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.
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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-
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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]
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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-
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LINK: http://www.economist.com
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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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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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-
——————————————————————————————-
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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========================================================
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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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========================================================
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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
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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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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.

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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