U.S. government,
consistently our largest donor. Yet, despite this generosity, our emergency
operations, like those in East Africa and Sudan, were only 57 percent
funded.

The need for food aid still outstrips the resources available. Although
donors have boosted overseas development aid to new heights, they are not
assigning food aid the priority it merits — and indeed must have if other
development initiatives are to succeed.

Today there are some 100 million hungry children in the world who get
virtually no assistance. We have calculated that it would cost around $5
billion a year to provide them and their mothers with a basic package of
food, nutrition and health care. A lot of money? Perhaps.

But it is about the same amount that Congress has allocated to assist 7
million American mothers and children this fiscal year through WIC, the
USDA-administered program for women, infants and children. If that
investment in America’s poor is worth making, why not reach out to all
mothers and children who need our help? -30-
—————————————————————————————-
The writer is executive director of the U.N. World Food Program.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/24/AR2006052402435.html

——————————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24. 62ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRIMEAN TATAR DEPORTATION
“PROTEST MEETING” SIMFEROPOL, CRIMEA WENT BY PEACEFULLY

By Idil P. Izmirli, US IREX IARO scholar, Simferopol, Crimea
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #701, Article 24
Washington, D.C., Friday, May 26, 2006

On May 18, 2006, 30,000 Crimean Tatars gathered in Simferopol to commemorate
the 62nd anniversary of their ancestor’s deportation from Crimea by Stalin’s
orders.

The general meeting of the “Day of Trauma” started at 10 am in the morning
when five different groups of people from five different locations in
Simferopol started to walk in five rows collectively towards the central
Lenin Square where the general meeting was going to be held at 1 pm.
Approximately 5,000 people participated in these five columns and they later
joined the other Crimean Tatars who arrived from different parts of the
Crimea on busses to commemorate this day of trauma with their compatriots.

The 62nd anniversary of the Crimean Tatar deportation meeting started at 1
pm in front of the Crimean Verhovnaya (Upper) Rada building in Lenin Square.
After the Crimean Tatar national hymn Ant Etkemen followed by the Ukrainian
national hymn, the meeting started with a prayer by the Crimean Tatar muftu
Emir Ali Abdlayev for the lost lives during and after the deportation.

The first speaker of the day was the newly elected (March 26, 2006) Anatoli
Gritsenko, the chair of the Verhovna Rada of the Autonomous Crimean Republic
(ARC), member of Party of Regions. The second speaker was Viktor Pavlyuk, a
representative of Viktor Yushchenko, who read a letter addressed to the
Crimean Tatar returnees by Yuschenko.

Consequently, Sergei Rudik, the first deputy chief of the Republican
Committee on Nationalities and Deported Citizens of the Council of Ministers
of ARC (Kiev), and two members of the Diaspora, Celal Icten and Saladdin
Acalay from the Crimean Tatar centers from Turkey and Romania respectively
addressed the crowd.

When Leonid Pilunsky, the head of the Crimean National Rukh party came to
the microphone, he started his speech in Crimean Tatar language. The crowd
clapped him for a few minutes for they welcomed his words in their own
Crimean Tatar native language. Consequently, Aziz Abdullayev (deputy prime
minister of Crimean Autonomous Republic who was elected at the March 26,
2006 elections), and Gennadi Udavenko (leader of the National Rukh Party)
followed by the newly elected mayor Gennadi Babenko came to the stage.

Among the other speakers were Abdurahman Egiz, the head of the Our Crimea
Crimean Tatar youth group, Vladimir Orneli, the head of the Crimean Qaraims,
the Crimean Tatar historian Gulnara Bekirova; and the Ukrainian Patriarch
(Kiev) Bishop Klimenko.

After these speeches, the head of the National Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars
and the deputy of the Ukrainian Verhovna Rada (from the National Rukh party)
Mustafa Cemilev addressed the crowd. In his speech, he stated that the
politics of assimilation still continued in Crimea and that the outside
forces were trying to break up the unity within the Crimean Tatar returnees.

During the March 26, 2006 elections, a political group that call themselves
the Crimean Tatar Block (under the leadership of Edip Gaffarov) worked
against the Rukh party and supported the Soyuz party. As a result, they won
3% of the votes taking votes from the National Rukh Party, and indirectly
taking from the Crimean Tatars.

If they did separate from the Rukh party, today in the Crimean parliament
there could have been more than 10 Crimean Tatar deputies instead of the
current 8 deputies who were elected during the March 26 elections.

After Cemilev’s speech, the Crimean Tatar and the Ukrainian hymns were
played again through the megaphones and the meeting ended quietly as it
started. The commemoration meeting lasted for 2 hours (1-3 pm). During the
hours of the meeting, most of the Simferopol streets were closed to the
public. Approximately 30,000 Crimean Tatars, and 4,000 Ukrainian military
officers participated in this meeting.

The entire population of the Crimean Tatars was deported from Crimea on May
18, 1944. The deportation, carried out at gunpoint, was well organized and
supervised by the 5,000 agents of the Soviet state security services,
supported by 20,000 interior ministry troops (NKVD) and thousands of regular
army soldiers.

During the Crimean Tatar mass deportation on guarded and sealed
cattle-trains without food, water, and inferior sanitary conditions, 46.2
percent of the total Crimean Tatar population perished. According to the
orders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (KPSS), Crimean Tatars
were “to live in exile forever with no right to return to the former
residence.”

Thus, immediately after their deportation the Soviet authorities took steps
to wipe all signs of previous Tatar settlements out in Crimea; Tatar
monuments, mosques, cemeteries, and cultural facilities were all destroyed.

Crimean Tatar place names (toponyms) were replaced by instantly constructed
Soviet alternatives. While these rapid changes were taking place in Crimea,
the survivors of the 1944 mass deportation were confined to highly
regimented and strict special settlement camps (spetsposolonets) in their
various places of exile until 1956, when the Soviet state dismantled the
special settlement regime.

A special [unpublished] decree issued on April 28, 1956 the Presidium of
Supreme Soviet (Ukaz 136/142) officially released the remaining Crimean
Tatars from special settlement restrictions. Through the same decree, most
of the exiled ethnic groups were granted permission to return to their
homelands except the Volga Germans, Meshketian (Ahiska) Turks and Crimean
Tatars.

Thus, while Crimean Tatars were not the only deported group of the Stalinist
era, but they were one of the few who were not allowed to return to their
homeland during Khrushchev’s “thaw.”

Throughout the exile years, Crimean Tatars started a unique national
movement, which was peaceful and democratic in character and followed a
conflict strategy of nonviolence. In fact, during the Soviet era, the
Crimean Tatars were the first ethnic group who staged a sit-in in Moscow’s
Red Square, demanding justice and repatriation.

As their leader Mustafa Cemilev often emphasizes, the Crimean Tatars who
were only to able to return to Crimea after the collapse of the Soviet
Union, still adhere to principles of nonviolence. -30-
———————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: Idil P. Izmirli is in Crimea for 6 months with IREX IARO
grant. Izmirli is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and
Resolution at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) and the founder
of the ICC (International Committee for Crimea), misket@aol.com.
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25. “EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT AT THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music by
Ukrainian artists in the elegant Ukrainian Embassy, a national treasure.
Violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv (with Roman Rabinovich on piano) is a winner
of the Prokofiev and Kocian International Competitions, recipient of
the Fritz Kreisler Gold Medal from the Curtis Institute of Music and
was awarded a scholarship from the President of Ukraine. Ukrainian
buffet to follow.

WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. ; COST: $75.00

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See

http://www.embassyseries.com/events.htm
To order tickets, call Jerome Barry at (202) 625-2361 or order easily
online at http://www.embassyseries.org.

———————————————————————————————–
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AUR#700 May 25 US Ambassador’s Parting Words; First Lady In Philadelphia, GUAM; Gas Crisis A Grave Strategic Challenge; Russian Language Issue Heats Up

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 700
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2006 
           –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
         Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                    U.S. AMBASSADOR’S PARTING WORDS
              John HERBST: “I do not agree that a fresh look at the gas
           agreements will increase tensions between Ukraine and Russia”
INTERVIEW:
With U.S. Ambassador John Herbst
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

2UKRAINE GAS CO OWES $413 MILLION TO ROSUKRENERGO 

United Pres International (UPI), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

3UKRGAZENERGO EYES $1.2 BILLION IN LOANS TO FINANCE
                  GAS STORAGE FOR UKRAINE’S WINTER GAS 
Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires, London, Wed, May 24, 2006 .

4.     RUSSIA-UKRAINE GAS AGENT ROSUKRENERGO BUYS

Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 24, 2006

5.              POLITICS: SIEGE OF THE EXCLUSIVE CIRCLE
         Gas crisis remains one of Ukraine’s gravest strategic challenges

  Political and economic “soap opera” playing inside and outside Ukraine
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY
: By Yulia Mostovaya
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

6.                GUAM – UNITED STATES JOINT STATEMENT
        US delegation led by David J. Kramer of the US State Department
Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

7.              G.U.A.M. FAREWELLS ITS POST-SOVIET PAST
                Four former Soviet republics set a course for the West

   The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
COMMENTARY: By Sergei Sidorenko & Vladimir Soloviev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 24, 2006

8.   FOUR EX-SOVIET STATES SAYS NEW REGIONAL ALLIANCE
NOT DIRECTED AGAINST RUSSIA BUT IS A PRO-EUROPE CHOICE
          Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova sign a new charter
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

9.            KREMLIN LOSES ITS GRIP ON IT’S DYING EMPIRE
       Four former Soviet republics set to abandon eastern commonwealth
ANALYSIS: By Richard Beeston, The Times, London, UK, May 24, 2006

 

10.   EASTERN UKRAINIAN REGION GIVES RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                              SPECIAL REGIONAL STATUS
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 18, 2006 

11UKRAINE’S MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY ISSUES STATEMENT

                             ON RUSSIAN LANGUAGE ISSUE
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1309 gmt 17 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, May 17, 2006

12UKRAINIAN CELEBRITIES SAY GIVING RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                 SPECIAL STATUS IS A WAR AGAINST UKRAINE
   “We have a direct threat to the Ukrainian nation & Ukrainian state system.”
Natasha Lisova, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Fri, May 19, 2006

13.    INCONSISTENT LANGUAGE POLICY CREATES PROBLEMS 
    PRU-led Ukrainian regions continue to adopt Russian as official language
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleg Varfolomeyev
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 101
Jamestown Foundation, Washington, DC, Wed, May 24, 2006

14.      RUSSIAN MP SAYS UKRAINE MUST NOT TRAMPLE ON
                    RIGHTS OF RUSSIAN-SPEAKING MINORITY
ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian, 22 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 22, 2006

15RUSSIAN LANGUAGE COMPLAINT: ATTENTION OLEH SOSKIN
—– Original Message —–
From: Nadia Kerecuk; nadia.kerecuk@ntlworld.com

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

16. PROSPECT OF BUSH VISIT PUTS PRESSURE ON KIEV PARTIES
By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 19 2006

17. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT PHILADELPHIA NEXT WEEK
      Meet with top health care professionals, address the World Affairs Council
By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

18.   ART EXHIBITION: “MAZEPIANA” – SERHIY YAKUTOVYCH
WHAT: The Embassy of Ukraine is proud to present an art exhibition
“Mazepiana” – the works of Serhiy Yakutovych.

WHEN: Thursday May 25, 2006, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine, 3550 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

19“EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT: THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music
WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W., Washington

20
.          WASHINGTON IGNORES DEMOCRATIC VALUES
                                 IN QUEST FOR CHEAP OIL
Sylvie Lanteaume, Agence France-Presse, Wash, D.C, Sun, May 21, 2006
21.             INVESTING: ADVENTURES AT THE FRONTIER
       One market that Chief Investment Officer Chisholm likes is Ukraine
By Conrad de Aenlle, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Friday, May 19, 2006
 
22UKRAINIANS GATHER AT MASS GRAVE TO COMMEMORATE
                               VICTIMS OF STALIN REGIME 
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 22 2006
 
23.                               A BOOK FOR SKEPTICS: 
                “THE UKRAINIAN QUESTION” 70 YEARS LATER
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day Weekly Digest #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006
 
24UKRAINIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 36TH CONVENTION
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 23
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006
 
25  HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDOG UNHAPPY WITH UKRAINE
  Ukraine continues to treat prison inmates cruelly and violate human rights
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 23 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom; May 23, 2006
========================================================
1
                 U.S. AMBASSADOR’S PARTING WORDS
            John HERBST: “I do not agree that a fresh look at the gas
         agreements will increase tensions between Ukraine and Russia”

INTERVIEW: With U.S. Ambassador John Herbst
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

This week John E. Herbst, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the US, is leaving Ukraine. He is heading for Washington to take over as
Coordinator of the State Department’s Office for Reconstruction and
Stabilization.

Obviously, the diplomat is leaving Kyiv with the sense that he fulfilled his
duties. When he arrived in Ukraine three years ago, he stressed that his
main objective was to improve relations between Kyiv and Washington.

The Orange Revolution occurred during his ambassadorial tenure. This was
followed by a real thaw in the relations between our two countries, crowned
by the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and the granting of market
economy status to Ukraine.

Herbst had a chance to witness what he calls two democratic elections in
our country.

[The Day] The Day began the interview with Ambassador Herbst by asking
if he believes his ambassadorial mission has been accomplished, even though
Ukraine is still without a cabinet.

[Amb. Herbst] “Naturally, it would be better to leave Ukraine after it has
formed a coalition government. But I am going long before the official term
for its formation expires. Why do I have to go to Washington right now? The
reason is the position that I will occupy has remained vacant for almost
four months.

Besides, although the formation of a coalition is extremely important, it is
not of a fundamental nature. The essential fact is that Ukraine has had two
democratic elections in a row: the presidential election rerun in 2004 and
the parliamentary election last March.

The Verkhovna Rada election may be unhesitatingly called the freest and
fairest in Ukrainian history. Above all, President Viktor Yushchenko must be
given credit for this. I consider the democratic nature of these elections
the logical final touch to my stay in Ukraine.”

[The Day] If the formation of a cabinet is not a fundamental factor, do you
think the domestic political situation in Ukraine is predictable?

[Amb. Herbst] “The last elections were important not only because the
authorities allowed them to be free but also because all the participants in
this race tried to achieve victory by democratic means. It was very pleasant
to watch political leaders doing their political work according to the same
standards that exist in all democracies.

As you know, some participants of the last parliamentary elections did not
adhere to democratic principles. As for the current problems with the
coalition, they are not unusual in a democratic society. We also witnessed
very difficult coalition negotiations in Germany after the latest
 elections.”

[The Day] Some politicians say that a coalition that includes the Party of
Regions will be a departure from democracy.

[Amb. Herbst] “We would like to see a coalition devoted to the cause of
reforms. The formation of the cabinet depends on the politicians who were
elected to the Verkhovna Rada. We will cooperate with the government that
is formed as a result of negotiations between these politicians.”

[The Day] Your successor William Taylor said the US is interested in a
revision of the Ukraine-Russia gas deal.

[Amb. Herbst] “The same applies here: it is the government of Ukraine that
should address this problem. If the government of Ukraine concludes that the
gas deal should be revised, it will find support and understanding on the
part of the US. As you know, since January of this year the US has not
hesitated to point out certain problems in this connection.”

[The Day] There have been many changes in US-Ukraine relations in the past
year. What problems are still on the agenda?

[Amb. Herbst] “As of today, our relations are very good indeed. We can
certainly point to a number of steps that prove this convincingly: the
restoration of privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (a
program that gives most products from less-developed and developing
countries duty-free access to the US market – Ed.), a bilateral agreement on
the WTO, granting Ukraine market economy status, and the repeal of the
Jackson-Vanik amendment. All these steps show the progress Ukraine has
achieved in its reform-related activities.”

[The Day] What opportunities have been lost in US-Ukraine relations over
the past few years?

[Amb. Herbst] “US-Ukrainian relations saw a cool period of three or four
years that lasted approximately from 1999-2000 until the presidential
election. I can say that this period was lost time. But we have regained
what we lost in the last 15 months.”

[The Day] What would you advise your successor and all foreigners who
want to know more about Ukraine? What three pieces of advice would
you offer?

[Amb. Herbst] “It is very important to listen attentively to the people you
are dealing with. It is equally important to understand the motivation of
the people with whom you are talking and contacting, the motivation of
political forces. And, of course, it is extremely important to understand
the national interests of your own country.

The positive side of being the US ambassador to Ukraine is that Ukraine
and the US generally have very similar interests. This interest is, above
all, that Ukraine should be a democracy and a market economy. This is

the road not only to freedom but prosperity.”                    -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/162527/
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2.  UKRAINE GAS CO OWES $413 MILLION TO ROSUKRENERGO 
 
United Press Internationional (UPI), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006
KIEV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian gas company confirmed that it owed $413
million dollars to Swiss-based RosUkrEnergo.
 
State oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny confirmed it owes more than
$400 million for gas supplied by RosUkrEnergo in January and February of
this year, Yarolsav Dykovytskyy, acting director for financial and investment
issues and the head of Naftohaz’s department for economics and price policy,
said at a news conference in Kiev, UNIAN news agency reported.
Dykovytskyy was responding to allegations made in Ukraine over Naftohaz’s
debt to RosUkrEnergo. “It is not the case that we have not peen paying for
gas for four month. We have been paying for gas.
 
The debt was accumulated due to (the Russian state gas monopoly) Gazprom’s
failure to pay Naftohaz Ukrayiny for the transit of (Russian) gas (through
Ukraine),” Dykovystksyy said.                      -30-
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3. UKRGAZENERGO EYES $1.2 BILLION IN LOANS TO FINANCE
                   GAS STORAGE FOR UKRAINE’S WINTER GAS 

Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires, London, Wed, May 24, 2006 .

LONDON — The recently created Ukrainian natural gas supply company
UkrGazEnergo expects to raise $1.2 billion in loans to finance gas storage
for peak consumption during the winter months, Igor Voronin, Chairman of
UkrGazEnergo said Wednesday.

The new venture, called UkrGazEnergo, expects to raise $1.2 billion in loans
payable over a five-year period from “big banks” in order to buy and store
gas for this coming winter, Voronin told reporters at a press conference in
London. Voronin expects to secure the loan by August.

The company plans to store up to 12 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukraine
this year, about 38% of the 32 billion cubic meters of gas it plans to
import into Ukraine during 2006. Voronin also said the company plans to
increase its gas imports to 58bcm a year over the next five years.

He said that UkrGazEnergo has “the cheapest gas in Ukraine” and “as of today
… (it’s) much lower than the European average,” which should help the
company attract more customers in the future.

The company, which expects to generate about $4 billion in sales this year,
has already signed 17bcm of annual gas contracts with industrial customers
and expects to sign more contracts before the end of the year, Voronin said.

UkrGazEnergo was established at the beginning of the year as a joint venture
between Ukraine’s largest gas supplier, Naftogaz-Ukrainy (NGAZ.YY), and
RosUkrEnergo to supply gas to Ukraine’s industrial consumers with the help
of Naftogaz.

RosUkrEnergo, a joint venture between Russian gas major OAO Gazprom
(GSPBEX.RS) and a handful of private individuals, was also created at the
beginning of the year to solve a gas price dispute between Gazprom and
Ukraine that led to a temporary reduction in gas supplies to Western Europe.

Under the contract, RosUkrEnergo agreed to provide Ukraine with Russian and
Central Asian gas at a price of $95 per 1,000 cubic meters – a nearly
twofold increase for Ukraine but far less than the $230 it would pay if it
was getting only Russian gas.

Voronin said the contract with RosUkrEnergo is fixed until the end of the
year. When asked whether the price would re-negotiated for next year, he
said he wouldn’t comment.

Separately, Voronin said UkrGazEnergo plans to expand beyond gas supply to
industrial customers and move into “exploration, production of gas fields
(in Ukraine and) … beyond Ukraine.”

The company is also planning to set up a business which would help utilities
modernize their power plants in order to make them more energy efficient.
Lastly the company also plans to open a division dedicated to scientific
research in the gas industry.

Voronin said the loans “will cover all of UkrGazEnergo’s finance needs.” He,
however, didn’t rule out the possibility of raising more funds if the
company’s investment plans changed.

Voronin said the company had no plans to buy stakes in Ukraine’s pipeline
system. He also said that acquiring gas storage wasn’t feasible at the
moment although the company intends to play a role in modernizing Ukraine’s
storage infrastructure.

Separately, Voronin said that the financial problems at Naftogaz were due to
regulatory issues and government policies rather than bad management. He
said that Naftogaz plans to pay off its debt to RosUkrEnergo by June via
loan agreements. Naftogaz has incurred $400 million in debt owed to
RosUkrEnergo.                                -30-
————————————————————————————————
-By Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9328;
alex.macdonald@dowjones.com

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4.       RUSSIA-UKRAINE GAS AGENT ROSUKRENERGO BUYS
CONTROL OF BIG GAS FIELD IN RUSSIA’S ASTRAKHAN REGION
Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 24, 2006

MOSCOW – RosUkrEnergo, which was appointed at the start of this year to
manage Russian gas exports to Ukraine, has bought control of a big gas field
in Russia’s Astrakhan region, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.

The southern block of the Astrakhan gas condensate field contains 220
billion cubic metres of gas and around 20 million tonnes of oil. Citing a
source in the regional Astrakhan government, Interfax said the firm had
bought 74.87 percent of Astrakhan Oil and Gas Co., which owns the field,

and RosUkrEnergo co-owner Dmitry Firtash was now chairman of the
firm’s board.

The remainder of the shares, enough to block board decisions, is owned by
the regional government of Astrakhan, which is on the north coast of the
Caspian Sea.

Company documents from Astrakhan Oil and Gas show that it will need

over a billion dollars to develop the field and achieve target production
of 6 billion cubic metres a year. Firtash owns 45 percent of RosUkrEnergo,
while Russian gas monopoly Gazprom owns 50 percent. The remaining 5
percent is owned by Ivan Fursin.                    -30-
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========================================================
5.           POLITICS: SIEGE OF THE EXCLUSIVE CIRCLE
          Gas crisis remains one of Ukraine’s gravest strategic challenges
   Political and economic “soap opera” playing inside and outside Ukraine

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Yulia Mostovaya
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

By now, our readers have surely become sick and tired of discussions of

the gas issue. However, ZN feels committed to informing you quickly and
consistently about the most essential episodes in this political and
economic “soap opera” playing both inside and outside Ukraine.

The gas crisis (even in its current latent form) remains one of Ukraine’s
gravest strategic challenges, and thus requires ongoing media coverage.

Last week, ZN got hold of an amazing document, namely, the minutes from
negotiations between three working groups, representing the NJSC
NAFTOGAS UKRAINY, OJSC GASPROM and ROSUKRENERGO
AG Company, held on April 10th and 11th, 2006.

The minutes were signed by Riazanov, Vice Chair of the GASPROM Board;
Palchikov and Chuychenko, CEOs of ROSUKRENERGO; and Voronin,
Vice Chair of the NAFTOGAS Board.

The last fact is noteworthy since, on the one hand, Ihor Voronin has a
formal power of attorney from Ivchenko to sign official documents on behalf
of NJSC NAFTOGAS, which he did on January 4th, 2006 in Moscow.

On the other hand, Voronin chairs the Board of the UKRGASENERGO Joint
Venture, a NAFTOGAS competitor on the Ukrainian domestic market. So

there is a manifest conflict of interests, which, however, seems to be of no
concern whatsoever to our country’s government.

The minutes affirmed that, as of early April 2006, the NAFTOGAS debt to
GASPROM and ROSUKRENERGO was USD $400 million: “The NJSC
NAFTOGAS UKRAINY suggested signing a supplementary agreement to
Contract #14/935-1/04 dated 29.07.04 on the purchase of 5.7 billion cubic
meters of natural gas at USD 95 per 1000 cubic meters from

ROSUKRENERGO AG in March 2006″ (you will remember that the
negotiations were held in April, which is yet another, albeit circumstantial,
piece of evidence that the NJSC still has no gas balance).

“The ROSUKRENERGO AG Company confirmed that it would be ready to
supply 5.7 cubic meters of natural gas at USD 95 per 1000 cubic meters to
the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY in March 2006, provided the latter pays
off its current debt for the gas supplied in January-February 2006 under
Contracts #14/935-1/04 dated 29.07.04 (for USD $10,953,079.87 in January
and USD $354,215,180.41 in February) and #5-TPK dated 29.07.04 (for USD
$48,176,389.41)”.

According to our sources in the NJSC, of late Ukraine’s gas debt has
increased to USD $900 million (given the gas price of USD $95 per 1000 cubic
meters). One of the objective reasons is that in January-February, Ukrainian
enterprises buying gas from NAFTOGAS under contracts concluded earlier

paid only half the actual price and did not pay VAT. Why?

Because the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY was slow in preparing the
documentation enabling NERC to notify industrial gas consumers of the new
price for gas supplied to Ukraine: it rose from USD $50 to USD $95;
accordingly, he Ministry of Economy set the selling price for industrial
consumers at USD$110.

As for VAT, the zero rate applies only to gas supplied to Ukraine under the
intergovernmental protocol. Since no such protocol has been signed yet,
industrial gas consumers should pay the tax. This explains why NAFTOGAS
could not settle its debt to Moscow in January-February.

What it does not explain is why it did not start paying later, when all
concerned parties recognized their rights and financial obligations. Neither
the Ministry of Finance nor the Ministry of Economy knows the answer, and
the NJSC refuses to disclose information on the status of its debt
settlement with both Ashgabat and Moscow.

Interestingly, the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY is planning to launch a USD
$400-million project for gas field development and gas production in the
United Arab Emirates despite its growing debt to Russia, its unapproved
financial plan and the governmental resolution making the company’s
participation in investment projects conditional on the approval of its
financial plan, unless expressly authorized otherwise by the Cabinet.
Moreover, the company has never submitted the Emirate project feasibility
study to the government.

Yet let us return to the minutes. Its next paragraph describes the NAFTOGAS
proposal to ensure the gas balance in Ukraine in April 2006 “by purchasing
up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the OJSC GASPROM or
ROSUKRENERGO AG Company at USD $95 per 1000 cubic meters out
of the gas reserves to be supplied to Ukraine in April 2006.

Given the agreement signed on January 4, 2006, the OJSC GASPROM stated it
would not be able to supply the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY with natural gas
at the price of USD $95 per 1000 cubic meters, as starting in April 2006 the
ROSUKRENERGO AG COmnaby would be selling gas at USD $230 per
1000 cubic meters”.

So Moscow said its usual “no” to the company’s request of direct gas
supplies at USD $95 and insisted that it buy the gas required for the
country’s gas balance at USD $230.

The next paragraph is even more remarkable. It reads as follows: “The
ROSUKRENERGO AG Company advised that it had neither an obligation
nor the opportunity to continue supplying the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY
with natural gas in April 2006 and until the end of the year”.

Some experts describe this paragraph as the RUE Company’s attempt to
renounce the contract. They also mention their earlier warnings that
ROSUKRENERGO might peel off, leaving Ukraine without the gas due
to it under the contract.

Yet most probably, this paragraph is not about RUE’s intent to stop
supplying gas to Ukraine (although the deliberate ambiguity of the language
leaves ample room for bureaucratic arbitrariness). RUE will supply gas at
USD $95 per 1000 cubic meters to the UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture
that it founded together with the NJSC NAFTOGAS, but not to the latter.

This means that NAFTOGAS will have to fulfill its credit obligations and to
provide gas to households and heating systems, which yields no profit; but
it will have no gas for sale to industrial consumers, and neither
ROSUKRENERGO nor GASPROM are going to lend a helping hand by
selling more gas at USD $95 per 100 cubic meters.

They could offer additional volumes of gas at USD $230 per 100 cubic meters.
The situation is further aggravated by the Ukrainian government’s
requirement that NERC should limit UKRGASENERGO’s license, allowing it to
sell as little as five billion cubic meters of natural gas on Ukraine’s
domestic market.

The Cabinet was thus trying to curb the ROSUKRENERGO AG Company’s
monopoly as a gas supplier to Ukrainian industrial consumers. Mr Voronin
filed a claim to increase the volume of gas supplies, but the court case has
not been won yet. The UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture has been operating

since April 1st, 2006.

Once it supplies the 5 billion cubic meters it is allowed, the gas price can
rise to USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters. Alternatively, gas supplies can be
suspended, and NAFTOGAS will have no gas to sell to industrial consumers
anyway, unless it buys it at USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters.

Ministries and agencies engaged in gas-related businesses are paying
attention to three critical implications of the negotiations as recorded in
the minutes.

[1] First, the state-owned company GAS UKRAINY, subsidiary of NJSC
NAFTOGAS UKRAINY, responsible for supplying gas to Ukraine’s
industrial enterprises, will not be able to fulfill its obligations for want
of the necessary gas reserves.

[2] Second, ROSUKRENERGO and GASPROM are determined to supply
cheap gas to the UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture alone, compelling
NAFTOGAS to buy gas at USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters.

Since there is no mention of any objections from the Ukrainian negotiators
in the minutes, it should mean that Mr Voronin, incumbent Chair of the Board
of NJSC’s competitor and former a member of the RUE Coordination Committee,
is quite happy with the negotiation outcomes, whereby NAFTOGAS is being
ousted from the profitable gas market.

[3] Third, experts believe that ROSUKRENERGO and GASPROM are paving
the way for an inevitable price rise. As matters stand, neither the Ministry
of Finance nor the Ministry of Economy knows the exact price at which
Ukraine buys gas. The abovementioned 5 billion cubic meters do not meet the
industrial sector’s annual need.

It is up to the UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture to either break this amount into
monthly quotas, or exhaust its limit within the next couple of months, after
which it could sell gas at USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters. Some analysts
suggest, though, that Russia will hardly raise gas prices for Ukraine on the
eve of the G-8 Summit.

However, a perplexing question mark hangs over the price that Moscow will
use to calculate Ukraine’s debt for the gas already consumed. Of course, it
can afford to postpone drastic measures as the joint venture’s revenues are
being built up and so are the NJSC’s losses.

Meanwhile, a number of gas supply and distribution companies in the EU
countries, including Gas de France, E.ON.Ruhr-Gas, RWE AG (Germany),
Winters-Hall, OMW, ZMB (Austria) etc, were subject to search and seizure of
their documentation.

The ZMB Company, for example, is remarkable in that, for one thing, it sells
Russian gas re-exported by Ukraine (Yuriy Boiko, former NAFTOGAS CEO,
knows a lot about it) and, for another, it is registered to the same address
as a “Ukrainian” CENTROGAS Company holding 50 percent of the
ROSUKRENERGO stock.

Officially, the search and seizure of documentation was executed last
Tuesday and Wednesday in five EU countries by authorized representatives of
the EU investigation group in order to check the companies’ compliance with
the Gas Directive, regulating the European gas market development.

The Directive aims to restrain monopolies in the spheres of gas supplies and
transportation. For instance, gas companies in Germany and Italy violate the
European Gas Directive by preventing foreign competitors (state-owned and
private companies from several countries) from entering their domestic
markets.

Employees at the Gas de France Kyiv Office confirmed the seizure of
documents but argued it did not imply any criminal activities or
incompliance on the part of the company. According to them, the documents
would be scrutinized for compliance with the company’s rules and procedures
within the European Gas Directive requirements.

At the same time, ZN sources report that the investigators involved in the
massive search and seizure of documentation could have other objectives,
too.

Ukraine’s gas problems and Russia’s promotion of ROSUKRENERGO as a
monopolist supplier of Russian and Asian gas, the alleged association of the
gas intermediary with criminal structures, and Russia’s switching off the
gas during last winter’s coldest days made Europe think hard about its own
dependence on Russian natural gas.

So now, Europe is striving to ascertain whether this dependence is objective
and unavoidable, to look into the pricing of supplied gas and to find out if
the earlier concluded gas agreements allow of abuse or corrupt practices.

Some experts maintain that the search was inspired by the British Company
Global Witness’s report on corruption in the arrangements for Turkmen gas
supplies to Europe. A large section of the report is dedicated to Ukraine
and ROSUKRENERGO.

Supposedly, one of the objectives of the recent investigation activities in
Europe is to determine if the actual volume of Russian gas supplies to the
EU countries corresponds to those declared by GASPROM and to make
sure it is within the 30% quota allocated to Russia on the EU market.

The investigators will also check whether the gas for European consumers is
overpriced due to the involvement of multiple intermediaries at different
stages of the supply chain, and if these intermediaries are implicated in
shadow schemes or criminal activities.

In its publications earlier this year, ZN has quoted the US leaders’
censuring remarks vis-a-vis Russia’s energy sector strategy. Last week’s
developments, described above, testify that Europe is also taking practical
steps to explore whether Moscow’s policy poses a threat to the security of
the EU’s energy supplies.

Both Washington and Brussels seem to recognize Ukraine’s role as a key
transit country for Russian gas going to Europe. Kyiv has a chance to play
its own civilized and smart game. It could lose this chance unless it makes
a clear and resolute statement in the run up to the G-8 Summit in July. All
Ukrainian government members who are not involved in corrupt gas schemes,
and with whom we met last week understand that.

What our leaders need now is firm political will to make an unambiguous
policy statement, and to begin serious negotiations with Europe and the USA,
who have indicated, albeit unofficially, that they are prepared to support
Ukraine with investments and loans compensating them for the abrogation of
its agreement with ROSUKRENERGO signed in January 2006.

Yet we know the President’s stance on the matter; the Supreme Rada is busy
forming coalitions; the new government will not be formed before the G-8
Summit; and Yuriy Yekhanurov, acting Prime Minister, has “no grievances
against Olexiy Ivchenko”.

In the meantime, NAFTOGAS’s debt to Russia and Firtash is growing, a price
increase to USD $230 is in the pipeline, the intergovernmental protocol is
still absent, the gas price is an enigma to many in Ukraine, and very few
seem concerned about all of it.

These few are fully aware of the imminent threat to the country if they do
not raise these issues immediately, as well as of the threat to their
careers if they do.

No matter how hard the West may be trying to break the vicious gas circle
around Ukraine, the siege from within and the internal opposition to the
final settlement of this problem could spoil even the most favourable
prospects.
                                     -30-
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http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/598/53426/?429496729=722cd6ddb928c6ce8d8b7a09897a9531
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6.             GUAM – UNITED STATES JOINT STATEMENT
         US delegation led by David J. Kramer of the US State Department

Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

KYIV – On May 22-23, 2006 in Kyiv, Ukraine, the GUAM Member-States

and the United States met at the Eleventh Meeting of the Council of Ministers
for Foreign Affairs of GUAM and the GUAM Summit to continue their dialogue
and cooperation.  The U.S. delegation was led by David J. Kramer, Deputy
Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

The United States supported the creation of the “Organization for Democracy
and Economic Development – GUAM” with Secretariat in Kyiv and pledged to
provide appropriate assistance. GUAM Members-States reiterated their
commitment to cooperate on strengthening democracy, increasing security, and
deepening political, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation in the
GUAM region.

The United States congratulated Ukraine on its assumption to the GUAM
chairmanship and reiterated its support for GUAM projects and for the
Organization’s goal of regional cooperation and development.

The Participants addressed the current state and prospects of the GUAM-U.S.
dialogue, and noted with appreciation progress achieved in advancing the
GUAM-U.S. Framework Program, which is the product of a four-year

cooperative effort to generate concrete, multilateral projects to facilitate
regional security and economic development.

Since September 2005, the GUAM countries have completed their country-

based inter-agency offices for the Virtual Center and Interstate Information
Management System and continued the development of the regional task force
structure intended for conducting law enforcement cooperation.

The GUAM Member States have also created a Secretariat of the Steering
Committee on Trade and Transportation Facilitation and intensified their
cooperation for this project.

The GUAM Ministers expressed their gratitude to the Government of the United
States for providing technical and advisory assistance to the organization.
The Euro-Atlantic Advisory Team, established after 2005 Chisinau Summit of
GUAM and sponsored by the United States, has proved to be efficient and
instrumental in assisting implementation of the GUAM-U.S. Framework Program.

The Participants reaffirmed their willingness to develop consolidated
efforts with a view to strengthening cooperation in fighting international
terrorism, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and
related technologies, combating organized crime, and confronting other
global challenges.

The joint exploration of ways to confront these common challenges to the
GUAM Member-States and the United States constitutes an important aspect

of GUAM-U.S. cooperation.

The United States commended GUAM for promoting inter-parliamentary
cooperation that is considered to become an effective instrument of
parliamentary diplomacy at the regional and European levels.

The GUAM States reiterated their interest in further deepening cooperation
with the European Union, other organizations and states in fields of mutual
interest, including diversification of energy supplies with particular focus
on the Caspian region, providing security for energy infrastructure, and
realization of the projects of the GUAM-U.S. Framework Program.

The United States reaffirmed its support for the territorial integrity of
GUAM States, within their internationally recognized borders.
GUAM Member-States reaffirmed their willingness to proceed further with

the dialogue within the format of the GUAM-European Union and GUAM-
European Union-United States context.

The Participants agreed to continue mutually beneficial cooperation, and
also to explore new areas of interaction. They agreed to conduct their next
meeting in New York during the general debates of the UN General Assembly
session of 2006.                                  -30-
———————————————————————————————–
http://kiev.usembassy.gov/infocentral_eng.html
Public Affairs Section, United States Embassy Kyiv
4 Hlybochytska St., Kyiv  04050  Ukraine
(380 44) 490-4026, 490-4090, Fax (380 44) 490-4050
http://kiev.usembassy.gov/; nfo@usembassy.kiev.ua
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7.           G.U.A.M. FAREWELLS ITS POST-SOVIET PAST
               Four former Soviet republics set a course for the West

    The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
 
COMMENTARY: By Sergei Sidorenko & Vladimir Soloviev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 24, 2006

A GUAM summit concluded in Kiev yesterday. The forum’s main
characters – the presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and
Moldova – transformed their regional alliance into an international
organization, declaring it open for other countries to join. No one
named Russia among the potential candidates, but Romania and
Bulgaria have been invited to join GUAM. All this means that the
GUAM quartet has made a final decision on its foreign policy
orientation, shaping up as the “anti-CIS.”

On the second day of GUAM’s Kiev summit, the leaders of the
four post-Soviet republics approved the proposal made by their
foreign ministers the previous day: to change the organization’s
status from regional to international. They also decided to change
its name, in line with the goals it has set for itself. This
alliance is now called the GUAM Organization for Democracy and
Economic Development.

The presidents of the four GUAM participants – Mikhail
Saakashvili, Viktor Yushchenko, Ilkham Aliyev, and Vladimir Voronin
– described this as a historic event. They signed a declaration
about the new organization, its charter, and a summit communique. In
the declaration, Tbilisi, Kiev, Baku and Chisinau said they are
prepared to cooperate on ensuring democracy, and confirmed their
policy course in favor of deepening Euro-integration and
strengthening ties with NATO.

At the final press conference, summit host Viktor Yushchenko
said: “The name itself indicates that our key goals are Euro-
integration and North Atlantic integration. The next stage will be
cooperation on organizing the work of our border guards and customs
services.” President Yushchenko said that prospects for the
immediate future include unifying tariff policies for energy
resources transit and road and rail transport.

Yushchenko’s statement was supported by President Ilkham Aliyev
of Azerbaijan: “We are discussing new hydrocarbon sources and
transporting hydrocarbons from the Caspian basin to new markets.”

According to Aliyev, progress on democratic processes will be more
difficult if economic development lags behind. “Our countries are
the natural corridor between Central Asia and Europe. Creating a
transport corridor here will greatly influence Europe’s
development,” said Aliyev, president of the only GUAM country with
oil and gas fields. Aliyev said that Azerbaijan will increase oil
output to 60 million tons per year over the next few years, and
commence industrial production of gas. He promised that as soon as
this happens, oil from Azerbaijan would fill an Odessa-Brody
pipeline.

The four presidents also commented on their motives for seeking
their fortune outside the CIS. Aliyev was the only one who refrained
from making harsh judgements. He preferred a neutral tone, saying
that GUAM is not a confrontational organization and is not aimed
against anyone else. “We want to cooperate for our own benefit. And
our relations with Russia are constructive,” said Aliyev. Moreover,
he proposed that Azerbaijan, being less involved in conflicts with
Moscow than the others, should help its fellow GUAM participants to
normalize their relations with Moscow.
The other three presidents stated openly why they have switched
from the CIS to GUAM. “In GUAM, we’ll try to solve the problems that
we couldn’t solve in the CIS,” said Mikhail Saakashvili. “At a time
when economic sanctions are in effect against Georgia, Ukraine, and
Moldova, it’s very important that we are introducing a free trade
regime that will deliver real economic profits for all our
countries.”
“We still can’t shake the Soviet Empire syndrome,” said
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin. “We Moldovans are a peace-
loving people, but even we can’t accept an ‘Elder Brother-Younger
Brother’ format for relations.”

The presidents of the two wine-producing countries followed
this up with some emotional comments about Russia’s ban on wine
imports from Moldova and Georgia.

Viktor Yushchenko joined in the CIS-criticizing: “The CIS is
short on useful action. We have submitted proposals concerning
logistics, and border demarcation and delimitation – but they
haven’t been accepted. There are dozens of such issues. How can
relations develop within the CIS if it can’t even resolve this kind
of question?”

At the end of the summit, Vladimir Voronin proposed renaming
the already-renamed organization as follows: the Community of
European Choice for Democracy and Economic Development. According

to Voronin, this would clarify the priorities of GUAM members. It was
decided to consider this proposal at the next summit, this autumn.

All members agreed that the organization should be expanded.
Romania and Bulgaria were named as the leading candidates for GUAM
membership. They are set to join the European Union next year, and
could increase GUAM’s political weight by joining this organization
as well. Nobody mentioned Russia as a potential GUAM member.
(Translated by Elena Leonova)                  -30-
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8.  FOUR EX-SOVIET STATES SAYS NEW REGIONAL ALLIANCE
NOT DIRECTED AGAINST RUSSIA BUT IS A PRO-EUROPE CHOICE
          Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova sign a new charter

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

KIEV – The leaders of four ex-Soviet republics broadly aligned with the West
insisted Tuesday their newly strengthened alliance was not aimed against
Moscow.

But tension with their giant neighbor, who was not invited to the gathering,
hung heavily over the two-day summit of the regional grouping, which has won
support from the U.S. and European Union.

Its members – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova – signed a new
charter that pledges to uphold democratic values, foster economic
development and help each other on their pro-European path. The four
presidents noted that they had all made a “pro-Europe choice” that must be
encouraged.

“We are focusing on a new reality that has appeared in our countries, new
interests that have crystallized over the last few years,” said Georgian
President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose country along with Ukraine and Moldova
have set the goal of E.U. membership.

The alliance – which will be formally registered as an international group
under the name GUAM-Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

and have a headquarters in Kiev – comes amid growing frustration from three of
the ex-Soviet republics with the Russian-dominated Commonwealth of
Independent States, and fresh trade disputes with Moscow.

Georgia has raised the prospect of quitting the 12-nation CIS, and the
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin also said upon his arrival Tuesday that
his country’s parliament would soon take up that question, Ukraine’s Unian
news agency reported.

Both nations are currently arguing with Russia over Moscow’s decision to ban
imports of Georgian and Moldovan wine, a blow to their economies. Russia has
cited quality concerns, but the ban is widely seen as retaliation for these
countries’ pro-Western policies. Voronin said Tuesday the matter should be
handled “in a civilized way.”

Ukraine was engaged in its own bitter dispute with Russia’s gas monopoly
earlier this year over gas supplies, which resulted in a nearly twofold
increase in price.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev, who is being courted by both Russia and
the West, characterized his oil-rich Caspian Sea nation’s relations with
Russia as positive, but said there was tension in the years immediately
after the Soviet collapse.

Yushchenko said that while Ukraine sees Russia as a strong trade partner,
the CIS has “some deficiencies.”

Saakashvili, who is the most outspoken in his frustration toward Moscow,
insisted that he was personally offended during last year’s CIS summit when
Ukraine’s proposals weren’t even put on the floor for discussion. “Ukraine
is not some kind of village on the edge of the forest,” Saakashvili said.
“If Ukraine is treated that way, it’s hard to imagine what will happen to
smaller countries.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov, speaking on Russian state
television, said Tuesday that Moscow didn’t “see anything anti-Russian” in
the Kiev gathering. But he questioned the usefulness of the organization,
saying that it would be better to concentrate on strengthening existing
regional bodies.

The presidents touted the creation of a free trade zone, and called for
increased cooperation in the energy transport sector. “We are the natural
corridor between Asia and Europe and back,” Aliev said, referring to gas and
oil pipelines that go through the region. “It is impossible to go around our
countries. We should use this to speed up European integration.”   -30-

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9.           KREMLIN LOSES ITS GRIP ON IT’S DYING EMPIRE
      Four former Soviet republics set to abandon eastern commonwealth

ANALYSIS: By Richard Beeston, The Times, London, UK, May 24, 2006

ONE of the last vestiges of the Soviet Union appeared to be crumbling
yesterday, when four former republics signalled that they were pulling out
of the organisation established to keep the Kremlin connected with its lost
empire.

At a meeting in Kiev the leaders of the pro-Western states of Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine pledged to form their own association to
promote democratic values. They also hinted that they would leave the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which was created 15 years

ago as a group representing most of the former Soviet republics.

While the CIS never fulfilled any great economic or political function, its
very existence was supposed to reflect Moscow’s continued influence from
Eastern Europe to the Caucasus and on to Central Asia. But ties between the
Kremlin and some of its former client states have deteriorated in a wave of
democratic movements that swept pro-Western leaders into power in Georgia
and Ukraine and encouraged anti-Russian sentiment in Azerbaijan and Moldova.

The new group will be called the Organisation for Democracy and Economic
Development and will be based in Kiev. It will rival the CIS, which is based
in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it is headed by Vladimir Rushailo, a
tough former Russian Interior Minister.

Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian President, said: “Our citizens are giving
us a mandate to develop strong democratic and successful states.” The move
is seen as a huge snub to Moscow, which has not been invited to join. It
faces the prospect of being left in a CIS of eight states, including
Belarus, regarded as the last dictatorship in Europe, Armenia, and the
Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan. The splits within the CIS ranks have been growing in recent
months.

Moscow, which backed Mr Yushchenko’s opponent in the Ukrainian elections,
clashed with Ukraine this year when it suspended gas sales, causing an
energy crisis across Europe in the middle of winter.

The Kremlin has also rowed openly with Tbilisi over Russian support for two
breakaway regions in Georgia and its reluctant withdrawal of troops from the
country. Moscow’s recent decision to ban the import of Georgian and Moldovan
wine has strained ties further.

Azerbaijan has provoked the ire of Moscow by developing close ties with the
US, and building an oil pipeline to pump crude from the Caspian Sea to
Turkey, bypassing traditional Russian control over energy supply routes.

Moldova signalled yesterday that it may be the first country to quit the
CIS. President Voronin said that the issue would soon be debated in
parliament, where the move was likely to be approved.

Zurab Nogaideli, the Georgian Prime Minister, said that his country was

also debating the value of remaining in the CIS, and that the question of
withdrawal would come up before parliament this summer.

“Many in Georgia have been very critical of the CIS, of its performance, of
its efficiency, and we, as a government, are accountable to the people’s
concerns,” he told The Times during a visit to London.

He said that Georgia had attempted to make the CIS more efficient and
capable of dealing with important bilateral disputes, such as the Russian
wine ban, but that the CIS was incapable of addressing real issues.

“What is the sense in having an organisation that fails to discuss basic
issues that affect the countries concerned?”, Mr Nogaideli said. “It seems
to me that Russia itself is not interested in the CIS, in reality. They want
to keep it as an organisation, but they don’t want it to be an effective and
functional organisation. Russia only keeps it for prestige.”    -30-

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LINK: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2193775,00.html
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10.  EASTERN UKRAINIAN REGION GIVES RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                              SPECIAL REGIONAL STATUS

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 18, 2006 

KIEV, Ukraine – The eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk granted special
status Thursday to the Russian language despite warnings from President
Viktor Yushchenko that such moves violated the constitution, which declares
Ukrainian the country’s only official language.

More than 120 of the regional legislature’s 133 members voted to make
Russian a regional language, allowing it to be used together with Ukrainian
in state and public institutions as well as at universities and cultural
institutions, said Irina Tarana, spokeswoman for the council.

The move was inspired by the fact that about 75% of the region’s population
believe Russian to be their native language, said Tarana.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking Donetsk region becomes the fourth area
to adopt such a measure, following similar moves in the eastern region of
Luhansk, the eastern city of Kharkiv and the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

“The decision was made in the interests of community…In the region, people
will communicate in such a way as it is better for them,” head of the
Donetsky council Antoliy Blyznyuk was quoted as saying by the Unian news
agency.

Yushchenko’s office has ordered prosecutors to consider a legal challenge
because the moves come in conflict with Ukraine’s post-Soviet constitution,
which declared Ukrainian the sole state language. Blyznyuk also expressed
concern that prosecutors would appeal the council decision, Unian reported.

The language issue is a sensitive topic in this ex-Soviet republic, where
Russian is predominantly spoken in the east and south and Ukrainian in the
west. During Soviet times, Russian predominated and now many nationalists
see protecting Ukrainian as critical to national identity.

Declaring Russian a regional language is a lesser move than trying to have
it declared a second state language, but it could open the door to those
efforts. Tarana said the council also adopted a recommendation to the new
national parliament, calling on it to recognize Russian as a state language
in Ukraine. Yushchenko has vowed to fight this.

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11. UKRAINE’S MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY ISSUES STATEMENT
                             ON RUSSIAN LANGUAGE ISSUE

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1309 gmt 17 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, May 17, 2006

KIEV – The Party of Regions will initiate discussion of “the language policy
of the state” at the first session of the Ukrainian Supreme Council
[parliament] of the 5th convocation, the party’s political council has said
in its statement on the protection of constitutional rights of Ukraine’s
Russian-speaking citizens, which has been made public on the party’s
website.

“The Party of Regions pledges to continue to defend the right of people to
think, speak and educate their children in their mother tongue, as well as
the right of local communities to freely use the Russian language,” the
statement said.

The document described as legally ungrounded the statement by the Ukrainian
Justice Ministry saying that the decisions by the city councils of Kharkiv
and Sevastopol and the Luhansk regional council to give Russian the status
of a regional language were unconstitutional.

“Article 147 of the Ukrainian constitution stipulates that the
Constitutional Court is the only body of constitutional jurisdiction in
Ukraine, and only that court is entitled to rule on matters of compliance of
laws and other legal acts of the Ukrainian constitution and come up with
official interpretation of the Ukrainian constitution and laws,” the
statement said.

The document said that the Justice Ministry’s explanation that the text of
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages had been incorrectly
translated “cannot be taken seriously, as it refers to a law which was
passed by the Supreme Council [parliament] and came into force”.

The Party of Regions urged the Council of Europe to pay attention to the
situation with the charter’s implementation in Ukraine and deliver an
appropriate assessment of the Ukrainian government’s actions.

The Party of Regions views the policy of the current government and
political forces “on which it leans for support” as an offensive on
citizens’ rights. “This campaign obviously has a political background to it.
It is a continuation of the short-sighted and unclever policies which the
Orange forces contributed to the presidential election and which resulted in
a deep split in society,” the document said.

The political council warned the law-enforcement agencies against “brutal
interference in such a sensitive sphere as language politics”. The council
also recalled that the president [Viktor Yushchenko] “is the president of
all citizens, including those for whom Ukrainian is the native language and
those for whom Russian or any other language is native” and urged
“respectful treatment of the right to defend the native language”.

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12.  UKRAINIAN CELEBRITIES SAY GIVING RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                 SPECIAL STATUS IS A WAR AGAINST UKRAINE
   “We have a direct threat to the Ukrainian nation & Ukrainian state system.”
 
Natasha Lisova, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Fri, May 19, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian cultural figures and celebrities on Friday slammed efforts
to grant Russian language special status in this ex-Soviet republic, calling
it an act of war against the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian language.

Artists, writers, politicians and scientists, meeting for a round-table
discussion in Kiev, condemned recent decisions by several regional councils
to have Russian declared a regional language, allowing its use in official
business.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking region of Donetsk on Thursday became the
fourth area to take such measures. “Today they announced a war, and we must
react accordingly,” movie director Yuriy Illenko said.

President Viktor Yushchenko’s administration has said granting Russian
special status contradicts the constitution, which declares Ukrainian the
only state language. His office has vowed to challenge the decisions in the
two eastern regions, an eastern city and the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

The language issue has become one of the most sensitive in Ukraine, where
Russian dominated during Soviet times and today many still consider it their
native language, particularly in the east and south. In western regions,
Ukrainian dominates and nationalists see protecting the language as a way to
prevent meddling from Moscow.

“Today we have a direct threat to the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian state
system,” said lawmaker Ivan Zayeyts. Yushchenko’s legal adviser Mykola
Poludyony said the councils have are no legal authority to make such
decisions.

Council officials say their decision is based on a European charter, which
was ratified by the Ukrainian parliament in 2003, that protects regional and
minority languages. Critics, however, say Russian should not be considered a
minority language and does not need special protection. “Russian isn’t a
language that is disappearing,” Poludyony said.

The Party of the Regions, the pro-Moscow opposition party that won the most
votes in last month’s parliamentary election, campaigned on a promise to
make Russian a second state language.                  -30-
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13. INCONSISTENT LANGUAGE POLICY CREATES PROBLEMS 
    PRU-led Ukrainian regions continue to adopt Russian as official language

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleg Varfolomeyev
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 101
Jamestown Foundation, Washington, DC, Wed, May 24, 2006

The Party of Regions (PRU), which strengthened its grip on Ukraine’s
Russophone east and south after the March 26 parliamentary election,
continues to probe the government’s weaknesses, challenging it on the
sensitive issue of language.

The PRU-dominated Donetsk regional council has followed the example of the
PRU-dominated Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol councils, approving
regional-language status for Russian. The government, in response,
threatened to come up with tough measures against all those who violate the
constitution, according to which Ukrainian is the only language having
official status.

The government’s position is that the councils’ language decisions are a
threat to national security, part of a plan to exacerbate tension in society
and downgrade the status of Ukrainian. The government also argues that
language matters are the remit of the national — rather than regional — 
bodies of power.

The PRU, meanwhile, looks set to raise the issue at the national level. On
May 17, the party’s governing body — the political council — issued a
statement, “On the Protection of Constitutional Rights of the
Russian-speaking Citizens of Ukraine,” promising to raise the Russian
language issue soon after the new parliament convenes on May 25.

In the statement, the PRU pledged “to continue to defend the right of people
to think, speak, and educate their children in the mother tongue.” The PRU
brushed aside the Justice Ministry’s protests against the decisions of
Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol on the status of Russian, saying that only
the Constitutional Court is entitled to rule on language matters.

Incidentally, the PRU has been among the parties blocking the election of
new judges to the Constitutional Court, fearing that the Court might take
President Viktor Yushchenko’s side and reverse the recent constitutional
reforms that diminished the president’s authority.

On May 18, the Donetsk region council voted by 122 votes to three (with one
abstention) to give Russian the status of regional language. As in the cases
of Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol, Donetsk deputies said they were guided
by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The council not only ruled that Russian may be used in business, official
documents, and educational establishments on a par with Ukrainian, but it
also called on parliament to give Russian state-language status along with
Ukrainian.

The council said that the current constitution ignores the fact that Russian
is the mother tongue for about one-third of Ukrainians, equating Russian to
the many minority languages spoken by small communities inside Ukraine.
Along with the PRU, the Communists and the radical left-wing Progressive
Socialists in the Donetsk council supported the language decision.

Official reaction followed immediately. Donetsk Region Prosecutor Oleksiy
Bahanets, who is subordinated to Kyiv, promised to appeal the council’s
decision in court as soon as he obtains official documents on the matter
from the council. On May 18, the cabinet gathered for a meeting to condemn
the eastern councils on language matters.

Deputy Prime Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Vyacheslav Kyrylenko blamed
“certain forces” for trying to “downgrade and practically fully exclude the
state language from usage, rather than protect minority languages.”
President Yushchenko’s legal adviser, Mykola Poludyonny, went even further,
warning of a separatist threat.

The Justice Ministry was instructed to come up with amendments to language
laws and regulations in order to toughen penalties for language-legislation
violators. It was also decided that the next meeting of the National
Security and Defense Council would be on the language issue. It may,
however, take some time for the council to convene, as its secretary,
Anatoly Kinakh, resigned last week.

Kyrylenko apparently found it difficult to explain, speaking on television
on May 22, why exactly the elevation of the Russian language status in the
eastern regions was a national security threat. “The state has certain
principles, and state language is an element of national security… very
important for state institutes,” he offered.

The language row reveals the lack of understanding regarding how deep the
language problem runs in Kyiv. It has been ignored for years, and President
Yushchenko continues to insist that there is no language problem at all,
despite the fact that pro-Communist and pro-Russian forces have been
regularly using the language issue against the government in all sorts of
elections. There has been no consistent policy of Ukrainianization, famous
Ukrainian philosopher Myroslav Popovych believes.

Commenting for the website Forum, he noted that it is sometimes difficult to
admit that the issue is actually about the “assimilation of the
Russian-speaking population,” which has to be “logical and unforced,” but so
far has been forcible.

Media expert Mykola Knyazhytsky told Forum that the main mistake of the
government has been imposing Ukrainian in those regions where it is
traditionally barely spoken, instead of financing Ukrainian culture in the
traditionally Ukrainian-speaking areas, such as Lviv.          -30-
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(Interfax-Ukraine, May 17, 18; Channel 5, May 18; NTN TV, For-ua.com,

May 19; 1+1 TV, May 22; see EDM, May 17)
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14.     RUSSIAN MP SAYS UKRAINE MUST NOT TRAMPLE ON
                   RIGHTS OF RUSSIAN-SPEAKING MINORITY

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian, 22 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 22, 2006

MOSCOW – Russian State Duma deputies believe it to be “very important”

that the question “of language policy” will be placed on the agenda of the first
session of the Ukrainian Supreme Council [parliament] of the new
convocation. Andrey Kokoshin, the head of the [State] Duma committee
for CIS affairs and ties with compatriots, has said this to ITAR-TASS today.

In his words, “a general tendency can be observed in Ukraine to squeeze out
the Russian language from the information, legal and cultural space”.

One of the latest confirmations of this, the committee’s chairman noted, is
the decision of Ukraine’s Justice Ministry to deem illegal the decisions of
the Kharkiv and Sevastopol city councils and the Luhansk and Donetsk
regional councils to give the Russian language regional status.

“What we have here is a violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking
citizens of Ukraine that live in large numbers on certain territories,”
Kokoshin stressed.

He recalled that State Duma deputies have constantly drawn the attention of
their Ukrainian colleagues “to the need to ensure the rights of the
Russian-speaking population in accordance with Ukraine’s constitution and
international obligations”.

This problem “goes beyond the framework of bilateral relations since the
Russian language and Russian culture are a generally recognized part of
world culture”, Kokoshin noted.

“Behind the resolving of this problem lie the fates of tens of millions of
people, prospects for the formation of Ukraine as a democratic state and
ensuring genuine friendly and equal relations between Russia and Ukraine,”
the head of the committee said.                          -30-
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15. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE COMPLAINT: ATTENTION OLEH SOSKIN

—– Original Message —–
From: Nadia Kerecuk; nadia.kerecuk@ntlworld.com

To: citynews@osp.com.ua
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 10:11 AM
Subject: Re Russian language – complaint for the attention of Oleh Soskin
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dear Mr Oleh Soskin,

I have decided to write in order to express my greatest disappointment that
your very good city bulletin is now being published mostly in Russian. I was
quite appalled to see the encroachment of Russian in your bulletin after so
many years of Ukraine being independent.

 
When it was published in Ukrainian I was very delighted to reach each edition.
However, it has become an annoyance.

Ukrainian citizens ought to know better especially those that head
organisations such as yours. Indeed, Citizens of Ukraine whatever their
ethnic background ought to respect the UKRAINIAN language. Honestly, I
cannot understand this approach.

UKRAINIAN IS THE ONLY official language in Ukraine – as English is in
England or Portuguese in Brazil, Russian in the Russia (are there any
bulletins of cities in Russia being published in Ukrainian????)  or French
in France and so on !!!

Particularly with the long history of prohibitions of the Ukrainian language
and the abuse of it by the Old Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and many

in power in Ukraine since the Independence in Ukraine.

Could you kindly explain why this is happening – of course, I welcome

your reply in Ukrainian or English.

With best wishes,

Nadia Kerecuk, Historian of Ideas in Language Sciences,
Expert in Linguistics including Ukrainian and Slavonic
Expert in Ukrainian Affairs & Studies
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FOOTNOTE: Oleh Soskin: Tel: (044) 235-98-28, 235-80-23
E-mail: CityNews@osp.com.ua; Web: http://www.CityUkraine.osp-ua.info
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16. PROSPECT OF BUSH VISIT PUTS PRESSURE ON KIEV PARTIES

By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 19, 2006

A possible visit to Kiev by President George W. Bush in June or July is
causing consternation in Moscow and putting pressure on Ukraine’s
quarrelling pro-western political parties to agree quickly on a coalition
government.

The White House is hoping the Kiev visit could be combined with a
US-European Union summit in late June or with the Group of Eight summit

in Moscow in mid-July.

A Kiev visit timed closely to the G8 summit would allow Mr Bush to stress

US support for the western-oriented democracies on Russia’s perimeter that
have come under economic pressure from Moscow.

Mr Bush would also use the visit to promote Ukraine’s accession to Nato,
which his administration is suggesting could be launched at the alliance’s
summit in Riga in November and completed by 2008.

The aggressive schedule was outlined by William Taylor, Mr Bush’s nominee

to take over as US ambassador in Kiev, in a Senate confirmation hearing last
week.

At a conference on Nato in Moscow yesterday, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the
alliance’s secretary-general, defended proposals for Nato to take in Ukraine
and Georgia, which he said were “not directed against Russia”. Russian
speakers warned that Nato-Russia relations would change for the worse if
Ukraine was invited to join.

However, Mr Bush’s mission in Kiev depends on there being a government

to greet him. A newly elected parliament is not due to convene until next
Thursday, two months after the March polls.

The three parties that led the 2004 Orange Revolution and together won the
largest share of parliamentary seats continue to argue over the sharing out
of key jobs, including the prime minister’s.

Viktor Yushchenko, president, added impetus to the talks last week when he
said that he did not object to the candidacy of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former
prime minister, with whom he has had a somewhat rocky relationship.

Ms Tymoshenko leads the largest of the three groups in the prospective
coalition and her bloc insists she be premier.

Mr Yushchenko’s spokeswoman said Mr Bush was likely to visit this year

but no date had yet been set. “Thank god that in Ukraine the government is
formed without outside influence,” she said. “But the president is
optimistic that we will see a government by the middle of June.”  -30-
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17. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT PHILADELPHIA NEXT WEEK
      Meet with top health care professionals, address the World Affairs Council

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON – Kateryna Yushchenko, first lady of Ukraine, will visit
Philadelphia next week. The Ukrainian Federation of America, The
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia  and the Ukrainian Human Rights
Committee will host Kateryna Yuschenko for a series of meetings
regarding improving Ukraine’s health care services and world affairs.

The first meeting will be a program and dinner on Tuesday May 30, 2006
hosted by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Ukrainian
Human Rights Committee.  The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is
the premier public policy platform in America’s birthplace and one of the
top speaking forums in the nation.

The event will beheld at the prestigious Union League at 100 S. Broad St. in
Philadelphia.  Registration and reception will begin at 5:30 pm followed by
the address of the First Lady of Ukraine and dinner.  The cost for the
event is $75.00. (For registration information see FOOTNOTE below.)

 UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA “PROJECT LIFELINE”

The Ukrainian Federation of America through it’s Ukrainian health care
initiative “Project Lifeline” has organized a private program for Wednesday
in support of Kateryna Yushchenko’s primary program, through the
Ukraine 3000 Foundation, to substantially improve the health care received
by the people of Ukraine, especially Ukraine’s children.

The Federation, under the leadership of Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair,
Healthcare Commission and Vera Andryczyk, President, has arranged a
private breakfast on Wednesday for the first lady to meet with top U.S.
health care professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical
industries.

The first lady will then visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the
birthplace of pediatric medicine in the United States. The First Lady will
tour Children’s Hospital facilities and meet with Hospital leadership to
encourage a sharing of knowledge and experience between doctors in
the United States and the Ukraine, with the hope to improve healthcare
for children worldwide.

At the hospital Mrs. Yushchenko will meet with Lawrence McAndrews,
president, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related
Institutions (NACHRI), James M. Steven, M.D., S.M., senior vice president
for medical affairs and chief medical officer, The Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital physicians, researchers and administrators

Following the tour of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mrs.
Yushchenko will be the Guest of Honor at a private luncheon meeting,
set up by the Ukrainian Federation of America, with representatives of
the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia and charitable organizations.
The luncheon will be held at Neville Gallery at University of Pennsylvania
Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

Philadelphia is the second stop on the First Lady’s national tour. She will

also earlier visit Washington, D.C., and then stops in California.  This is
Mrs. Yushchenko’s second visit to Philadelphia, after first coming to the
city in September 2005 when President Victor Yushchenko received the
Liberty Medal.

Since that time, Mrs. Yushchenko has met with many in the American
medical and pharmaceutical industries, through the “Project Lifeline”
program of the Ukrainian Federation of America, in order to further her
effort to elevate medical standards in Ukraine.            -30-
——————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: For more information concerning the program set up

by the Ukrainian Federation of America on Wednesday please contact
Dr. Zenia Chernyk at 215 275 7902 or Vera Andryczyk at 610 539 8946.
 
For more information about the speech at the World Affairs Council in
Philadelphia go the following website:
http://www.wacphila.org/programs/speaker_eve.html#yushchenko
or call Adele Kauffman at 215 561 4700, extension 235. The Council
will be closed on Friday, May 26th and Monday, May 29th.  You can
also contact Ubulana Mazurkevich at 215-858-3006 or by e-mail:
ubulana@aol.com.
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18.  ART EXHIBITION: “MAZEPIANA” – SERHIY YAKUTOVYCH

WHAT: The Embassy of Ukraine is proud to present an art exhibition
“Mazepiana” – the works of Serhiy Yakutovych.
WHEN: Thursday May 25, 2006, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine, 3550 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

Serhiy Yakutovych is an Honored Artist of Ukraine, Associate Member of
the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, The National Taras Shevchenko Prize
winner in 2004. Author of more than a hundred  illustrative cycles for
the books of Ukrainian and foreign classics such as “Three Musketeers”
by Dumas, “Song About Roland”, “Tristan and Isolde”, “Taras Bulba”

by Gogol, works of M.Gorky, O.Tolstoy, L.Tolstoy, P.Dostoevsky,
O.Gonchar, Golsuorsy, O.Walde, Nietzshe, and DeCoster.

Winner of numerous national and international graphic competitions, the
works of Sergiy Yakutovich are included in the museum collections of
Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and in many private
collections.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
RSVP by telephone at (202) 349-2961 or by e-mail at nholub@ukremb.com
LINK: http://yakutovich.com/ukr/sergiy/gallery_content.php?dir
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19. “EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT AT THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

 
WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music by
Ukrainian artists in the elegant Ukrainian Embassy, a national treasure.
Violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv (with Roman Rabinovich on piano) is a winner
of the Prokofiev and Kocian International Competitions, recipient of
the Fritz Kreisler Gold Medal from the Curtis Institute of Music and
was awarded a scholarship from the President of Ukraine.  Ukrainian
buffet to follow.

WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. ; COST: $75.00

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See

http://www.embassyseries.com/events.htm
To order tickets, call Jerome Barry at (202) 625-2361 or order easily
online at http://www.embassyseries.org.
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20.       WASHINGTON IGNORES DEMOCRATIC VALUES
                               IN QUEST FOR CHEAP OIL
 
Sylvie Lanteaume, Agence France-Presse, Wash, D.C, Sun, May 21, 2006
WASHINGTON – The United States, eager to find new sources of oil
at the time when petroleum prices are skyrocketing, is increasingly giving
up its strategy of promoting democracy, analysts here say.

The US government of President George W. Bush has recently made
contradictory moves towards key foreign oil producers, sowing confusion
about its policy goals, according to Frank Verrastro, of the Center for
Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

If the democracy and support for humans right are the main engine of US
diplomacy, “then you have to wonder why we have not taken a tougher line
with Russia, why we have not taken a tougher line with Kazakhstan, why we
have not taken a tougher line with Libya?” he asked.

Yet US officials “use it when we talk about Venezuela, and we use it when we
talk about the Middle East,” said Verrastro, an expert in energy policy.
“Increasingly it is looking like a case by case application of what is more
important,” he said. “It is depending on what the perceived needs of the day
are.”

Washington announced on May 15 it was normalizing relations with Libya,
which has important crude oil reserves, despite the lack of political
reforms visible in a country led since 1969 by the same man, Moamer Kadhafi.

On the same day US officials imposed sanctions on Venezuela, a country that
supplies 15 percent of US oil imports. The stated reason: populist President
Hugo Chavez’s lack of cooperation in the US-led “war on terror”.

Washington also charged Chavez’s government with restricting the freedom of
the press and harassing his political opponents.
One day later US officials suspended free trade negotiations with Ecuador,
another important oil supplier, after Quito cancelled its contract with
US-based Occidental Petroleum and took over their assets.

On May 4 US Vice President Dick Cheney took a swipe at Russia over
democratic reform, accusing Moscow of “improperly restricting” human rights
and using oil and gas supplies as a weapon.

“No legitimate cause is served when oil and gas become tools of manipulation
or blackmail,” Cheney said, referring to the cut-off of gas supplies to
Ukraine last January which also affected parts of Europe.

Yet just hours later Cheney was praising the authoritarian government of
Kazakhstan for its “economic development and political development”.

Since 1993, the US has invested about 12 billion dollars (9.42 billion
euros) in Kazahkstan, which has oil reserves of 24 billion barrels, making
the US the biggest single investor in the country.

The Bush administration claims it is pursuing a coherent energy policy, but
recognizes that oil producing countries are politically profiting from the
high price of crude, a US State Department energy expert said, speaking on
condition of anonymity.

“You have the bulk of the world hydrocarbons resources owned by state owned
oil companies. And they are feeling very powerful now, as we saw in Ecuador
and Russia and Venezuela,” the official said.

However, Washington has not given up defending the democracy. “We have
principles,” the official said, pointing to Libya, which had to meet strict
guidelines to be withdrawn from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“The evidence would suggest that America has put … our values above the
mercantilist energy issues,” the official said.

Richard Haass, president of Council on Foreign Relations, another
Washington-based think tank, disagreed.

“Today’s situation may lack drama in the sense that there has been no
successful terrorist attack on some tanker or refinery,” Haas wrote in the
most recent issue of Newsweek magazine.

“But current energy policy (or the lack of one) empowers some of the most
repressive and reckless regimes in the world, further impoverishes hundreds
of millions of the world’s poor and contributes to global climate change.”

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21.          INVESTING: ADVENTURES AT THE FRONTIER
        One market that Chief Investment Officer Chisholm likes is Ukraine

By Conrad de Aenlle, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Friday, May 19, 2006

In a world that keeps getting smaller, and where ever less remains unknown
and untried, emerging markets do not stay that way for very long before
joining the mainstream. So where can a globetrotting investor go in search
of a few thrills and more than a few bucks?

Some investment advisers are turning to so-called frontier markets. About
two dozen countries, in such places as Africa, the Balkans and the
Caribbean, have economies that are too raw and undeveloped even to be
classified as emerging, but they do have stock markets where investors can
experience opportunities and challenges reminiscent of a decade or more ago
in what are now emerging markets.

“Frontier markets tend to be relatively small and illiquid, even by
emerging-markets standards, and information is generally less available than
in other markets,” Charles Wang, co-director of research at Acadian Asset
Management, wrote in a recent report. “However, they represent a vast store
of untapped economic potential that may be very compelling as a long-term
investment opportunity.”

Just how untapped is made clear by their size. When Wang takes inventory, he
comes up with 285 publicly traded stocks in 22 countries and a total market
capitalization of $101 billion, or barely one-fourth the size of Exxon
Mobil.

What they lack in bulk – just 22 stocks have market valuations greater than
$1 billion each – they make up for in strength. Wang said that since
Standard & Poor’s started following these minnow markets in December
1995, they have comfortably outperformed larger and more familiar ones.

Frontier markets rose at an annualized rate of 11.6 percent in the 10 years
through last December, compared with 8.2 percent for conventional emerging
markets. Volatility has been lower in frontier markets.

Making the case for investing in the region, Max King, a strategist at
Investec Asset Management, which runs a pan-African mutual fund, pointed out
that African economic growth has exceeded that of the rest of the world in
each of the last five years, and he cited a Goldman Sachs study that
predicted that Africa’s share of the global equity market would more than
double over the next 20 years.

King tossed out several names to illustrate the region’s diverse investment
opportunities, including Orascom, an Egyptian company involved in such
activities as telecommunications, tourism and computing; Lafarge Maroc, a
Moroccan cement business controlled by the French company Lafarge;
Kenya Airways and Kenya Electricity Generating.

“If there is one stock to look at, I suggest the recently privatized KenGen,
which we were keen on and which was well-subscribed” when the government
sold shares to the public, King said.

So far, looking at frontier stocks is all that Acadian is doing. John
Chisholm, the firm’s chief investment officer, has not committed money to
any of them yet, but Acadian is drumming up business among institutional
investors, and he expects to start buying later this year.

One market that Chisholm likes is Ukraine, and one of his favorite stocks
there is the fertilizer producer Azot Cherkassy. “The company’s cheap, but
it’s expected to have good growth going forward,” he said. “That’s the
typical profile of what we’re looking for in these markets.”

Chisholm finds the same attractive mix in Tunisia, where his preferred
stocks include Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie and Frig Brass, a
maker of soft drinks and beer.

As appealing as these companies may be, frontier markets have their
drawbacks. Jerome Booth, research director at Ashmore Group, an
emerging-market investment house, maintains limited exposure to frontier
equities because trading is limited and “we put a premium on liquidity,” he
said.

Another shortcoming is in furnishing information. “Data availability and
quality ranges from quite good to extremely dubious,” Wang acknowledged.
A further limitation, he said, is that most stocks do not have analyst
coverage and therefore lack forward-looking factors, like earnings
estimates.         -30-

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http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/19/yourmoney/minvest20.php
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22. UKRAINIANS GATHER AT MASS GRAVE TO COMMEMORATE
                               VICTIMS OF STALIN REGIME 

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 22 2006

KIEV – Relatives and survivors gathered in a forest outside Kyiv Sunday at

the site of Ukraine’s largest mass grave for victims of Soviet dictator Josef
Stalin, commemorating up to 120,000 Ukrainians killed during his regime.
People laid flowers and tied linen towels with Ukrainian embroidery on trees
at the Bykovnya grave.

“It’s hard to imagine how it was possible to bury over 100,000 people in one
forest. The most awful is that it’s impossible to answer the question why
they were killed,” President Viktor Yushchenko said.

Historians say millions were killed throughout the Soviet Union during
Stalin’s reign, accused of state treason and other crimes.

Separately, up to 10 million Ukrainians died of the 1932-33 Great Famine,
which Stalin provoked as part of his campaign to force Ukrainian peasants
to give up their land and join collective farms.

On Thursday, thousands of Crimean Tatars marched in the capital of Crimea to
mark the 62nd anniversary of their deportation from the Black Sea peninsula
under Stalin, a forced exile that lasted almost half a century. Some 200,000
Tatars were deported in May 1944 after Stalin accused them of collaborating
with the Nazis and were not allowed to return until the Soviet collapse of
1991.              -30-

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23.                            A BOOK FOR SKEPTICS: 
         “THE UKRAINIAN QUESTION” 70 YEARS LATER

By Mykola SIRUK, The Day Weekly Digest #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

The British Embassy in Ukraine recently hosted the launch of a book of
articles by British journalist Lancelot Lawton, entitled “The Ukrainian
Question.” The publication of this book is an important event for the
Ukrainian public. Readers now have an opportunity to examine documents
that confirm the tragic events that occurred in Ukraine in the 1930s.

“The Ukrainian question is still one of the most important ones as far as
Europe is concerned. EU and NATO countries are paying a lot of attention
to developing good relations with Ukraine so that it will be stable,
prosperous, and independent,” British Ambassador Robert Brinkley told
The Day after presenting the “The Ukrainian Question.”

Lancelot Lawton was a British journalist and founding member of the
Anglo-Ukrainian Committee created in 1935, whose members were British
politicians, historians, and other individuals who were concerned about the
plight of Ukrainians.

The book contains the original speech “Ukrainian Question,” and its
Ukrainian translation, which was delivered in the British parliament in
1935, as well as the article “Ukraine, Europe’s Greatest Problem,” which
appeared in 1939.

The British ambassador said that it is very important that Lawton’s book has
appeared at this time. “This book shows that in the 1930s, when Britain and
the rest of Europe faced the rising menace of Hitler’s Nazi regime, there
were public figures in London who took an interest in the fate of Ukraine
and Ukrainians. Today this seems rather surprising. So, in my view, it is
important to reopen this fact of history and remember it,” Brinkley said.

The historian Serhiy Kot, a senior research associate at the Institute of
the History of Ukraine, who prepared the book for publication, told The Day
that the British journalist included an enormous amount of information in
his articles.

Written in a succinct style, these materials can be called a concise course
on the history and culture of Ukraine. Dr. Kot noted that the British
journalist had no links with Ukraine, i.e., he was not of Ukrainian descent.
Lawton freely joined the initiative of civic and political figures in Great
Britain, who wanted to encourage official London to establish closer
contacts with Ukraine.

“London took an interest in Ukraine: this is proved by the reports and
analytical notes concerning Ukraine, which were written by Moscow and
Warsaw consuls, and which dealt at length with the Holodomor.

In the 1930s the British wrote that the Holodomor had claimed five to seven
million human lives,” said Dr. Kot, noting that it took two years to trace
Lawton’s original articles, which were located at the Library of Congress in
the US. A total of 2,000 copies of the book have been printed.

Now the main thing is for the book to find its way to universities and
Eastern European research centers. “The book will also be useful to the
‘doubting Thomases’ in Ukraine, i.e., those who are skeptical about Ukraine.

They will read the British journalist’s articles and may adopt an entirely
different stance; they may rethink this page of Ukrainian history,” says Dr.
Kot.           -30-
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/162552/
————————————————————————————————-

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24. UKRAINIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 36TH CONVENTION

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 23
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Ukrainian National Association (UNA) will hold its

36th Convention at Soyuzivka, the UNA resort in the Catskill Mountains
of New York State from the Friday the 26th through Monday the 29th of
May 2006.

Although much smaller than the 1970 Convention in Cleveland and the 1974
Convention in Philadelphia which hosted 431 and 426 delegates respectively,
the 2006 convention with its 100+ delegates still promises to be a major
event in the Ukrainian community.  The UNA has been a leader in the business
and social world of Ukraine’s Diaspora and hopes to continue this status in
the future.

Running for the Presidency of the UNA this time will be Walter Prochorenko,
a business executive with extensive international sales and marketing
background and experience. Dr. Prochorenko will be opposing the present
President of the UNA Mr. Stefan Kaczaraj who has held the post for the past
4 years.

The Convention promises to be a lively affair with honored guests such as
Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, Dr. Oleh Shamshur, His Excellency Bishop
Paul Patrick Chomnycky, and Ukraine’s Consul General in New York Mykola
Kyrychenko attending. Entertainment will be provided by the Dumka Choir of
NY, Baritone Oleh Chmyr. Violinist Marian Pidvirny, Singer Olya Fryz, and
the Syzokryli Dance Ensemble.              -30-
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25. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDOG UNHAPPY WITH UKRAINE
    Ukraine continues to treat prison inmates cruelly and violate human rights

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 23 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom; May 23, 2006

KIEV – [Presenter] The international fight against terrorism looks
increasingly like a fight against human rights, representatives of Amnesty
International in Ukraine have said.

Ukraine continues to treat prison inmates cruelly and violate human rights,
the annual report of this respectful organization has said.
[Correspondent] Racist and anti-Semite attacks, human trafficking and cruel
treatment of detainees – Ukraine has failed to get rid of all that, the
Amnesty International in Ukraine Annual Report says.

Representatives of the organization blame the guarantor of the constitution
[president] for systematic violations of human rights. In particular, the
organization holds President [Viktor] Yushchenko personally responsible for
the deportation of 11 Uzbeks who asked for political asylum.

[Nataliya Dulneyeva captioned as head of Amnesty International in Ukraine]
Amnesty International in Ukraine, Ukrainian Helsinki Committee and other
organizations for protection of human rights in Ukraine have started an
unlimited action that will be ended only when the investigation is complete,
when the cases of the 11 asylum-seekers are handed over to the High
Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine and when those who are guilty are
punished.

Torturing and sending people for torturing, are the most serious violations
of human rights from our viewpoint. [Passage omitted: Amnesty International
criticizes the governments of Western countries for violations of human
rights.]            -30-
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AUR#700 May 25 US Ambassador’s Parting Words; First Lady In Philadelphia, GUAM; Gas Crisis A Grave Strategic Challenge; Russian Language Issue Heats Up

========================================================
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 700
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
WASHINGTON, D.C., THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2006 
           –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
         Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                    U.S. AMBASSADOR’S PARTING WORDS
              John HERBST: “I do not agree that a fresh look at the gas
           agreements will increase tensions between Ukraine and Russia”
INTERVIEW:
With U.S. Ambassador John Herbst
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

2UKRAINE GAS CO OWES $413 MILLION TO ROSUKRENERGO 

United Pres International (UPI), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 23, 2006

3UKRGAZENERGO EYES $1.2 BILLION IN LOANS TO FINANCE
                  GAS STORAGE FOR UKRAINE’S WINTER GAS 
Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires, London, Wed, May 24, 2006 .

4.     RUSSIA-UKRAINE GAS AGENT ROSUKRENERGO BUYS

Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 24, 2006

5.              POLITICS: SIEGE OF THE EXCLUSIVE CIRCLE
         Gas crisis remains one of Ukraine’s gravest strategic challenges

  Political and economic “soap opera” playing inside and outside Ukraine
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY
: By Yulia Mostovaya
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

6.                GUAM – UNITED STATES JOINT STATEMENT
        US delegation led by David J. Kramer of the US State Department
Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

7.              G.U.A.M. FAREWELLS ITS POST-SOVIET PAST
                Four former Soviet republics set a course for the West

   The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
COMMENTARY: By Sergei Sidorenko & Vladimir Soloviev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 24, 2006

8.   FOUR EX-SOVIET STATES SAYS NEW REGIONAL ALLIANCE
NOT DIRECTED AGAINST RUSSIA BUT IS A PRO-EUROPE CHOICE
          Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova sign a new charter
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

9.            KREMLIN LOSES ITS GRIP ON IT’S DYING EMPIRE
       Four former Soviet republics set to abandon eastern commonwealth
ANALYSIS: By Richard Beeston, The Times, London, UK, May 24, 2006

 

10.   EASTERN UKRAINIAN REGION GIVES RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                              SPECIAL REGIONAL STATUS
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 18, 2006 

11UKRAINE’S MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY ISSUES STATEMENT

                             ON RUSSIAN LANGUAGE ISSUE
Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1309 gmt 17 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, May 17, 2006

12UKRAINIAN CELEBRITIES SAY GIVING RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                 SPECIAL STATUS IS A WAR AGAINST UKRAINE
   “We have a direct threat to the Ukrainian nation & Ukrainian state system.”
Natasha Lisova, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Fri, May 19, 2006

13.    INCONSISTENT LANGUAGE POLICY CREATES PROBLEMS 
    PRU-led Ukrainian regions continue to adopt Russian as official language
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleg Varfolomeyev
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 101
Jamestown Foundation, Washington, DC, Wed, May 24, 2006

14.      RUSSIAN MP SAYS UKRAINE MUST NOT TRAMPLE ON
                    RIGHTS OF RUSSIAN-SPEAKING MINORITY
ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian, 22 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 22, 2006

15RUSSIAN LANGUAGE COMPLAINT: ATTENTION OLEH SOSKIN
—– Original Message —–
From: Nadia Kerecuk; nadia.kerecuk@ntlworld.com

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

16. PROSPECT OF BUSH VISIT PUTS PRESSURE ON KIEV PARTIES
By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 19 2006

17. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT PHILADELPHIA NEXT WEEK
      Meet with top health care professionals, address the World Affairs Council
By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

18.   ART EXHIBITION: “MAZEPIANA” – SERHIY YAKUTOVYCH
WHAT: The Embassy of Ukraine is proud to present an art exhibition
“Mazepiana” – the works of Serhiy Yakutovych.

WHEN: Thursday May 25, 2006, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine, 3550 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

19“EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT: THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music
WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W., Washington

20
.          WASHINGTON IGNORES DEMOCRATIC VALUES
                                 IN QUEST FOR CHEAP OIL
Sylvie Lanteaume, Agence France-Presse, Wash, D.C, Sun, May 21, 2006
21.             INVESTING: ADVENTURES AT THE FRONTIER
       One market that Chief Investment Officer Chisholm likes is Ukraine
By Conrad de Aenlle, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Friday, May 19, 2006
 
22UKRAINIANS GATHER AT MASS GRAVE TO COMMEMORATE
                               VICTIMS OF STALIN REGIME 
Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 22 2006
 
23.                               A BOOK FOR SKEPTICS: 
                “THE UKRAINIAN QUESTION” 70 YEARS LATER
By Mykola SIRUK, The Day Weekly Digest #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006
 
24UKRAINIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 36TH CONVENTION
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 23
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006
 
25  HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDOG UNHAPPY WITH UKRAINE
  Ukraine continues to treat prison inmates cruelly and violate human rights
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 23 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom; May 23, 2006
========================================================
1
                 U.S. AMBASSADOR’S PARTING WORDS
            John HERBST: “I do not agree that a fresh look at the gas
         agreements will increase tensions between Ukraine and Russia”

INTERVIEW: With U.S. Ambassador John Herbst
By Serhiy Solodky, The Day Weekly Digest in English #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

This week John E. Herbst, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the US, is leaving Ukraine. He is heading for Washington to take over as
Coordinator of the State Department’s Office for Reconstruction and
Stabilization.

Obviously, the diplomat is leaving Kyiv with the sense that he fulfilled his
duties. When he arrived in Ukraine three years ago, he stressed that his
main objective was to improve relations between Kyiv and Washington.

The Orange Revolution occurred during his ambassadorial tenure. This was
followed by a real thaw in the relations between our two countries, crowned
by the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and the granting of market
economy status to Ukraine.

Herbst had a chance to witness what he calls two democratic elections in
our country.

[The Day] The Day began the interview with Ambassador Herbst by asking
if he believes his ambassadorial mission has been accomplished, even though
Ukraine is still without a cabinet.

[Amb. Herbst] “Naturally, it would be better to leave Ukraine after it has
formed a coalition government. But I am going long before the official term
for its formation expires. Why do I have to go to Washington right now? The
reason is the position that I will occupy has remained vacant for almost
four months.

Besides, although the formation of a coalition is extremely important, it is
not of a fundamental nature. The essential fact is that Ukraine has had two
democratic elections in a row: the presidential election rerun in 2004 and
the parliamentary election last March.

The Verkhovna Rada election may be unhesitatingly called the freest and
fairest in Ukrainian history. Above all, President Viktor Yushchenko must be
given credit for this. I consider the democratic nature of these elections
the logical final touch to my stay in Ukraine.”

[The Day] If the formation of a cabinet is not a fundamental factor, do you
think the domestic political situation in Ukraine is predictable?

[Amb. Herbst] “The last elections were important not only because the
authorities allowed them to be free but also because all the participants in
this race tried to achieve victory by democratic means. It was very pleasant
to watch political leaders doing their political work according to the same
standards that exist in all democracies.

As you know, some participants of the last parliamentary elections did not
adhere to democratic principles. As for the current problems with the
coalition, they are not unusual in a democratic society. We also witnessed
very difficult coalition negotiations in Germany after the latest
 elections.”

[The Day] Some politicians say that a coalition that includes the Party of
Regions will be a departure from democracy.

[Amb. Herbst] “We would like to see a coalition devoted to the cause of
reforms. The formation of the cabinet depends on the politicians who were
elected to the Verkhovna Rada. We will cooperate with the government that
is formed as a result of negotiations between these politicians.”

[The Day] Your successor William Taylor said the US is interested in a
revision of the Ukraine-Russia gas deal.

[Amb. Herbst] “The same applies here: it is the government of Ukraine that
should address this problem. If the government of Ukraine concludes that the
gas deal should be revised, it will find support and understanding on the
part of the US. As you know, since January of this year the US has not
hesitated to point out certain problems in this connection.”

[The Day] There have been many changes in US-Ukraine relations in the past
year. What problems are still on the agenda?

[Amb. Herbst] “As of today, our relations are very good indeed. We can
certainly point to a number of steps that prove this convincingly: the
restoration of privileges under the Generalized System of Preferences (a
program that gives most products from less-developed and developing
countries duty-free access to the US market – Ed.), a bilateral agreement on
the WTO, granting Ukraine market economy status, and the repeal of the
Jackson-Vanik amendment. All these steps show the progress Ukraine has
achieved in its reform-related activities.”

[The Day] What opportunities have been lost in US-Ukraine relations over
the past few years?

[Amb. Herbst] “US-Ukrainian relations saw a cool period of three or four
years that lasted approximately from 1999-2000 until the presidential
election. I can say that this period was lost time. But we have regained
what we lost in the last 15 months.”

[The Day] What would you advise your successor and all foreigners who
want to know more about Ukraine? What three pieces of advice would
you offer?

[Amb. Herbst] “It is very important to listen attentively to the people you
are dealing with. It is equally important to understand the motivation of
the people with whom you are talking and contacting, the motivation of
political forces. And, of course, it is extremely important to understand
the national interests of your own country.

The positive side of being the US ambassador to Ukraine is that Ukraine
and the US generally have very similar interests. This interest is, above
all, that Ukraine should be a democracy and a market economy. This is

the road not only to freedom but prosperity.”                    -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/162527/
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2.  UKRAINE GAS CO OWES $413 MILLION TO ROSUKRENERGO 
 
United Press Internationional (UPI), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006
KIEV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian gas company confirmed that it owed $413
million dollars to Swiss-based RosUkrEnergo.
 
State oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny confirmed it owes more than
$400 million for gas supplied by RosUkrEnergo in January and February of
this year, Yarolsav Dykovytskyy, acting director for financial and investment
issues and the head of Naftohaz’s department for economics and price policy,
said at a news conference in Kiev, UNIAN news agency reported.
Dykovytskyy was responding to allegations made in Ukraine over Naftohaz’s
debt to RosUkrEnergo. “It is not the case that we have not peen paying for
gas for four month. We have been paying for gas.
 
The debt was accumulated due to (the Russian state gas monopoly) Gazprom’s
failure to pay Naftohaz Ukrayiny for the transit of (Russian) gas (through
Ukraine),” Dykovystksyy said.                      -30-
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3. UKRGAZENERGO EYES $1.2 BILLION IN LOANS TO FINANCE
                   GAS STORAGE FOR UKRAINE’S WINTER GAS 

Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires, London, Wed, May 24, 2006 .

LONDON — The recently created Ukrainian natural gas supply company
UkrGazEnergo expects to raise $1.2 billion in loans to finance gas storage
for peak consumption during the winter months, Igor Voronin, Chairman of
UkrGazEnergo said Wednesday.

The new venture, called UkrGazEnergo, expects to raise $1.2 billion in loans
payable over a five-year period from “big banks” in order to buy and store
gas for this coming winter, Voronin told reporters at a press conference in
London. Voronin expects to secure the loan by August.

The company plans to store up to 12 billion cubic meters of gas in Ukraine
this year, about 38% of the 32 billion cubic meters of gas it plans to
import into Ukraine during 2006. Voronin also said the company plans to
increase its gas imports to 58bcm a year over the next five years.

He said that UkrGazEnergo has “the cheapest gas in Ukraine” and “as of today
… (it’s) much lower than the European average,” which should help the
company attract more customers in the future.

The company, which expects to generate about $4 billion in sales this year,
has already signed 17bcm of annual gas contracts with industrial customers
and expects to sign more contracts before the end of the year, Voronin said.

UkrGazEnergo was established at the beginning of the year as a joint venture
between Ukraine’s largest gas supplier, Naftogaz-Ukrainy (NGAZ.YY), and
RosUkrEnergo to supply gas to Ukraine’s industrial consumers with the help
of Naftogaz.

RosUkrEnergo, a joint venture between Russian gas major OAO Gazprom
(GSPBEX.RS) and a handful of private individuals, was also created at the
beginning of the year to solve a gas price dispute between Gazprom and
Ukraine that led to a temporary reduction in gas supplies to Western Europe.

Under the contract, RosUkrEnergo agreed to provide Ukraine with Russian and
Central Asian gas at a price of $95 per 1,000 cubic meters – a nearly
twofold increase for Ukraine but far less than the $230 it would pay if it
was getting only Russian gas.

Voronin said the contract with RosUkrEnergo is fixed until the end of the
year. When asked whether the price would re-negotiated for next year, he
said he wouldn’t comment.

Separately, Voronin said UkrGazEnergo plans to expand beyond gas supply to
industrial customers and move into “exploration, production of gas fields
(in Ukraine and) … beyond Ukraine.”

The company is also planning to set up a business which would help utilities
modernize their power plants in order to make them more energy efficient.
Lastly the company also plans to open a division dedicated to scientific
research in the gas industry.

Voronin said the loans “will cover all of UkrGazEnergo’s finance needs.” He,
however, didn’t rule out the possibility of raising more funds if the
company’s investment plans changed.

Voronin said the company had no plans to buy stakes in Ukraine’s pipeline
system. He also said that acquiring gas storage wasn’t feasible at the
moment although the company intends to play a role in modernizing Ukraine’s
storage infrastructure.

Separately, Voronin said that the financial problems at Naftogaz were due to
regulatory issues and government policies rather than bad management. He
said that Naftogaz plans to pay off its debt to RosUkrEnergo by June via
loan agreements. Naftogaz has incurred $400 million in debt owed to
RosUkrEnergo.                                -30-
————————————————————————————————
-By Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9328;
alex.macdonald@dowjones.com

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========================================================
4.       RUSSIA-UKRAINE GAS AGENT ROSUKRENERGO BUYS
CONTROL OF BIG GAS FIELD IN RUSSIA’S ASTRAKHAN REGION
Reuters, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 24, 2006

MOSCOW – RosUkrEnergo, which was appointed at the start of this year to
manage Russian gas exports to Ukraine, has bought control of a big gas field
in Russia’s Astrakhan region, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday.

The southern block of the Astrakhan gas condensate field contains 220
billion cubic metres of gas and around 20 million tonnes of oil. Citing a
source in the regional Astrakhan government, Interfax said the firm had
bought 74.87 percent of Astrakhan Oil and Gas Co., which owns the field,

and RosUkrEnergo co-owner Dmitry Firtash was now chairman of the
firm’s board.

The remainder of the shares, enough to block board decisions, is owned by
the regional government of Astrakhan, which is on the north coast of the
Caspian Sea.

Company documents from Astrakhan Oil and Gas show that it will need

over a billion dollars to develop the field and achieve target production
of 6 billion cubic metres a year. Firtash owns 45 percent of RosUkrEnergo,
while Russian gas monopoly Gazprom owns 50 percent. The remaining 5
percent is owned by Ivan Fursin.                    -30-
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========================================================
5.           POLITICS: SIEGE OF THE EXCLUSIVE CIRCLE
          Gas crisis remains one of Ukraine’s gravest strategic challenges
   Political and economic “soap opera” playing inside and outside Ukraine

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY: By Yulia Mostovaya
Zerkalo Nedeli On the Web; Mirror-Weekly, No. 19 (598)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, 20 – 26 May 2006

By now, our readers have surely become sick and tired of discussions of

the gas issue. However, ZN feels committed to informing you quickly and
consistently about the most essential episodes in this political and
economic “soap opera” playing both inside and outside Ukraine.

The gas crisis (even in its current latent form) remains one of Ukraine’s
gravest strategic challenges, and thus requires ongoing media coverage.

Last week, ZN got hold of an amazing document, namely, the minutes from
negotiations between three working groups, representing the NJSC
NAFTOGAS UKRAINY, OJSC GASPROM and ROSUKRENERGO
AG Company, held on April 10th and 11th, 2006.

The minutes were signed by Riazanov, Vice Chair of the GASPROM Board;
Palchikov and Chuychenko, CEOs of ROSUKRENERGO; and Voronin,
Vice Chair of the NAFTOGAS Board.

The last fact is noteworthy since, on the one hand, Ihor Voronin has a
formal power of attorney from Ivchenko to sign official documents on behalf
of NJSC NAFTOGAS, which he did on January 4th, 2006 in Moscow.

On the other hand, Voronin chairs the Board of the UKRGASENERGO Joint
Venture, a NAFTOGAS competitor on the Ukrainian domestic market. So

there is a manifest conflict of interests, which, however, seems to be of no
concern whatsoever to our country’s government.

The minutes affirmed that, as of early April 2006, the NAFTOGAS debt to
GASPROM and ROSUKRENERGO was USD $400 million: “The NJSC
NAFTOGAS UKRAINY suggested signing a supplementary agreement to
Contract #14/935-1/04 dated 29.07.04 on the purchase of 5.7 billion cubic
meters of natural gas at USD 95 per 1000 cubic meters from

ROSUKRENERGO AG in March 2006″ (you will remember that the
negotiations were held in April, which is yet another, albeit circumstantial,
piece of evidence that the NJSC still has no gas balance).

“The ROSUKRENERGO AG Company confirmed that it would be ready to
supply 5.7 cubic meters of natural gas at USD 95 per 1000 cubic meters to
the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY in March 2006, provided the latter pays
off its current debt for the gas supplied in January-February 2006 under
Contracts #14/935-1/04 dated 29.07.04 (for USD $10,953,079.87 in January
and USD $354,215,180.41 in February) and #5-TPK dated 29.07.04 (for USD
$48,176,389.41)”.

According to our sources in the NJSC, of late Ukraine’s gas debt has
increased to USD $900 million (given the gas price of USD $95 per 1000 cubic
meters). One of the objective reasons is that in January-February, Ukrainian
enterprises buying gas from NAFTOGAS under contracts concluded earlier

paid only half the actual price and did not pay VAT. Why?

Because the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY was slow in preparing the
documentation enabling NERC to notify industrial gas consumers of the new
price for gas supplied to Ukraine: it rose from USD $50 to USD $95;
accordingly, he Ministry of Economy set the selling price for industrial
consumers at USD$110.

As for VAT, the zero rate applies only to gas supplied to Ukraine under the
intergovernmental protocol. Since no such protocol has been signed yet,
industrial gas consumers should pay the tax. This explains why NAFTOGAS
could not settle its debt to Moscow in January-February.

What it does not explain is why it did not start paying later, when all
concerned parties recognized their rights and financial obligations. Neither
the Ministry of Finance nor the Ministry of Economy knows the answer, and
the NJSC refuses to disclose information on the status of its debt
settlement with both Ashgabat and Moscow.

Interestingly, the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY is planning to launch a USD
$400-million project for gas field development and gas production in the
United Arab Emirates despite its growing debt to Russia, its unapproved
financial plan and the governmental resolution making the company’s
participation in investment projects conditional on the approval of its
financial plan, unless expressly authorized otherwise by the Cabinet.
Moreover, the company has never submitted the Emirate project feasibility
study to the government.

Yet let us return to the minutes. Its next paragraph describes the NAFTOGAS
proposal to ensure the gas balance in Ukraine in April 2006 “by purchasing
up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the OJSC GASPROM or
ROSUKRENERGO AG Company at USD $95 per 1000 cubic meters out
of the gas reserves to be supplied to Ukraine in April 2006.

Given the agreement signed on January 4, 2006, the OJSC GASPROM stated it
would not be able to supply the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY with natural gas
at the price of USD $95 per 1000 cubic meters, as starting in April 2006 the
ROSUKRENERGO AG COmnaby would be selling gas at USD $230 per
1000 cubic meters”.

So Moscow said its usual “no” to the company’s request of direct gas
supplies at USD $95 and insisted that it buy the gas required for the
country’s gas balance at USD $230.

The next paragraph is even more remarkable. It reads as follows: “The
ROSUKRENERGO AG Company advised that it had neither an obligation
nor the opportunity to continue supplying the NJSC NAFTOGAS UKRAINY
with natural gas in April 2006 and until the end of the year”.

Some experts describe this paragraph as the RUE Company’s attempt to
renounce the contract. They also mention their earlier warnings that
ROSUKRENERGO might peel off, leaving Ukraine without the gas due
to it under the contract.

Yet most probably, this paragraph is not about RUE’s intent to stop
supplying gas to Ukraine (although the deliberate ambiguity of the language
leaves ample room for bureaucratic arbitrariness). RUE will supply gas at
USD $95 per 1000 cubic meters to the UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture
that it founded together with the NJSC NAFTOGAS, but not to the latter.

This means that NAFTOGAS will have to fulfill its credit obligations and to
provide gas to households and heating systems, which yields no profit; but
it will have no gas for sale to industrial consumers, and neither
ROSUKRENERGO nor GASPROM are going to lend a helping hand by
selling more gas at USD $95 per 100 cubic meters.

They could offer additional volumes of gas at USD $230 per 100 cubic meters.
The situation is further aggravated by the Ukrainian government’s
requirement that NERC should limit UKRGASENERGO’s license, allowing it to
sell as little as five billion cubic meters of natural gas on Ukraine’s
domestic market.

The Cabinet was thus trying to curb the ROSUKRENERGO AG Company’s
monopoly as a gas supplier to Ukrainian industrial consumers. Mr Voronin
filed a claim to increase the volume of gas supplies, but the court case has
not been won yet. The UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture has been operating

since April 1st, 2006.

Once it supplies the 5 billion cubic meters it is allowed, the gas price can
rise to USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters. Alternatively, gas supplies can be
suspended, and NAFTOGAS will have no gas to sell to industrial consumers
anyway, unless it buys it at USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters.

Ministries and agencies engaged in gas-related businesses are paying
attention to three critical implications of the negotiations as recorded in
the minutes.

[1] First, the state-owned company GAS UKRAINY, subsidiary of NJSC
NAFTOGAS UKRAINY, responsible for supplying gas to Ukraine’s
industrial enterprises, will not be able to fulfill its obligations for want
of the necessary gas reserves.

[2] Second, ROSUKRENERGO and GASPROM are determined to supply
cheap gas to the UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture alone, compelling
NAFTOGAS to buy gas at USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters.

Since there is no mention of any objections from the Ukrainian negotiators
in the minutes, it should mean that Mr Voronin, incumbent Chair of the Board
of NJSC’s competitor and former a member of the RUE Coordination Committee,
is quite happy with the negotiation outcomes, whereby NAFTOGAS is being
ousted from the profitable gas market.

[3] Third, experts believe that ROSUKRENERGO and GASPROM are paving
the way for an inevitable price rise. As matters stand, neither the Ministry
of Finance nor the Ministry of Economy knows the exact price at which
Ukraine buys gas. The abovementioned 5 billion cubic meters do not meet the
industrial sector’s annual need.

It is up to the UKRGASENERGO Joint Venture to either break this amount into
monthly quotas, or exhaust its limit within the next couple of months, after
which it could sell gas at USD $230 per 1000 cubic meters. Some analysts
suggest, though, that Russia will hardly raise gas prices for Ukraine on the
eve of the G-8 Summit.

However, a perplexing question mark hangs over the price that Moscow will
use to calculate Ukraine’s debt for the gas already consumed. Of course, it
can afford to postpone drastic measures as the joint venture’s revenues are
being built up and so are the NJSC’s losses.

Meanwhile, a number of gas supply and distribution companies in the EU
countries, including Gas de France, E.ON.Ruhr-Gas, RWE AG (Germany),
Winters-Hall, OMW, ZMB (Austria) etc, were subject to search and seizure of
their documentation.

The ZMB Company, for example, is remarkable in that, for one thing, it sells
Russian gas re-exported by Ukraine (Yuriy Boiko, former NAFTOGAS CEO,
knows a lot about it) and, for another, it is registered to the same address
as a “Ukrainian” CENTROGAS Company holding 50 percent of the
ROSUKRENERGO stock.

Officially, the search and seizure of documentation was executed last
Tuesday and Wednesday in five EU countries by authorized representatives of
the EU investigation group in order to check the companies’ compliance with
the Gas Directive, regulating the European gas market development.

The Directive aims to restrain monopolies in the spheres of gas supplies and
transportation. For instance, gas companies in Germany and Italy violate the
European Gas Directive by preventing foreign competitors (state-owned and
private companies from several countries) from entering their domestic
markets.

Employees at the Gas de France Kyiv Office confirmed the seizure of
documents but argued it did not imply any criminal activities or
incompliance on the part of the company. According to them, the documents
would be scrutinized for compliance with the company’s rules and procedures
within the European Gas Directive requirements.

At the same time, ZN sources report that the investigators involved in the
massive search and seizure of documentation could have other objectives,
too.

Ukraine’s gas problems and Russia’s promotion of ROSUKRENERGO as a
monopolist supplier of Russian and Asian gas, the alleged association of the
gas intermediary with criminal structures, and Russia’s switching off the
gas during last winter’s coldest days made Europe think hard about its own
dependence on Russian natural gas.

So now, Europe is striving to ascertain whether this dependence is objective
and unavoidable, to look into the pricing of supplied gas and to find out if
the earlier concluded gas agreements allow of abuse or corrupt practices.

Some experts maintain that the search was inspired by the British Company
Global Witness’s report on corruption in the arrangements for Turkmen gas
supplies to Europe. A large section of the report is dedicated to Ukraine
and ROSUKRENERGO.

Supposedly, one of the objectives of the recent investigation activities in
Europe is to determine if the actual volume of Russian gas supplies to the
EU countries corresponds to those declared by GASPROM and to make
sure it is within the 30% quota allocated to Russia on the EU market.

The investigators will also check whether the gas for European consumers is
overpriced due to the involvement of multiple intermediaries at different
stages of the supply chain, and if these intermediaries are implicated in
shadow schemes or criminal activities.

In its publications earlier this year, ZN has quoted the US leaders’
censuring remarks vis-a-vis Russia’s energy sector strategy. Last week’s
developments, described above, testify that Europe is also taking practical
steps to explore whether Moscow’s policy poses a threat to the security of
the EU’s energy supplies.

Both Washington and Brussels seem to recognize Ukraine’s role as a key
transit country for Russian gas going to Europe. Kyiv has a chance to play
its own civilized and smart game. It could lose this chance unless it makes
a clear and resolute statement in the run up to the G-8 Summit in July. All
Ukrainian government members who are not involved in corrupt gas schemes,
and with whom we met last week understand that.

What our leaders need now is firm political will to make an unambiguous
policy statement, and to begin serious negotiations with Europe and the USA,
who have indicated, albeit unofficially, that they are prepared to support
Ukraine with investments and loans compensating them for the abrogation of
its agreement with ROSUKRENERGO signed in January 2006.

Yet we know the President’s stance on the matter; the Supreme Rada is busy
forming coalitions; the new government will not be formed before the G-8
Summit; and Yuriy Yekhanurov, acting Prime Minister, has “no grievances
against Olexiy Ivchenko”.

In the meantime, NAFTOGAS’s debt to Russia and Firtash is growing, a price
increase to USD $230 is in the pipeline, the intergovernmental protocol is
still absent, the gas price is an enigma to many in Ukraine, and very few
seem concerned about all of it.

These few are fully aware of the imminent threat to the country if they do
not raise these issues immediately, as well as of the threat to their
careers if they do.

No matter how hard the West may be trying to break the vicious gas circle
around Ukraine, the siege from within and the internal opposition to the
final settlement of this problem could spoil even the most favourable
prospects.
                                     -30-
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http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/598/53426/?429496729=722cd6ddb928c6ce8d8b7a09897a9531
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6.             GUAM – UNITED STATES JOINT STATEMENT
         US delegation led by David J. Kramer of the US State Department

Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

KYIV – On May 22-23, 2006 in Kyiv, Ukraine, the GUAM Member-States

and the United States met at the Eleventh Meeting of the Council of Ministers
for Foreign Affairs of GUAM and the GUAM Summit to continue their dialogue
and cooperation.  The U.S. delegation was led by David J. Kramer, Deputy
Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

The United States supported the creation of the “Organization for Democracy
and Economic Development – GUAM” with Secretariat in Kyiv and pledged to
provide appropriate assistance. GUAM Members-States reiterated their
commitment to cooperate on strengthening democracy, increasing security, and
deepening political, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation in the
GUAM region.

The United States congratulated Ukraine on its assumption to the GUAM
chairmanship and reiterated its support for GUAM projects and for the
Organization’s goal of regional cooperation and development.

The Participants addressed the current state and prospects of the GUAM-U.S.
dialogue, and noted with appreciation progress achieved in advancing the
GUAM-U.S. Framework Program, which is the product of a four-year

cooperative effort to generate concrete, multilateral projects to facilitate
regional security and economic development.

Since September 2005, the GUAM countries have completed their country-

based inter-agency offices for the Virtual Center and Interstate Information
Management System and continued the development of the regional task force
structure intended for conducting law enforcement cooperation.

The GUAM Member States have also created a Secretariat of the Steering
Committee on Trade and Transportation Facilitation and intensified their
cooperation for this project.

The GUAM Ministers expressed their gratitude to the Government of the United
States for providing technical and advisory assistance to the organization.
The Euro-Atlantic Advisory Team, established after 2005 Chisinau Summit of
GUAM and sponsored by the United States, has proved to be efficient and
instrumental in assisting implementation of the GUAM-U.S. Framework Program.

The Participants reaffirmed their willingness to develop consolidated
efforts with a view to strengthening cooperation in fighting international
terrorism, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and
related technologies, combating organized crime, and confronting other
global challenges.

The joint exploration of ways to confront these common challenges to the
GUAM Member-States and the United States constitutes an important aspect

of GUAM-U.S. cooperation.

The United States commended GUAM for promoting inter-parliamentary
cooperation that is considered to become an effective instrument of
parliamentary diplomacy at the regional and European levels.

The GUAM States reiterated their interest in further deepening cooperation
with the European Union, other organizations and states in fields of mutual
interest, including diversification of energy supplies with particular focus
on the Caspian region, providing security for energy infrastructure, and
realization of the projects of the GUAM-U.S. Framework Program.

The United States reaffirmed its support for the territorial integrity of
GUAM States, within their internationally recognized borders.
GUAM Member-States reaffirmed their willingness to proceed further with

the dialogue within the format of the GUAM-European Union and GUAM-
European Union-United States context.

The Participants agreed to continue mutually beneficial cooperation, and
also to explore new areas of interaction. They agreed to conduct their next
meeting in New York during the general debates of the UN General Assembly
session of 2006.                                  -30-
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http://kiev.usembassy.gov/infocentral_eng.html
Public Affairs Section, United States Embassy Kyiv
4 Hlybochytska St., Kyiv  04050  Ukraine
(380 44) 490-4026, 490-4090, Fax (380 44) 490-4050
http://kiev.usembassy.gov/; nfo@usembassy.kiev.ua
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7.           G.U.A.M. FAREWELLS ITS POST-SOVIET PAST
               Four former Soviet republics set a course for the West

    The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development
 
COMMENTARY: By Sergei Sidorenko & Vladimir Soloviev
Kommersant, Moscow, Russia, Wed, May 24, 2006

A GUAM summit concluded in Kiev yesterday. The forum’s main
characters – the presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and
Moldova – transformed their regional alliance into an international
organization, declaring it open for other countries to join. No one
named Russia among the potential candidates, but Romania and
Bulgaria have been invited to join GUAM. All this means that the
GUAM quartet has made a final decision on its foreign policy
orientation, shaping up as the “anti-CIS.”

On the second day of GUAM’s Kiev summit, the leaders of the
four post-Soviet republics approved the proposal made by their
foreign ministers the previous day: to change the organization’s
status from regional to international. They also decided to change
its name, in line with the goals it has set for itself. This
alliance is now called the GUAM Organization for Democracy and
Economic Development.

The presidents of the four GUAM participants – Mikhail
Saakashvili, Viktor Yushchenko, Ilkham Aliyev, and Vladimir Voronin
– described this as a historic event. They signed a declaration
about the new organization, its charter, and a summit communique. In
the declaration, Tbilisi, Kiev, Baku and Chisinau said they are
prepared to cooperate on ensuring democracy, and confirmed their
policy course in favor of deepening Euro-integration and
strengthening ties with NATO.

At the final press conference, summit host Viktor Yushchenko
said: “The name itself indicates that our key goals are Euro-
integration and North Atlantic integration. The next stage will be
cooperation on organizing the work of our border guards and customs
services.” President Yushchenko said that prospects for the
immediate future include unifying tariff policies for energy
resources transit and road and rail transport.

Yushchenko’s statement was supported by President Ilkham Aliyev
of Azerbaijan: “We are discussing new hydrocarbon sources and
transporting hydrocarbons from the Caspian basin to new markets.”

According to Aliyev, progress on democratic processes will be more
difficult if economic development lags behind. “Our countries are
the natural corridor between Central Asia and Europe. Creating a
transport corridor here will greatly influence Europe’s
development,” said Aliyev, president of the only GUAM country with
oil and gas fields. Aliyev said that Azerbaijan will increase oil
output to 60 million tons per year over the next few years, and
commence industrial production of gas. He promised that as soon as
this happens, oil from Azerbaijan would fill an Odessa-Brody
pipeline.

The four presidents also commented on their motives for seeking
their fortune outside the CIS. Aliyev was the only one who refrained
from making harsh judgements. He preferred a neutral tone, saying
that GUAM is not a confrontational organization and is not aimed
against anyone else. “We want to cooperate for our own benefit. And
our relations with Russia are constructive,” said Aliyev. Moreover,
he proposed that Azerbaijan, being less involved in conflicts with
Moscow than the others, should help its fellow GUAM participants to
normalize their relations with Moscow.
The other three presidents stated openly why they have switched
from the CIS to GUAM. “In GUAM, we’ll try to solve the problems that
we couldn’t solve in the CIS,” said Mikhail Saakashvili. “At a time
when economic sanctions are in effect against Georgia, Ukraine, and
Moldova, it’s very important that we are introducing a free trade
regime that will deliver real economic profits for all our
countries.”
“We still can’t shake the Soviet Empire syndrome,” said
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin. “We Moldovans are a peace-
loving people, but even we can’t accept an ‘Elder Brother-Younger
Brother’ format for relations.”

The presidents of the two wine-producing countries followed
this up with some emotional comments about Russia’s ban on wine
imports from Moldova and Georgia.

Viktor Yushchenko joined in the CIS-criticizing: “The CIS is
short on useful action. We have submitted proposals concerning
logistics, and border demarcation and delimitation – but they
haven’t been accepted. There are dozens of such issues. How can
relations develop within the CIS if it can’t even resolve this kind
of question?”

At the end of the summit, Vladimir Voronin proposed renaming
the already-renamed organization as follows: the Community of
European Choice for Democracy and Economic Development. According

to Voronin, this would clarify the priorities of GUAM members. It was
decided to consider this proposal at the next summit, this autumn.

All members agreed that the organization should be expanded.
Romania and Bulgaria were named as the leading candidates for GUAM
membership. They are set to join the European Union next year, and
could increase GUAM’s political weight by joining this organization
as well. Nobody mentioned Russia as a potential GUAM member.
(Translated by Elena Leonova)                  -30-
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8.  FOUR EX-SOVIET STATES SAYS NEW REGIONAL ALLIANCE
NOT DIRECTED AGAINST RUSSIA BUT IS A PRO-EUROPE CHOICE
          Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova sign a new charter

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, May 23, 2006

KIEV – The leaders of four ex-Soviet republics broadly aligned with the West
insisted Tuesday their newly strengthened alliance was not aimed against
Moscow.

But tension with their giant neighbor, who was not invited to the gathering,
hung heavily over the two-day summit of the regional grouping, which has won
support from the U.S. and European Union.

Its members – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova – signed a new
charter that pledges to uphold democratic values, foster economic
development and help each other on their pro-European path. The four
presidents noted that they had all made a “pro-Europe choice” that must be
encouraged.

“We are focusing on a new reality that has appeared in our countries, new
interests that have crystallized over the last few years,” said Georgian
President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose country along with Ukraine and Moldova
have set the goal of E.U. membership.

The alliance – which will be formally registered as an international group
under the name GUAM-Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

and have a headquarters in Kiev – comes amid growing frustration from three of
the ex-Soviet republics with the Russian-dominated Commonwealth of
Independent States, and fresh trade disputes with Moscow.

Georgia has raised the prospect of quitting the 12-nation CIS, and the
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin also said upon his arrival Tuesday that
his country’s parliament would soon take up that question, Ukraine’s Unian
news agency reported.

Both nations are currently arguing with Russia over Moscow’s decision to ban
imports of Georgian and Moldovan wine, a blow to their economies. Russia has
cited quality concerns, but the ban is widely seen as retaliation for these
countries’ pro-Western policies. Voronin said Tuesday the matter should be
handled “in a civilized way.”

Ukraine was engaged in its own bitter dispute with Russia’s gas monopoly
earlier this year over gas supplies, which resulted in a nearly twofold
increase in price.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev, who is being courted by both Russia and
the West, characterized his oil-rich Caspian Sea nation’s relations with
Russia as positive, but said there was tension in the years immediately
after the Soviet collapse.

Yushchenko said that while Ukraine sees Russia as a strong trade partner,
the CIS has “some deficiencies.”

Saakashvili, who is the most outspoken in his frustration toward Moscow,
insisted that he was personally offended during last year’s CIS summit when
Ukraine’s proposals weren’t even put on the floor for discussion. “Ukraine
is not some kind of village on the edge of the forest,” Saakashvili said.
“If Ukraine is treated that way, it’s hard to imagine what will happen to
smaller countries.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov, speaking on Russian state
television, said Tuesday that Moscow didn’t “see anything anti-Russian” in
the Kiev gathering. But he questioned the usefulness of the organization,
saying that it would be better to concentrate on strengthening existing
regional bodies.

The presidents touted the creation of a free trade zone, and called for
increased cooperation in the energy transport sector. “We are the natural
corridor between Asia and Europe and back,” Aliev said, referring to gas and
oil pipelines that go through the region. “It is impossible to go around our
countries. We should use this to speed up European integration.”   -30-

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9.           KREMLIN LOSES ITS GRIP ON IT’S DYING EMPIRE
      Four former Soviet republics set to abandon eastern commonwealth

ANALYSIS: By Richard Beeston, The Times, London, UK, May 24, 2006

ONE of the last vestiges of the Soviet Union appeared to be crumbling
yesterday, when four former republics signalled that they were pulling out
of the organisation established to keep the Kremlin connected with its lost
empire.

At a meeting in Kiev the leaders of the pro-Western states of Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine pledged to form their own association to
promote democratic values. They also hinted that they would leave the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which was created 15 years

ago as a group representing most of the former Soviet republics.

While the CIS never fulfilled any great economic or political function, its
very existence was supposed to reflect Moscow’s continued influence from
Eastern Europe to the Caucasus and on to Central Asia. But ties between the
Kremlin and some of its former client states have deteriorated in a wave of
democratic movements that swept pro-Western leaders into power in Georgia
and Ukraine and encouraged anti-Russian sentiment in Azerbaijan and Moldova.

The new group will be called the Organisation for Democracy and Economic
Development and will be based in Kiev. It will rival the CIS, which is based
in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it is headed by Vladimir Rushailo, a
tough former Russian Interior Minister.

Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian President, said: “Our citizens are giving
us a mandate to develop strong democratic and successful states.” The move
is seen as a huge snub to Moscow, which has not been invited to join. It
faces the prospect of being left in a CIS of eight states, including
Belarus, regarded as the last dictatorship in Europe, Armenia, and the
Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Uzbekistan. The splits within the CIS ranks have been growing in recent
months.

Moscow, which backed Mr Yushchenko’s opponent in the Ukrainian elections,
clashed with Ukraine this year when it suspended gas sales, causing an
energy crisis across Europe in the middle of winter.

The Kremlin has also rowed openly with Tbilisi over Russian support for two
breakaway regions in Georgia and its reluctant withdrawal of troops from the
country. Moscow’s recent decision to ban the import of Georgian and Moldovan
wine has strained ties further.

Azerbaijan has provoked the ire of Moscow by developing close ties with the
US, and building an oil pipeline to pump crude from the Caspian Sea to
Turkey, bypassing traditional Russian control over energy supply routes.

Moldova signalled yesterday that it may be the first country to quit the
CIS. President Voronin said that the issue would soon be debated in
parliament, where the move was likely to be approved.

Zurab Nogaideli, the Georgian Prime Minister, said that his country was

also debating the value of remaining in the CIS, and that the question of
withdrawal would come up before parliament this summer.

“Many in Georgia have been very critical of the CIS, of its performance, of
its efficiency, and we, as a government, are accountable to the people’s
concerns,” he told The Times during a visit to London.

He said that Georgia had attempted to make the CIS more efficient and
capable of dealing with important bilateral disputes, such as the Russian
wine ban, but that the CIS was incapable of addressing real issues.

“What is the sense in having an organisation that fails to discuss basic
issues that affect the countries concerned?”, Mr Nogaideli said. “It seems
to me that Russia itself is not interested in the CIS, in reality. They want
to keep it as an organisation, but they don’t want it to be an effective and
functional organisation. Russia only keeps it for prestige.”    -30-

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LINK: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2193775,00.html
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10.  EASTERN UKRAINIAN REGION GIVES RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                              SPECIAL REGIONAL STATUS

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 18, 2006 

KIEV, Ukraine – The eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk granted special
status Thursday to the Russian language despite warnings from President
Viktor Yushchenko that such moves violated the constitution, which declares
Ukrainian the country’s only official language.

More than 120 of the regional legislature’s 133 members voted to make
Russian a regional language, allowing it to be used together with Ukrainian
in state and public institutions as well as at universities and cultural
institutions, said Irina Tarana, spokeswoman for the council.

The move was inspired by the fact that about 75% of the region’s population
believe Russian to be their native language, said Tarana.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking Donetsk region becomes the fourth area
to adopt such a measure, following similar moves in the eastern region of
Luhansk, the eastern city of Kharkiv and the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

“The decision was made in the interests of community…In the region, people
will communicate in such a way as it is better for them,” head of the
Donetsky council Antoliy Blyznyuk was quoted as saying by the Unian news
agency.

Yushchenko’s office has ordered prosecutors to consider a legal challenge
because the moves come in conflict with Ukraine’s post-Soviet constitution,
which declared Ukrainian the sole state language. Blyznyuk also expressed
concern that prosecutors would appeal the council decision, Unian reported.

The language issue is a sensitive topic in this ex-Soviet republic, where
Russian is predominantly spoken in the east and south and Ukrainian in the
west. During Soviet times, Russian predominated and now many nationalists
see protecting Ukrainian as critical to national identity.

Declaring Russian a regional language is a lesser move than trying to have
it declared a second state language, but it could open the door to those
efforts. Tarana said the council also adopted a recommendation to the new
national parliament, calling on it to recognize Russian as a state language
in Ukraine. Yushchenko has vowed to fight this.

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11. UKRAINE’S MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY ISSUES STATEMENT
                             ON RUSSIAN LANGUAGE ISSUE

Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 1309 gmt 17 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Wed, May 17, 2006

KIEV – The Party of Regions will initiate discussion of “the language policy
of the state” at the first session of the Ukrainian Supreme Council
[parliament] of the 5th convocation, the party’s political council has said
in its statement on the protection of constitutional rights of Ukraine’s
Russian-speaking citizens, which has been made public on the party’s
website.

“The Party of Regions pledges to continue to defend the right of people to
think, speak and educate their children in their mother tongue, as well as
the right of local communities to freely use the Russian language,” the
statement said.

The document described as legally ungrounded the statement by the Ukrainian
Justice Ministry saying that the decisions by the city councils of Kharkiv
and Sevastopol and the Luhansk regional council to give Russian the status
of a regional language were unconstitutional.

“Article 147 of the Ukrainian constitution stipulates that the
Constitutional Court is the only body of constitutional jurisdiction in
Ukraine, and only that court is entitled to rule on matters of compliance of
laws and other legal acts of the Ukrainian constitution and come up with
official interpretation of the Ukrainian constitution and laws,” the
statement said.

The document said that the Justice Ministry’s explanation that the text of
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages had been incorrectly
translated “cannot be taken seriously, as it refers to a law which was
passed by the Supreme Council [parliament] and came into force”.

The Party of Regions urged the Council of Europe to pay attention to the
situation with the charter’s implementation in Ukraine and deliver an
appropriate assessment of the Ukrainian government’s actions.

The Party of Regions views the policy of the current government and
political forces “on which it leans for support” as an offensive on
citizens’ rights. “This campaign obviously has a political background to it.
It is a continuation of the short-sighted and unclever policies which the
Orange forces contributed to the presidential election and which resulted in
a deep split in society,” the document said.

The political council warned the law-enforcement agencies against “brutal
interference in such a sensitive sphere as language politics”. The council
also recalled that the president [Viktor Yushchenko] “is the president of
all citizens, including those for whom Ukrainian is the native language and
those for whom Russian or any other language is native” and urged
“respectful treatment of the right to defend the native language”.

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12.  UKRAINIAN CELEBRITIES SAY GIVING RUSSIAN LANGUAGE
                 SPECIAL STATUS IS A WAR AGAINST UKRAINE
   “We have a direct threat to the Ukrainian nation & Ukrainian state system.”
 
Natasha Lisova, Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Fri, May 19, 2006

KIEV – Ukrainian cultural figures and celebrities on Friday slammed efforts
to grant Russian language special status in this ex-Soviet republic, calling
it an act of war against the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian language.

Artists, writers, politicians and scientists, meeting for a round-table
discussion in Kiev, condemned recent decisions by several regional councils
to have Russian declared a regional language, allowing its use in official
business.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking region of Donetsk on Thursday became the
fourth area to take such measures. “Today they announced a war, and we must
react accordingly,” movie director Yuriy Illenko said.

President Viktor Yushchenko’s administration has said granting Russian
special status contradicts the constitution, which declares Ukrainian the
only state language. His office has vowed to challenge the decisions in the
two eastern regions, an eastern city and the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

The language issue has become one of the most sensitive in Ukraine, where
Russian dominated during Soviet times and today many still consider it their
native language, particularly in the east and south. In western regions,
Ukrainian dominates and nationalists see protecting the language as a way to
prevent meddling from Moscow.

“Today we have a direct threat to the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian state
system,” said lawmaker Ivan Zayeyts. Yushchenko’s legal adviser Mykola
Poludyony said the councils have are no legal authority to make such
decisions.

Council officials say their decision is based on a European charter, which
was ratified by the Ukrainian parliament in 2003, that protects regional and
minority languages. Critics, however, say Russian should not be considered a
minority language and does not need special protection. “Russian isn’t a
language that is disappearing,” Poludyony said.

The Party of the Regions, the pro-Moscow opposition party that won the most
votes in last month’s parliamentary election, campaigned on a promise to
make Russian a second state language.                  -30-
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13. INCONSISTENT LANGUAGE POLICY CREATES PROBLEMS 
    PRU-led Ukrainian regions continue to adopt Russian as official language

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleg Varfolomeyev
Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume 3, Issue 101
Jamestown Foundation, Washington, DC, Wed, May 24, 2006

The Party of Regions (PRU), which strengthened its grip on Ukraine’s
Russophone east and south after the March 26 parliamentary election,
continues to probe the government’s weaknesses, challenging it on the
sensitive issue of language.

The PRU-dominated Donetsk regional council has followed the example of the
PRU-dominated Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol councils, approving
regional-language status for Russian. The government, in response,
threatened to come up with tough measures against all those who violate the
constitution, according to which Ukrainian is the only language having
official status.

The government’s position is that the councils’ language decisions are a
threat to national security, part of a plan to exacerbate tension in society
and downgrade the status of Ukrainian. The government also argues that
language matters are the remit of the national — rather than regional — 
bodies of power.

The PRU, meanwhile, looks set to raise the issue at the national level. On
May 17, the party’s governing body — the political council — issued a
statement, “On the Protection of Constitutional Rights of the
Russian-speaking Citizens of Ukraine,” promising to raise the Russian
language issue soon after the new parliament convenes on May 25.

In the statement, the PRU pledged “to continue to defend the right of people
to think, speak, and educate their children in the mother tongue.” The PRU
brushed aside the Justice Ministry’s protests against the decisions of
Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol on the status of Russian, saying that only
the Constitutional Court is entitled to rule on language matters.

Incidentally, the PRU has been among the parties blocking the election of
new judges to the Constitutional Court, fearing that the Court might take
President Viktor Yushchenko’s side and reverse the recent constitutional
reforms that diminished the president’s authority.

On May 18, the Donetsk region council voted by 122 votes to three (with one
abstention) to give Russian the status of regional language. As in the cases
of Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Sevastopol, Donetsk deputies said they were guided
by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The council not only ruled that Russian may be used in business, official
documents, and educational establishments on a par with Ukrainian, but it
also called on parliament to give Russian state-language status along with
Ukrainian.

The council said that the current constitution ignores the fact that Russian
is the mother tongue for about one-third of Ukrainians, equating Russian to
the many minority languages spoken by small communities inside Ukraine.
Along with the PRU, the Communists and the radical left-wing Progressive
Socialists in the Donetsk council supported the language decision.

Official reaction followed immediately. Donetsk Region Prosecutor Oleksiy
Bahanets, who is subordinated to Kyiv, promised to appeal the council’s
decision in court as soon as he obtains official documents on the matter
from the council. On May 18, the cabinet gathered for a meeting to condemn
the eastern councils on language matters.

Deputy Prime Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Vyacheslav Kyrylenko blamed
“certain forces” for trying to “downgrade and practically fully exclude the
state language from usage, rather than protect minority languages.”
President Yushchenko’s legal adviser, Mykola Poludyonny, went even further,
warning of a separatist threat.

The Justice Ministry was instructed to come up with amendments to language
laws and regulations in order to toughen penalties for language-legislation
violators. It was also decided that the next meeting of the National
Security and Defense Council would be on the language issue. It may,
however, take some time for the council to convene, as its secretary,
Anatoly Kinakh, resigned last week.

Kyrylenko apparently found it difficult to explain, speaking on television
on May 22, why exactly the elevation of the Russian language status in the
eastern regions was a national security threat. “The state has certain
principles, and state language is an element of national security… very
important for state institutes,” he offered.

The language row reveals the lack of understanding regarding how deep the
language problem runs in Kyiv. It has been ignored for years, and President
Yushchenko continues to insist that there is no language problem at all,
despite the fact that pro-Communist and pro-Russian forces have been
regularly using the language issue against the government in all sorts of
elections. There has been no consistent policy of Ukrainianization, famous
Ukrainian philosopher Myroslav Popovych believes.

Commenting for the website Forum, he noted that it is sometimes difficult to
admit that the issue is actually about the “assimilation of the
Russian-speaking population,” which has to be “logical and unforced,” but so
far has been forcible.

Media expert Mykola Knyazhytsky told Forum that the main mistake of the
government has been imposing Ukrainian in those regions where it is
traditionally barely spoken, instead of financing Ukrainian culture in the
traditionally Ukrainian-speaking areas, such as Lviv.          -30-
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(Interfax-Ukraine, May 17, 18; Channel 5, May 18; NTN TV, For-ua.com,

May 19; 1+1 TV, May 22; see EDM, May 17)
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14.     RUSSIAN MP SAYS UKRAINE MUST NOT TRAMPLE ON
                   RIGHTS OF RUSSIAN-SPEAKING MINORITY

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian, 22 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service, United Kingdom, Monday, May 22, 2006

MOSCOW – Russian State Duma deputies believe it to be “very important”

that the question “of language policy” will be placed on the agenda of the first
session of the Ukrainian Supreme Council [parliament] of the new
convocation. Andrey Kokoshin, the head of the [State] Duma committee
for CIS affairs and ties with compatriots, has said this to ITAR-TASS today.

In his words, “a general tendency can be observed in Ukraine to squeeze out
the Russian language from the information, legal and cultural space”.

One of the latest confirmations of this, the committee’s chairman noted, is
the decision of Ukraine’s Justice Ministry to deem illegal the decisions of
the Kharkiv and Sevastopol city councils and the Luhansk and Donetsk
regional councils to give the Russian language regional status.

“What we have here is a violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking
citizens of Ukraine that live in large numbers on certain territories,”
Kokoshin stressed.

He recalled that State Duma deputies have constantly drawn the attention of
their Ukrainian colleagues “to the need to ensure the rights of the
Russian-speaking population in accordance with Ukraine’s constitution and
international obligations”.

This problem “goes beyond the framework of bilateral relations since the
Russian language and Russian culture are a generally recognized part of
world culture”, Kokoshin noted.

“Behind the resolving of this problem lie the fates of tens of millions of
people, prospects for the formation of Ukraine as a democratic state and
ensuring genuine friendly and equal relations between Russia and Ukraine,”
the head of the committee said.                          -30-
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15. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE COMPLAINT: ATTENTION OLEH SOSKIN

—– Original Message —–
From: Nadia Kerecuk; nadia.kerecuk@ntlworld.com

To: citynews@osp.com.ua
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 10:11 AM
Subject: Re Russian language – complaint for the attention of Oleh Soskin
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 15
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dear Mr Oleh Soskin,

I have decided to write in order to express my greatest disappointment that
your very good city bulletin is now being published mostly in Russian. I was
quite appalled to see the encroachment of Russian in your bulletin after so
many years of Ukraine being independent.

 
When it was published in Ukrainian I was very delighted to reach each edition.
However, it has become an annoyance.

Ukrainian citizens ought to know better especially those that head
organisations such as yours. Indeed, Citizens of Ukraine whatever their
ethnic background ought to respect the UKRAINIAN language. Honestly, I
cannot understand this approach.

UKRAINIAN IS THE ONLY official language in Ukraine – as English is in
England or Portuguese in Brazil, Russian in the Russia (are there any
bulletins of cities in Russia being published in Ukrainian????)  or French
in France and so on !!!

Particularly with the long history of prohibitions of the Ukrainian language
and the abuse of it by the Old Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and many

in power in Ukraine since the Independence in Ukraine.

Could you kindly explain why this is happening – of course, I welcome

your reply in Ukrainian or English.

With best wishes,

Nadia Kerecuk, Historian of Ideas in Language Sciences,
Expert in Linguistics including Ukrainian and Slavonic
Expert in Ukrainian Affairs & Studies
———————————————————————————————–

FOOTNOTE: Oleh Soskin: Tel: (044) 235-98-28, 235-80-23
E-mail: CityNews@osp.com.ua; Web: http://www.CityUkraine.osp-ua.info
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16. PROSPECT OF BUSH VISIT PUTS PRESSURE ON KIEV PARTIES

By Tom Warner in Kiev, Financial Times
London, United Kingdom, Friday, May 19, 2006

A possible visit to Kiev by President George W. Bush in June or July is
causing consternation in Moscow and putting pressure on Ukraine’s
quarrelling pro-western political parties to agree quickly on a coalition
government.

The White House is hoping the Kiev visit could be combined with a
US-European Union summit in late June or with the Group of Eight summit

in Moscow in mid-July.

A Kiev visit timed closely to the G8 summit would allow Mr Bush to stress

US support for the western-oriented democracies on Russia’s perimeter that
have come under economic pressure from Moscow.

Mr Bush would also use the visit to promote Ukraine’s accession to Nato,
which his administration is suggesting could be launched at the alliance’s
summit in Riga in November and completed by 2008.

The aggressive schedule was outlined by William Taylor, Mr Bush’s nominee

to take over as US ambassador in Kiev, in a Senate confirmation hearing last
week.

At a conference on Nato in Moscow yesterday, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the
alliance’s secretary-general, defended proposals for Nato to take in Ukraine
and Georgia, which he said were “not directed against Russia”. Russian
speakers warned that Nato-Russia relations would change for the worse if
Ukraine was invited to join.

However, Mr Bush’s mission in Kiev depends on there being a government

to greet him. A newly elected parliament is not due to convene until next
Thursday, two months after the March polls.

The three parties that led the 2004 Orange Revolution and together won the
largest share of parliamentary seats continue to argue over the sharing out
of key jobs, including the prime minister’s.

Viktor Yushchenko, president, added impetus to the talks last week when he
said that he did not object to the candidacy of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former
prime minister, with whom he has had a somewhat rocky relationship.

Ms Tymoshenko leads the largest of the three groups in the prospective
coalition and her bloc insists she be premier.

Mr Yushchenko’s spokeswoman said Mr Bush was likely to visit this year

but no date had yet been set. “Thank god that in Ukraine the government is
formed without outside influence,” she said. “But the president is
optimistic that we will see a government by the middle of June.”  -30-
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17. KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO VISIT PHILADELPHIA NEXT WEEK
      Meet with top health care professionals, address the World Affairs Council

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 17
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON – Kateryna Yushchenko, first lady of Ukraine, will visit
Philadelphia next week. The Ukrainian Federation of America, The
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia  and the Ukrainian Human Rights
Committee will host Kateryna Yuschenko for a series of meetings
regarding improving Ukraine’s health care services and world affairs.

The first meeting will be a program and dinner on Tuesday May 30, 2006
hosted by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Ukrainian
Human Rights Committee.  The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is
the premier public policy platform in America’s birthplace and one of the
top speaking forums in the nation.

The event will beheld at the prestigious Union League at 100 S. Broad St. in
Philadelphia.  Registration and reception will begin at 5:30 pm followed by
the address of the First Lady of Ukraine and dinner.  The cost for the
event is $75.00. (For registration information see FOOTNOTE below.)

 UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA “PROJECT LIFELINE”

The Ukrainian Federation of America through it’s Ukrainian health care
initiative “Project Lifeline” has organized a private program for Wednesday
in support of Kateryna Yushchenko’s primary program, through the
Ukraine 3000 Foundation, to substantially improve the health care received
by the people of Ukraine, especially Ukraine’s children.

The Federation, under the leadership of Dr. Zenia Chernyk, Chair,
Healthcare Commission and Vera Andryczyk, President, has arranged a
private breakfast on Wednesday for the first lady to meet with top U.S.
health care professionals and representatives of the pharmaceutical
industries.

The first lady will then visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the
birthplace of pediatric medicine in the United States. The First Lady will
tour Children’s Hospital facilities and meet with Hospital leadership to
encourage a sharing of knowledge and experience between doctors in
the United States and the Ukraine, with the hope to improve healthcare
for children worldwide.

At the hospital Mrs. Yushchenko will meet with Lawrence McAndrews,
president, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related
Institutions (NACHRI), James M. Steven, M.D., S.M., senior vice president
for medical affairs and chief medical officer, The Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital physicians, researchers and administrators

Following the tour of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mrs.
Yushchenko will be the Guest of Honor at a private luncheon meeting,
set up by the Ukrainian Federation of America, with representatives of
the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia and charitable organizations.
The luncheon will be held at Neville Gallery at University of Pennsylvania
Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

Philadelphia is the second stop on the First Lady’s national tour. She will

also earlier visit Washington, D.C., and then stops in California.  This is
Mrs. Yushchenko’s second visit to Philadelphia, after first coming to the
city in September 2005 when President Victor Yushchenko received the
Liberty Medal.

Since that time, Mrs. Yushchenko has met with many in the American
medical and pharmaceutical industries, through the “Project Lifeline”
program of the Ukrainian Federation of America, in order to further her
effort to elevate medical standards in Ukraine.            -30-
——————————————————————————————–
FOOTNOTE: For more information concerning the program set up

by the Ukrainian Federation of America on Wednesday please contact
Dr. Zenia Chernyk at 215 275 7902 or Vera Andryczyk at 610 539 8946.
 
For more information about the speech at the World Affairs Council in
Philadelphia go the following website:
http://www.wacphila.org/programs/speaker_eve.html#yushchenko
or call Adele Kauffman at 215 561 4700, extension 235. The Council
will be closed on Friday, May 26th and Monday, May 29th.  You can
also contact Ubulana Mazurkevich at 215-858-3006 or by e-mail:
ubulana@aol.com.
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18.  ART EXHIBITION: “MAZEPIANA” – SERHIY YAKUTOVYCH

WHAT: The Embassy of Ukraine is proud to present an art exhibition
“Mazepiana” – the works of Serhiy Yakutovych.
WHEN: Thursday May 25, 2006, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine, 3550 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

Serhiy Yakutovych is an Honored Artist of Ukraine, Associate Member of
the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, The National Taras Shevchenko Prize
winner in 2004. Author of more than a hundred  illustrative cycles for
the books of Ukrainian and foreign classics such as “Three Musketeers”
by Dumas, “Song About Roland”, “Tristan and Isolde”, “Taras Bulba”

by Gogol, works of M.Gorky, O.Tolstoy, L.Tolstoy, P.Dostoevsky,
O.Gonchar, Golsuorsy, O.Walde, Nietzshe, and DeCoster.

Winner of numerous national and international graphic competitions, the
works of Sergiy Yakutovich are included in the museum collections of
Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and in many private
collections.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
RSVP by telephone at (202) 349-2961 or by e-mail at nholub@ukremb.com
LINK: http://yakutovich.com/ukr/sergiy/gallery_content.php?dir
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19. “EMBASSY SERIES” CONCERT AT THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

 
WHAT: Another marvelous pair of evenings of wonderful music by
Ukrainian artists in the elegant Ukrainian Embassy, a national treasure.
Violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv (with Roman Rabinovich on piano) is a winner
of the Prokofiev and Kocian International Competitions, recipient of
the Fritz Kreisler Gold Medal from the Curtis Institute of Music and
was awarded a scholarship from the President of Ukraine.  Ukrainian
buffet to follow.

WHEN: Friday, May 26 – 8:00 pm; Saturday, May 27 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Embassy of Ukraine; 3350 “M” Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. ; COST: $75.00

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See

http://www.embassyseries.com/events.htm
To order tickets, call Jerome Barry at (202) 625-2361 or order easily
online at http://www.embassyseries.org.
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20.       WASHINGTON IGNORES DEMOCRATIC VALUES
                               IN QUEST FOR CHEAP OIL
 
Sylvie Lanteaume, Agence France-Presse, Wash, D.C, Sun, May 21, 2006
WASHINGTON – The United States, eager to find new sources of oil
at the time when petroleum prices are skyrocketing, is increasingly giving
up its strategy of promoting democracy, analysts here say.

The US government of President George W. Bush has recently made
contradictory moves towards key foreign oil producers, sowing confusion
about its policy goals, according to Frank Verrastro, of the Center for
Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

If the democracy and support for humans right are the main engine of US
diplomacy, “then you have to wonder why we have not taken a tougher line
with Russia, why we have not taken a tougher line with Kazakhstan, why we
have not taken a tougher line with Libya?” he asked.

Yet US officials “use it when we talk about Venezuela, and we use it when we
talk about the Middle East,” said Verrastro, an expert in energy policy.
“Increasingly it is looking like a case by case application of what is more
important,” he said. “It is depending on what the perceived needs of the day
are.”

Washington announced on May 15 it was normalizing relations with Libya,
which has important crude oil reserves, despite the lack of political
reforms visible in a country led since 1969 by the same man, Moamer Kadhafi.

On the same day US officials imposed sanctions on Venezuela, a country that
supplies 15 percent of US oil imports. The stated reason: populist President
Hugo Chavez’s lack of cooperation in the US-led “war on terror”.

Washington also charged Chavez’s government with restricting the freedom of
the press and harassing his political opponents.
One day later US officials suspended free trade negotiations with Ecuador,
another important oil supplier, after Quito cancelled its contract with
US-based Occidental Petroleum and took over their assets.

On May 4 US Vice President Dick Cheney took a swipe at Russia over
democratic reform, accusing Moscow of “improperly restricting” human rights
and using oil and gas supplies as a weapon.

“No legitimate cause is served when oil and gas become tools of manipulation
or blackmail,” Cheney said, referring to the cut-off of gas supplies to
Ukraine last January which also affected parts of Europe.

Yet just hours later Cheney was praising the authoritarian government of
Kazakhstan for its “economic development and political development”.

Since 1993, the US has invested about 12 billion dollars (9.42 billion
euros) in Kazahkstan, which has oil reserves of 24 billion barrels, making
the US the biggest single investor in the country.

The Bush administration claims it is pursuing a coherent energy policy, but
recognizes that oil producing countries are politically profiting from the
high price of crude, a US State Department energy expert said, speaking on
condition of anonymity.

“You have the bulk of the world hydrocarbons resources owned by state owned
oil companies. And they are feeling very powerful now, as we saw in Ecuador
and Russia and Venezuela,” the official said.

However, Washington has not given up defending the democracy. “We have
principles,” the official said, pointing to Libya, which had to meet strict
guidelines to be withdrawn from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“The evidence would suggest that America has put … our values above the
mercantilist energy issues,” the official said.

Richard Haass, president of Council on Foreign Relations, another
Washington-based think tank, disagreed.

“Today’s situation may lack drama in the sense that there has been no
successful terrorist attack on some tanker or refinery,” Haas wrote in the
most recent issue of Newsweek magazine.

“But current energy policy (or the lack of one) empowers some of the most
repressive and reckless regimes in the world, further impoverishes hundreds
of millions of the world’s poor and contributes to global climate change.”

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21.          INVESTING: ADVENTURES AT THE FRONTIER
        One market that Chief Investment Officer Chisholm likes is Ukraine

By Conrad de Aenlle, International Herald Tribune
Paris, France, Friday, May 19, 2006

In a world that keeps getting smaller, and where ever less remains unknown
and untried, emerging markets do not stay that way for very long before
joining the mainstream. So where can a globetrotting investor go in search
of a few thrills and more than a few bucks?

Some investment advisers are turning to so-called frontier markets. About
two dozen countries, in such places as Africa, the Balkans and the
Caribbean, have economies that are too raw and undeveloped even to be
classified as emerging, but they do have stock markets where investors can
experience opportunities and challenges reminiscent of a decade or more ago
in what are now emerging markets.

“Frontier markets tend to be relatively small and illiquid, even by
emerging-markets standards, and information is generally less available than
in other markets,” Charles Wang, co-director of research at Acadian Asset
Management, wrote in a recent report. “However, they represent a vast store
of untapped economic potential that may be very compelling as a long-term
investment opportunity.”

Just how untapped is made clear by their size. When Wang takes inventory, he
comes up with 285 publicly traded stocks in 22 countries and a total market
capitalization of $101 billion, or barely one-fourth the size of Exxon
Mobil.

What they lack in bulk – just 22 stocks have market valuations greater than
$1 billion each – they make up for in strength. Wang said that since
Standard & Poor’s started following these minnow markets in December
1995, they have comfortably outperformed larger and more familiar ones.

Frontier markets rose at an annualized rate of 11.6 percent in the 10 years
through last December, compared with 8.2 percent for conventional emerging
markets. Volatility has been lower in frontier markets.

Making the case for investing in the region, Max King, a strategist at
Investec Asset Management, which runs a pan-African mutual fund, pointed out
that African economic growth has exceeded that of the rest of the world in
each of the last five years, and he cited a Goldman Sachs study that
predicted that Africa’s share of the global equity market would more than
double over the next 20 years.

King tossed out several names to illustrate the region’s diverse investment
opportunities, including Orascom, an Egyptian company involved in such
activities as telecommunications, tourism and computing; Lafarge Maroc, a
Moroccan cement business controlled by the French company Lafarge;
Kenya Airways and Kenya Electricity Generating.

“If there is one stock to look at, I suggest the recently privatized KenGen,
which we were keen on and which was well-subscribed” when the government
sold shares to the public, King said.

So far, looking at frontier stocks is all that Acadian is doing. John
Chisholm, the firm’s chief investment officer, has not committed money to
any of them yet, but Acadian is drumming up business among institutional
investors, and he expects to start buying later this year.

One market that Chisholm likes is Ukraine, and one of his favorite stocks
there is the fertilizer producer Azot Cherkassy. “The company’s cheap, but
it’s expected to have good growth going forward,” he said. “That’s the
typical profile of what we’re looking for in these markets.”

Chisholm finds the same attractive mix in Tunisia, where his preferred
stocks include Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie and Frig Brass, a
maker of soft drinks and beer.

As appealing as these companies may be, frontier markets have their
drawbacks. Jerome Booth, research director at Ashmore Group, an
emerging-market investment house, maintains limited exposure to frontier
equities because trading is limited and “we put a premium on liquidity,” he
said.

Another shortcoming is in furnishing information. “Data availability and
quality ranges from quite good to extremely dubious,” Wang acknowledged.
A further limitation, he said, is that most stocks do not have analyst
coverage and therefore lack forward-looking factors, like earnings
estimates.         -30-

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http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/19/yourmoney/minvest20.php
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22. UKRAINIANS GATHER AT MASS GRAVE TO COMMEMORATE
                               VICTIMS OF STALIN REGIME 

Associated Press (AP), Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 22 2006

KIEV – Relatives and survivors gathered in a forest outside Kyiv Sunday at

the site of Ukraine’s largest mass grave for victims of Soviet dictator Josef
Stalin, commemorating up to 120,000 Ukrainians killed during his regime.
People laid flowers and tied linen towels with Ukrainian embroidery on trees
at the Bykovnya grave.

“It’s hard to imagine how it was possible to bury over 100,000 people in one
forest. The most awful is that it’s impossible to answer the question why
they were killed,” President Viktor Yushchenko said.

Historians say millions were killed throughout the Soviet Union during
Stalin’s reign, accused of state treason and other crimes.

Separately, up to 10 million Ukrainians died of the 1932-33 Great Famine,
which Stalin provoked as part of his campaign to force Ukrainian peasants
to give up their land and join collective farms.

On Thursday, thousands of Crimean Tatars marched in the capital of Crimea to
mark the 62nd anniversary of their deportation from the Black Sea peninsula
under Stalin, a forced exile that lasted almost half a century. Some 200,000
Tatars were deported in May 1944 after Stalin accused them of collaborating
with the Nazis and were not allowed to return until the Soviet collapse of
1991.              -30-

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23.                            A BOOK FOR SKEPTICS: 
         “THE UKRAINIAN QUESTION” 70 YEARS LATER

By Mykola SIRUK, The Day Weekly Digest #15
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

The British Embassy in Ukraine recently hosted the launch of a book of
articles by British journalist Lancelot Lawton, entitled “The Ukrainian
Question.” The publication of this book is an important event for the
Ukrainian public. Readers now have an opportunity to examine documents
that confirm the tragic events that occurred in Ukraine in the 1930s.

“The Ukrainian question is still one of the most important ones as far as
Europe is concerned. EU and NATO countries are paying a lot of attention
to developing good relations with Ukraine so that it will be stable,
prosperous, and independent,” British Ambassador Robert Brinkley told
The Day after presenting the “The Ukrainian Question.”

Lancelot Lawton was a British journalist and founding member of the
Anglo-Ukrainian Committee created in 1935, whose members were British
politicians, historians, and other individuals who were concerned about the
plight of Ukrainians.

The book contains the original speech “Ukrainian Question,” and its
Ukrainian translation, which was delivered in the British parliament in
1935, as well as the article “Ukraine, Europe’s Greatest Problem,” which
appeared in 1939.

The British ambassador said that it is very important that Lawton’s book has
appeared at this time. “This book shows that in the 1930s, when Britain and
the rest of Europe faced the rising menace of Hitler’s Nazi regime, there
were public figures in London who took an interest in the fate of Ukraine
and Ukrainians. Today this seems rather surprising. So, in my view, it is
important to reopen this fact of history and remember it,” Brinkley said.

The historian Serhiy Kot, a senior research associate at the Institute of
the History of Ukraine, who prepared the book for publication, told The Day
that the British journalist included an enormous amount of information in
his articles.

Written in a succinct style, these materials can be called a concise course
on the history and culture of Ukraine. Dr. Kot noted that the British
journalist had no links with Ukraine, i.e., he was not of Ukrainian descent.
Lawton freely joined the initiative of civic and political figures in Great
Britain, who wanted to encourage official London to establish closer
contacts with Ukraine.

“London took an interest in Ukraine: this is proved by the reports and
analytical notes concerning Ukraine, which were written by Moscow and
Warsaw consuls, and which dealt at length with the Holodomor.

In the 1930s the British wrote that the Holodomor had claimed five to seven
million human lives,” said Dr. Kot, noting that it took two years to trace
Lawton’s original articles, which were located at the Library of Congress in
the US. A total of 2,000 copies of the book have been printed.

Now the main thing is for the book to find its way to universities and
Eastern European research centers. “The book will also be useful to the
‘doubting Thomases’ in Ukraine, i.e., those who are skeptical about Ukraine.

They will read the British journalist’s articles and may adopt an entirely
different stance; they may rethink this page of Ukrainian history,” says Dr.
Kot.           -30-
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/162552/
————————————————————————————————-

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24. UKRAINIAN NATIONAL ASSOCIATION 36TH CONVENTION

Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #700, Article 23
Washington, D.C., Thursday, May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Ukrainian National Association (UNA) will hold its

36th Convention at Soyuzivka, the UNA resort in the Catskill Mountains
of New York State from the Friday the 26th through Monday the 29th of
May 2006.

Although much smaller than the 1970 Convention in Cleveland and the 1974
Convention in Philadelphia which hosted 431 and 426 delegates respectively,
the 2006 convention with its 100+ delegates still promises to be a major
event in the Ukrainian community.  The UNA has been a leader in the business
and social world of Ukraine’s Diaspora and hopes to continue this status in
the future.

Running for the Presidency of the UNA this time will be Walter Prochorenko,
a business executive with extensive international sales and marketing
background and experience. Dr. Prochorenko will be opposing the present
President of the UNA Mr. Stefan Kaczaraj who has held the post for the past
4 years.

The Convention promises to be a lively affair with honored guests such as
Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, Dr. Oleh Shamshur, His Excellency Bishop
Paul Patrick Chomnycky, and Ukraine’s Consul General in New York Mykola
Kyrychenko attending. Entertainment will be provided by the Dumka Choir of
NY, Baritone Oleh Chmyr. Violinist Marian Pidvirny, Singer Olya Fryz, and
the Syzokryli Dance Ensemble.              -30-
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25. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDOG UNHAPPY WITH UKRAINE
    Ukraine continues to treat prison inmates cruelly and violate human rights

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1600 gmt 23 May 06
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom; May 23, 2006

KIEV – [Presenter] The international fight against terrorism looks
increasingly like a fight against human rights, representatives of Amnesty
International in Ukraine have said.

Ukraine continues to treat prison inmates cruelly and violate human rights,
the annual report of this respectful organization has said.
[Correspondent] Racist and anti-Semite attacks, human trafficking and cruel
treatment of detainees – Ukraine has failed to get rid of all that, the
Amnesty International in Ukraine Annual Report says.

Representatives of the organization blame the guarantor of the constitution
[president] for systematic violations of human rights. In particular, the
organization holds President [Viktor] Yushchenko personally responsible for
the deportation of 11 Uzbeks who asked for political asylum.

[Nataliya Dulneyeva captioned as head of Amnesty International in Ukraine]
Amnesty International in Ukraine, Ukrainian Helsinki Committee and other
organizations for protection of human rights in Ukraine have started an
unlimited action that will be ended only when the investigation is complete,
when the cases of the 11 asylum-seekers are handed over to the High
Commissioner for Refugees in Ukraine and when those who are guilty are
punished.

Torturing and sending people for torturing, are the most serious violations
of human rights from our viewpoint. [Passage omitted: Amnesty International
criticizes the governments of Western countries for violations of human
rights.]            -30-
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5. Law firm UKRAINIAN LEGAL GROUP, Irina Paliashvili, President;
Kiev and Washington, general@rulg.com, www.rulg.com.
6. BAHRIANY FOUNDATION, INC., Dr. Anatol Lysyj, Chairman,
Minneapolis, Minnesota
7. VOLIA SOFTWARE, Software to Fit Your Business, Source your
IT work in Ukraine. Contact: Yuriy Sivitsky, Vice President, Marketing,
Kyiv, Ukraine, yuriy.sivitsky@softline.kiev.ua; Volia Software website:
http://www.volia-software.com/ or Bill Hunter, CEO Volia Software,
Houston, TX  77024; bill.hunter@volia-software.com.
8. ODUM– Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent,
Minnesota Chapter, Natalia Yarr, Chairperson
9. UKRAINE-U.S. BUSINESS COUNCIL, Washington, D.C.,
Dr. Susanne Lotarski, President/CEO; E. Morgan Williams,
SigmaBleyzer, Chairman, Executive Committee, Board of Directors;
John Stephens, Cape Point Capital, Secretary/Treasurer
10. UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA, South
Brown Brook, New Jersey, http://www.uocofusa.org
11. UKRAINIAN AMERICAN COORDINATING COUNCIL (UACC),
Ihor Gawdiak, President, Washington, D.C., New York, New York
12. U.S.-UKRAINE FOUNDATION (USUF), Nadia Komarnyckyj
McConnell, President; John Kun, Vice President/COO; Vera
Andruskiw, CPP Wash Project Director, Washington, D.C.; Markian
Bilynskyj, VP/Director of Field Operations; Marta Kolomayets, CPP
Kyiv Project Director, Kyiv, Ukraine. Web: http://www.USUkraine.org
13. WJ GROUP of Ag Companies, Kyiv, Ukraine, David Holpert, Chief
Financial Officer, Chicago, IL; http://www.wjgrain.com/en/links/index.html
14. EUGENIA SAKEVYCH DALLAS, Author, “One Woman, Five
Lives, Five Countries,” ‘Her life’s journey begins with the 1932-1933
genocidal famine in Ukraine.’ Hollywood, CA, www.eugeniadallas.com.
15. ALEX AND HELEN WOSKOB, College Station, Pennsylvania
16. SWIFT FOUNDATION, San Luis Obispo, California
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Constitution of Ukraine – 25 May 2006

CONSTITUTION OF UKRAINE

(as of 25 May 2006)

[Text effective as of 25 May 2006]

[Consolidated version by Ministry of Justice of Ukraine]

[Unofficial translation]

Source: Venice Commission

CORRECTED

– Table of contents –

Chapter I
General Principles

Chapter II
Human and Citizens’ Rights, Freedoms and Duties

Chapter III
Elections. Referendum

Chapter IV
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Chapter V
President of Ukraine

Chapter VI
Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Other Bodies of Executive Power

Chapter VII
Prokuratura

Chapter VIII
Justice

Chapter IX
Territorial Structure of Ukraine

Chapter X
Autonomous Republic of Crimea

Chapter XI
Local Self-Government

Chapter XII
Constitutional Court of Ukraine

Chapter XIII
Introducing Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine

Chapter XIV
Final Provisions

Chapter XV
Transitional Provisions


CONSTITUTION OF UKRAINE

(adopted at the Fifth Session f the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 28 June 1996

and amended on 8 December 2004 by Law No. 2222-IV)

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on behalf of the Ukrainian people – citizens of Ukraine of all ethnicities,

expressing the sovereign will of the people,

based on the centuries-old history of Ukrainian state-building and on the right to self-determination realised by the Ukrainian nation, all the Ukrainian people,

providing for the guarantee of human rights and freedoms and of the worthy conditions of human life,

caring for the strengthening of civil harmony on Ukrainian soil,

striving to develop and strengthen a democratic, social, law-based state,

aware of our responsibility before God, our own conscience, past, present and future generations,

guided by the Act of Declaration of the Independence of Ukraine of 24 August 1991, approved by the national vote of 1 December 1991,

adopts this Constitution – the Fundamental Law of Ukraine.

Chapter I

General Principles

Article 1

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social, law-based state.

Article 2

The sovereignty of Ukraine extends throughout its entire territory.

Ukraine is a unitary state.

The territory of Ukraine within its present border is indivisible and inviolable.

Article 3

The human being, his or her life and health, honour and dignity, inviolability and security are recognised in Ukraine as the highest social value.

Human rights and freedoms and their guarantees determine the essence and orientation of the activity of the State. The State is answerable to the individual for its activity. To affirm and ensure human rights and freedoms is the main duty of the State.

Article 4

There is single citizenship in Ukraine. The grounds for the acquisition and termination of Ukrainian citizenship are determined by law.

Article 5

Ukraine is a republic.

The people are the bearers of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine. The people exercise power directly and through bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government.

The right to determine and change the constitutional order in Ukraine belongs exclusively to the people and shall not be usurped by the State, its bodies or officials.

No one shall usurp state power.

Article 6

State power in Ukraine is exercised on the principles of its division into legislative, executive and judicial power.

Bodies of legislative, executive and judicial power exercise their authority within the limits established by this Constitution and in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

Article 7

In Ukraine, local self-government is recognised and guaranteed.

Article 8

In Ukraine, the principle of the rule of law is recognised and effective.

The Constitution of Ukraine has the highest legal force. Laws and other normative legal acts are adopted on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and shall conform to it.

The norms of the Constitution of Ukraine are norms of direct effect. Appeals to the court in defence of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the individual and citizen directly on the grounds of the Constitution of Ukraine are guaranteed.

Article 9

International treaties that are in force, agreed to be binding by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, are part of the national legislation of Ukraine.

The conclusion of international treaties that contravene the Constitution of Ukraine is possible only after introducing relevant amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine.

Article 10

The state language of Ukraine is the Ukrainian language.

The State ensures the comprehensive development and functioning of the Ukrainian language in all spheres of social life throughout the entire territory of Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed.

The State promotes the learning of languages of international communication.

The use of languages in Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and is determined by law.

Article 11

The State promotes the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation, of its historical consciousness, traditions and culture, and also the development of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine.

Article 12

Ukraine provides for the satisfaction of national and cultural, and linguistic needs of Ukrainians residing beyond the borders of the State.

Article 13

The land, its mineral wealth, atmosphere, water and other natural resources within the territory of Ukraine, the natural resources of its continental shelf, and the exclusive (maritime) economic zone, are objects of the right of property of the Ukrainian people. Ownership rights on behalf of the Ukrainian people are exercised by bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government within the limits determined by this Constitution.

Every citizen has the right to utilise the natural objects of the people’s right of property in accordance with the law.

Property entails responsibility. Property shall not be used to the detriment of the person and society.

The State ensures the protection of the rights of all subjects of the right of property and economic management, and the social orientation of the economy. All subjects of the right of property are equal before the law.

Article 14

Land is the fundamental national wealth that is under special state protection.

The right of property to land is guaranteed. This right is acquired and realised by citizens, legal persons and the State, exclusively in accordance with the law.

Article 15

Social life in Ukraine is based on the principles of political, economic and ideological diversity.

No ideology shall be recognised by the State as mandatory.

Censorship is prohibited.

The State guarantees freedom of political activity not prohibited by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 16

To ensure ecological safety and to maintain the ecological balance on the territory of Ukraine, to overcome the consequences of the Chornobyl catastrophe — a catastrophe of global scale, and to preserve the gene pool of the Ukrainian people, is the duty of the State.

Article 17

To protect the sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of Ukraine, and to ensure its economic and informational security are the most important functions of the State and a matter of concern for all the Ukrainian people.

The defence of Ukraine and the protection of its sovereignty, territorial indivisibility and inviolability, are entrusted to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ensuring state security and protecting the state border of Ukraine are entrusted to the respective military formations and law enforcement bodies of the State, whose organisation and operational procedure are determined by law.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations shall not be used by anyone to restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens or with the intent to overthrow the constitutional order, subvert the bodies of power or obstruct their activity.

The State ensures the social protection of citizens of Ukraine who serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in other military formations as well as of members of their families.

The creation and operation of any armed formations not envisaged by law are prohibited on the territory of Ukraine.

The location of foreign military bases shall not be permitted on the territory of Ukraine.

Article 18

The foreign political activity of Ukraine is aimed at ensuring its national interests and security by maintaining peaceful and mutually beneficial co-operation with members of the international community, according to generally acknowledged principles and norms of international law.

Article 19

The legal order in Ukraine is based on the principles according to which no one shall be forced to do what is not envisaged by legislation.

Bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government and their officials are obliged to act only on the grounds, within the limits of authority, and in the manner envisaged by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 20

The state symbols of Ukraine are the State Flag of Ukraine, the State Coat of Arms of Ukraine and the State Anthem of Ukraine.

The State Flag of Ukraine is a banner of two equally-sized horizontal bands of blue and yellow.

The Great State Coat of Arms of Ukraine shall be established with the consideration of the Small State Coat of Arms of Ukraine and the Coat of Arms of the Zaporozhian Host, by the law adopted by no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The main element of the Great State Coat of Arms of Ukraine is the Emblem of the Royal State of Volodymyr the Great (the Small State Coat of Arms of Ukraine).

The State Anthem of Ukraine is the national anthem set to the music of M. Verbytskyi, with words that are confirmed by the law adopted by no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The description of the state symbols of Ukraine and the procedure for their use shall be established by the law adopted by no less than two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The capital of Ukraine is the City of Kyiv.


Chapter II

Human and Citizens’ Rights, Freedoms and Duties

Article 21

All people are free and equal in their dignity and rights.

Human rights and freedoms are inalienable and inviolable.

Article 22

Human and citizens’ rights and freedoms affirmed by this Constitution are not exhaustive.

Constitutional rights and freedoms are guaranteed and shall not be abolished.

The content and scope of existing rights and freedoms shall not be diminished in the adoption of new laws or in the amendment of laws that are in force.

Article 23

Every person has the right to free development of his or her personality if the rights and freedoms of other persons are not violated thereby, and has duties before the society in which the free and comprehensive development of his or her personality is ensured.

Article 24

Citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law.

There shall be no privileges or restrictions based on race, colour of skin, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, ethnic and social origin, property status, place of residence, linguistic or other characteristics.

Equality of the rights of women and men is ensured: by providing women with opportunities equal to those of men, in public and political, and cultural activity, in obtaining education and in professional training, in work and its remuneration; by special measures for the protection of work and health of women; by establishing pension privileges, by creating conditions that allow women to combine work and motherhood; by legal protection, material and moral support of motherhood and childhood, including the provision of paid leaves and other privileges to pregnant women and mothers.

Article 25

A citizen of Ukraine shall not be deprived of citizenship and of the right to change citizenship.

A citizen of Ukraine shall not be expelled from Ukraine or surrendered to another state.

Ukraine guarantees care and protection to its citizens who are beyond its borders.

Article 26

Foreigners and stateless persons who are in Ukraine on legal grounds enjoy the same rights and freedoms and also bear the same duties as citizens of Ukraine, with the exceptions established by the Constitution, laws or international treaties of Ukraine.

Foreigners and stateless persons may be granted asylum by the procedure established by law.

Article 27

Every person has the inalienable right to life.

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life. The duty of the State is to protect human life.

Everyone has the right to protect his or her life and health, the lives and health of other persons against unlawful encroachments.

Article 28

Everyone has the right to respect of his or her dignity.

No one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that violates his or her dignity.

No person shall be subjected to medical, scientific or other experiments without his or her free consent.

Article 29

Every person has the right to freedom and personal inviolability.

No one shall be arrested or held in custody other than pursuant to a substantiated court decision and only on the grounds and in accordance with the procedure established by law.

In the event of an urgent necessity to prevent or stop a crime, bodies authorised by law may hold a person in custody as a temporary preventive measure, the reasonable grounds for which shall be verified by a court within seventy-two hours. The detained person shall be released immediately, if he or she has not been provided, within seventy-two hours from the moment of detention, with a substantiated court decision in regard to the holding in custody.

Everyone arrested or detained shall be informed without delay of the reasons for his or her arrest or detention, apprised of his or her rights, and from the moment of detention shall be given the opportunity to personally defend himself or herself, or to have the legal assistance of a defender.

Everyone detained has the right to challenge his or her detention in court at any time.

Relatives of an arrested or detained person shall be informed immediately of his or her arrest or detention.

Article 30

Everyone is guaranteed the inviolability of his or her dwelling place.

Entry into a dwelling place or other possessions of a person, and the examination or search thereof, shall not be permitted, other than pursuant to a substantiated court decision.

In urgent cases related to the preservation of human life and property or to the direct pursuit of persons suspected of committing a crime, another procedure established by law is possible for entry into a dwelling place or other possessions of a person, and for the examination and search thereof.

Article 31

Everyone is guaranteed privacy of mail, telephone conversations, telegraph and other correspondence. Exceptions shall be established only by a court in cases envisaged by law, with the purpose of preventing crime or ascertaining the truth in the course of the investigation of a criminal case, if it is not possible to obtain information by other means.

Article 32

No one shall be subject to interference in his or her personal and family life, except in cases envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine.

The collection, storage, use and dissemination of confidential information about a person without his or her consent shall not be permitted, except in cases determined by law, and only in the interests of national security, economic welfare and human rights.

Every citizen has the right to examine information about himself or herself, that is not a state secret or other secret protected by law, at the bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, institutions and organisations.

Everyone is guaranteed judicial protection of the right to rectify incorrect information about himself or herself and members of his or her family, and of the right to demand that any type of information be expunged, and also the right to compensation for material and moral damages inflicted by the collection, storage, use and dissemination of such incorrect information.

Article 33

Everyone who is legally present on the territory of Ukraine is guaranteed freedom of movement, free choice of place of residence, and the right to freely leave the territory of Ukraine, with the exception of restrictions established by law.

A citizen of Ukraine may not be deprived of the right to return to Ukraine at any time.

Article 34

Everyone is guaranteed the right to freedom of thought and speech, and to the free expression of his or her views and beliefs.

Everyone has the right to freely collect, store, use and disseminate information by oral, written or other means of his or her choice.

The exercise of these rights may be restricted by law in the interests of national security, territorial indivisibility or public order, with the purpose of preventing disturbances or crimes, protecting the health of the population, the reputation or rights of other persons, preventing the publication of information received confidentially, or supporting the authority and impartiality of justice.

Article 35

Everyone has the right to freedom of personal philosophy and religion. This right includes the freedom to profess or not to profess any religion, to perform alone or collectively and without constraint religious rites and ceremonial rituals, and to conduct religious activity.

The exercise of this right may be restricted by law only in the interests of protecting public order, the health and morality of the population, or protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons.

The Church and religious organisations in Ukraine are separated from the State, and the school — from the Church. No religion shall be recognised by the State as mandatory.

No one shall be relieved of his or her duties before the State or refuse to perform the laws for reasons of religious beliefs. In the event that the performance of military duty is contrary to the religious beliefs of a citizen, the performance of this duty shall be replaced by alternative (non-military) service.

Article 36

Citizens of Ukraine have the right to freedom of association in political parties and public organisations for the exercise and protection of their rights and freedoms and for the satisfaction of their political, economic, social, cultural and other interests, with the exception of restrictions established by law in the interests of national security and public order, the protection of the health of the population or the protection of rights and freedoms of other persons.

Political parties in Ukraine promote the formation and expression of the political will of citizens, and participate in elections. Only citizens of Ukraine may be members of political parties. Restrictions on membership in political parties are established exclusively by this Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Citizens have the right to take part in trade unions with the purpose of protecting their labour and socio-economic rights and interests. Trade unions are public organisations that unite citizens bound by common interests that accord with the nature of their professional activity. Trade unions are formed without prior permission on the basis of the free choice of their members. All trade unions have equal rights. Restrictions on membership in trade unions are established exclusively by this Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

No one may be forced to join any association of citizens or be restricted in his or her rights for belonging or not belonging to political parties or public organisations.

All associations of citizens are equal before the law.

Article 37

The establishment and activity of political parties and public associations are prohibited if their programme goals or actions are aimed at the liquidation of the independence of Ukraine, the change of the constitutional order by violent means, the violation of the sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of the State, the undermining of its security, the unlawful seizure of state power, the propaganda of war and of violence, the incitement of inter-ethnic, racial, or religious enmity, and the encroachment on human rights and freedoms and the health of the population.

Political parties and public associations shall not have paramilitary formations.

The creation and activity of organisational structures of political parties shall not be permitted within bodies of executive and judicial power and executive bodies of local self-government, in military formations, and also in state enterprises, educational establishments and other state institutions and organisations.

The prohibition of the activity of associations of citizens is exercised only through judicial procedure.

Article 38

Citizens have the right to participate in the administration of state affairs, in All-Ukrainian and local referendums, to freely elect and to be elected to bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government.

Citizens enjoy the equal right of access to the civil service and to service in bodies of local self-government.

Article 39

Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully without arms and to hold meetings, rallies, processions and demonstrations, upon notifying in advance the bodies of executive power or bodies of local self-government.

Restrictions on the exercise of this right may be established by a court in accordance with the law and only in the interests of national security and public order, with the purpose of preventing disturbances or crimes, protecting the health of the population, or protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons.

Article 40

Everyone has the right to file individual or collective petitions, or to personally appeal to bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, and to the officials and officers of these bodies, that are obliged to consider the petitions and to provide a substantiated reply within the term established by law.

Article 41

Everyone has the right to own, use and dispose of his or her property, and the results of his or her intellectual and creative activity.

The right of private property is acquired by the procedure determined by law.

In order to satisfy their needs, citizens may use the objects of the right of state and communal property in accordance with the law.

No one shall be unlawfully deprived of the right of property. The right of private property is inviolable.

The expropriation of objects of the right of private property may be applied only as an exception for reasons of social necessity, on the grounds of and by the procedure established by law, and on the condition of advance and complete compensation of their value. The expropriation of such objects with subsequent complete compensation of their value is permitted only under conditions of martial law or a state of emergency.

Confiscation of property may be applied only pursuant to a court decision, in the cases, in the extent and by the procedure established by law.

The use of property shall not cause harm to the rights, freedoms and dignity of citizens, the interests of society, aggravate the ecological situation and the natural qualities of land.

Article 42

Everyone has the right to entrepreneurial activity that is not prohibited by law.

The entrepreneurial activity of deputies, officials and officers of bodies of state power and of bodies of local self-government is restricted by law.

The State ensures the protection of competition in entrepreneurial activity. The abuse of a monopolistic position in the market, the unlawful restriction of competition, and unfair competition, shall not be permitted. The types and limits of monopolies are determined by law.

The State protects the rights of consumers, exercises control over the quality and safety of products and of all types of services and work, and promotes the activity of public consumer associations.

Article 43

Everyone has the right to labour, including the possibility to earn one’s living by labour that he or she freely chooses or to which he or she freely agrees.

The State creates conditions for citizens to fully realise their right to labour, guarantees equal opportunities in the choice of profession and of types of labour activity, implements programmes of vocational education, training and retraining of personnel according to the needs of society.

The use of forced labour is prohibited. Military or alternative (non-military) service, and also work or service carried out by a person in compliance with a verdict or other court decision, or in accordance with the laws on martial law or on a state of emergency, are not considered to be forced labour.

Everyone has the right to proper, safe and healthy work conditions, and to remuneration no less than the minimum wage as determined by law.

The employment of women and minors for work that is hazardous to their health, is prohibited.

Citizens are guaranteed protection from unlawful dismissal.

The right to timely payment for labour is protected by law.

Article 44

Those who are employed have the right to strike for the protection of their economic and social interests.

The procedure for exercising the right to strike is established by law, taking into account the necessity to ensure national security, health protection, and rights and freedoms of other persons.

No one shall be forced to participate or not to participate in a strike.

The prohibition of a strike is possible only on the basis of the law.

Article 45

Everyone who is employed has the right to rest.

This right is ensured by providing weekly rest days and also paid annual vacation, by establishing a shorter working day for certain professions and industries, and reduced working hours at night.

The maximum number of working hours, the minimum duration of rest and of paid annual vacation, days off and holidays as well as other conditions for exercising this right, are determined by law.

Article 46

Citizens have the right to social protection that includes the right to provision in cases of complete, partial or temporary disability, the loss of the principal wage-earner, unemployment due to circumstances beyond their control and also in old age, and in other cases established by law.

This right is guaranteed by general mandatory state social insurance on account of the insurance payments of citizens, enterprises, institutions and organisations, and also from budgetary and other sources of social security; by the establishment of a network of state, communal and private institutions to care for persons incapable of work.

Pensions and other types of social payments and assistance that are the principal sources of subsistence, shall ensure a standard of living not lower than the minimum living standard established by law.

Article 47

Everyone has the right to housing. The State creates conditions that enable every citizen to build, purchase as property, or to rent housing.

Citizens in need of social protection are provided with housing by the State and bodies of local self-government, free of charge or at a price affordable for them, in accordance with the law.

No one shall be forcibly deprived of housing other than on the basis of the law pursuant to a court decision.

Article 48

Everyone has the right to a standard of living sufficient for himself or herself and his or her family that includes adequate nutrition, clothing and housing.

Article 49

Everyone has the right to health protection, medical care and medical insurance.

Health protection is ensured through state funding of the relevant socio-economic, medical and sanitary, health improvement and prophylactic programmes.

The State creates conditions for effective medical service accessible to all citizens. State and communal health protection institutions provide medical care free of charge; the existing network of such institutions shall not be reduced. The State promotes the development of medical institutions of all forms of ownership.

The State provides for the development of physical culture and sports, and ensures sanitary-epidemic welfare.

Article 50

Everyone has the right to an environment that is safe for life and health, and to compensation for damages inflicted through the violation of this right.

Everyone is guaranteed the right of free access to information about the environmental situation, the quality of food and consumer goods, and also the right to disseminate such information. No one shall make such information secret.

Article 51

Marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man. Each of the spouses has equal rights and duties in the marriage and family.

Parents are obliged to support their children until they attain the age of majority. Adult children are obliged to care for their parents who are incapable of work.

The family, childhood, motherhood and fatherhood are under the protection of the State.

Article 52

Children are equal in their rights regardless of their origin and whether they are born in or out of wedlock.

Any violence against a child, or his or her exploitation, shall be prosecuted by law.

The maintenance and upbringing of orphans and children deprived of parental care is entrusted to the State. The State encourages and supports charitable activity in regard to children.

Article 53

Everyone has the right to education.

Complete general secondary education is compulsory.

The State ensures accessible and free pre-school, complete general secondary, vocational and higher education in state and communal educational establishments; the development of pre-school, complete general secondary, extra-curricular, vocational, higher and post-graduate education, various forms of instruction; the provision of state scholarships and privileges to pupils and students.

Citizens have the right to obtain free higher education in state and communal educational establishments on a competitive basis.

Citizens who belong to national minorities are guaranteed in accordance with the law the right to receive instruction in their native language, or to study their native language in state and communal educational establishments and through national cultural societies.

Article 54

Citizens are guaranteed the freedom of literary, artistic, scientific and technical creativity, protection of intellectual property, their copyrights, moral and material interests that arise with regard to various types of intellectual activity.

Every citizen has the right to the results of his or her intellectual, creative activity; no one shall use or distribute them without his or her consent, with the exceptions established by law.

The State promotes the development of science and the establishment of scientific relations of Ukraine with the world community.

Cultural heritage is protected by law.

The State ensures the preservation of historical monuments and other objects of cultural value, and takes measures to return to Ukraine the cultural treasures of the nation, that are located beyond its borders.

Article 55

Human and citizens’ rights and freedoms are protected by the court.

Everyone is guaranteed the right to challenge in court the decisions, actions or omission of bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, officials and officers.

Everyone has the right to appeal for the protection of his or her rights to the Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

After exhausting all domestic legal remedies, everyone has the right to appeal for the protection of his or her rights and freedoms to the relevant international judicial institutions or to the relevant bodies of international organisations of which Ukraine is a member or participant.

Everyone has the right to protect his or her rights and freedoms from violations and illegal encroachments by any means not prohibited by law.

Article 56

Everyone has the right to compensation, at the expense of the State or bodies of local self-government, for material and moral damages inflicted by unlawful decisions, actions or omission of bodies of state power, bodies of local self-government, their officials and officers during the exercise of their authority.

Article 57

Everyone is guaranteed the right to know his or her rights and duties.

Laws and other normative legal acts that determine the rights and duties of citizens shall be brought to the notice of the population by the procedure established by law.

Laws and other normative legal acts that determine the rights and duties of citizens, but that are not brought to the notice of the population by the procedure established by law, are not in force.

Article 58

Laws and other normative legal acts have no retroactive force, except in cases where they mitigate or annul the responsibility of a person.

No one shall bear responsibility for acts that, at the time they were committed, were not deemed by law to be an offence.

Article 59

Everyone has the right to legal assistance. Such assistance is provided free of charge in cases envisaged by law. Everyone is free to choose the defender of his or her rights.

In Ukraine, the advocacy acts to ensure the right to a defence against accusation and to provide legal assistance in deciding cases in courts and other state bodies.

Article 60

No one is obliged to execute rulings or orders that are manifestly criminal.

For the issuance or execution of a manifestly criminal ruling or order, legal liability arises.

Article 61

For one and the same offence, no one shall be brought twice to legal liability of the same type.

The legal liability of a person is of an individual character.

Article 62

A person is presumed innocent of committing a crime and shall not be subjected to criminal punishment until his or her guilt is proved through legal procedure and established by a court verdict of guilty.

No one is obliged to prove his or her innocence of committing a crime.

An accusation shall not be based on illegally obtained evidence as well as on assumptions. All doubts in regard to the proof of guilt of a person are interpreted in his or her favour.

In the event that a court verdict is revoked as unjust, the State compensates the material and moral damages inflicted by the groundless conviction.

Article 63

A person shall not bear responsibility for refusing to testify or to explain anything about himself or herself, members of his or her family or close relatives in the degree determined by law.

A suspect, an accused, or a defendant has the right to a defence.

A convicted person enjoys all human and citizens’ rights, with the exception of restrictions determined by law and established by a court verdict.

Article 64

Constitutional human and citizens’ rights and freedoms shall not be restricted, except in cases envisaged by the Constitution of Ukraine.

Under conditions of martial law or a state of emergency, specific restrictions on rights and freedoms may be established with the indication of the period of effectiveness of these restrictions. The rights and freedoms envisaged in Articles 24, 25, 2 7, 28, 29, 40, 47, 51, 52, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62 and 63 of this Constitution shall not be restricted.

Article 65

Defence of the Motherland, of the independence and territorial indivisibility of Ukraine, and respect for its state symbols, are the duties of citizens of Ukraine.

Citizens perform military service in accordance with the law.

Article 66

Everyone is obliged not to harm nature, cultural heritage and to compensate for any damage he or she inflicted.

Article 67

Everyone is obliged to pay taxes and levies in accordance with the procedure and in the extent established by law.

All citizens annually file declarations with the tax inspection at their place of residence, on their property status and income for the previous year, by the procedure established by law.

Article 68

Everyone is obliged to strictly abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, and not to encroach upon the rights and freedoms, honour and dignity of other persons.

Ignorance of the law shall not exempt from legal liability.


Chapter III

Elections. Referendum

Article 69

The expression of the will of the people is exercised through elections, referendum and other forms of direct democracy.

Article 70

Citizens of Ukraine who have attained the age of eighteen on the day elections and referendums are held, have the right to vote at the elections and referendums.

Citizens deemed by a court to be incompetent do not have the right to vote.

Article 71

Elections to bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government are free and are held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

Voters are guaranteed the free expression of their will.

Article 72

An All-Ukrainian referendum is designated by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or by the President of Ukraine, in accordance with their authority established by this Constitution.

An All-Ukrainian referendum is called on popular initiative on the request of no less than three million citizens of Ukraine who have the right to vote, on the condition that the signatures in favour of designating the referendum have been collected in no less than two-thirds of the oblasts, with no less than 100 000 signatures in each oblast.

Article 73

Issues of altering the territory of Ukraine are resolved exclusively by an All-Ukrainian referendum.

Article 74

A referendum shall not be permitted in regard to draft laws on issues of taxes, the budget and amnesty.


Chapter IV

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Article 75

The sole body of legislative power in Ukraine is the Parliament — the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 76

The constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is 450 People’s Deputies of Ukraine who are elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

A citizen of Ukraine who has attained the age of twenty-one on the day of elections, has the right to vote, and has resided on the territory of Ukraine for the past five years, shall be eligible to be elected a People’s Deputy of Ukraine.

A citizen who has a criminal record for committing an intentional crime shall not be eligible to be elected to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine if the record is not cancelled and erased under the procedure established by law.

The authority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine is determined by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

The term of office of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is five years.

Article 77

Regular elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine take place on the last Sunday of the last month of the fifth year of the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are designated by the President of Ukraine and are held within sixty days from the day of the publication of the decision on the pre-term termination of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The procedure for conducting elections of People’s Deputies of Ukraine is established by law.

Article 78

People’s Deputies of Ukraine exercise their authority on a permanent basis.

People’s Deputies of Ukraine shall not have any other representative mandate, be in the civil service, hold any other paid offices, carry out other gainful or entrepreneurial activity (with the exception of teaching, scientific, and creative activities), or to be a member of the governing body or supervisory council of an enterprise or a profit-seeking organisation.

Requirements concerning the incompatibility of the deputy’s mandate with other types of activity are established by law.

Where there emerge circumstances infringing requirements concerning the incompatibility of the deputy’s mandate with other types of activity, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine shall within twenty days from the date of the emergence of such circumstances discontinue such activity or lodge a personal application for divesting of People’s Deputy authority.

Article 79

Before assuming office, People’s Deputies of Ukraine take the following oath before the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine:

“I swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself with all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and for the welfare of the Ukrainian people.

I swear to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to carry out my duties in the interests of all compatriots.”

The oath is read by the eldest People’s Deputy of Ukraine before the opening of the first session of the newly-elected Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, after which the deputies affirm the oath with their signatures below its text.

The refusal to take the oath results in the loss of the mandate of the deputy.

The authority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine commences from the moment of the taking of the oath.

Article 80

People’s Deputies of Ukraine are guaranteed parliamentary immunity.

People’s Deputies of Ukraine are not legally liable for the results of voting or for statements made in Parliament and in its bodies, with the exception of liability for insult or defamation.

People’s Deputies of Ukraine shall not be held criminally liable, detained or arrested without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 81

The authority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine terminates simultaneously with the termination of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The authority of a People’s Deputy of Ukraine shall terminate prior to the expiration of his or her term in office in the event of:

(1) his or her resignation through a personal application;

(2) a guilty verdict against him or her entering into legal force;

(3) a court declaring him or her incapacitated or missing;

(4) termination of his or her citizenship or his or her departure from Ukraine for permanent residence abroad;

(5) his or her failure, within twenty days from the date of the emergence of circumstances leading to the infringement of requirements concerning the incompatibility of the deputy’s mandate with other types of activity, to remove such circumstances;

(6) his or her failure, as having been elected from a political party (an electoral bloc of political parties), to join the parliamentary faction representing the same political party (the same electoral bloc of political parties) or his or her exit from such a faction;

(7) his or her death.

The pre-term termination of the authority of a People’s Deputy of Ukraine shall also be caused by the early termination, under the Constitution of Ukraine, of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, with such termination of the Deputy’s authority taking effect on the date when the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation opens its first meeting.

A decision on pre-term termination of the authority of a People’s Deputy of Ukraine on grounds referred to in subparagraphs (1), (4) of the second paragraph of this Article shall be made by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, while the ground referred to in subparagraph (5) of the second paragraph of this Article shall be a matter to be decided by court.

Where a guilty verdict against a People’s Deputy of Ukraine becomes legally effective or where a court declares a People’s Deputy of Ukraine incapacitated or missing, his or her powers terminate on the date when the court decision becomes legally effective, while in the event of the Deputy’s death – on the date of his or her death as certified by the relevant document.

Where a People’s Deputy of Ukraine, as having been elected from a political party (an electoral bloc of political parties), fails to join the parliamentary faction representing the same political party (the same electoral bloc of political parties) or exits from such a faction, the highest steering body of the respective political party (electoral bloc of political parties) shall decide to terminate early his or her authority on the basis of a law, with the termination taking effect on the date of such a decision.

Article 82

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine works in sessions.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is competent on the condition that no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition has been elected.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine assembles for its first session no later than on the thirtieth day after the official announcement of the election results.

The first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is opened by the eldest People’s Deputy of Ukraine.

Article 83

Regular sessions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine commence on the first Tuesday of February and on the first Tuesday of September each year.

Special sessions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, with the stipulation of their agenda, are convoked by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on the demand of the President of Ukraine or on the demand of no fewer People’s Deputies of Ukraine than one-third of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

In the event that the President of Ukraine declares, by proclaiming a decree, a state of martial law or of emergency upon the whole territory of Ukraine or in some areas of the State, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall assemble within two days without convocation.

In the event that the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expires while a state of martial law or of emergency is in effect, its powers are extended until the day when the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine elected after the cancellation of the state of martial law or of emergency convenes its first meeting of the first session.

Rules on the conduct of work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be laid down in the Constitution of Ukraine and the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

According to election results and on the basis of a common ground achieved between various political positions, a coalition of parliamentary factions shall be formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to include a majority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine within the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

A coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be formed within a month from the date of the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to be held following regular or special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, or within a month from the date when activities of a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine terminated.

A coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine submits to the President of Ukraine, in accordance with this Constitution, proposals concerning a candidature for the office of the Prime Minister of Ukraine and also, in accordance with this Constitution, submits proposals concerning candidatures for the membership of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Framework for forming, organising, and terminating activities of a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be established by the Constitution of Ukraine and the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

A parliamentary faction in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine whose members make up a majority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine within the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall enjoy the same rights under this Constitution as a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 84

Meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are conducted openly. A closed meeting is conducted on the decision of the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Decisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are adopted exclusively at its plenary meetings by voting.

Voting at the meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is performed by a People’s Deputy of Ukraine in person.

Article 85

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine comprises:

(1) introducing amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine within the limits and under the procedure specified in Chapter XIII of this Constitution;

(2) instituting an All-Ukrainian referendum on issues referred to in Article 73 of this Constitution;

(3) adopting laws;

(4) approving the State Budget of Ukraine and introducing amendments thereto; exercising control over the implementation of the State Budget of Ukraine and adopting decision in regard to the report on its implementation;

(5) determining the principles of domestic and foreign policy;

(6) approving national programmes of economic, scientific-technical, social, national-cultural development, and of the protection of the environment;

(7) calling elections of the President of Ukraine within the terms specified in this Constitution;

(8) hearing annual and special messages of the President of Ukraine on the internal and external situation of Ukraine;

(9) declaring war upon the submission by the President of Ukraine and concluding peace; approving a decision by the President of Ukraine on the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations in the event of armed aggression against Ukraine;

(10) removing the President of Ukraine from office under a special procedure (impeachment) as provided for in Article 111 of this Constitution;

(11) considering and adopting a decision in regard to the approval of the Programme of Activity of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

(12) appointing to office – upon the submission by the President of Ukraine – the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; appointing to office – upon the submission by the Prime Minister of Ukraine – other members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Chairperson of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, the Head of the State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, and the Head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine; dismissing from office the officials mentioned above; deciding on the resignation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine and of members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

(12) appointing to office and dismissing from office – upon the submission by the President of Ukraine – the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine;

(13) exercising control over activities of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, in accordance with this Constitution and law;

(14) confirming decisions on loans and economic aid to be granted by Ukraine to foreign states and international organisations and also decisions on the receipt by Ukraine of loans not envisaged by the State Budget of Ukraine from foreign states, banks and international financial organisations; exercising control over the use of such funds;

(15) adopting the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

(16) appointing to office and dismissing from office the Chairperson and other members of the Chamber of Accounting;

(17) appointing to office and dismissing from office the Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; hearing his or her annual reports on the situation with regard to the observance and protection of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine;

(18) appointing to office and dismissing from office the Head of the National Bank of Ukraine upon the submission by the President of Ukraine;

(19) appointing and dismissing one-half of the membership of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine;

(20) appointing and dismissing one-half of the membership of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting;

(21) appointing to office and dismissing from office, upon the submission of the President of Ukraine, the members of the Central Electoral Commission;

(22) approving the general structure and numerical strength of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military formations created in accordance with laws of Ukraine, and of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, as well as defining their functions;

(23) approving decisions on providing military assistance to other states, on sending units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to a foreign state, or on admitting units of armed forces of foreign states onto the territory of Ukraine;

(24) establishing national symbols of Ukraine;

(25) granting consent for the appointment to office or dismissing from office by the President of Ukraine of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine; taking a vote of no confidence in the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, the result of which shall be his or her resignation from office;

(26) appointing and dismissing one-third of the members of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine;

(27) electing judges for permanent terms;

(28) causing the early termination of the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea where the Constitutional Court of Ukraine finds that the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has violated the Constitution of Ukraine or laws of Ukraine; calling special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

(29) establishing and abolishing districts, establishing and altering the boundaries of districts and cities, assigning localities to the category of cities, naming and renaming localities and districts;

(30) calling regular and special elections to bodies of local self-government;

(31) giving its approval to decrees by the President of Ukraine – within two days from the moment of the President’s address – on introducing a state of martial law or of emergency in Ukraine or in its some areas, on declaring total or partial mobilisation, and on declaring particular areas to be ecological emergency zones;

(32) granting consent – by adopting a law – to the binding character of international treaties of Ukraine and denouncing international treaties of Ukraine;

(33) exercising parliamentary control within the scope provided for by this Constitution;

(34) adopting decisions on forwarding an inquiry to the President of Ukraine at request by a People’s Deputy of Ukraine, a group of People’s Deputies or by a Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, provided that such a request has been previously supported by no less than one-third of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

(35) appointing to office and dismissing from office the Head of Staff of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; approving the budget of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the structure of its staff;

(36) approving the list of objects owned by the State that are not subject to privatisation; establishing legal principles of the expropriation of objects of private ownership;

(37) approving by law of the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and amendments thereto.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall also exercise any other powers falling within its competence under the Constitution of Ukraine.

Article 86

At a session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, a People’s Deputy of Ukraine has the right to present an inquiry to the bodies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, chief officers of other bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government, and also to the chief executives of enterprises, institutions and organisations located on the territory of Ukraine, irrespective of their subordination and forms of ownership.

Chief officers of bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government, chief executives of enterprises, institutions and organisations are obliged to notify a People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the results of the consideration of his or her inquiry.

Article 87

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on the proposal of the President of Ukraine or no fewer People’s Deputies of Ukraine than one-third of its constitutional composition, may consider the issue of responsibility of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and adopt a resolution of no confidence in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine by the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The issue of responsibility of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall not be considered by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine more than once during one regular session, and also within one year after the approval of the Programme of Activity of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine or during the last session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 88

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine elects from among its members the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the First Deputy Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and recalls them from these offices.

The Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine:

1) presides at meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

2) organises work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and co-ordinates activities of its bodies;

3) signs acts adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

4) represents the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in relations with other bodies of state power of Ukraine and with the bodies of power of other states;

5) organises the work of the staff of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine exercises authority envisaged by this Constitution, by the procedure established by the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 89

To perform the work of legislative drafting, to prepare and conduct the preliminary consideration of issues ascribed to its authority as well as to exercise control functions according to the Constitution of Ukraine the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine establishes from People’s Deputies of Ukraine committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and elects Chairpersons to these Committees, their First Deputies, Deputies and Secretaries.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, within the limits of its authority, may establish temporary special commissions for the preparation and the preliminary consideration of issues.

To investigate issues of public interest, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine establishes temporary investigatory commissions, if no less than one-third of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has voted in favour thereof.

The conclusions and proposals of temporary investigatory commissions are not decisive for investigation and court.

The organisation and operational procedure of committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and also its temporary special and temporary investigatory commissions, are established by law.

Article 90

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is terminated on the day of the opening of the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation.

The President of Ukraine may terminate the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine prior to the expiration of term, if:

(1) there is a failure to form within one month a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as provided for in Article 83 of this Constitution;

(2) there is a failure, within sixty days following the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, to form the personal composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

(3) the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine fails, within thirty days of a single regular session, to commence its plenary meetings.

The early termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be decided by the President of Ukraine following relevant consultations with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and with Chairpersons of Verkhovna Rada parliamentary factions.

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, that is elected at special elections conducted after the pre-term termination by the President of Ukraine of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the previous convocation, shall not be terminated within one year from the day of its election.

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall not be terminated during the last six months of the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or President of Ukraine.

Article 91

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopts laws, resolutions and other acts by the majority of its constitutional composition, except in cases envisaged by this Constitution.

Article 92

The following are determined exclusively by the laws of Ukraine:

1) human and citizens’ rights and freedoms, the guarantees of these rights and freedoms; the main duties of the citizen;

2) citizenship, the legal personality of citizens, the status of foreigners and stateless persons;

3) the rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities;

4) the procedure for the use of languages;

5) the principles of the use of natural resources, the exclusive (maritime) economic zone and the continental shelf, the exploration of outer space, the organisation and operation of power supply systems, transportation and communications;

6) the fundamentals of social protection, the forms and types of pension provision; the principles of the regulation of labour and employment, marriage, family, the protection of childhood, motherhood and fatherhood; upbringing, education, culture and health care; ecological safety;

7) the legal regime of property;

8) the legal principles and guarantees of entrepreneurship; the rules of competition and the norms of antimonopoly regulation;

9) the principles of foreign relations, foreign economic activity and customs;

10) the principles of the regulation of demographic and migration processes;

11) the principles of the establishment and activity of political parties, other associations of citizens, and the mass media;

12) the organisation and activity of bodies of executive power, the fundamentals of civil service, the organisation of state statistics and informatics;

13) the territorial structure of Ukraine;

14) the judicial system, judicial proceedings, the status of judges, the principles of judicial expertise, the organisation and operation of the procuracy, the bodies of inquiry and investigation, the notary, the bodies and institutions for the execution of punishments; the fundamentals of the organisation and activity of the advocacy;

15) the principles of local self-government;

16) the status of the capital of Ukraine; the special status of other cities;

17) the fundamentals of national security, the organisation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and ensuring public order;

18) the legal regime of the state border;

19) the legal regime of martial law and a state of emergency, zones of an ecological emergency situation;

20) the organisation and procedure for conducting elections and referendums;

21) the organisation and operational procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the status of People’s Deputies of Ukraine;

22) the principles of civil legal liability; acts that are crimes, administrative or disciplinary offences, and liability for them.

The following are established exclusively by the laws of Ukraine:

1) the State Budget of Ukraine and the budgetary system of Ukraine; the system of taxation, taxes and levies; the principles of the formation and operation of financial, monetary, credit and investment markets; the status of the national currency and also the status of foreign currencies on the territory of Ukraine; the procedure for the formation and payment of state domestic and foreign debt; the procedure for the issuance and circulation of state securities, their types and forms;

2) the procedure for deploying units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to other states; the procedure for admitting and the terms for stationing units of armed forces of other states on the territory of Ukraine;

3) units of weight, measure and time; the procedure for establishing state standards;

4) the procedure for the use and protection of state symbols;

5) state awards;

6) military ranks, diplomatic and other special ranks;

7) state holidays;

8) the procedure for the establishment and functioning of free and other special zones that have an economic and migration regime different from the general regime.

Amnesty is declared by the law of Ukraine.

Article 93

The right of legislative initiative in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine belongs to the President of Ukraine, the People’s Deputies of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Draft laws defined by the President of Ukraine as not postponable, are considered out of turn by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 94

The Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine signs a law and forwards it without delay to the President of Ukraine.

Within fifteen days of the receipt of a law, the President of Ukraine signs it, accepting it for execution, and officially promulgates it, or returns it to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with substantiated and formulated proposals for repeat consideration.

In the event that the President of Ukraine has not returned a law for repeat consideration within the established term, the law is deemed to be approved by the President of Ukraine and shall be signed and officially promulgated.

Where a law, during its repeat consideration, is again adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by no less than two-thirds of its constitutional membership, the President of Ukraine is obliged to sign and to officially promulgate it within ten days. In the event that the President of Ukraine does not sign such a law, it shall be without delay promulgated officially by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and published under his or her signature.

A law enters into force in ten days from the day of its official promulgation, unless otherwise envisaged by the law itself, but not prior to the day of its publication.

Article 95

The budgetary system of Ukraine is built on the principles of just and impartial distribution of social wealth among citizens and territorial communities.

Any state expenditures for the needs of the entire society, the extent and purposes of these expenditures, are determined exclusively by the law on the State Budget of Ukraine.

The State aspires to a balanced budget of Ukraine.

Regular reports on revenues and expenditures of the State Budget of Ukraine shall be made public.

Article 96

The State Budget of Ukraine is annually approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the period from 1 January to 31 December, and under special circumstances for a different period.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine submits the draft law on the State Budget of Ukraine for the following year to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine no later than on 15 September of each year. The report on the course of the implementation of the State Budget of Ukraine in the current year is submitted together with the draft law.

Article 97

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine submits the report on the implementation of the State Budget of Ukraine to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in accordance with the law.

The submitted report shall be made public.

Article 98

The Chamber of Accounting shall, on behalf of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, exercise control over State Budget revenues and the use of State Budget funds.

Article 99

The monetary unit of Ukraine is the hryvnia.

To ensure the stability of the monetary unit is the major function of the central bank of the State — the National Bank of Ukraine.

Article 100

The Council of the National Bank of Ukraine elaborates the basic principles of monetary and credit policy and exercises control over its execution.

The legal status of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine is determined by law.

Article 101

The Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine exercises parliamentary control over the observance of constitutional human and citizens’ rights and freedoms.


Chapter V

President of Ukraine

Article 102

The President of Ukraine is the Head of State and acts in its name.

The President of Ukraine is the guarantor of state sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of Ukraine, the observance of the Constitution of Ukraine and human and citizens’ rights and freedoms.

Article 103

The President of Ukraine is elected by the citizens of kraine for a five-year term, on the basis of univrsal, equal and direct suffrage, by scret ballot.

A citizen of Ukraine who has attained the age of thirty-ive, has the right to vote, has resided in Ukrainefor the past ten years prior to the day of elctions, and has command of the sate language, may be elected as the President of Ukraine.

One and the same person shall not be the President of Ukraine for more thn two consecutive terms.

The President of Ukraine shall not have another epresentative mandate, hold office in bodis of state power or in associationsof citizens, and also perform any other paid or entrepreneurial activity, or be a ember of an administative body or board of supervisors of an enterprise that is aimed at making profit.

Regular elections of the President of Ukraine are held on the last Sunday of the last month of the fifth year of the term of authority of the President of Ukraine. In the event of pre-term termination of authority of the President of Ukraine, elections of t he President of Ukraine are held within ninety days from the day of termination of the authority.

The procedure for conducting elections of the President of Ukraine is established by law.

Article 104

The newly-elected President of Ukraine assumes office no later than in thirty days after the official announcement of the election results, from the moment of taking the oath to the people at a ceremonial meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine administers the oath to the President of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine takes the following oath:

“I, (name and surname), elected by the will of the people as the President of Ukraine, assuming this high office, do solemnly swear allegiance to Ukraine. I pledge with all my undertakings to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and the welfare of the Ukrainian people, to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, to abide by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to exercise my duties in the interests of all compatriots, and t o enhance the prestige of Ukraine in the world.”

The President of Ukraine, elected by special elections, takes the oath within five days after the official announcement of the election results.

Article 105

The President of Ukraine enjoys the right of immunity during the term of authority.

Persons guilty of offending the honour and dignity of the President of Ukraine are brought to responsibility on the basis of the law.

The title of President of Ukraine is protected by law and is reserved for the President for life, unless the President of Ukraine has been removed from office by the procedure of impeachment.

Article 106

The President of Ukraine:

1) ensures state independence, national security and the legal succession of the state;

2) addresses the people with messages and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with annual and special messages on the domestic and foreign situation of Ukraine;

3) represents the state in international relations, administers the foreign political activity of the State, conducts negotiations and concludes international treaties of Ukraine;

4) adopts decisions on the recognition of foreign states;

5) appoints and dismisses heads of diplomatic missions of Ukraine to other states and to international organisations; accepts credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives of foreign states;

6) designates an All-Ukrainian referendum regarding amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in accordance with Article 156 of this Constitution, proclaims an All-Ukrainian referendum on popular initiative;

7) designates special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine within the terms established by this Constitution;

8) terminates the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in cases specified by this Constitution;

9) puts forward, upon the proposal by the parliamentary coalition formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as provided for by Article 83 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the submission on the appointment by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, no later than fifteen days after the receipt of such a proposal;

10) puts forward to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the submission on the appointment of the Minister of Defence of Ukraine and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine;

11) appoints to office and dismisses from office the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

12) appoints and dismisses one-half of the composition of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine;

13) appoints and dismisses one-half of the composition of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting;

14) puts forward to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the submission on the appointment to office and dismissal from office of the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine;

15) suspends the operation of acts by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on grounds of their inconsistency with this Constitution and challenges concurrently the constitutionality of such acts before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine;

16) revokes acts of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

17) is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; appoints to office and dismisses from office the high command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations; administers in the spheres of national security and defence of the State;

18) heads the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine;

19) puts forward to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the submission on the declaration of a state of war, and, in case of armed aggression against Ukraine, adopts a decision on the use of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations established in accordance with laws of Ukraine;

20) adopts a decision in accordance with the law on the general or partial mobilisation and the introduction of martial law in Ukraine or in its particular areas, in the event of a threat of aggression, danger to the state independence of Ukraine;

21) adopts a decision, in the event of necessity, on the introduction of a state of emergency in Ukraine or in its particular areas, and also in the event of necessity, declares certain areas of Ukraine as zones of an ecological emergency situation — with subsequent confirmation of these decisions by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

22) appoints and dismisses one-third of the composition to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine;

23) establishes courts by the procedure determined by law;

24) confers high military ranks, high diplomatic and other high special ranks and class orders;

25) confers state awards; establishes presidential distinctions and confers them;

26) adopts decisions on the acceptance for citizenship of Ukraine and the termination of citizenship of Ukraine, and on the granting of asylum in Ukraine;

27) grants pardons;

28) creates, within the limits of the funds envisaged in the State Budget of Ukraine, consultative, advisory and other subsidiary bodies and services for the exercise of his or her authority;

29) signs laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

30) has the right to veto laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (except for laws on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine) with their subsequent return for repeat consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

31) exercises other powers determined by the Constitution of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine shall not transfer his or her powers to other persons or bodies.

The President of Ukraine, on the basis and for the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, issues decrees and directives that are mandatory for execution on the territory of Ukraine.

Acts of the President of Ukraine, issued within the limits of authority as envisaged in subparagraphs 5, 18, 21, and 23 of this Article, are co-signed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine and the Minister responsible for the act and its execution.

Article 107

The Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine is the co-ordinating body to the President of Ukraine on issues of national security and defence.

The Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine co-ordinates and controls the activity of bodies of executive power in the sphere of national security and defence.

The President of Ukraine is the Chairperson of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine forms the personal composition of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, are ex officio members of the Council of Nation al Security and Defence of Ukraine.

The Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine may take part in the meetings of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine.

Decisions of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine are put into effect by decrees of the President of Ukraine.

The competence and functions of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine are determined by law.

Article 108

The President of Ukraine exercises his or her powers until the assumption of office by the newly-elected President of Ukraine.

The powers of the President of Ukraine terminate prior to the expiration of term in cases of:

1) resignation;

2) inability to exercise his or her powers for reasons of health;

3) removal from office by the procedure of impeachment;

4) death.

Article 109

The resignation of the President of Ukraine enters into force from the moment he or she personally announces the statement of resignation at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 110

The inability of the President of Ukraine to exercise his or her powers for reasons of health shall be determined at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and confirmed by a decision adopted by the majority of its constitutional composition on the basis of a petition of the Supreme Court of Ukraine – on the appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and a medical opinion.

Article 111

The President of Ukraine may be removed from office by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by the procedure of impeachment, in the event that he or she commits state treason or other crime.

The issue of the removal of the President of Ukraine from office by the procedure of impeachment is initiated by the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

To conduct the investigation, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine establishes a special temporary investigatory commission whose composition includes a special Prosecutor and special investigators.

The conclusions and proposals of the temporary investigatory commission are considered at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

For cause, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, by no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition, adopts a decision on the accusation of the President of Ukraine.

The decision on the removal of the President of Ukraine from office by the procedure of impeachment is adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by no less than three-quarters of its constitutional composition, after the review of the case by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the receipt of its opinion on the observance of the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration of the case of impeachment, and the receipt of the opinion of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to the effect that the acts, of which the President of Ukraine is accused, contain elements of state treason or other crime.

Article 112

In the event of the pre-term termination of authority of the President of Ukraine in accordance with Articles 108, 109, 110 and 111 of this Constitution, the execution of duties of the President of Ukraine, for the period pending the elections and the assumption of office of the new President of Ukraine, shall be vested in the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, for the period of executing the duties of the President of Ukraine, shall not exercise the powers envisaged by subparagraphs 2, 6-8, 10-13, 22, 24, 25, 27 and 28 of Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine.


Chapter VI

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Other Bodies of Executive Power

Article 113

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is the highest authority in the system of bodies of executive power.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is responsible to the President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as well as under the control of and accountable to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine within the limits provided for by this Constitution of Ukraine.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is guided in its activity by this Constitution and the laws of Ukraine and also by decrees made by the President of Ukraine and resolutions made by of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 114

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is composed of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the First Vice Prime Minister, Vice Prime Ministers and Ministers.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine is appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine upon the submission by the President of Ukraine.

The name of a candidate for the office of the Prime Minister of Ukraine is put forward by the President of Ukraine upon the proposal by the parliamentary coalition formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as provided for in Article 83 of the Constitution of Ukraine or by a parliamentary faction whose People’s Deputies of Ukraine make up a majority of the constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Minister of Defence of Ukraine and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine are appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine upon the submission by the President of Ukraine; the other members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine are appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine upon the submission by the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine manages the work of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and directs it for the implementation of the Programme of Activity of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 115

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine divests itself of its powers before the newly elected Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, other members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine have the right to announce their resignation to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The resignation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine or the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a resolution of no confidence in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine shall result in the resignation of the entire Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. In such cases, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall form a new Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine within the terms and under the procedure provided for by this Constitution.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine that has divested itself of its powers before the newly elected Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or whose resignation has been accepted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall continue to exercise its powers until the newly formed Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine starts its work.

Article 116

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:

1) ensures the state sovereignty and economic independence of Ukraine, the implementation of domestic and foreign policy of the State, the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, and the acts of the President of Ukraine;

2) takes measures to ensure human and citizens’ rights and freedoms;

3) ensures the implementation of financial, pricing, investment and taxation policy; the policy in the spheres of labour and employment of the population, social security, education, science and culture, environmental protection, ecological safety and the utilisation of nature;

4) elaborates and implements national programmes of economic, scientific and technical, and social and cultural development of Ukraine;

5) ensures equal conditions of development of all forms of ownership; administers the management of objects of state property in accordance with the law;

6) elaborates the draft law on the State Budget of Ukraine and ensures the implementation of the State Budget of Ukraine approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and submits a report on its implementation to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

7) takes measures to ensure the defence capability and national security of Ukraine, public order and to combat crime;

8) organises and ensures the implementation of the foreign economic activity of Ukraine, and the operation of customs;

9) directs and co-ordinates the operation of ministries and other bodies of executive power;

(91) sets up, re-organises, and liquidates, in accordance with law, ministries and other central bodies of executive power, acting therewith within the limits of funds allocated for the maintenance of bodies of executive power;

(92) appoints to office and dismisses from office, upon the submission by the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the heads of central bodies of executive power who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

10) exercises other powers determined by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 117

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, within the limits of its competence, issues resolutions and orders that are mandatory for execution.

Acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine are signed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Normative legal acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ministries and other central bodies of executive power, are subject to registration through the procedure established by law.

Article 118

The executive power in oblasts, districts, and in the Cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol is exercised by local state administrations.

Particular aspects of the exercise of executive power in the Cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol are determined by special laws of Ukraine.

The composition of local state administrations is formed by heads of local state administrations.

Heads of local state administrations are appointed to office and dismissed from office by the President of Ukraine upon the submission of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

In the exercise of their duties, the heads of local state administrations are responsible to the President of Ukraine and to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and are accountable to and under the control of bodies of executive power of a higher level.

Local state administrations are accountable to and under the control of councils in the part of the authority delegated to them by the respective district or oblast councils.

Local state administrations are accountable to and under the control of the bodies of executive power of a higher level.

Decisions of the heads of local state administrations that contravene the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, other acts of legislation of Ukraine, may be revoked by the President of Ukraine or by the head of the local state administration of a higher level, in accordance with the law.

An oblast or district council may express no confidence in the head of the respective local state administration, on which grounds the President of Ukraine adopts a decision and provides a substantiated reply.

If two-thirds of the deputies of the composition of the respective council express no confidence in the head of a district or oblast state administration, the President of Ukraine adopts a decision on the resignation of the head of the local state administration.

Article 119

Local state administrations on their respective territory ensure:

1) the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, acts of the President of Ukraine, acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and other bodies of executive power;

2) legality and legal order; the observance of laws and freedoms of citizens;

3) the implementation of national and regional programmes for socio-economic and cultural development, programmes for environmental protection, and also — in places of compact residence of indigenous peoples and national minorities — programmes for their national and cultural development;

4) the preparation and implementation of respective oblast and district budgets;

5) the report on the implementation of respective budgets and programmes;

6) interaction with bodies of local self-government;

7) the realisation of other powers vested by the state and also delegated by the respective councils.

Article 120

Members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and heads of central and local bodies of executive power do not have the right to combine their official activity with other work (except for teaching, scientific and creative activity outside of working hours), or to be members of a governing body or supervisory council of an enterprise or profit-seeking organisation.

The organisation, authority and operational procedure of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and other central and local bodies of executive power, are determined by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.


Chapter VII

Prokuratura

Article 121

The Prokuratura of Ukraine constitutes a unified system that is entrusted with:

(1) prosecution in court on behalf of the State;

(2) representation of the interests of a citizen or of the State in court in cases determined by law;

(3) supervision of the observance of laws by bodies that conduct detective and search activity, inquiry and pre-trial investigation;

(4) supervision of the observance of laws in the execution of judicial decisions in criminal cases, and also in the application of other measures of coercion related to the restraint of personal liberty of citizens;

(5) supervision over the respect for human and citizens’ rights and freedoms and over how laws governing such issues are observed by bodies of executive power, bodies of local self-government and by their officials and officers.

Article 122

The Prokuratura of Ukraine is headed by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, who is appointed to office and dismissed from office, with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, by the President of Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine may express no confidence in the Prosecutor General of Ukraine that results in his or her resignation from office.

The term of authority of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine is five years.

Article 123

The organisation and operational procedure for the bodies of the Prokuratura of Ukraine are determined by law.


Chapter VIII

Justice

Article 124

Justice in Ukraine is administered exclusively by the courts. The delegation of the functions of the courts, and also the appropriation of these functions by other bodies or officials, shall not be permitted.

The jurisdiction of the courts extends to all legal relations that arise in the State.

Judicial proceedings are performed by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and courts of general jurisdiction.

The people directly participate in the administration of justice through people’s assessors and jurors.

Judicial decisions are adopted by the courts in the name of Ukraine and are mandatory for execution throughout the entire territory of Ukraine.

Article 125

In Ukraine, the system of courts of general jurisdiction is formed in accordance with the territorial principle and the principle of specialisation.

The Supreme Court of Ukraine is highest judicial body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction.

The respective high courts are the highest judicial bodies of specialised courts.

Courts of appeal and local courts operate in accordance with the law.

The creation of extraordinary and special courts shall not be permitted.

Article 126

The independence and immunity of judges are guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Influencing judges in any manner is prohibited.

A judge shall not be detained or arrested without the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, until a verdict of guilty is rendered by a court.

Judges hold office for permanent terms, except judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and judges appointed to the office of judge for the first time.

A judge is dismissed from office by the body that elected or appointed him or her in the event of:

1) the expiration of the term for which he or she was elected or appointed;

2) the judge’s attainment of the age of sixty-five;

3) the impossibility to exercise his or her authority for reasons of health;

4) the violation by the judge of requirements concerning incompatibility;

5) the breach of oath by the judge;

6) the entry into legal force of a verdict of guilty against him or her;

7) the termination of his or her citizenship;

8) the declaration that he or she is missing, or the pronouncement that he or she is dead;

9) the submission by the judge of a statement of resignation or of voluntary dismissal from office.

The authority of the judge terminates in the event of his or her death.

The State ensures the personal security of judges and their families.

Article 127

Justice is administered by professional judges and, in cases determined by law, people’s assessors and jurors.

Professional judges shall not belong to political parties and trade unions, take part in any political activity, hold a representative mandate, occupy any other paid positions, perform other remunerated work except scholarly, teaching and creative activity.

A citizen of Ukraine, not younger than the age of twenty-five, who has a higher legal education and has work experience in the sphere of law for no less than three years, has resided in Ukraine for no less than ten years and has command of the state language, may be recommended for the office of judge by the Qualification Commission of Judges.

Persons with professional training in issues of jurisdiction of specialised courts may be judges of these courts. These judges administer justice only as members of a collegium of judges.

Additional requirements for certain categories of judges in terms of experience, age and their professional level are established by law.

Protection of the professional interests of judges is exercised by the procedure established by law.

Article 128

The first appointment of a professional judge to office for a five-year term is made by the President of Ukraine. All other judges, except the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, are elected by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for permanent terms by the procedure established by law.

The Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Ukraine is elected to office and dismissed from office by the Plenary Assembly of the Supreme Court of Ukraine by secret ballot, by the procedure established by law.

Article 129

In the administration of justice, judges are independent and subject only to the law.

Judicial proceedings are conducted by a single judge, by a panel of judges, or by a court of the jury.

The main principles of judicial proceedings are:

1) legality;

2) equality before the law and the court of all participants in a trial;

3) ensuring that the guilt is proved;

4) adversarial procedure and freedom of the parties to present their evidence to the court and to prove the weight of evidence before the court;

5) prosecution by the Prosecutor in court on behalf of the State;

6) ensuring the right of an accused person to a defence;

7) openness of a trial and its complete recording by technical means;

8) ensuring complaint of a court decision by appeal and cassation, except in cases established by law;

9) the mandatory nature of court decisions.

The law may also determine other principles of judicial proceedings in courts of specific judicial jurisdiction.

Persons guilty of contempt of court or of showing disrespect toward the judge are brought to legal liability.

Article 130

The State ensures funding and proper conditions for the operation of courts and the activity of judges. Expenditures for the maintenance of courts are allocated separately in the State Budget of Ukraine.

Judges’ self-management operates to resolve issues of the internal affairs of courts.

Article 131

The High Council of Justice operates in Ukraine, whose competence comprises:

1) forwarding submissions on the appointment of judges to office or on their dismissal from office;

2) adopting decisions in regard to the violation by judges and Prosecutors of the requirements concerning incompatibility;

3) exercising disciplinary procedure in regard to judges of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and judges of high specialised courts, and the consideration of complaints regarding decisions on bringing to disciplinary liability judges of courts of appeal an d local courts, and also Prosecutors.

The High Council of Justice consists of twenty members. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, the Congress of Judges of Ukraine, the Congress of Advocates of Ukraine, and the Congress of Representatives of Higher Legal Educational Establishments and Scientific Institutions, each appoint three members to the High Council of Justice, and the All-Ukrainian Conference of Employees of the Prokuratura — two members of the High Council of Justice.

The Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine are ex officio members of the High Council of Justice.


Chapter IX

Territorial Structure of Ukraine

Article 132

The territorial structure of Ukraine is based on the principles of unity and indivisibility of the state territory, the combination of centralisation and decentralisation in the exercise of state power, and the balanced socio-economic development of regions that takes into account their historical, economic, ecological, geographical and demographic characteristics, and ethnic and cultural traditions.

Article 133

The system of the administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine is composed of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, oblasts, districts, cities, city districts, settlements and villages.

Ukraine is composed of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Vinnytsia Oblast, Volyn Oblast, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Donetsk Oblast, Zhytomyr Oblast, Zakarpattia Oblast, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Kyiv Oblast, Kirovohrad Oblast, Luhansk Ob last, Lviv Oblast, Mykolaiv Oblast, Odesa Oblast, Poltava Oblast, Rivne Oblast, Sumy Oblast, Ternopil Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast, Kherson Oblast, Khmelnytskyi Oblast, Cherkasy Oblast, Chernivtsi Oblast and Chernihiv Oblast, and the Cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol.

The Cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol have special status that is determined by the laws of Ukraine.


Chapter X

Autonomous Republic of Crimea

Article 134

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is an inseparable constituent part of Ukraine and decides on the issues ascribed to its competence within the limits of authority determined by the Constitution of Ukraine.

Article 135

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea has the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea that is adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by no less than one-half of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall not contradict the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine and are adopted in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, the laws of Ukraine, acts of the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and for their execution.

Article 136

The Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, within the limits of its authority, is the representative body of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea adopts decisions and resolutions that are mandatory for execution in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is the government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The Head of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is appointed to office and dismissed from office by the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with the consent of the President of Ukraine.

The authority, the procedure for the formation and operation of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, are determined by the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, and by normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on issues ascribed to its competence.

In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, justice is administered by courts that belong to the unified system of courts of Ukraine.

Article 137

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea exercises normative regulation on the following issues:

1) agriculture and forestry;

2) land reclamation and mining;

3) public works, crafts and trades; charity;

4) city construction and housing management;

5) tourism, hotel business, fairs;

6) museums, libraries, theatres, other cultural establishments, historical and cultural preserves;

7) public transportation, roadways, water supply;

8) hunting and fishing;

9) sanitary and hospital services.

For reasons of nonconformity of normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine may suspend these normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with a simultaneous appeal to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in regard to their constitutionality.

Article 138

The competence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea comprises:

1) designating elections of deputies to the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, approving the composition of the electoral commission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

2) organising and conducting local referendums;

3) managing property that belongs to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

4) elaborating, approving and implementing the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on the basis of the uniform tax and budget policy of Ukraine;

5) elaborating, approving and realising programmes of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea for socio-economic and cultural development, the rational utilisation of nature, and environmental protection in accordance with national programmes;

6) recognising the status of localities as resorts; establishing zones for the sanitary protection of resorts;

7) participating in ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens, national harmony, the promotion of the protection of legal order and public security;

8) ensuring the operation and development of the state language and national languages and cultures in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; protection and use of historical monuments;

9) participating in the development and realisation of state programmes for the return of deported peoples;

10) initiating the introduction of a state of emergency and the establishment of zones of an ecological emergency situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or in its particular areas.

Other powers may also be delegated to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the laws of Ukraine.

Article 139

The Representative Office of the President of Ukraine, whose status is determined by the law of Ukraine, operates in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.


Chapter XI

Local Self-Government

Article 140

Local self-government is the right of a territorial community — residents of a village or a voluntary association of residents of several villages into one village community, residents of a settlement, and of a city — to independently resolve issues o f local character within the limits of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.

Particular aspects of the exercise of local self-government in the Cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol are determined by special laws of Ukraine.

Local self-government is exercised by a territorial community by the procedure established by law, both directly and through bodies of local self-government: village, settlement and city councils, and their executive bodies.

District and oblast councils are bodies of local self-government that represent the common interests of territorial communities of villages, settlements and cities.

The issue of organisation of the administration of city districts lies within the competence of city councils.

Village, settlement and city councils may permit, upon the initiative of residents, the creation of house, street, block and other bodies of popular self-organisation, and to assign them part of their own competence, finances and property.

Article 141

A village, settlement, city, district and oblast council is composed of deputies elected for a five-year term by residents of a village, settlement, city, district and oblast on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot.

Territorial communities elect for a four-year-term on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, by secret ballot, the head of the village, settlement and city, respectively, who leads the executive body of the council and presides at its meetings.

The status of heads, deputies and executive bodies of a council and their authority, the procedure for their establishment, reorganisation and liquidation, are determined by law.

The chairperson of a district council and the chairperson of an oblast council are elected by the respective council and lead the executive staff of the council.

Article 142

The material and financial basis for local self-government is movable and immovable property, revenues of local budgets, other funds, land, natural resources owned by territorial communities of villages, settlements, cities, city districts, and also objects of their common property that are managed by district and oblast councils.

On the basis of agreement, territorial communities of villages, settlements and cities may join objects of communal property as well as budget funds, to implement joint projects or to jointly finance (maintain) communal enterprises, organisations and establishments, and create appropriate bodies and services for this purpose.

The State participates in the formation of revenues of the budget of local self-government and financially supports local self-government. Expenditures of bodies of local self-government, that arise from the decisions of bodies of state power, are compensated by the state.

Article 143

Territorial communities of a village, settlement and city, directly or through the bodies of local self-government established by them, manage the property that is in communal ownership; approve programmes of socio-economic and cultural development, and control their implementation; approve budgets of the respective administrative and territorial units, and control their implementation; establish local taxes and levies in accordance with the law; ensure the holding of local referendums and the implementation of their results; establish, reorganise and liquidate communal enterprises, organisations and institutions, and also exercise control over their activity; resolve other issues of local importance ascribed to their competence by law.

Oblast and district councils approve programmes for socio-economic and cultural development of the respective oblasts and districts, and control their implementation; approve district and oblast budgets that are formed from the funds of the state budget for their appropriate distribution among territorial communities or for the implementation of joint projects, and from the funds drawn on the basis of agreement from local budgets for the realisation of joint socio-economic and cultural programmes, and control their implementation; resolve other issues ascribed to their competence by law.

Certain powers of bodies of executive power may be assigned by law to bodies of local self-government. The State finances the exercise of these powers from the State Budget of Ukraine in full or through the allocation of certain national taxes to the local budget, by the procedure established by law, transfers the relevant objects of state property to bodies of local self-government.

Bodies of local self-government, on issues of their exercise of powers of bodies of executive power, are under the control of the respective bodies of executive power.

Article 144

Bodies of local self-government, within the limits of authority determined by law, adopt decisions that are mandatory for execution throughout the respective territory.

Decisions of bodies of local self-government, for reasons of nonconformity with the Constitution or the laws of Ukraine, are suspended by the procedure established by law with a simultaneous appeal to a court.

Article 145

The rights of local self-government are protected by judicial procedure.

Article 146

Other issues of the organisation of local self-government, the formation, operation and responsibility of the bodies of local self-government, are determined by law.


Chapter XII

Constitutional Court of Ukraine

Article 147

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine is the sole body of constitutional jurisdiction in Ukraine.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine decides on issues of conformity of laws and other legal acts with the Constitution of Ukraine and provides the official interpretation of the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine.

Article 148

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine is composed of eighteen judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Congress of Judges of Ukraine each appoint six judges to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

A citizen of Ukraine who has attained the age of forty on the day of appointment, has a higher legal education and professional experience of no less than ten years, has resided in Ukraine for the last twenty years, and has command of the state language, may be a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

A judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is appointed for nine years without the right of appointment to a repeat term.

The Chairperson of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is elected by secret ballot only for one three-year term at a special plenary meeting of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine from among the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

Article 149

Judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine are subject to the guarantees of independence and immunity and to the grounds for dismissal from office envisaged by Article 126 of this Constitution, and the requirements concerning incompatibility as determined in Article 127, paragraph two of this Constitution.

Article 150

The authority of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine comprises:

1) deciding on issues of conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the following:

laws and other legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

acts of the President of Ukraine;

acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

These issues are considered on the appeals of: the President of Ukraine; no less than forty-five People’s Deputies of Ukraine; the Supreme Court of Ukraine; the Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

2) the official interpretation of the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine;

On issues envisaged by this Article, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine adopts decisions that are mandatory for execution throughout the territory of Ukraine, that are final and shall not be appealed.

Article 151

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine, on the appeal of the President of Ukraine or the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, provides opinions on the conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine of international treaties of Ukraine that are in force, or the international treaties submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for granting agreement on their binding nature.

On the appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine provides an opinion on the observance of the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration of the case of removing the President of Ukraine from office b y the procedure of impeachment.

Article 152

Laws and other legal acts, by the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, are deemed to be unconstitutional, in whole or in part, in the event that they do not conform to the Constitution of Ukraine, or if there was a violation of the procedure established by the Constitution of Ukraine for their review, adoption or their entry into force.