AUR#715 Jun 20 Ukraine 4 Saudi Arabia 0, Vital World Cup Win; Massive Deficit Of Gas; Crumbing Before Putin; Ukraine Rudderless; Puzzles; Norway & Ukraine

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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       

 
                                   EIGHTY-SIX DAYS
               SINCE UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION 
                   NO MAJORITY COALITION AGREEMENT YET
  The Action Ukraine Report (AUR) brings you the news from Ukraine.
     Send the AUR to your colleagues and friends..keep them informed!   
             
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 715
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor  
PUBLISHED FROM KYIV, UKRAINE, TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 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 OUTCLASSES SAUDI ARABIA, VITAL WORLD CUP WIN 
By Luke Phillips, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Hamburg, Germany, Monday, June 19, 2006

2.     UKRAINE FLIPS AFTER FLOP, SHREDS SAUDI ARABIA 4-0
By Erica Bulman, Associated Press, Hamburg, Germany, Mon, Jun 19, 2006

3UKRAINE FACES MASSIVE DEFICIT OF NATURAL GAS THIS YEAR
RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 19, 2006

4.      UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT TRANSFERS AIRPORTS TO
   TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION’S MINISTRY’S CONTROL
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 19, 2006

5.                                 CRUMBLING BEFORE PUTIN
OP-ED Columnist: Jackson Diehl, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C. Monday, June 19, 2006; Page A21

6.                               RESTAURANTS, TAXIS, GIRLS
     Grigori Yavlinsky diagnoses the Russian political-economic system                

By Mikhail Vorobiev, Vremya Novostei
Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

7PUTIN’S RUSSIA NO PLACE FOR DEMOCRATS TO HOLD A SUMMIT
COMMENTARY: by Konstanty Gebert
Leading Polish security analyst and commentator
The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, June 03, 2006

8.     UKRAINE RUDDERLESS AS POLITICAL SEAS GET ROUGHER
Factions take advantage of leadership void, push country toward Russian orbit
COMMENTARY:
By David Marples, The Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Monday, June 19, 2006

9.                                              PUZZLES
         The puzzle picture is still incomplete and the political leaders
                       have another weekend to put it together.
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY:
By Yulia Mostovaya
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly, No. 23 (602)
International Social Political Weekly, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sat 17-June 23 2006

10PREMIER OF ALBERTA VISITS LVIV AND IVANO-FRANKIVSK
                         TO ENHANCE SISTER PROVINCE TIES
              To announce Alberta-Ukraine genealogical research project
Maple Leaf News, Canadian Embassy in Ukraine
Vol. 69, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 19, 2006

11CANADIAN GUEST CONDUCTOR WES JANZEN LEADS THE KYIV
  SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS IN HAYDN’S “THE CREATION”
         Conductor Janzen’s ancestral heritage is German/Ukrainian/Canadian
By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #715, Article 11
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 20, 2006

12VOLYN UKRAINIAN SONG & DANCE CO STARTS CANADIAN TOUR
       Performance embodies the best Ukraine has to offer in the art of spectacular
             folkloric dance, song, and music. Volyn is the Spirit of Ukraine!
Abaze Productions, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Monday, June 19, 2006

13UKRAINIAN CULTURE CENTER OF LOS ANGELES PRESENTS
    “A MUSICAL SALUTE – GOD BLESS AMERICA” FRIDAY, JUNE 23
Bohdan Knianicky, President, Kobzar Ukrainian National Choir
Ukrainian Culture Center of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, Monday, June 19, 2006

14.     VISIT OF KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO LOS ANGELES
               We are lucky to call Kateryna Yushchenko our first lady

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Eugenia Dallas
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #715, Article 14
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 20, 2006

15NORWAY AND UKRAINE – A RENEWAL OF AGE-OLD TIES
   We have a common past and we can build a common future. A European
      future. Ukraine’s traditions, beliefs and language have grown from the
        same cultural roots as those of other present-day European nations.
SPEECH:
Jonas Gahr Store, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Mohyla Academy, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, 31 May 2006
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1
UKRAINE OUTCLASSES SAUDI ARABIA, VITAL WORLD CUP WIN 

By Luke Phillips, Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Hamburg, Germany, Monday, June 19, 2006

HAMBURG  Ukraine outclassed Saudi Arabia in their crunch Group H game,
firmly setting their stuttering World Cup campaign back on track with a
convincing 4-0 win.

Redemption for the 4-0 mauling Ukraine suffered at the hands of Spain in
their opening match came in a brace of goals either side of the interval
from Andriy Rusol, Serhiy Rebrov, Andriy Shevchenko and the impressive
Maksym Kalinichenko.

The World Cup debutants, boasting four changes from the Spanish debacle,
showed their attacking intent against a toothless Saudi team from the start.

They took the lead in the fourth minute, Rusol’s knee connecting with an
inswinging Kalinichenko corner to send the ball bouncing between Saudi
goalkeeper Mabrouk Zaid’s legs and into the goal – the former Soviet
republic’s first at the World Cup.

Rebrov doubled the lead after 36 minutes, the former Tottenham and West

Ham player blasting in a curling 35-yard shot that left Zaid rooted to the spot.

Shevchenko made it three straight after the interval, the European
footballer of the year rising above his Asian counterpart Hamad
al-Montashari to head a home another Kalinichenko free-kick.

Kalinichenko got a deserved goal with six minutes remaining, calmly burying
a beautifully-weighted Shevchenko cross past a despairing Zaid.

“We really gave it our all today because it was our last chance. It was
either win or go home, and none of us wanted to do that,” said Ukraine
striker Andriy Voronin.

“We can play better and we showed that here. We played in a more attacking
way than against Spain when we were a bit too defensive.”

With the Saudi back four under constant pressure, Kalinichenko and Oleg
Rusov proved a real handful down the wings. The recalled Rebrov rifled in a
cross that former Dynamo Kiev team-mate Shevchenko couldn’t latch on to
after 10 minutes.

Shevchenko, the Ukraine captain who recently became Chelsea’s new record
signing, could have doubled the lead after 14 minutes, defender Ahmed Dokhi
glancing his header off the line into the path of Rebrov, whose follow-up
shot was blasted over the crossbar.

Shevchenko had yet a second chance four minutes later, just failing to get
on the end of a Kalinichenko through ball that split the edgy Saudi defence.
The captain almost became provider on 20 minutes, his cross just too fast
for the onrushing Andriy Voronin who had a clear sight on goal.

Saudi Arabia’s best chance of the first-half came in the 24th minute, a
curling cross by Dokhi deflected by Rusol towards goal and tipped around

the post by Oleksander Shovkovsky.

Any half-time pep talk from Saudi Arabia’s Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta
was quickly dispelled by Shevchenko’s goal a minute after the restart.

But the Saudi team, bolstered by the introduction of attacking left-back
Abdulaziz Khathran, did manage to mount some attacks but the final touches
were clumsy and left ineffectual captain Hussein Sulimani wildly
gesticulating at his team-mates.

Omar al-Ghamdi’s one penetrating run into the Ukrainian box ended
disappointingly as well, the midfielder rightly shown a yellow card by
English referee Graham Poll for diving.

It was Kalinichenko who proved to be the real thorn in the sides of the
“sons of the desert”. One blistering 20-yard shot in the 64th minute hit the
crossbar, but his efforts were later rewarded with the fourth goal.

The result means that Saudi Arabia, whose squad play entirely for clubs in
the desert kingdom, have not won a match since their first appearance in the
1994 World Cup when they reached the second round.

They have a point from their 2-2 with Tunisia from their first match.  Later
Monday, Spain can make sure of their place in the last 16 with a win over
the north Africans.                                -30-

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2.  UKRAINE FLIPS AFTER FLOP, SHREDS SAUDI ARABIA 4-0

By Erica Bulman, Associated Press, Hamburg, Germany, Mon, Jun 19, 2006

HAMBURG, Germany – This time Ukraine scored the quick goal and meted

out the punishment. After a rude awakening in its debut against Spain last week,
Ukraine regained a measure of pride Monday by delivering a similar lesson to
Saudi Arabia for its first World Cup victory, 4-0.

Where the Ukrainians gave up a goal in the 13th minute against Spain, they
came back to score within four minutes against the Saudis. Where their prize
striker Andriy Shevchenko looked impotent against the Spaniards’ slick
defense, this time he both assisted on one score and added his first World
Cup goal. Where Ukraine surrendered meekly to the Spaniards, it won by the
same score against the outmanned Saudis in Group H.

“It was difficult to lose 4-0, but everyone understood at that stage that
the tournament was far from finished, and we had to concentrate on the next
two games if we wanted to go through,” Shevchenko said. “Ukraine is a strong
team and we have to show we are strong.

“The goals came at an important time. It was very good for us to have the
first very fast goal at the beginning of the game, and in the second half.”
So it didn’t take long for Ukraine to get its World Cup bid back on track.

Though Shevchenko was expected to lead his nation on the German grass, it
was defender Andriy Rusol who opened the scoring. Off a corner kick by Maxim
Kalinichenko in the fourth minute, Rusol’s one-timer off his left knee found
its way through the legs of Saudi goalkeeper Mabrouk Zayed.

The goal, Ukraine’s first of the tournament, prompted an emotional Blokhin
to scream in approval and violently whip the grass with his towel.

“It’s like the tale of Cinderella,” Blokhin said. “The pumpkin turned into a
beautiful coach and the rats into magnificent horses. That’s what happened
to us today and we were able to turn things around.”

Serhiy Rebrov scored one of the best goals of the tournament with a 35-yard
shot in the 36th minute. Zayed might have reached it on time but slipped on
the wet grass, letting the ball go into the top corner.

Barely 30 seconds into the second half, Shevchenko got his goal with a
header from Kalinichenko’s long free kick. The newly signed Chelsea striker,
only recently back from a nagging knee injury, appeared in much better form
than in Ukraine’s loss to Spain where he failed to take a single decent
shot. And Kalinichenko got his own, scoring on a pass from Shevchenko to
close the scoring.

The victory came on the anniversary of Blokhin’s first of two World Cup
goals exactly 24 years ago to the day, in the Soviet Union’s 3-0 victory
over New Zealand. His second came four years later in a 2-0 loss to Canada.
“This means as a coach I retained the fighting spirit I had as a player,”
Blokhin said.

Ukraine is the first former Soviet republic other than Russia to qualify for
the World Cup; Russia played in 1994 and 2002.

“I think our chances of going all the way are not huge because there are
stronger teams, but we will fight,” Blokhin said.

Blokhin knew his team had to go on the offensive in the absence of two key
defenders, Volodymyr Yesersky to a thigh injury, and Vladyslav Vashchyuk,
who served a one-game suspension for a red card he received against Spain.

Ukraine and Spain both have three points, while Tunisia and Saudi Arabia
each have one. Spain played Tunisia later Monday and Ukraine would be helped
by a Spanish win.

The Saudis didn’t manage one shot on goal, yet coach Marcos Paqueta was
content. “Our boys fought the whole game and never gave up,” he said. “They
tried and tried all game, and when you make your best effort you are
satisfied and your conscience is at peace. They should be able to get over
this and make a different impression next game.”

Saudi Arabia lost with Prince Sultan bin Fahd watching from the VIP box.
Saudi Arabia’s players prefer sultry temperatures, but the hot, muggy
daytime conditions they wished for turned into wind and rain just an hour
before the match, much to the Ukrainians’ delight.            -30-

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3. UKRAINE FACES MASSIVE DEFICIT OF NATURAL GAS THIS YEAR

RIA Novosti, Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 19, 2006

KIEV – Ukraine’s fuel and energy ministry said Monday the country faces a
massive deficit of natural gas this year, and said negotiations are needed
with Russia and Turkmenistan to solve the problem.

Ukraine is largely dependent on the two other former Soviet republics for
natural gas. At the beginning of the year it was involved in a bitter
pricing spat with Russia that was only resolved when the two countries’
leading energy companies reached an agreement after Russia briefly cut
supplies.

The ministry said the Ukrainian government should hold urgent negotiations
“with the Russian and Turkmen sides to sign contracts on supplies of 10.7
bln cu m of gas to Ukraine in 2006 to ensure the gas balance in the
country.”

Earlier Monday, the ministry said Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov’s
visit to Turkmenistan had been postponed. Ukrainian officials also said the
country would seek a resumption of direct gas supplies from Turkmenistan.

Rosukrenergo, which was the key company in a deal to end a bitter price row
between the former Soviet neighbors early this year, is 50% owned by a
subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, with the other 50% held by
Austria’s Raiffeisen Investment.

In early January, Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a five-year contract
for supplies of 17 billion cu m of Russian natural gas to Ukraine.   -30-
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4.     UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT TRANSFERS AIRPORTS TO
   TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION’S MINISTRY’S CONTROL

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 19, 2006

KYIV – The Ukrainian government has transferred the country’s airports to
the control of the Transport and Communications Ministry, which restored its
State Department for Aviation Transport (Ukraviatrans) in late May-early
June.

As Transport and Communications Minister Viktor Bondar reported, the

cabinet took the according decision during a meeting last week.

As earlier reported, the government restored Ukraviatrans in the structure
of the ministry with its resolution of May 23, which came into force after
President Viktor Yuschenko in mid June introduced the according changes to
the orders that regulate the activity of State Aviation Service.

Among Ukraviatrans’ main objectives – participating in the state policy of
civil aviation development, the organization of civil passenger traffic, the
regulation of the use of air space, participation in prospective projects
and aviation development programs.                    -30-

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5.                          CRUMBLING BEFORE PUTIN

OP-ED Columnist: Jackson Diehl, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C. Monday, June 19, 2006; Page A21

Vladimir Putin must wait another month before he can play the coveted role
of host to the world’s most powerful democratic leaders at the Group of
Eight summit in St. Petersburg. But already the Russian president appears
close to accomplishing his principal objective: preventing a serious
response by the G-8 to his autocratic domestic policies and imperialist
bullying of neighbors.

A couple of months ago Western officials were confidently promising that
Putin would not be allowed to strut among the elected presidents and prime
ministers in St. Petersburg without being reminded that he is not their
political peer.

At the insistence of the Bush administration, Russia’s interventions in
Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova — former Soviet republics trying to establish
themselves as independent democracies — were placed on the agenda of G-8
preparatory meetings. U.S. diplomats pressured NATO to allow the first steps
toward membership this spring for Georgia and Ukraine.

In May, Vice President Cheney delivered a tough speech spelling out the case
against Putin: his embrace of dictators in Belarus and Uzbekistan, his use
of energy supplies as a tool of political blackmail, his elimination of
independent voices in Russia. President Bush agreed in principle to visit
Kiev before St. Petersburg, in order to bolster Ukraine’s beleaguered
pro-Western democrats.

In the past few weeks, however, the Western will to stand up to Putin has
crumbled. At a NATO ministerial meeting 10 days ago, France and several
other European governments rejected U.S. talk of an “enhanced dialogue” with
Georgia or a membership action plan for Ukraine — even as Russian-backed
demonstrations in the Ukrainian Crimea forced NATO to withdraw U.S. Marines
who had deployed there for an exercise.

The White House then announced the cancellation of Bush’s visit to Ukraine,
largely because of the inability of the pro-Western parties to agree on a
new government.

Cheney’s speech, meanwhile, produced a backlash not just from Moscow but
also in Western Europe, where the vice president was roundly criticized as
too provocative. As for Russian neo-imperialism: Administration officials
say they are still seeking to put Georgia and Moldova on the agenda of a
pre-summit foreign ministers’ meeting next week, but they don’t expect to
succeed.

“We’re dead in the water,” says Bruce Jackson, a conservative close to many
in the administration who heads the Project on Transitional Democracies.
“Russia is playing a more aggressive, thought-out game, and they are
outplaying us.”

Putin’s strongest move was his agreement to participate in a pending Western
bid to freeze Iran’s nuclear program. In exchange for its support Russia won
the postponement of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have
ordered an end to the program; it also delayed a looming rift between Russia
and the West over sanctions against Tehran.

As long as Moscow is nominally on board with its most important foreign
policy initiative, the Bush administration is constrained from pressing the
issues raised by Cheney — though officials insist that they haven’t been
dropped.

European policymakers don’t suffer such scruples. In Washington and in
Brussels, they are arguing straightforwardly that Putin’s noxious policies
should be tolerated — not just because of Iran but also because of Russia’s
importance as an energy supplier.

Brussels has been intimidated: At a meeting at the Black Sea resort of Sochi
in late May, Putin flatly rejected European Union appeals that Russia loosen
its stranglehold on pipelines carrying gas and oil to Europe and allow
greater European investment in Russian fields. Last week his government
confirmed that Western companies will be allowed only minority stakes in all
but the smallest projects.

Putin’s intransigence has produced a response that a U.S. official summed up
in one word: “appeasement.” A senior European official explained the logic
to me this way: For the foreseeable future, European economies will depend
on Russian energy.

But that energy won’t be available unless Russia makes huge new investments
in the coming years and chooses to continue marketing its oil and gas in
Europe, rather than China. “That means we have no choice but to support a
powerful center in Moscow,” the official said, “so that the necessary
investments are made and the supplies are available to us.”

Faced with such European fecklessness, U.S. officials appear to have
resigned themselves to a summit at which Putin will portray himself as ruler
of a resurgent superpower. Georgians and Moldovans will watch Western
leaders toast Putin while the Russian boycotts of their exports and
promotion of separatism in their countries go undiscussed.

Russian democrats and independent civil society groups will, if they are
lucky, content themselves with meeting mid-level U.S. officials in Moscow.

And viewers in the rest of the world might understandably ask, does the
Group of Eight exist to serve Russia? Or is there some other purpose?
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6.                           RESTAURANTS, TAXIS, GIRLS
     Grigori Yavlinsky diagnoses the Russian political-economic system
                  An oligarchic system and peripheral capitalism

By Mikhail Vorobiev, Vremya Novostei
Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The political-economic system that has taken shape in Russia is
incapable of elevating Russia to a leading position internationally.
If this system is retained over the next few years, Russia will not
only remain a raw materials appendage forever, but also risk losing
its territorial integrity.

      The political-economic system that has taken shape in Russia is
incapable of elevating Russia to a leading position internationally,
alongside the developed nations. And if this system is retained over
the next few years, Russia will not only remain a raw materials
appendage forever, but also risk losing its territorial integrity.

      Those were the basic points made by Grigori Yavlinsky,
economist and Yabloko party leader, in a conference paper delivered
yesterday at the Russian Academy of Education.

      Until now, Andrei Illarionov had been the only prominent
Russian economist to provide medical-style diagnoses of the Russian
economy’s problems, unflattering for the authorities. Grigori
Yavlinsky chose to refrain from using medical terminology, but that
didn’t make his diagnosis any less serious.

     He described Russia’s economic system as a system of peripheral
capitalism: “It’s on the periphery of the world economy, and the world
economy makes use of this system. We are increasingly becoming a raw
materials appendage, to the East as well as to the West.”

      In Yavlinsky’s view, this system is primarily characterized by
the exaggerated development of informal relationships of various
kinds. “It’s not just the shadow economy. Almost the entire economic
system operates within the framework of informal relationships, not
the law,” said Yavlinsky. The scale of the informal economy is so
great that it also requires an informal system of government, the
essence of which is control over any and all property, including
private property, via access to resources and the judiciary.

     Yavlinsky said: “The state does not act as a guarantor for
contracts. There are no guarantees for property rights, so there is
a continual redistribution of property – and that means everyone’s
position is temporary.”

      These circumstances, in Yavlinsky’s opinion, constitute one of
the main reasons for the low level of investment in the Russian
economy, and consequently Russia’s insufficiently rapid economic
growth. Yavlinsky cited some statistics: Russia’s existing
infrastructure is being replaced at a rate of 1-2%, while in the
developed world the equivalent figure is 12%, and in the USSR it was
8%.

      The informal economy and unofficial laws have led to corruption
becoming an institutionalized part of the economic mechanism, and an
oligarchic economic system being established. Yavlinsky said that at
least 70% of GDP is produced by enterprises belonging to only ten
tycoons, who make all the major decisions: and that is the essence
of an oligarchic system.

      Having grown accustomed to the established informal relationships,
this form of big business doesn’t want any changes to happen – and
therefore, according to Yavlinsky, “it really wants Vladimir Putin to
remain in office for a third term, or a fourth, or a fifth.”

      Yavlinsky said that any economic growth in an oligarchic system
and peripheral capitalism “will never improve living standards for
ordinary citizens.” That is, some living standards will improve –
but only for the 25% of Russian citizens who have some connection
with the fuel and energy sector or how its revenues are
redistributed. “The remaining 75% don’t even have any prospects of
securing a modern standard of living for themselves.”

      Yavlinsky said: “Therefore, this system is changing the essence
of our country, its socio-economic structure. In the West, the
middle class is made up of teachers, doctors, engineers, military
officers, academics. In Russia, the middle class means restaurants,
taxis, and girls – in other words, the services sector that redistributes
money coming in from the fuel and energy sector. This 25% of the
population is the bulwark of the system, and it will defend the system.”

      But Yavlinsky argues that the system must be broken down.
Otherwise, the outlook for Russia is grim.

      “In the 21st Century, I don’t think there will be any
developing nations – only developed and underdeveloped nations. This
will be a consequence of globalization – global economic processes,”
said Yavlinsky. According to him, if Russia “gets a grip on itself”
in the next 10-15 years, it still has a chance to become a developed
nation.

      To do so, it needs to solve three basic problems.

      [1] First: create a climate in which citizens trust the state
(“citizens
must have a sense of being participants, not just bystanders”).
     [2] Second: finally turning the judicial system into a fair and
independent system, free from bureaucratic pressure and executive
branch commands.
     [3] Third: overcoming the consequences of criminal privatization –
not by confiscating property, but by levying a special one-time
compensation tax.

      According to Yavlinsky, Russia needs to solve these problems if
it is to create an economy that can ensure its security in an
unpredictable, unstable environment. “Sixty percent of the world’s
economically viable natural resources are located in Russia, beyond
the Ural Mountains. But population density beyond the Amur River is
175 people per square meter.

      Do you think such a situation can continue indefinitely?” asked
Yavlinsky. Therefore, he maintains that Russia’s national idea for the
21st Century should be “to preserve Russia’s territory in its existing
borders, along with its history, culture, identity, and faith.”
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 Translated by Elena Leonova
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7. PUTIN’S RUSSIA NO PLACE FOR DEMOCRATS TO HOLD A SUMMIT

COMMENTARY: by Konstanty Gebert
Leading Polish security analyst and commentator
The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, June 03, 2006

St. Petersburg is a great place in early summer, when the “White Nights”
bathe the city’s imperial palaces and avenues. Small wonder, then, that
Russian President Vladimir Putin likes to show off his hometown.

Three years ago, during the czarist capital’s 300th anniversary, Putin
hosted some 40 heads of state, ranging from George W. Bush and Gerhard
Schroeder to Belarus’ dictator, Alexander Lukashenka, and Turkmenistan’s,
Saparmyrat Nyazov, who styles himself “Turkmenbashi,” the “father of
Turkmen.”

 Human rights activists questioned the wisdom of endorsing the leader of a
growingly authoritarian Russia. Yet Putin managed simultaneously to
celebrate his anti-Iraq war cooperation with Europe, have the United States
swallow this, and be recognized in front of his local minions as a world
leader.

This summer, St. Petersburg (dubbed by local wits “St. Putinsburg”) may see
a repeat performance: Russia will preside over a G8 summit for the first
time in mid-July, despite increasing authoritarianism, the ongoing bloody
war in Chechnya, and now support for Iran’s nuclear program.

Deflecting mounting criticism, Bush rejects appeals to boycott the summit.
“I need to be in a position where I can sit down with him [Putin] and be
very frank about our concerns,” Bush said in late March at Freedom House in
Washington.

Is Bush wrong? The question of whether to meet with nasty but powerful
people has dogged diplomacy since its inception, and both ends of the
question have been argued endlessly – and inconclusively. So it is probably
best to examine the merits of each case separately, looking to precedents
and agendas for guidance.

What is now known as the G8 was launched in 1975 as an informal group of the
United States, Europe’s Big Four – Britain, France, Germany, and Italy – and
Japan, with Canada added as an afterthought. It expanded to include Russia
in 1998 for political, not economic, reasons.

Russia’s unhappy status as a democratizing, but still potentially
threatening, former superpower, played a role, as did its huge energy
reserves, which is why China, incomparably more powerful economically but
politically beyond the pale, was never invited to join. Indeed, though
supposedly grouping the world’s largest economies, the G8 now includes a
country with an economy the size of Holland’s, even if it is still excluded
from deliberations of the other members’ finance ministers.

In retrospect, Russian membership should probably be considered a mistake.
Russia has stabilized under Putin, but it has become markedly less
democratic. Its economy has boomed thanks to oil and gas exports, not to
healthy market developments. The state still controls the economy as it sees
fit, as the de-facto re-nationalization of Yukos has amply demonstrated.

On the other hand, the Kremlin has refrained from international adventurism,
and rather consistently supported the US in its “war on terror.” As European
economies grew more dependent on Russian oil and gas, and the US military in
Central Asia on Russian acquiescence, reversing the decision to admit Russia
to the G8 became politically unthinkable. The 2003 summit confirmed Russia’s
privileged position. A repeat performance this summer would make it all but
unshakeable.

Has “being frank about our concerns,” the justification for hobnobbing with
the likes of Putin, proven effective? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, although
Russia has been backsliding since Putin took power in 2000, his policies
might have been worse had he been ostracized. In any case, an American
boycott of the forthcoming summit would be a Russian triumph, as it would
throw the West into disarray.

But there need to be limits to the West’s tolerance, particularly given the
summit’s agenda, which features energy security, fighting disease, promoting
education, counter-terrorism, and non-proliferation. Is Russia a trustworthy
partner in these areas?

Russia is, in fact, the main provider of energy insecurity in Europe.

Its gas blackmail of Ukraine frightened the entire continent, and its new
Baltic pipeline to Germany has provoked howls of outrage from Poland and
the Baltic states, which are angry at losing the economic and political
dividends a land route gives them. They are also fearful that Russia will
use the energy weapon against them in the future, once the new pipeline
allows the Kremlin to do so without affecting Western Europe.

This made little impression on their German European Union partners –
unsurprisingly, since Schroeder chairs the consortium that will build the
pipeline. As former French Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy put it in 1981, when
he refused to cancel a gas deal with the Soviet Union over the imposition of
martial law in Poland: “Should the suffering of French people deprived of
gas be added to the suffering of Polish people deprived of freedom?” Old
habits die hard.

Russia’s record is equally bleak on other items on the summit’s agenda. It
heads the list on the spread of preventable diseases – not only HIV, but
tuberculosis, with 32,000 deaths last year alone – and its education
standards are in severe decline. On terrorism, Russia was the first country
to host an official Hamas delegation after the Palestinian elections, and it
continues to crush Chechen terror and resistance with methods that would
bring it to an international court, were it not a Security Council member.
On non-proliferation, just ask the ayatollahs in Tehran.

Putin’s Russia is not a place for democratic leaders to hold a summit,
especially after the paltry results of the last one. Nor does the summit’s
agenda justify holding it there. While Putin’s policies could have been much
worse – it is legitimate to give him credit where it is due – Russia should
not be allowed to take the West for granted. Nothing would be gained by
breaking with Russia and engaging in confrontation with it, but there is no
reason not to respond to realpolitik with realpolitik.
————————————————————————————————
Konstanty Gebert is a leading Polish security analyst and commentator. THE
DAILY STAR publishes this commentary in collaboration with Project Syndicate
(www.project-syndicate.org).
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=24934
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8. UKRAINE RUDDERLESS AS POLITICAL SEAS GET ROUGHER
Factions take advantage of leadership void, push country toward Russian orbit

COMMENTARY: By David Marples, The Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Monday, June 19, 2006

An alarming series of events over the past few weeks, and the failure of the
various factions in parliament to form a ruling coalition, has resulted in a
leadership void in Ukraine.

President Viktor Yushchenko has refused to intervene, arguing that it is the
job of the new prime minister to put together a ruling team. Meanwhile, the
Party of the Regions, led by Viktor Yanukovich, aided and abetted by members
of the Russian Duma and regional governments, has begun to undermine the
very structure of Ukrainian society.

A month ago, deputies in the regional council of Donetsk Oblast declared
Russian to be the regional language. In taking this decision, they followed
the example of the regional councils of Kharkiv and Luhansk, as well as the
city council of Sevastopol in Crimea, the only part of Ukraine in which
ethnic Russians make up a majority. According to Deputy Prime Minister
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, the regional councils are leaning on the European
Charter for Regional Minority Languages to support such decisions.

But as pointed out by the central government, Russian is hardly a minority
language, and elevating it to regional status only strengthens the position
of Russia vis-a-vis Ukraine.

On June 6, the Crimean parliament issued a statement declaring that the
peninsula was a “NATO-free territory.” The decision was made at a plenary
session and supported by 61 of the 78 deputies in the assembly. Thirteen
deputies did not participate in the vote and four abstained. No one voted
against the motion. Yanukovich has declared that “the people of Crimea rose
up to defend the constitution and the state’s interest.”

The statement comes after a serious international incident in the Crimean
port of Feodosiya on May 27, when residents blocked the port in order to
prevent a U.S. ship from unloading equipment, intended for use in a NATO
exercise called Operation Sea Breeze. Some 20 Regions MPS arrived in
Feodosiya to join in an anti-NATO rally, along with several MPs from the
Russian Duma.

Ukraine responded by banning the entry of the deputy speaker of the Duma,
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Duma member Konstantin Zatulin. Subsequently,
Britain also postponed a joint exercise with Ukraine called Tight Knot that
was scheduled to begin June 14.

The anti-NATO uproar is largely contrived by the Regions. Technically, the
entry of foreign troops onto Ukrainian soil requires approval by parliament.
But the assembly was in recess until June 14 and thus no decision was
possible prior to the British exercise.

It seems plain that in various parts of Ukraine, those opposing the
Yushchenko government have taken advantage of the lack of leadership and the
protracted debate over membership of the ruling coalition to cause havoc.
The Russian Duma has exacerbated the problem by warning Ukraine against
joining NATO.

Why has no coalition emerged? The answer lies partly in policies and partly
in personal ambitions. The three Orange parties seem to be in agreement —
albeit with some reservations — that Yulia Tymoshenko should reassume the
position of prime minister, which she held in the initial Yushchenko
government.

The Socialist party, on the other hand, would like the post of parliamentary
speaker to be held by its seasoned leader, Oleksandr Moroz. Our Ukraine, the
president’s faction, would prefer Prime Minister Yurii Yekhanurov to retain
his post.                                    -30-
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http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=5c3344bd-4869-4d20-9bbf-6ea206f44e37

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9.                                     PUZZLES
          The puzzle picture is still incomplete and the political leaders
                        have another weekend to put it together.

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Yulia Mostovaya
Zerkalo Nedeli On The Web, Mirror-Weekly, No. 23 (602)
International Social Political Weekly, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sat 17-June 23 2006

In any political game, if it is played for a result, there ought to be a
team, a goal, a set of moves and rules. In political gambling, there is no
team, nobody plays by the rules, all means justify the goals, and the goals
are changeable. As a result, there is no result.

For three months we have been watching an interesting political gambling
championship called “formation of a parliamentary coalition.” The formats,
means, and teams are variable, but there are two constants: the “orange”
hate to see Yulia Tymoshenko at the post of Prime Minister, and the
“white-and-blue” simply long for power.

Neither political force demonstrates team play because both are stuck in a
jumble of constants and variables. And whenever the coalition’s shape
becomes more or less discernable, the picture breaks apart in a medley of
puzzle pieces.

                                      THE PRESIDENT
The president is tossing and turning between a rock and a hard place: he
dislikes Tymoshenko but understands that he would lose his voters if Our
Ukraine allied with the Party of Regions (PR); he sees that the orange
coalition is unstable but understands that his influence would turn into
nothing if the coalition had more colors; he wants to retain or, if
possible, expand his powers, but there is no parliamentary configuration to
back his ambitions.

This is why he makes official statements in support of an orange coalition
and, at the same time, keeps in touch with his closest and most loyal
man—Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov, who is for allying with the PR.

This is why the president states in public that he has nothing against
Tymoshenko’s premiership and, on the same day, nodding his consent to giving
[Socialist leader] Oleksandr Moroz the post of parliament speaker, he tries
to persuade Moroz to speak up against Tymoshenko’s premiership.

This is why the president publicly calls upon everyone to abide by the
Constitution of Ukraine but demands that nominations to governorship and the
post of interior minister remain the presidential prerogative.

From the parliament rostrum, the president announces his immediate and most
active participation in forming a coalition, but the next day he says that
the president is above this. He holds the reins of the coalition talks
loosely, but he pulls them tight every time he disagrees with something the
negotiators have agreed upon.

So what is he after? From the angle of Ukraine’s external policy and
electoral support, Yushchenko ought to prefer an orange coalition. But in
light of today’s realities within the country, he is not against a “mixed”
coalition (on condition that Yekhanurov remains prime minister).

The absence of either coalition also leaves open two options, but both are
blind alleys. In the first case, the Yekhanurov government would stay in
office until a coalition is formed (and that may be a very long time) but
would be deficient without effective cooperation and coordination with the
supreme legislature. In the second case, the president would use his right
to dissolve this parliament.

He has every formal ground to punish the lawmakers for their helplessness.
On the other hand, such a step would disclose collusion between Yushchenko
and the Party of Regions (it is no secret that, in a new election, Viktor
Yanukovych would have a sure chance to win the majority and monopolize
forming the executive government).

                           THE PARTY OF REGIONS
In the bustle of the first weeks after the March election, Yanukovych
frequented the presidential office, but he seems to have misinterpreted
Yushchenko’s “yes” as consent or connivance. The PR kept in touch with many
OU top functionaries, who strongly disliked one another but had a common
dislike for Tymoshenko.

It worked: according to representatives of both the PR and OU, a score of
renegades deserted OU and the Tymoshenko Bloc for the Yanukovych team, and a
dozen tempted members of the Socialist faction were as good as ready to go
over.

OU leaders admit that the PR has done a good job: even if the orange
coalition were established de jure, its numerical strength would not be 226
de facto. Tymoshenko says that it is a bluff, but Andriy Kozhemyakin, the
chief of the bloc’s security, is not so optimistic.

The PR has initiated a so-called “inter-faction majority,” which looks quite
feasible arithmetically. But there is Article 83 of the Constitution, which
states unambiguously that “a parliamentary coalition shall be formed by the
majority factions.” The same is put in no uncertain terms in the Varkhovna
Rada Regulations. So even if the PR musters 226 votes on an inter-faction
basis, it has no legitimate right to nominate a candidate for the post of
prime minister.

O the other hand, the Tymoshenko Bloc, OU, and the Socialists, who have this
right, may fall short of votes for the candidatures they nominate. Ukrainian
MPs are faction-bound: those who go over to another faction must be stripped
of their MP mandates. Therefore, the inter-faction majority is another blind
alley, but it may as well create problems for the orange troika.

The PR, however, has two more strategies. It is ready to run for parliament
again should the president dissolve this parliament. Of course, the new race
would cost it a good deal of money, but in this situation it is not like
throwing good money after bad: five years of absolute monopoly would surely
pay.

The second strategy proceeds from a PR-OU coalition. But OU and Yushchenko
missed the opportunity when the PR was ready for compromise concessions. If’
from the very beginning, the “orange coalition talks” were meant to serve as
a cover, OU should have made the most of that period and secured such
concessions formally and publicly.

But instead, the talks never went any further than Tymoshenko’s personality
and the president never got the upper hand. Now that the PR leaders have
seen the orange troika’s impotence and all those squabbles inside the orange
camp, they understand that it is their chance to get hold of the first
fiddle. The only question is how far they are ready to go and whether they
will claim premiership.

This question is extremely important for the PR, because its presence in the
higher echelons of power hinges on premiership. A few weeks ago, it would
have been quite content with a few influential positions in the central
government and in standing committees. Now it is claiming premiership louder
and louder.

The explanation lies on the surface: even if the PR-OU coalition breaks up,
it does not mean the government’s automatic resignation. The prime minister
will stay in office as long as this political force controls 226 votes in
the parliament (which is not difficult with huge financial and
administrative resources at its disposal). Then a pro-Yushchenko or a
Socialist speaker may be replaced: the president’s consent is not required.

The picture is clear to the PR, OU, and the Socialists, but none of them
ventures to predict an outcome of this standoff. There is only one sure
fact: last Friday, the day before the leaders of the three orange factions
met with Yushchenko, OU conveyed the coalition’s draft action program and
regulations to the Party of Regions.

One week of active negotiations between OU and the PR revealed both points
of dispute, as well as common ground. The problems that had stalled the
coalition talks among the orange forces were lifted very quickly in the
PR-OU format. There remain several disputable issues, though: the status of
the Russian language in Ukraine, accession to NATO, premiership claims, the
status of state secretaries, etc.

On Friday morning, the OU team (at its own initiative) resumed coalition
talks with the Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialists. In the afternoon, the
same team sat down to negotiate with the PR.

                                     OUR UKRAINE
Just like Leonid Kuchma was the consolidating factor for different political
forces during the Orange Revolution, Tymoshenko is the nail that now keeps
together the Our Ukraine bloc as an integral political force. She has a few
supporters there, but they hardly play leading roles in the faction. Only
two members—Katerynchuk and Knyazevych—did not applaud the decision to
start coalition talks with the PR, exposing themselves as “black sheep.”

The OU faction and its sponsors from Yushchenko’s close entourage considered
several alternatives to Yuri Yekhanurov as the candidate for premiership:
Igor Tarasyuk, Petro Oliynyk, Yuri Lutsenko, and Petro Poroshenko. But
Lutsenko was struck off as a strong irritant to the PR.

Poroshenko was rejected because the president would never allow him to head
the government, and the other two candidatures were no longer considered
after the president’s clear message that “Yekhanurov is Premier.”

This circumstance makes the future rather grim for many OU members, but
Yekhanurov need not care about his opponents in OU, having such a strong
numerical reserve of votes in the parliament, as well as the president’s
personal support. The question is whether the PR will give up its
premiership claim.

The only thing OU is really afraid of is the parliament’s dissolution: its
popularity rating is now estimated at between five and seven percent.

                     THE YULIA TYMOSHENKO BLOC
Members of her faction are not afraid of pre-term elections. They are even
making plans to initiate the dissolution procedure without the president’s
participation should OU leave them out of the coalition. All it takes is 150
volunteers ready to surrender their mandates.

Tymoshenko’s faction numbers 129. But are all of them ready to run another
race, having spent so much on this one? Besides, the Ukrainian voters are
already sick and tired of this protracted anarchy, so this initiative may
hit Tymoshenko’s rating.

Tymoshenko has repeatedly and firmly ruled out her bloc’s alliance with the
PR. Her principal demands are as follows: Turchinov must be interior
minister; there must be no governmental committees (as they would diminish
the prime minister’s powers and influence); governors must be appointed
through consensus among the orange allies; Moroz must be parliament speaker.

Tymoshenko wants all or nothing and does not agree to compromise solutions.
Perhaps, contrary to the general belief, she is not that willing to head the
government right now? Perhaps, being aware of the complicated economic
situation, she foresees an inglorious end to her premiership in six months?

The news about the start of coalition talks between OU and the PR did not
make Tymoshenko and her comrades happy, but it did not throw them off the
track either. Tymoshenko’s latest public utterances sounded like an
announcement of her presidential campaign. She has never deviated from her
strategic goals.

If she is left out of the coalition, her bloc’s factions in all
representative bodies—from the Verkhovna Rada to village councils—are
most likely to crumble very quickly. But at the same time, OU and the PR are
sure to lose a considerable part of electoral support. That is why
Tymoshenko is going to make the final decision, bearing in mind her main
goal: power for years, not months.

                                     THE SOCIALISTS
Oleksandr Moroz says that “things will work out for the best,” but it is
unclear how. The PR has almost gained over one half of the Socialist
faction. The other half believes that, if Moroz does not become parliament
speaker, the Socialist faction is doomed to crumble, so opposition is the
best niche for the Socialists.

Moroz met with Tymoshenko, Yushchenko, and [PR negotiator] Klyuyev. He
got some promises from each and promised something to each in return. In the
orange coalition, the Socialists have to sacrifice certain ambitions and
principles, but their presence is critical for the 242-strong troika.

Knowing that, they hold their ground.

They have fewer differences with the PR on the issues of NATO accession or
the status of the Russian language, but they hate to be small fish in the
big pond kept by Yanukovych and Yekhanurov.

There is another possible format: PR + Communists + Socialists, but simple
arithmetic can hardly outweigh ideological differences and long-standing
enmity among these political forces.

The puzzle picture is still incomplete and the political leaders have
another weekend to put it together.                         -30-
————————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://www.mirror-weekly.com/ie/show/602/53700/

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10. PREMIER OF ALBERTA VISITS LVIV AND IVANO-FRANKIVSK
                       TO ENHANCE SISTER PROVINCE TIES
            To announce Alberta-Ukraine genealogical research project

Maple Leaf News, Canadian Embassy in Ukraine
Vol. 69, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, June 19, 2006

Kyiv – Premier Ralph Klein will enhance ties with Alberta’s sister provinces
during his mission to Ukraine, June 13-22. In Ukraine Premier Klein will be
accompanied by Education Minister Gene Zwozdesky.

This visit reciprocates visits to Alberta by leaders of Alberta’s newest
sister provinces. “I am looking forward to visiting Ukraine for the first
time since we signed twinning agreements,” said Klein.

In addition to meeting government leaders, he will announce an
Alberta-Ukraine genealogical research project, which will enable over
300,000 Albertans of Ukrainian ancestry to access their family records in
Ukraine without having to leave Alberta.

An education cooperation project to enhance Ukrainian language instruction
in Alberta will also be announced. In Ivano-Frankivsk, Klein will open an
exhibit on Ukrainian immigration to Alberta.         -30-
———————————————————————————————-
Media enquiries may be directed to: Marisa Etmanski, Office of the Premier
Office: (780) 422-4897, cell: 232-7386; marisa.etmanski@gov.ab.ca
More information about Alberta’s twinned provinces in Ukraine is available
http://www.iir.gov.ab.ca/international_relations/world_relations_europe.asp.
———————————————————————————————–
Dmytro.Ostapenko@international.gc.ca; http://www.kyiv.gc.ca
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11. CANADIAN GUEST CONDUCTOR WES JANZEN LEADS THE KYIV
  SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS IN HAYDN’S “THE CREATION”
         Conductor Janzen’s ancestral heritage is German/Ukrainian/Canadian

By Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #715, Article 11
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 20, 2006

KYIV – A large cast of professional orchestra players and singers from The
Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, under the direction of Canadian guest
conductor Wes Janzen presented the Franz Joseph Haydn musical masterpiece
“The Creation” to a large crowd in Kyiv on Monday evening, June 19 at the
St. Nicholas Catholic Church (National House of Organ and Chamber Music
of Ukraine.) The performance received a standing ovation from the audience.

Performed in Vienna every year since its successful premiere in 1798, The
Creation was an appropriate number to celebrate the arrival of summer in
2006, and the summer, fifteen years ago, in August of 1991 when Ukraine
declared its independence from the Soviet Union and found new freedom.

Soloists included bass Taras Shtonda (a leading soloist at Bolshoi and
National Opera of Ukraine), Oleksandr Ostrovskiy (soloist at National Opera
of Ukraine), Dmytro Ageev (soloist at National Opera of Ukraine and guest
artist throughout Europe and America), Alla Prigara (regular soloist with
Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus) and Olga Chebotareva (a leading
student of opera at Tchaikovsky National Music Academy in Kiev).

                     CONDUCTOR FROM WESTERN CANADA
Wes Janzen is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at
Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. His choirs
have been heard on dozens of CBC national performances. They perform on a
regular basis with the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Chamber Choir and
CBC Orchestra. National broadcasts with Vancouver Symphony include ‘Berlioz
L’Enfance du Christ,’ ‘Britten War Requiem,’ ‘Verdi Requiem,’ and
‘Mendelssohn Lobgesang.’

National broadcasts with CBC Vancouver Orchestra and Vancouver Chamber
Choir include Bach Christmas Oratorio, Mozart Coronation Mass, Schubert
Magnificat and Beethoven Mass in C. Wes Janzen frequently serves on the jury
at some of Europe’s top choir competitions. He holds a DMA in conducting
performance/vocal pedagogy and has studied conducting with Eric Ericson in
Stockholm, Sweden.

Janzen and his wife Kimberly are also co-artistic directors of the Pacific
Mennonite Children’s Choir which won gold recently at the Riva del Garda
International Choir competition in Italy.

    JANZEN’S GRANDFATHER’S LIVED IN SOUTHERN UKRAINE
Conductors Janzen’s grandfather’s were members of the German agricultural
settlements in the Crimea Oblast along the Dniper River, an area then
considered part of the Czar’s Russia, which is now part of southern Ukraine.
His two grandfathers narrowly escaped from the area after World War I when
the Red Army was taking over the eastern and southern parts of the then
newly independent Ukraine.

Many members of his family and other German settlers were murdered by the
advancing Communists.  His ancestors ended up settling in western Canada.
They were the certainly the lucky ones as by the end of the 1930’s the
Soviets, under Stalin’s cruel leadership, had effectively taken most of the
land and assets away from the German settlers and had murdered most of
them by gun, starvation, or sent them to their death in Siberia.

By the beginning of WWII in the late 1930’s the Soviets has almost totally
destroyed all of the German agricultural settlements which had been built
along the Volga River in Soviet Russia and in the southern part of Soviet
Ukraine beginning in the late 1700’s and then again in the early 1800’s.

          THE KIEV SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS
The Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus has performed many of the great
choral masterpieces in Kiev and has toured America extensively. It has
premiered and presented works as varied as Bach Mass in B minor, Bach St.
Matthew Passion, Berlioz Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Handel Messiah, Mozart
Requiem, Mendelssohn Elijah, and Walton Balshazsar’s Feast. Its most recent
tour, a huge success, was to some of the major cities in Russia.

Under the direction of Roger McMurrin who founded the Kiev Symphony
Orchestra and Chorus in 1993, the KSOC has established a strong record of
musical excellence through recordings and public performances. The Kiev
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus is part of a larger organization which, among
other things, also provides humanitarian assistance to literally hundreds of
widows and orphans in Kiev. Additional information can be found on their
website: http://www.kievsymphony.com.               -30-
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12. VOLYN UKRAINIAN SONG & DANCE CO STARTS CANADIAN TOUR
       Performance embodies the best Ukraine has to offer in the art of spectacular
             folkloric dance, song, and music. Volyn is the Spirit of Ukraine!

Abaze Productions, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Monday, June 19, 2006

TORONTO – The long awaited 22-city Canadian Tour by the world-class
VOLYN UKRAINIAN SONG & DANCE COMPANY of Lutsk, Ukraine,
will premiere at the Grand Theatre in London, ON, on Tuesday, June 20, 2006.
The performance starts at 8:00 p.m.

During their 1999 North American Tour their performance was described by
The New York Times as “Flawless,” while the Chicago Tribune exclaimed
“Glorious!”

Northstreams Inc., a top Canadian production house will be filming the
live performance. This television special is destined for the PBS, SCN,
BRAVO and other television networks around the world.

Tickets at the Hummingbird Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto are
going fast and furious, with customers snapping up the best seats. It is
projected that the Toronto performance on Saturday, June 24, at 8:00
p.m. will soon be sold out. Sales in other cities are going well.

Judging by the standing ovations, laudatory press reviews, and the
numerous compliments from patrons, the entertainment quality is superb!

From song to dance, and back again, the entire team on the stage keeps
us entertained, amused, and tapping our toes or clapping our hands.  The
well trained professional singers and disciplined dancers mix happily
with the peppy musicians in a congenial “neighbourly” way with a
Hollywood touch!   This is a world-class ensemble!

The Volyn Ukrainian Song & Dance Company is Ukraine’s premiere
goodwill ambassador to Canada.  Their performance embodies the best
Ukraine has to offer in the art of spectacular folkloric dance, song, and
music. Volyn is the Spirit of Ukraine!

Performances in Ontario will be held in:
[1] HAMILTON, ON; Wednesday, June 21 @ 8:00 pm
Hamilton Place, Tickets: By phone: 905-546-4040
http://www.ticketmaster.ca/

[2] WINDSOR, ON: Thursday June 22 @ 8:00 pm
Chrysler Theatre, Tickets: By phone: 519-252-6579
Toll free: 1-800-387-9181; In Michigan: 248-645-6666
On Line: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/
OR http://www.ticketmaster.com/

[3] TORONTO, ON: Saturday, June 24, 2006 @ 8:00 p.m.
Hummingbird Centre: Tickets: Box Office 416-872-2262
On line: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/
West Arka: 416-762-8751; Euro Deli:  905-290-0605

[4] OTTAWA, ON: Sunday, June 25 @ 3:00 p.m.
National Arts Centre: Tickets: Box Office 613-755-1111
On line: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/
By fax: 613-947-7112

[5] SUDBURY, ON: Wednesday, June 28 2006 @ 8:00 pm
Fraser Theatre, Tickets: By phone: 705-674-8381

Performances in other Canadian cities will be announced shortly!
To view a 12 minute video clip or hear the Volyn Ukrainian  Song & Dance
Company music or listen to the interviews, please CLICK onto the  LINK
below: http://www.ablaze-productions.com/Tour06/index.html

The sponsors of the Canadian Tour 2006 are:
Aerosvit Ukrainian Airline, OMNI Television, e-POSHTA, Caravan
Logistics, Multiculture Marketing,  Meest Ukrainian Weekly,
http://www.kviten.com/, and VISTACOM Media & Graphics

This is a presentation of Ablaze Productions in association with the
Volyn Oblast Administration of Ukraine, the Rt. Hon. Volodymyr N.
Bondar, Governor.                       -30-
———————————————————————————————-
For additional information contact:  Leonid (Leo) Oleksiuk, President
& CEO, Ablaze Productions Corp., 2323 Lakeshore Blvd., West Suite
911, Toronto, Ontario Canada, M8B 1B8; Tel.  416-521-9555;
Cell: 416-276-2872; E-mail: leo@ablaze-productions
Web: www.ablaze-productions.com
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13.  UKRAINIAN CULTURE CENTER OF LOS ANGELES PRESENTS
   “A MUSICAL SALUTE – GOD BLESS AMERICA” FRIDAY, JUNE 23

Bohdan Knianicky, President, Kobzar Ukrainian National Choir
Ukrainian Culture Center of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California, Monday, June 19, 2006

LOS ANGELES – The Ukrainian Culture Center of Los Angeles presents
“A Musical Salute – God Bless America”  starring Anthony Kearns of “The
Irish Tenors,”  New York Opera bass Stefan Szkafarowsky, film/TV actor
George Dzundza along with the Pasadena Community Orchestra and the
Kobzar Ukrainian National Choir.

Proceeds from the concert will go to the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund
which supports the children of America’s military heroes.

This benefit concert will be held at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd.,
Glendale, CA on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.

For tickets call the Alex Theatre at 818-243-ALEX or www.alextheatre.com
“Salute” event info: Bohdan Knianicky, Kobzar Choir President 951-236-4085
kbohdan@hotmail.com
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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14.  VISIT OF KATERYNA YUSHCHENKO TO LOS ANGELES
                We are lucky to call Kateryna Yushchenko our first lady

LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR: By Eugenia Dallas
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #715, Article 14
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dear Editor Morgan:

Some Ukraine notes and info that your readers might find interesting. Pani
Kateryna Yushchenko recently visited Los Angeles to visit and research
children’s hospitals to aide in the children’s medical care center she is
committed to bring to Kyiv.

 
She honored us by attending the Los Angeles Ukrainian Genocide memorial
where she personally spoke to each of us, the only 4 survivors attending the
services.

As one of the four last witnesses of the horrible atrocities where during
the height of the famine, Ukrainian villagers were dying at the rate of 17
per minute, 1.000 per hour and 25.000 per day leaving only a few survivors
to keep the history alive, I was touched by Kateryna’s compassion.

As she embraced me I felt her strength and courage honor all of us. Some of
the other survivors were unable to speak and openly wept as we remembered
the pain and suffering we all went through.

 
I am one of the lucky one’s who has found some solace in sharing the terrible
experiences in my autobiography “One Woman, Five Lives, Five Countries”,
which was only possible because I wrote in English not my native tongue.

As Kateryna placed flowers at the memorial after we all spoke it was quite
evident that she is a symbol to all of us keeping alive a history and
forging a future for our children.

 
We are lucky to call Kateryna Yushchenko our first lady.I do hope that you
share with your readers the importance and humanity of this woman.

Sincerely, Eugenia Dallas, Los Angeles, CA.

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15.    NORWAY AND UKRAINE – A RENEWAL OF AGE-OLD TIES
   We have a common past and we can build a common future. A European
      future. Ukraine’s traditions, beliefs and language have grown from the
        same cultural roots as those of other present-day European nations.

SPEECH: Jonas Gahr Store, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Mohyla Academy, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Rector Briukhovetsky, Professors, Students,

When I think about Ukraine – a country with a population ten times that of
Norway – many associations come to mind.

Ukraine is Europe’s past. Ukraine is today proving to be Europe’s present.
And Ukraine is aspiring to be Europe’s future. A future that Norway will
share with you, a democratic future, a future for the rule of law, for
peace, progress and human development.

And right now, I am looking forward to watching the Ukraine football team in
the 2006 World Cup Finals. Norway missed the opportunity – so we will side
with you. Ukraine was the first European team to qualify for the Finals, and
I will be watching when Ukraine plays Spain in Leipzig on 14 June.

It is a great honour for me to be here today, and to address the students
and teachers at this venerable institution. Many foreign politicians have
had this opportunity, which reflects that the Mohyla Academy promotes free
political thinking and a concern for contemporary political challenges.

I imagine that many of you were involved in the historic Orange Revolution.
I followed these events on television. You were part of them.

The colour orange became a symbol of peaceful change, of involvement and
participation, of democracy and freedom. A continuation of the peaceful
changes that swept through Eastern and Central Europe in the 1980s and ’90s.

        A LONG STEP BACK IN TIME TO THE VIKING ERA
I will now take a long step back in time, to the Viking era. The great
Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl promoted the theory that the people of
Scandinavia originally came from this part of Europe, from Azov. The
historical ties between our two countries date back more than a thousand
years. Old Norse literature records close contacts between the people of
Kievan Rus and the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

So “globalisation” is not an entirely new phenomenon. People from different
parts of the world met, exchanged views and found wives many centuries ago.
Longboats carried people far across the seas and down great rivers, as the
web does today.

Norway’s hero king, Olav Tryggvason, spent his teenage years at the court of
Vladimir the Great, in Novgorod, and later moved to Kiev, around the year
980. He was followed by Olav Haraldson, who was later canonised. Saint Olav
spent the last year of his life here in Kiev as a guest of his friend
Yaroslav the Wise, leaving his young son Magnus behind with Yaroslav.

Soon afterwards, Olav Tryggvason’s half-brother Harald Hardraade, later King
of Norway, came to Kiev. He married Yaroslav’s daughter Elizaveta, who
became Queen of Norway.

This is Europe. There are ties among people, cultures and traditions. It is
exciting to be back among old relatives, so to speak, and to connect with
our shared history.

One hundred years ago, the Norwegian writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, an ardent
champion of Norwegian independence, campaigned vigorously in European
newspapers for the right of Ukrainians to use their native language, which
was – as you know – restricted under the rule of Polish nobles and Russian
tsars.

In (October) 1906, he published an influential article in Le Courrier
Européen defending the rights of oppressed Ukrainians in Halychina. Ivan
Franko, the great Ukrainian writer and nationalist, translated many of
Bjørnson’s works into Ukrainian.

A couple of decades later, the Norwegian explorer, scientist and humanist
Fridtjof Nansen helped save many Ukrainians from starvation in the famine
that followed the end of World War I and the Soviet Revolution.

Today, I have paid my respects to the victims of the systematic programme
of starvation of the early 1930s. Those were terrible times.

WE HAVE A COMMON PAST AND CAN BUILD A COMMON FUTURE

Dear friends, The main point of my address to you here today is this:

We have a common past and we can build a common future. A European future.
Ukraine’s traditions, beliefs and language have grown from the same cultural
roots as those of other present-day European nations.

Ukraine is at the heart of Europe, where East and West, and North and South
meet, and this makes your nation an important partner for the European Union
and for other international organisations. And for Norway.

The EU is now the primary economic and political force shaping the future of
the continent, and Ukraine has made membership one of its strategic goals.
Ukraine’s participation in the European Neighbourhood Policy is an important
step in this direction. It offers new opportunities for the Ukrainian
people.

  THREE MAIN TRACKS OF NORWAY’S FOREIGN POLICY
Before I explain my own country’s relations with the EU, let me briefly
outline our foreign policy, which, in response to the many global challenges
of our times, follows three main tracks:

[1] The first track is Norway’s support for the development of an
international legal system that regulates the use of force and prevents the
domination of the weak by the strong. A system that promotes the benefits of
cooperation between the world’s nations and peoples to find common solutions
to the major issues. I believe one of the most important tasks is to
strengthen and reform the UN and other multilateral institutions.

[2] The second track of our foreign policy is partnership with our friends
and allies. Our membership of NATO is a key pillar, so are our close ties
with the EU countries. We have a close partnership with the United States,
and with Russia – our common neighbour. Norway can only promote its own
values and interests if there are other like-minded countries that are
prepared to listen, understand and support our views.

[3] The third track is the role we play in promoting peace, reconciliation
and development around the world. We are privileged to be engaged in a
number of peace processes. And the fact that we are in a position to play
this role gives us a responsibility. Our involvement in Sri Lanka, Sudan and
the Middle East may be well known to some of you.

Let me then return to Europe’s political landscape and the question of our
relations with the European Union.

The Norwegian people have twice – in 1972 and in 1994 – rejected EU
membership in national referenda. And yet Norway is an integral part of
Europe, and we have established a good working relationship with the EU. We
have close allies, neighbours and long-standing friends in the organisation,
as well as our most important economic partners. We are pursuing a proactive
European policy, contributing towards the common European goals. We take

our share of the continent’s responsibilities.

We are closely linked to the EU through a series of formal and informal
arrangements. The most important of these is the European Economic Area
Agreement – the EEA Agreement – between the EU and the three of EFTA
countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway). The EEA unites the 25 EU
Member States and these three EFTA States in an internal market
characterised by the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital.

The Agreement ensures that Norway takes part on an equal footing with the EU
members. Our companies, our workforce and our consumers are benefiting.
Important new opportunities are arising every day. The figures speak for
themselves: 80 per cent of our exports go to the EU, and 70 per cent of our
imports are from the EU.

                                MEMBERSHIP IN THE WTO
But there are many global trade mechanisms, and I believe that Ukrainian
membership of the World Trade Organisation – the WTO – is an important step
towards future EU membership. Ukraine is on its way – but there is still
ground to be covered. I am aware that some economic reforms are still needed
and a new government needs to send clear signals that reform will continue.
I would like to underline that Norway supports Ukrainian accession to this
world organisation.

An important part of European cooperation in the field of justice and home
affairs is cross-border investigations and prosecutions. Norway is part of
the Schengen cooperation, aimed at securing a common border control regime.
We take part in police cooperation initiatives both within the EU and with
other countries. We must stand together in the fight against international
organised crime.

Norway fully supports the EU European Neighbourhood Policy, which includes
partnerships and an action plan for Ukraine that promotes democratisation
and the rule of law. We will support cross-border projects between Ukraine
and Poland, and Hungary and Slovakia, with a view to enhancing local
democracy, development and projects in fields such as environment, justice,
education and civil society.

Membership of the OSCE and the Council of Europe has been – and still is –
an important part of both our countries’ paths towards integration into
Europe. As you know, the OSCE played an important role during the Orange
Revolution.

                                    NATO MEMBERSHIP
A safe environment means a secure, stable and peaceful environment –
including peace with neighbouring countries. I have noted Ukraine’s further
ambitions as regards Euro-Atlantic integration, including its strong pursuit
of NATO membership.

NATO membership has been one of the cornerstones of Norway’s foreign policy
for nearly 60 years, and remains so today, in an era of changing political
landscapes and expansion of NATO’s role on the global stage.

Ukraine has persistently shown that it is willing to follow democratic rules
and principles. The elections in March were described beforehand as an
important test, and Ukraine passed with great success.

This has made a strong impression on the international community, and I
believe it has strengthened Ukraine’s prospects of further Euro-Atlantic
integration. Now, Ukraine needs to follow up.

We expect the new government of Ukraine to be formed in the near future. I
hope it will show a strong commitment to continued democratic reforms and
even closer ties with Europe and NATO. There is still some way to go – and
more challenges to meet – on the nation’s road towards democratic, economic
and judicial reforms in various sectors.

I would also like to mention how much I value the stabilising role that
Ukraine is playing in both regional and wider contexts. And I particularly
welcome the active approach Kiev is taking to securing progress in the
complex Transnistrian conflict.

Now that we are talking about the wider region, I must add that I am gravely
concerned about the political situation in Belarus. We must stand together
to support the democratic movement in your neighbouring country. I am glad
to note Ukraine’s support for basic democratic rights in Belarus. The
Belarus people must – like the Ukrainians – have the opportunity to elect
their own leaders, and to elect them in a truly democratic and transparent
manner.

Norway also appreciates the increasingly important role Ukraine is playing
in both NATO and UN operations. This is further evidence of your efforts to
become more closely integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures – where you
belong.

Norway supports Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO. The Alliance pursues an
open door policy. The decision to apply is for Ukraine to take. Then Ukraine
must continue on its process of reform.

Ukraine has already made good use of the Intensified Dialogue process with
NATO. The discussions on the role of the armed forces in a modern democracy
have brought real progress. But the hard work must continue. If the new
government confirms Ukraine’s intention to join NATO, your country will be
facing the challenge of reforming its armed forces. It is a challenge worth
pursuing.

Norway has extensive experience of assisting new and aspiring NATO members
in carrying out the reforms required, and we are ready to assist Ukraine, in
cooperation with our Nordic and Baltic allies. Such cooperation could be an
important step towards further strengthening relations between our defence
forces. I am confident that your working with NATO member countries would
help to consolidate the democratic standards that we now see taking root in
Ukraine.

At the moment, a relatively low percentage of the Ukrainian population
supports NATO membership, and support varies significantly between the
eastern and western parts of the country. This is, of course, a challenge.
It is important for the new government to provide the public with
well-balanced information, so that the people can have a sound basis for
making a decision on the question of NATO membership. As students you should
take an active role in the debate.

Ukraine’s geographic location poses certain challenges – as was demonstrated
during the energy crisis early this year. Our common neighbour, Russia, is a
solid – but challenging – partner. Russia’s democracy is in developing.
There are promising signs, but also concerns, especially in the field of the
rule of law.

At times Norway and Russia have differing views on certain issues, but we
also cooperate successfully on a wide range of issues, such as energy,
fisheries, environmental protection and education. We also have a wide range
of cross-border people-to-people contacts. And our relations are expanding.
Russia is our main partner in the High North, and will continue to be.
Norway’s policy towards Russia is cooperative, firm and consistent.

We have open and frank discussions on issues of national interest to both
countries, such as fisheries. And we are developing a strategic energy
partnership in the High North. At the same time we are careful to consult
our other neighbours and our allies in questions of vital interest in the
north.

My point is: the end of the Cold War is making it possible for us to develop
close relations with both Russia and the rest of Europe and North America.

Due to historical and political factors, Ukraine’s relations with Russia
are, of course, different. You face particular political and economic
challenges, but you also have the opportunity to be an important partner in
efforts to promote an atmosphere of confidence and cooperation in the entire
Euro-Atlantic area. Norway strongly supports Ukraine’s focus in this regard.

  NEED FOR ADEQUATE, AFFORDABLE & ACCESSIBLE ENERGY
Let me turn to energy, which is a very important issue both for Norway as a
producer, and for Ukraine as a consumer and transit country.

The need for adequate, affordable and accessible energy has put supply
security at the top of the agenda all over the world.

Norway takes its role as a stable and reliable provider of energy to Europe
seriously. We are the world’s third largest exporter of both oil and gas
and, together with Russia and Algeria, we are the main provider of gas to
Europe.

As petroleum activities continue to move further north into the Barents Sea,
we see new opportunities arising. The Barents Sea is regarded as one of the
world’s most interesting petroleum provinces, and cooperation with Russia
will be very important.

One of our common challenges will be finding technological solutions that
make it possible to operate in an extremely cold and inhospitable region.
Our companies are at the forefront in this field, and we have already
developed advanced underwater production technologies.

But environmental protection and management of renewable resources, such as
important fish stocks, are equally important factors.

Current oil prices are a major concern for Ukraine, as they are for many
other countries. While Ukraine has benefited from rising global coal prices,
it is suffering under record oil and gas prices. Everyone, including the
major oil-producing countries, agrees that oil prices that hover around 70
dollars a barrel for any length of time are unhealthy for the global
economy.

The solution to this problem does not lie with an individual nation or a
small group of countries. It requires cooperation on a global basis. And it
will take time and dedicated effort.

In short, we need to address the challenges of bringing adequate energy to
the market at affordable prices, without destroying our environment. In
order to achieve this, we need to develop transparent global energy markets.

Access to energy transportation networks, predictable investment regimes and
energy efficiency measures are central issues. We need greater emphasis on
research and development on new and improved technology. But, equally
important, this requires human resources. We need to make sure that careers
in research are attractive to students like you.

It is now 20 years since the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl – a catastrophe
that caused terrible suffering in Ukraine, and also hit neighbouring
regions, including Norway. This reminds us that our continent is vulnerable,
and that many of the gravest challenges can only be met if we stand
together. Norway has been assisting Ukraine in dealing with the consequences
of this accident through the nuclear action plan. We must all strive to
ensure that an accident such as this never happens again.

Environment and energy are just two of several issues in which the Norwegian
Government is engaged on a global scale.
More importantly, efforts to promote peace and stability as a basis for
human development are at the core of Norway’s foreign policy, as I have
already mentioned. Reports show that in the last 15 years, the world has
suffered 100 conflicts, about 30 of which are still continuing today. Nearly
all of them are internal conflicts.

One effect of globalisation is that we are all affected by these conflicts.
Today’s greatest challenges – terrorism, international organised crime,
human trafficking, environmental degradation and the spread of infectious
diseases – originate in conflict areas far away.

However, nowhere is really far away anymore. Local, internal and regional
conflicts are a global problem, a global challenge.
Our efforts for peace, reconciliation and development are therefore an
important part of our security policy. By helping others, we are helping
ourselves.

Much of what we do is possible only because of our involvement in
international cooperation efforts, our partnerships and our alliances. Our
participation in UN-led initiatives has given Norway international
credibility. Our peace efforts are rooted in our belief that the UN, NATO,
the OSCE and European cooperation are the best means of promoting respect
for human rights on a global scale.

  HUMAN RIGHTS CORNERSTONE OF MODERN CIVILISATION
Human rights are the cornerstone of modern civilisation, and respect for
human rights has improved greatly in Ukraine since it gained independence.
This development brings Ukraine into the Euro-Atlantic and global community
of shared values. I would like to congratulate Ukraine on its election as a
member of the newly established UN Human Rights Council.

One of the many global challenges we are facing in the human rights area is
trafficking in human beings. By its very definition, human trafficking
constitutes a denial of all fundamental human rights.

So this is an issue that lies close to my heart, and it affects both of our
countries. Trafficking is a threat to our democratic values and a threat to
the stability and security of our world today. It is a major source of
income for those involved in international organised crime.

We need to strengthen international police cooperation to catch the
traffickers. And we need to provide an environment that protects children
against abuse.

Our two countries have a common interest in combating this evil. Both Norway
and Ukraine have signed the European Convention on Action against
Trafficking in Humans Beings, which was adopted in May 2005. Our two
countries should work more closely together to make this convention a
forceful instrument in the fight against trafficking in our region.

     GROWTH IN CONTACTS BETWEEN NORWAY AND UKRAINE
Dear friends,

In conclusion, I would like to emphasise how much I welcome the growth in
the bilateral political, economic, educational and cultural contacts between
Norway and Ukraine over the last few years.

We can see the results of this here, at the Mohyla Academy. For two years,
the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs [NUPI] has been conducting
teaching programmes in political science, ecology and international trade
relations in cooperation with the Academy. Students recently attended a
seminar on Norway’s relationship to the EU.

Later today, this cooperation will be expanded even further through the
opening of a Telenor-financed electronic study room in this building, and a
training programme for students from the Academy.

I would like to add that since 2003, Bodø University College in Northern
Norway has been providing introductory courses in business administration
for decommissioned officers in Sevastopol and Simferopol, supported by the
Norwegian Government.

We have also supported some of the activities of the student organisation
European Youth Parliament.

It is vital to give support to networking, to exchanges and to the younger
generation. They – I mean, you – will be the future leaders of Ukraine. You
will be able to travel across borders much more easily than your parents.
You are already able to search for all the information you need. [And all
the information you don’t need!].

Good relations between nations – like ours – consist primarily of contacts
between people, including students, artists and journalists, and between
schools, businesses and civil society organisations.

Today, governments’ foreign policy strategies are supplemented by – as well
as challenged by – input from a whole range of public diplomacy players.
Exchanges lead to changes. Networks create new workplaces.

Friends, I am confident that there is scope for further expansion of
Norwegian-Ukrainian cooperation in the field of research and higher
education. Now that Ukraine has become a member of the Bologna process,
we share the goal of creating a common European area for higher education.

I believe that we should strengthen the practical cooperation between
universities and research institutions in Norway and Ukraine. And I believe
the relevant authorities on both sides should meet as soon as possible to
identify concrete projects.

For my part, I am prepared to discuss a new, long-term framework agreement
aimed at supporting educational reforms in Ukraine, and at developing
undergraduate and graduate exchange programmes.

Higher education, openness, democratic standards and more open borders are
vital for the free passage of ideas and impulses back and forth between our
countries.

                     NORWAY AS A TOURIST DESTINATION
I am therefore delighted to see that Ukrainians are also beginning to
discover Norway as a tourist destination and as a place to work. A growing
number of visas are issued at our Kiev Embassy, almost three times more
today than in 2002.

The proposed visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Ukraine will be
followed by a similar agreement between Norway and Ukraine. Simplifying the
procedures should mean even more visitors.

I would like to commend Ukraine for taking a first and important step
towards easing border restrictions by abolishing visa requirements for the
citizens of most European countries.

More frequent visits and closer contacts will also lead to more business
activity and growth. Our bilateral relations are now expanding rapidly in
the economic area. Trade and investment are surging. Norwegian companies,
especially the telecom company Telenor, are investing in Ukraine.

A growing number of non-governmental organisations dedicated to safeguarding
democratic rights have also been established in Ukraine. Norway has offered
support to these NGOs on an ad hoc basis, and we will continue to do so.

It is important that your civil society grows independently, utilising its
own resources. I am pleased to note the contacts between our organisations
and yours. International NGO networks are also very useful, as they can
assist Ukraine in its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.

One of the main achievements of the Orange Revolution is that Ukraine has
now established full freedom of the media. Ukrainian journalists made a
significant contribution to the struggle for full democratic freedoms. It is
important that media freedom is defended and preserved as it is a
fundamental pillar of democracy.

I remember listening to a BBC interview with the Ukrainian writer Andrei
Kurkov [in September 2005]. When asked what has changed since the Orange
Revolution, he said:

“There is a greater sense of democratic accountability now. People know that
if they do not like the government, they can throw it out when they vote.
And the politicians know that too.”

Dear friends, this year marks the 100th anniversary of our great playwright
Henrik Ibsen’s death. Ibsen was primarily a citizen of the world, and it is
fitting that his plays are being performed in Kiev and Lviv – and in many
other parts of the world – in the course of the year.

Ibsen speaks with a clear and bold voice. He brings important issues onto
the agenda, and his work remains innovative and provocative in the context
of our times, touching as it does on themes such as personal morals, gender
equality, freedom of expression, corruption and abuse of power.

He once wrote to King Carl XV of Sweden of Norway that he wanted to “arouse
his countrymen out of their lethargy and direct their attention to the great
questions of life”, adding that his most important task was to “awaken the
people and inspire them to think about the bigger issues”.

Thinking about the bigger issues – this is no mean task. But we should allow
ourselves to be inspired by it.                   -30-
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Financial Officer, Chicago, IL; http://www.wjgrain.com/en/links/index.html
14. EUGENIA SAKEVYCH DALLAS, Author, “One Woman, Five
Lives, Five Countries,” ‘Her life’s journey begins with the 1932-1933
genocidal famine in Ukraine.’ Hollywood, CA, www.eugeniadallas.com.
15. ALEX AND HELEN WOSKOB, College Station, Pennsylvania
16. SWIFT FOUNDATION, San Luis Obispo, California
17. TRAVEL TO UKRAINE website, http://www.TravelToUkraine.org,
A program of the U.S-Ukraine Foundation, Washington, D.C.
========================================================
 TO BE ON OR OFF THE FREE AUR DISTRIBUTION LIST
If you would like to read the ACTION UKRAINE REPORT- AUR,
around five times a week, please send your name, country of residence,
and e-mail contact information to morganw@patriot.net. Information about
your occupation and your interest in Ukraine is also appreciated.
 
If you do not wish to read the ACTION UKRAINE REPORT please
contact us immediately by e-mail to morganw@patriot.net.  If you are
receiving more than one copy please let us know so this can be corrected
========================================================
                        PUBLISHER AND EDITOR – AUR
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs
Washington Office, SigmaBleyzer
Emerging Markets Private Equity Investment Group
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013, Tel: 202 437 4707
Mobile in Kyiv: 8 050 689 2874
mwilliams@SigmaBleyzer.com; www.SigmaBleyzer.com
========================================================
    Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. 
========================================================
return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
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