AUR#838 May 4 U.S. Business Assured By Foreign Minister About Investment Climate Stability; Boeing; Cargill; Vanco; Horizon Capital; Holtec; Shell; Mars

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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 838
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2007

               –——-  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
Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 2, 2007

2.     FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK MEETS MEMBERS OF THE
               U.S-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL IN WASHINGTON
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 30, 2007

3.    UKRAINE: AEROSVIT TO STICK WITH BOEING FOR PLANNED
                   RENEWAL OF ITS 737 MEDIUM-RANGE FLEET

Tom Zaitsev. Reed Business Information – Air Transport Intelligence
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 3, 2007
 
4UKRAINE: CARGILL INSTALLS BOILERS FIRED BY SUNFLOWER
  HUSKS IN OIL EXTRACTION PLANTS IN DONETSK AND KAKHOVKA
Viktoria Miroshnychenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 16, 2007

5.     UKRAINE: DRAFT AGREEMENT WITH VANCO ON SHARING 

   PRODUCTS FROM BLACK SEA SHELF’S TRANS-KERCH SEGMENT
Yevhen Holovatiuk, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 11, 2007

6.   IFC OPENS $7 MILLION HOUSING FINANCE CREDIT LINE FOR

           INTERNATIONAL MORTGAGE BANK (IMB) IN UKRAINE
Interfax, Ukraine Business, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

7.       UKRAINE: HOLTEC & ENERGOATOM COMMENCE THE
                            SPENT FUEL STORAGE PROJECT
Holtec Highlights, Marlton, New Jersey, Thursday, April 26, 2007

8.     UKRAINE: SHELL ENERGY ALLOWED TO INCREASE ANNUAL
                    VOLUME OF NATURAL GAS SUPPLY BY 115%
Hanna Kukhta, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv,Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

9ANTIMONOPOLY COMMITTEE FINES CZECH/UKRAINIAN PET FOOD
   COMPANY FOR IMITATION OF MARS (UNITED STATES) PRODUCTS
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

10.                             UKRAINE: REFORMING COAL
BRIEFING: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Thu, 26 April 2007

11.                        UKRAINE: READY FOR FOOTBALL?
BRIEFING: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tue, 3 May 2007

12.                             UKRAINE: WHAT A FINE MESS
     Ukraine needs an honest politician; actually Ukraine needs many of them.
LATITUDES and ATTITUDES: By Glen Willard
The Ukrainian Observer magazine, Issue 231
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 2007

13“UKRAINE”S ACCESSION TO NATO WILL BE THE SEVEREST
                                POLITICAL BLOW FOR RUSSIA”

INTERVIEW: With Viacheslav Igrunov
INTERVIEWED BY: Inna ZAVHORODNIA, Moscow
The Day Weekly Digest #13, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 24 April 2007

14AMBASSADOR OLEH SHAMSHUR: UKRAINE WANTS MOLDOVA
                         TO BE STABLE, FRIENDLY AND UNITED
The Moldova Foundation, Arlington, VA, Thursday, May 3, 2007

15.    MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT AND US ASSISTANT US SECRETARY
         OF STATE MEET ABOUT THE TRANSDNIESTRIAN PROBLEM

New Europe, Athens, Greece, Thursday, May 3, 2007

16. SLAVIC PRIDNESTROVIE IS BIRTHPLACE OF ANCIENT UKRAINE
                Kievan Rus is the birthplace of Russia, despite its location 
             in what is today Ukraine. But going back further, historians are
                uncovering the birthplace of the original Ukraine itself. For 
                   the answer, look south: To what is today Pridnestrovie.
Times staff, Tiraspol Times, Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie, Tue, May 3, 2007

17.    UKRAINE: REAPPOINTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
                                PISKUN INSTEAD OF MEDVEDKO

ANALYSIS: By Vasyl Panfilov, UCIPR analyst
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Research Update. Vol. 13, No. 14/486, Kyiv, Ukraine, 30 April 2007

18.       THE THIRD ADVENT OF PROSECUTOR GENERAL PISKUN
By Ostap Kryvdyk, political scientist, activist
Ukrayinska Pravda in Ukrainian, translated by Eugene Ivantsov

Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 29, 2007

19.     PRESIDENTIAL REPRESENTATIVE SAYS CONSTITUTIONAL
                        COURT BECOMING “TOO POLITICIZED”

UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 3, 2007

20.                             JUDGES OUTSIDE THE LAW
                          An update on the political crisis in Ukraine

COMMENTARY: Sergei Strokan, Kommersant, Moscow, Thu, May 3, 2007
 
21.      YUSHCHENKO’S FIFTEEN DEMANDS FOR PM YANUKOVYCH
Original article in Ukrainian by Ukrayinska Pravda
Translated by Olga Bogatyrenko for UKL

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 1, 2007
 
22THIRD ANNUAL DANYLIW RESEARCH SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY
        UKRAINIAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, SEPT 27-29, 2007
CALL FOR PAPER PROPOSALS: By Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada, Friday, May 4, 2007
23.              PLAST: UKRAINE’S OLDEST SCOUT ORGANIZATION
             CELEBRATES ITS 95TH ANNIVERSARY, FOUNDED IN LVIV
By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 17 April 2007 
24.                                          ORANGE PRIZE
           Serhy Yekelchyk steps back for a wider view of Ukraine’s historical
                    relationship with Russia and the West in his new book.
BOOK REVIEW: By Askold Krushelnycky
Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 6, 2007
 
                 OF WOSKOB SERIES AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Penn State Ag Sciences News, University Park, PA, Monday, April 16, 2007
 
26.                    ‘BLUETOOTH REVOLUTION’ IN BELARUS?
By Alexa Chopivsky, NBC News Producer
Posted on NBC News World Blog, London, England, Wed, Apr 04, 2007
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1
UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ASSURES U.S. BUSINESS
FIGURES OF COUNTRY’S INVESTMENT CLIMATE STABILITY
 

Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 2, 2007
 
KYIV Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has assured U.S.
business figures that Ukraine’s internal political situation will not affect the
government’s decisions to strengthen national investment infrastructure.

Yatseniuk was addressing the members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business

Council [USUBC] during his visit to the United States, Ukrainian Foreign
Ministry’s spokesman Andriy Deschytsia told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

The minister stressed that Ukraine’s accession to the WTO and passing all
the necessary amendments to the legislation remains the country’s foreign
priority.

The parties discussed the current issues of European security, relations
with the EU and NATO, and Ukraine-U.S. cooperation.          -30-
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2. FOREIGN MINISTER YATSENYUK MEETS MEMBERS OF
   THE U.S-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL IN WASHINGTON

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 30, 2007

KYIV – Minister of Foreign Affairs Arseniy Yatsenyuk spoke before

members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council in Washington on Monday.
 
Mr. Yatsenyuk assured the representatives of the American business that
the internal political situation in Ukraine would not influence the resolution
of the Government on the completion of the strategic reforms necessary four
our country and for the further strengthening of the national investment
infrastructure.

In the course of the speech, the Head of the foreign policy office emphasized

that one of the main foreign political priorities of our state is entry into the
WTO and making all necessary changes in the legislation and in all fields of
the national economy in this context.

Mr. Yatsenyuk underlined openness of the position of Ukraine in the issues
of further strengthening of bilateral commercial relations and emphasized
the importance of constructive cooperation with business and financial
circles of the USA that is the best example of global economic development.

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               U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
                                         Washington, D.C.

MISSION: The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council was established in
October 1995 to advance U.S. companies’ trade and investment interests
in Ukraine’s significant emerging market, advocate for measures to improve
conditions for bilateral trade and investment, and generally promote strong,
friendly bilateral ties. To fulfill this mission, the Council seeks to:

Assure that the U.S. business viewpoint is known and given highest
consideration in the formulation of U.S. Government policies towards
Ukraine;

Assure that the U.S. business perspective, including the U.S. business
community’s desire to contribute constructively to Ukraine’s vigorous
market development, is understood within the Ukrainian public and
private sectors;

Make U.S. business views known to the Government and private sector
of Ukraine with respect to policies and legal, regulatory and other matters
which bear significantly upon the willingness or ability of U.S. companies
to trade with or invest in Ukraine;

Facilitate direct contacts between its members and senior Ukrainian
Government and business leaders which foster the elimination of
impediments to trade or investment or which otherwise can materially
assist the realization of investment or trade opportunities.

LEGAL STATUS: The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council is incorporated
in the District of Columbia as a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association.

MEMBERSHIP: Regular Membership in the Council is open to U.S.
corporations, partnerships and other business entities from all business
sectors, irrespective of size.

To facilitate participation by new and small businesses, the Council offers
a Regular Small Business Membership. Trade associations, non-profit
corporations, and individuals are eligible for Associate Membership.

 
For membership information contact Morgan Williams, President,
at mwilliams@usubc.org or Ulyana Panchishin, Program Coordinator,

GOVERNANCE: Council policies are established by the Board of
Directors, on which each Regular Member has a seat. The Board of
Directors meets at least annually. Each member holds one seat on
the Board of Directors.

Between meetings of the Board of Directors, its powers are exercised
by its elected Executive Committee. Officers of the corporation are the
President and Secretary/Treasurer. The President serves as the
Council’s Chief Executive Officer.

 
OFFICE: 1701 K. Street, N.W, Suite 903, Washington, D.C. 20006.
Tel. +1 (202) 429-0551; Fax. +1 (202) 223-1224; www.usubc.org.
=======================================================
                     U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC)
         EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
                                         
Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, President
John Stephens, EMAlternatives, Secretary-Treasurer
Shannon Herzfeld, ADM
Patrick Sweet, SASI
Irina Paliashvilli, Russian-Ukrainian Legal Group
Michael Kirst, Westinghouse
Van Yeutter, Cargill
John Rauber, Deere & Co.
Paul Nathanson, PBN Company
Jack Heller, Heller & Rosenblatt, Legal Advisor
=======================================================
    SENIOR ADVISORS TO THE U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL

1. Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington

2. Andy Bihun, Global Trade Development/
The Washington Group, Washington

3. Ariel Cohen, Ph.D, Senior Research Fellow,
Allison Center for International Studies, Davis Institute
for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation, Washington

4. Steven Pifer, Senior Advisor, Russia & Eurasia Program,
CSIS, Washington, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

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3. UKRAINE: AEROSVIT TO STICK WITH BOEING FOR PLANNED
                RENEWAL OF ITS 737 MEDIUM-RANGE FLEET
Tom Zaitsev. Reed Business Information – Air Transport Intelligence
London, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 3, 2007

MOSCOW – Ukraine’s largest airline AeroSvit has made a decision in principle
to stick to Boeing models for the planned renewal of its medium-range fleet.

Last year AeroSvit created an ad hoc committee to study competing products
of Airbus and Boeing from technical, operational and commercial standpoints.

A company spokesman says it has finally settled on Boeing’s business
propositions after judging it to be “more advantageous for conducting
aircraft purchase negotiations.”

But he indicates the committee’s conclusion is only a recommendation, which
is subject to approval by the advisory board at a special meeting shortly.

The US manufacturer has offered AeroSvit 737-800 twinjets in a package
with after-sales product support.

AeroSvit is planning to lease up to 11 aircraft to replace its current fleet
of Boeing 737 classic models. “We need to complete refleet in the
medium-haul segment by 2011,” says the spokesman.

The carrier also wants to replace its long-range equipment, comprising
three -767-300ERs, and is looking at A350 and Boeing 787s. But the
spokesman says this is still being studied and will be resolved separately.

————————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE:  Boeing is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business
Council and attended the Council’s meeting in Washington on Monday
with Ukraine’s new Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
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4.  UKRAINE: CARGILL INSTALLS BOILERS FIRED BY SUNFLOWER
  HUSKS IN OIL EXTRACTION PLANTS IN DONETSK AND KAKHOVKA

Viktoria Miroshnychenko, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 16, 2007

KYIV – The Cargill company has invested about USD 20 million in installation
of boilers fired by sunflower husks at its oil extraction plants in Donetsk
and Kakhovka (Kherson region). The company announced this to Ukrainian

News.

Officials at the company said that the implementation of this project
enabled the plants to use their own production waste and meet their own
demands for heat energy while using environmentally clear fuel.

The company’s officials said that three boilers have thus far been installed
at the oil extraction plants Donetsk and Kakhovka.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Cargill owns two sunflower processing
plants in Ukraine – the Donetsk and Kakhovka plants.
 
Cargill entered onto the Ukrainian market in 1991. It has a representative
office in Kyiv. The company works with agricultural producers in the area
of raw-material deliveries or provision of financial resources.

Cargill is an international supplier of food and agricultural products; it
also provides services in the area of risk management.          -30

————————————————————————————————

FOOTNOTE:  Cargill is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business
Council and attended the Council’s meeting in Washington on Monday
with Ukraine’s new Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
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5.   UKRAINE: DRAFT AGREEMENT WITH VANCO ON SHARING 
 PRODUCTS FROM BLACK SEA SHELF’S TRANS-KERCH SEGMENT

Yevhen Holovatiuk, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, April 11, 2007

KYIV – The Ministry of Economy has registered the draft of the agreement to
be signed between the Cabinet of Ministers and Vanco International Ltd.
(Switzerland), a subsidiary of Vanco Energy Company (United States), on
sharing products mined from the trans-Kerch segment of the Black Sea shelf.

Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the Ministry for
Environmental Protection.

The draft agreement was approved at an April 3 meeting of the interagency
commission for signing and implementation of product-sharing agreements
(PSAs), and soon it will be sent to Vanco International for approval.

The draft agreement has been developed by Ukraine with a view to specifics
of investment, taxation, customs, and environmental law.

“Members of the interagency commission are confident that the adopted
document will help create equal conditions for effective cooperation between
the sides and help them achieve a positive result during the practical
implementation of the project,” the report reads.

The press service of the Ministry for Environmental Protection told
Ukrainian News that now it is up to the Ministry of Economy to choose a

date for sending the approved text to Vanco International.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Deputy Prime Minister Andrii Kliuev said
that this draft agreement provides for sharing products from the trans-Kerch
segment of the Black Sea shelf in the ratio of 60:40 (60% to the state and
40% to the investor) after the start of development of the segment and 50:50
during the stage before the start of development (before recoupment of
investments).

Previously, Vanco International ltd had insisted on a 60:40 product-sharing
ratio (60% to the investor and 40% to the state).

The Cabinet of Ministers declared Vanco International ltd the winner of a
competition for the right to develop the trans-Kerch segment of the Black
Sea’s continental shelf in April 2006, and later the company announced that
it was ready to invest USD 2 billion in development of the segment.

————————————————————————————————

FOOTNOTE:  Vanco is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business
Council and attended the Council’s meeting in Washington on Monday
with Ukraine’s new Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
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6.  IFC OPENS $7 MILLION HOUSING FINANCE CREDIT LINE FOR
          INTERNATIONAL MORTGAGE BANK (IMB) IN UKRAINE

Interfax, Ukraine Business, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 3, 2007

KYIV – The International Finance Corporation (IFC),the private sector arm of
the World Bank Group,has opened a 10-year,$7-million first housing finance
credit line for the International Mortgage Bank (IMB),the IFC reported on
March 28.

The facility will support the growth of IMB’s mortgage portfolio and expand
access to credit for Ukrainians seeking to purchase homes or make home
improvements. The loan agreement was signed on March 28.

“This agreement with IFC is a landmark for IMB. We are also in discussions
with IFC about other types of financing over the next six to nine months.

 
We believe the deal signed today is only the beginning of a fruitful
partnership,” the IFC press release quotes Todd Esposito,Chief Financial
Officer of IMB Group,as saying.

Yuriy Blashchuk,IMB’s Chief Executive Officer,said that the funding is the
second deal that IMB has signed this year,bringing the total long-term
mortgage funding to about $50 million.

“It will enable us to continue to be a leader in the Ukrainian marketplace,”
he said. “We look forward to working with IFC over the next several years.”

Jerome Sooklal,Director of IFC’s Central and Eastern Europe Department
said,”Supporting housing financing in Ukraine is a strategic area for IFC.
By financing a growing bank known for best practices,affordable
financing,and outstanding service,we are helping build the mortgage market
and helping Ukrainians purchase homes.”

Ukraine became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1993. As of March
20,2007,IFC invested around $705 million in 32 projects.

The IFC’s investment program in Ukraine is expanding rapidly,with a focus

on the financial,agribusiness,construction materials,retail trade and
services,energy,and infrastructure sectors.

The IFC has also been conducting an extensive advisory program since
1992,which initially focused on the privatization of small businesses,land,

and idle construction sites.

Current donor-funded programs offer advice on corporate governance,

leasing,and agribusiness. The IFC also seeks to improve the business
environment and promote growth of small and medium enterprises.

IMB Group Public Ltd. is Ukraine’s leading consumer lending holding,offering
mortgages and point-of-sale loans,and taking deposits.

The group owns a 100% stake in International Mortgage Bank and in Family
Credit, a consumer lending intermediary. IMB Group is backed by Horizon
Capital, Ukraine’s leading private equity fund manager.

IMB was founded in 2004. The bank’s overall assets in 2006 grew by 4.3 times
to UAH 374.379 million,while its aggregate liabilities increased by 5.9
times to UAH 356.92 million. The bank’s losses in 2006 ran into UAH 9.263
million,whereas in 2005 they were UAH 10.445 million.

The bank ranked 95th among 169 operating banks in terms of overall assets
(UAH 374 million) by January 2007,according to the National Bank of Ukraine.

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FOOTNOTE:  Horizon Capital is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine
Business Council in Washington.
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7. UKRAINE: HOLTEC & ENERGOATOM COMMENCE THE
                           SPENT FUEL STORAGE PROJECT

Holtec Highlights, Marlton, New Jersey, Thursday, April 26, 2007

On April 4, 2007, Energoatom and Holtec signed the contract agreement to
begin work to secure Ukrinvestexpertise’s authorization to store used fuel
discharged by Ukraine’s VVER reactors. This agreement implements the
engineering phase of the master contract signed by the two parties on
December 26, 2005.

The canisters designed for Ukraine, like the state-of-the-art canisters used
in the U.S., shall be suitable for both on-site storage and off-site transport.
The canisters will feature one high-capacity fuel basket design each for

VVER-1000 and VVER-440 reactor fuel.

The dual-purpose canisters and the storage overpack are being designed to
meet the site conditions of any location in the country so that no host site
will be permanently tethered to the loaded canisters. The flexibility to
locate the storage site at any location in the country is an essential objective

of the design.

The canisters will feature an across-the-board double-wall confinement that
is more stringent than the contemporary U.S. NRC requirement, which limits
the double barrier provision to the closure lid region.

Ukrinvestexpertise’s authorization involves concurrence from a number of
Ukraine’s national agencies, including the SNRCU (the nation’s nuclear
regulator).

Although the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has been studied and recommended
by Energoatom’s consultant as the appropriate host site and endorsed by a
council of the nation’s experts, no site-specific engineering work can be
carried out under Ukrainian law until the country’s Supreme RADA approves

the proposed installation. Therefore, designing all equipment to be deployable
at any location in the country is a vital project need.

At the signing ceremony in Kiev, Holtec’s President and CEO Dr. K.P. Singh
reiterated the message he delivered a day earlier to the International
Energy Investment Forum sponsored by the Ministry of Fuel and Energy of

Ukraine and the European Business Association, stating that “Holtec is
committed to localizing the company’s world-class spent fuel storage and
transport technology in Ukraine through the establishment of a Kiev-based
Regional Operations Center.”

The company also hopes to establish local manufacturing capability with the
requisite quality assurance infrastructure to help make Ukraine self-sufficient

in managing the backend of its reactors’ fuel cycle. Steps to establish a
substantial manufacturing base in Ukraine are well underway.

The company plans to invest $150 million in this project in Ukraine and
hopes, in the process, to create scores of well-paying professional and craft

labor jobs.                                                 -30-
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FOOTNOTE: Holtec attended the meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Business
in Washington on Monday with Ukraine’s new Foreign Minister Arseniy
Yatsenyuk.
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========================================================
8.    UKRAINE: SHELL ENERGY ALLOWED TO INCREASE
    ANNUAL VOLUME OF NATURAL GAS SUPPLY BY 115%

Hanna Kukhta, Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv,Ukraine, Thursday, April 26, 2007

KYIV – The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has allowed

the Shell Energy Ukraine company to increase annual volume of natural gas
supply by 115% or 460 million cubic meters to 860 million cubic meters. The
Commission made the corresponding decision on its Thursday meeting.

“We believe we shall have an ability to supply Ukrainian consumers with more
gas,” said Sean Mahony director general of Shell Energy Ukraine.

He added that the company turned to the Commission with such a request
because the Shell Exploration and Production company (the Netherlands) plans
to step up gas extraction.

Mahony also noted that the company has contracts for gas supplies to other
companies but did not specify these enterprises.

As Ukrainian News reported, Shell Energy was licensed for supply of 400
million cubic meters of gas per year. In 2006 the company sold ca. 80
million cubic meters of gas to Ukrainian consumers.          -30-
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9. ANTIMONOPOLY COMMITTEE FINES CZECH/UKRAINIAN PET FOOD
   COMPANY FOR IMITATION OF MARS (UNITED STATES) PRODUCTS

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 24, 2007

KYIV – The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has imposed a UAH

86,700 fine on KSK Bono (Czech Republic) and its subsidiary Bono Ukraine
(Kyiv) for illegal production of pet food imitating those by Mars Inc (United
States). The Committee made this decision at its session of April 24.

In particular, the Committee applied sanctions against the producer, who
imitated food for cats and dogs under Whiskas and Pedigree trademarks.

The Committee revealed that KSK Bono produced food for cats and dogs

under Super Balance trademark on order of Bono Ukraine.

The Committee concluded that packaging of this trademark products looks

like those of Whiskas and Pedigree, so one can easily confuse them.

The Antimonopoly Committee obliged the offenders to stop production of feed,
similar to those produced by Mars, and suppress the manufactured goods.

As to the Committee’s chairman Oleksii Kostusev, in 2006 the Committee also
recommended Romantyka and Yunist enterprises (both based in Kremenchuk) to
stop illegal use of Snickers and Bounty trademarks, which are also owned by
the Mars corporation.

As to Mars representative, the company turned to the Antimonopoly Committee
in 2005, when found Super Balance feed being sold. The representative added
that these feeds had been sold at prices twice cheaper than Whiskas and
Pedigree until recent time. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Mars
Incorporated produces foodstuffs and also pet food.              -30-
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10.               UKRAINE: REFORMING COAL

BRIEFING: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Thu, 26 April 2007

Ukraine’s coal industry has potential for massive growth, as the country
seeks more energy independence and the use of hydrocarbons declines
globally. Creating a modern and efficient coal industry in Ukraine could
mean reform.

This would be good news for the country, as coal remains Ukraine’s most
important fossil fuel, and it is finding a growing role in Ukrainian energy
generation.

Coal is the only fuel that Ukraine possesses in large amounts, accounting
for 95.4% of the nation’s fossil fuel deposits. This fact is crucial given
the recent importance energy security has been given in Ukraine’s strategic
goals. Industry insiders believe coal quantities at existing mines and
prospective areas are sufficient to accommodate increased production.

The coal industry ministry predicted that in 2007 Ukraine will step up coal
extraction by 2.3% up to 82.2m tonnes. Though estimates of the country’s
coal reserves can vary wildly, the general estimate hovers around 34bn
tonnes, 48% of which are anthracite and bituminous coal. Coal in Ukraine is
used for in both the energy and industrial sectors.

Slightly under half goes toward coke production, which is by far the most
profitable sector in the coal industry as these mines are all privately
owned and the coke is used in Ukraine’s leading industry, steel production.
Of the remaining coal, just over a third is shipped to fuel-fired power
plants and around 8% of production is exported.

One concern however is that coal mining is expensive in Ukraine as mines

are quite deep, making it difficult for Ukraine’s coal industry to be
competitive with other coal producing countries in the region, such as
Russia and Kazakhstan.

Coal is predicted to be a growth industry around the world. Experts predict
that the share of coal in the global balance of fuels will increase as the
share of petroleum trends downward.

A March study by the German-based Energy Watch Group predicts coal
production to increase by 30% over the next 10 to 15 years, with the former
Soviet states among the predicted growth regions.

But Ukraine’s mining industry has clearly seen better days. Though Ukraine
belongs to the world’s ten biggest extractors of coal, productivity of
Ukrainian coal mines remains much lower than Central European mines and a
dozen times lower than American and Canadian mines.

Besides deteriorating Soviet-era facilities, enterprises have been troubled
by management and financial issues. There has been a dramatic decline in the
number of mining operations as well as production levels. Coal production in
1991 was 135.6m tonnes, while in 2006 it was about 80m tonnes.

Addressing the issue, President Viktor Yuschenko recently urged miners to
work with the government to manage the coal market efficiently and
liberalise coal prices to help mine owners cover their production costs
Ukraine’s government currently supports the industry to the tune of around
$1b annually, and the president hopes to create a more competitive coal
market to help defray costs.

One small step forward is that Ukraine’s government is planning to move from
weight-based pricing of coal to an energy-based pricing mechanism. Though
this change means electricity firms will buy coal at lower costs, some
believe it will nonetheless benefit the industry, fostering more competition
and better products.

While coal remains the most protected energy industry in the country, Roman
Zakharov, deputy head of research at local securities firm Foyil Securities,
told OBG the energy sector was moving toward fewer subsidies generally. I
don’t see why the coal industry would be exempt from that It may take
longer, but I think the general trend is toward [more liberalisation], he
said.

The industry could also find help from foreign sources. Earlier in April,
the Ukrainian government said ten German companies are expected to provide
local mines with hydraulic equipment, ventilation systems and manufacturing
automation systems aimed at ensuring safe working conditions for miners.

The politics of coal combined with the forces of globalisation make
improvement of the sector politically fraught yet nonetheless imperative.
The current political stalemate has seen both Yuschenko and Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych make trips to the coal-rich Donbass region.

Significant restructuring of the industry could mean the loss of thousands
of jobs in a politically sensitive part of the country. Ambitious coal
reforms could provoke angry reactions from those with vested interests in
the region, or the metallurgical and energy-generation sectors.

Still, privatisation, according to some industry observers, could be the
best way to improve the sector. Zakharov told OBG it should happen, but the
main question was whether or not the process would be structured differently
from the last round of privatisations in 2005.

What we have seen in the past was the packaging of unprofitable mines with
profitable mines just to get rid of them. That apparently has not worked
that well.

But the potential negative political consequences for privatisation
champions could forestall this process indefinitely – particularly in the
country’s current delicate political climate.

In the last few years, the government has pushed a lot more populist
tactics, and as a result it can not take the responsibility of essentially
putting people on the streets… It would be suicide. If they push the
responsibility onto private ownership, perhaps they will be willing to take
the blame, Zakharov said.                            -30-
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11.       UKRAINE: READY FOR FOOTBALL?

BRIEFING: Oxford Business Group, London, UK, Tue, 3 May 2007

It was announced this month that Ukraine will co-host the 2012 European
football championship with Central European neighbour Poland. The event
could act as a boost for Ukraine’s economy and industry, and a much-needed
impetus for improving Ukraine’s transport and tourism infrastructure.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) awarded the bid to

Poland and Ukraine against Italy and Croatia-Hungary. Despite current political
turmoil and reports from UEFA inspectors over the poor conditions of
Ukrainian roads, four Ukrainian cities have been lined up as host cities for
2012.

The ministry of transport and communications indicated that the construction
of new highways was of primary concern. The Polish and Ukrainian ministries
of transport and regional development are planning an extension of the
highway linking Ukraine and Poland with Western Europe at a cost of $1.76bn.

Currently, fans travelling by road from Gdansk in northern Poland to
Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, would need at least 22 hours to cover the 2000
km journey on single lane roads, not counting the lengthy wait at the
Polish-Ukrainian border. The highway extension is thus vital to ensure
smooth travelling and management of the event.

Poland’s transport ministry is focusing on the improvement of the so-called
old Warsaw highway, which is currently under repair in several areas, with
plans for widening into four lanes.

The Western border Lutsk-Riven-Zhytomyr-Kiev highway is also key, as well as
a second beltway around Kiev. Ukraine’s transport ministry estimates the
cost for improving the country’s roads at $17bn.

Ukraine’s rail network also lags far behind its neighbours in Central Europe
in terms of quality, capacity, and most importantly, speed. Local press
reports that Germany’s railway company Deutsche Bahn posted earnings of 3bn
euros with a passenger throughput of 15m during its hosting of the 2006
World Cup finals.

Ukraine’s size could mean similarly good news for its railway concern,
UkrZaliznysta, but rail travel will have to become a practical, viable
option.

Last week, Ukraine’s Kryukivskyi carriage-building plant announced it would
build new passenger rail cars for the Euro 2012, capable of speeds of up to
200 km per hour. But lagging investment in railways could mean it is too
dangerous to use high-speed trains on Ukraine’s aging tracks.

Inadequate surface transport could be good news for Ukraine’s local air
carriers. According to the ministry, improvements and expansions of airports
in Donetsk, Kiev, Odessa, Lviv and Dniperpetrovsk are being accelerated to
accommodate the games.

Match venues appear to be less challenging, though some require extensive
works in the next five years. Donetsk’s 50,000-seat stadium should be
completed in 2008. Kiev’s Olympic stadium will be renovated in time to host
the final match, and discussions are underway concerning the construction of
another.

Dnieperpetrovsk will complete its new stadium later on this year, and Lviv
is considering either an overhaul of the city’s current 28,000-seat stadium,
or construction a new 32,000-seat stadium.

However, hospitality infrastructure is limited. Ukraine anticipates hosting
tens of thousands of fans, journalists and officials. Mykhailo Shparyk, the
head of Kiev’s municipal economy department told reporters that around 70
new hotels would be necessary in Kiev alone.

Investment in the sector has been limited due to rocketing property prices
and the uncertainty of returns in an underdeveloped tourist market. Perhaps
Euro 2012 will spur the sector’s break out and boost investments, which
would lead to sustained growth.

There are serious investors, who are ready to invest up to UAH37bn ($7.7 bn)
in the construction of airports, roads, hotels and improving sports
infrastructure, Viktor Korzh, Ukraine’s sports minister, told local press.

As the government seeks funding for these new developments, some analysts
predict further privatisations to help offset costs.

The decision to award the event to Ukraine is indicative of the improving
image Ukraine is enjoying internationally. Though Kiev is currently locked
in political crisis pitting supporters of the president and prime minister
against each other, the two sides seem to be united about Euro 2012.

Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a wide-ranging bill,
called by MPs The Euro 2012 Law, setting out an array of legal changes seen
as necessary to prepare for the tournament.

Among these are import tax breaks on construction materials and
communications equipment, and tighter penalties for copyright infringements,
particularly concerning the UEFA label.

There are lessons to be drawn from the German experience of the 2006 World
Cup football championship, where the surge of money and investment led to a
period of general macroeconomic growth. Ukraine will need to plan early and
grow sectors such as tourism to ensure that the effects of Euro 2012 will be
sustained.                                               -30-
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12.               UKRAINE: WHAT A FINE MESS
       Ukraine needs an honest politician; actually Ukraine needs many of them.

LATITUDES and ATTITUDES: By Glen Willard
The Ukrainian Observer magazine, Issue 231
The Willard Group, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 2007

Yeah, what a fine mess. I mean the sorry state of affairs in Ukraine’s
“government” (sorry, but this mess requires quotes around government,

while the word mess does not).

Ollie Hardy was always ascribing his and his partner’s most recent dire
situation as being Stan Laurel’s’ fault.

Who’s at fault in Ukraine’s current mess? The president, Yushchenko, the
prime minister Yanukovych, the opposition leader Yulia Tymoschenko? Are
they acting in their own interests, or the country’s?

Or, are they just auditioning to be the next Curley, Joe and Moe? Throw in a
speaker, Moroz.maybe the analogy should be the Marx Brothers.

Ok. The situation is serious. The president has called for new elections and
dismissed the Verkhovna Rada. The prime minister has balked and says the
Rada is still the Rada and still in session and alleges the president has
acted contrary to the powers given him pursuant to Ukraine’s constitution.

A scared group of eighteen “justices” (again, necessarily, I believe, in
quotes) called, laughably, the Constitutional Court is supposed to decide.

So we have eighteen scared individuals, knees knocking, appointed by parties
in interests to be equally able to produce stalemate.

The deciding factors, if there in fact can be a decision, hinges on who can
buy (purchase, bribe) a judge, or threaten a judge, or otherwise “influence”
a judge and a “decision” (Notice: I find it difficult to write about Ukraine
without putting words in quotes.) then accidentally, maybe, is produced from
what had otherwise been designed as a Mexican standoff.

This Rube Goldberg scheme likely won’t work. Whatever the Constitutional
Court decides, that is in whose favor, which side (nothing about this having
anything remotely to do with the application of legal principles or
Ukraine’s constitution) it takes will not be accepted by the other side(s).

This, in spite of both the president and the prime minister, sanctimoniously
saying that they would abide by the “learned” court’s proclamation.

Actually, as some have said, these “learned” justices might just lay low and
wait for the prime minister and the president to compromise. Then safely,
relatively speaking, “decide”. Such might be prudent. Actually even
“healthy” for these fine “justices”.

“Fortunately” Ukraine has “help” in its constitutional dilemma. I see
headlines “European Lawmakers Take Ukraine to Task”. PACE (Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe) recently spoke; they are “concerned”.

They believe the current crisis is “the result of the hasty and incomplete
constitutional and political reform of 2004.” And they have a list of
recommendations. The usual bromides. All the things Ukraine should do.
All damned obvious, but totally unrelated to Ukrainian reality. Well, gee,
thanks folks.

What is the real problem? Well, whatever, people like me have added to it by
optimistic predictions. In my case, I used to refer to the New Nation
Ukraine.

Fact is, part of the problem is that the area, the country Ukraine has not
taken on the attributes of a nation. And, though called one, it is not a
democracy. And it does not have the Rule of Law.

Democracy by one Webster definition is “government in which the people hold
the ruling power either directly or through elected representatives; rule by
the ruled.” Literally “rule by the people”, from the Greek demos, “people”,
and kratos, “rule (from Wikipedia quoting from somewhere else). Ukraine does
not have this.

Ukraine is ruled by the few. They are businessmen (and a few businesswomen),
some are known as oligarchs, others, less powerful, nevertheless are
business people. And they are only ostensibly indirect representatives of
the people.

And this class of people, the businessman, largely occupies the executive,
the legislative and the judicial branches of government (the judiciary by
the right to select the “justices”) in Ukraine. “The accumulation of all
powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … is the
definition of tyranny,” wrote James Madison.

Those in the Rada and the government are less politician than businessman or
businesswoman. The same throughout the executive. Places, positions are
largely bought, even sometimes sold, as on a stock exchange.

Ordinary people, those perhaps with some sense of, and a desire to serve the
public, for the general good of the people, are probably many among the
populace.

But they cannot afford the price. Those people don’t want to join an
exchange; they wish to serve. Yet, it is because of price that those people
are shut out from representing the people. So the people are not
represented.

The Verkhovna Rada should be for the people’s business. The people that one
would want serving in the Rada truly would be the elected representatives of
the people. Then ideally they, at least primarily, serve the people and do
the people’s business.

The Rada as it now consists, or doesn’t, that depending on eighteen “brave”
“justices”, serves only the businesses of the business people. The
moneychangers are in the temple of the people. There is no Jesus to
intervene and throw them out.

What to do? What can the people do? My answer is:  “I don’t know,” given the
current level of corruption of government. What? Maybe be proud that Ukraine
is not as corrupt as, say Nigeria? That the government is not as autocratic
as Belarus? That it has more press freedom than Russia?

But those things will not last. Maybe Ukraine will never be as corrupt as
Nigeria, or its “leadership” as despotic as is Zimbabwe’s. But, the longer
the current situation exist, the more fermentation and the end product will
be more lost of liberty for the Ukrainian people.

The people that lead Ukraine now act in and for their own business
interests. About the people’s business they couldn’t care less.
Ok. Again what to do? I don’t know how yet and so I’ll repeat one of the
bromides.

Specifically, find a way to establish the Rule of Law. At it’s basic level
the Rule of Law means that all people are subject to the same laws. The
rich, the poor, the king, the pauper, the Tsar and the peasant.

As a start, immunity from the law has to be abolished for all office
holders. They, of course, can have usual immunity for conduct related solely
to duties of their offices, but no blanket immunity as presently exists for
any and all crimes.

Further, consideration should be given to making principle office holder’s
(the president, the prime minister, some others) place assets in blind
trusts while in office. And other office holders, Rada members, etc. should
have to file annual financial disclosure statements.

The idea should be that officeholders should be doing the peoples business
and not making money at the people’s expense and while being paid by the
people.

The above is a start. If it could happen.

Ukraine needs an honest politician; actually Ukraine needs many of them. The
current “leadership” (again the quotes) is not up to making the necessary
changes to move democracy forward.

What a fine mess.                                           -30-
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LINK: http://www.ukraine-observer.com/articles/231/1038

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13.  “UKRAINE”S ACCESSION TO NATO WILL BE THE SEVEREST
                                  POLITICAL BLOW FOR RUSSIA”
INTERVIEW: With Viacheslav Igrunov
INTERVIEWED BY: by Inna ZAVHORODNIA, Moscow
The Day Weekly Digest #13, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Viacheslav Igrunov, the director of the International Institute of
Humanitarian-Political Studies, was a member of Russia’s State Duma during
three convocations (1993-2003.) He is also a regular participant in the
Ukrainian-Russian dialogue.

[The Day] Why does the Russian opposition not have support from the
population and does it have any real chances of participating in the
political process?

The answers to these and other questions are given in the following
exclusive interview with the Russian political scientist.

[Viacheslav Igrunov] “The Russian nation has always organized itself around
the government. In rare periods of its history another type of behavior has
been evident. For example, in our country Nov. 4 (National Unity Day marking
the end of the Time of Troubles in 1612) was proclaimed a national holiday.

On this day 400 years ago, the citizens decided to organize themselves
because of the lack of real power in the country. Since that time we can
seldom provide similar examples of the extra-state organization of the
nation. It is usually oriented on the existing power, not the opposition.

“Only when this power begins to decline do people’s movements emerge, as it
happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But as soon as the government
acquires some strong features, the population starts orienting itself on
this power.

This is an objective factor explaining the opposition’s low popularity, but
there have been subjective ones as well. By the current opposition we mean
the communists, who have lost the people’s trust and are supported only by
10-15 percent of the population.

We usually call the rest of the oppositionists ‘democrats.’ Russians
associate the word democracy with such simple things as the collapse of the
Soviet Union, the destruction of the economy, poverty, corruption, the rise
of the oligarchs, the emergence of an unacceptable lifestyle, a crime wave,
and the domination of state officials.”

[The Day] Are these the consequences of the state’s collapse, which have to
be fought?

[Viacheslav Igrunov] “These consequences were determined precisely by the
activity of the ‘democrats.’ The philosophy behind these processes was
formulated by Chubais and Gaidar.

These people said that we have to ruin as much as possible so that nothing
can be renewed, and the smaller the state the better. These slogans were
proclaimed at the government level by people who were implementing these
reforms.

Furthermore, they also believed that it is crucial to reduce wages to the
minimum in order to raise competitiveness, that all property should be
concentrated in the hands of a few private businessmen.

These very politicians created the authoritarian constitution that is in
force now, and according to which Putin is acting. It is the ‘democrats’ who
discredited parliament because they saw overly strong communist influence
and reactionaries there.

The entire democratic press was full of invectives aimed at parliament and
political parties. What support is possible even from the standpoint of the
subjective factor, not to mention the fact that objectively the majority of
the population is not disposed to opposing itself to the active power?”

[The Day] So, today, as the result of subjective and objective factors, an
opposition in Russia is in principle impossible?

[Viacheslav Igrunov] “An opposition in Russia is possible, and it has always
been present. But if we recall history, we can mention the Decembrists and
the narodniki (populists). We can also mention the opposition within the
elite in power.

There has always been a split in the elites and counteracting parties. But
an opposition in Russia can never be a mass one and cannot rely on the
population’s strong support, except in the event of a deep national crisis.

Since statehood is more or less restored today, an opposition cannot count
on mass support. But this does not mean that it cannot play a key role in
our politics. Only one split in the elite in power, which is possible, will
be enough for this. And if an effective opposition appeared in Russia, it
could influence the course of history.

The trouble is that the same subjective factor exists that I have already
mentioned. All the leaders of today’s opposition have proved their practical
ineffectiveness.”

[The Day] Why does Russia not want to see Ukraine, its “long-term strategic
ally,” within NATO?

[Viacheslav Igrunov] “Ukraine cannot be Russia’s advocate in NATO because
Ukraine is entering NATO for a counterbalance to Russia.

Ukraine can be the same kind of advocate for Russia as the Baltic republics,
the main anti-Russian agents all over the world. The countries of the
post-Soviet space, which may end up in NATO, are Russia’s main enemies
within NATO.

This refers to Poland and the Czech Republic, and partly to Hungary, let
alone the Baltic countries or Georgia whose accession to NATO is being
planned. Ukraine’s accession to NATO will be the severest political blow for
Russia. Russia will not survive this.

So it would not be correct to talk about long-term cooperation in this case.
Russia will seek side roads in order to establish allied relations with
other European countries, such as Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, in
order to bypass Ukraine.”

[The Day] Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs viewed Yurii Luzhkov’s
statements about the Crimea on Feb. 21 in Sevastopil as interference in our
domestic affairs.

How would you comment on this position, which is supported by some

Russian politicians, who cast doubt on Ukraine’s territorial integrity?

[Viacheslav Igrunov] “This is typical of Luzhkov. In my opinion, such a
position is simply irresponsible for a political figure, but these moods are
very widespread in Russia. Luzhkov has maintained this position for the last
16 years. In its turn, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine must issue
a proper assessment of this.

If Russian politicians continue to conduct themselves in such a tough
manner, then Ukraine will certainly have to restrict the presence of Russian
politicians on its territory.

It is intolerable for a politician on that level to utter words that can be
regarded as limiting a neighboring country’s sovereignty. But the Kremlin
authorities have never shared Luzhkov’s position.”

[The Day] What are Moscow’s strategic goals concerning Kyiv? Is it worth
waiting for Ukraine to receive a proposal to integrate in one integration
project or another?

[Viacheslav Igrunov] “Today’s political elite in Russia does not want to
integrate Ukraine into the general state space. Russia is not an integrating
but dominating country in the post-Soviet space. These are different things.

The US does not want to integrate Europe, but it wants to dominate in this
space. The Russian elite also has similar projects today.

There were attempts to integrate Ukraine, but they ceased after the Orange
Revolution. After that, the profound disappointment of the elite in power in
Moscow led to the logical curtailment of these attempts.

I, on the contrary, support integration processes that are much broader than
Russo-Ukrainian unification. I am a supporter of a large integration project
that would include all of Eurasia.

I think the future depends on how successful the construction of the
integration project of the Chinese and European economies will be.

Russia and Ukraine are integral parts of this project. Moreover, the degree
to which these processes will take place painlessly depends especially on
them.”                                                    -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/180923/

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14. AMBASSADOR OLEH SHAMSHUR: UKRAINE WANTS MOLDOVA
                       TO BE STABLE, FRIENDLY AND UNITED

The Moldova Foundation, Arlington, VA, Thursday, May 3, 2007

WASHINGTON – Oleh Shamshur, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US,
speaking at the conference on the Transnistrian conflict at Georgetown
University in Washington, stated that the Ukrainian position on the conflict
remains unchanged.

The event was organized by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and the
Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies of Georgetown
University and the Moldova Foundation and it was held on April 26.

“Ukraine is an active participant in the settlement process as a guarantor
and mediator, and supports a peaceful solution based on Moldova’s
non-negotiable territorial integrity and sovereignty, with a special status
for Transnistria,” said the Ucrainian dimplomat. “Ukraine wants a stable,
friendly, united neighbor”.

President Victor Yushchenko reiterated these goals in February at the Munich
conference, stressing the urgent need for a solution and that there should
be no delay in negotiating one. Yushchenko put forth the possibility of
joint approval of a document guaranteeing Moldova’s territorial integrity.

Ukraine has had productive interactions on issues surrounding the conflict
with Moldova as well as the US, and in April 2005 it signed a joint
statement of cooperation with the EU.

Looking at the positive signs in the current situation, Shamshur enumerated
the following:

1. The Yushchenko Plan was a contribution that Ukraine tried to make, one
of the core principles of which is democratization.

     – Transnistria needs to be brought back under Chisinau’s jurisdiction
       based on international law;
     – The OSCE international assessment mission mandate is still relevant,
       and the OSCE should continue to monitor elections;
     – The Yushchenko plan sought a way out of a dead end, which still
        exists;

2. Ukrainian enforcement of customs regulations. On April 13, Ukraine
approved the extension of EUBAM for two more years; there should be more
technical assistance under the auspices of EUBAM. Ukraine will continue to
abide by the customs agreement in cooperation with Moldova and the EU.

3. It is a plus to have the US and the EU involved in the settlement
process. There have also been recent and important positive steps by the
Moldovan government, including the introduction of a simplified process
for border crossing for local residents, which has been in effect since
February. These are important because they can help set the stage for a
settlement.

Amb. Shamshur then mentioned the main negative aspect of the current
situation: the recent interruption in negotiations due to the
Transnistrians’ “very deplorable” blockage of further talks. Further delay
only aggravates the situation, while problems continue to accumulate.

Ukraine wants to resume the negotiations in the 5+2 format. All sides need
to respect existing agreements; otherwise it is hard to move forward. 1+1
and other negotiating formats can have an impact as well, if done properly.

Ukraine would like all efforts to be conducted in a transparent, democratic
way, so that none of the parties are left out. U-turns in the process cannot
be negotiated without all parties being involved.

The major role, of course, belongs to Moldova and Transnistria, believes
Shamshur. Ukraine supports the recent positive steps by Moldova to reach out
to Transnistrian businesses, and encourages further flexibility on Moldova’s
part, as long as its statehood is not compromised.

The conflict has had many historical ups and downs, but now seems to be a
critical time – things could move forward with an understanding of all
parties’ responsibilities.

Shamshur reminded everyone present about the Ukrainian plan on the table. He
expressed the view that it is a good plan with some critical messages about
Transnistrian civil society and democratization.

Finally, Amb. Shamshur noted that Ukraine stands for a transformation of
current peacekeeping forces to international military and civilian observers
under OSCE supervision and would be willing to play a part in such a
mission. The situation is serious at the moment, but he is not discouraged
about the possibility of a solution.                   -30-
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Full summary of the event: http://foundation.moldova.org/pagini/eng/965
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15. MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT AND US ASSISTANT US SECRETARY
     OF STATE MEET ABOUT THE TRANSDNIESTRIAN PROBLEM

 
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Thursday, May 3, 2007

Chisinau and Washington want a swift resumption of talks on the
Transdniestrian problem, the Moldovan president’s press service said
following the meeting between the head of state Vladimir Voronin and Deputy
Assistant US Secretary of State David Kramer, who represents the United
States at the talks in the 5+2 format.

The parties spoke of resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible
and speeding up the search for a sustained political solution to the
conflict, the statement of the press service said.

The US diplomat supported the initiative of the Moldovan government
regarding the development of joint economic projects between the two shores
of the Dniestr river as part of the aid provided to Moldova by the Millenium
Challenge Corporation.

Kramer has also thanked the Moldovan authorities for the decision made by
the parliament to extend the mandate of the National Army troops
participating in the operation in Iraq.                          -30-
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16. SLAVIC PRIDNESTROVIE IS BIRTHPLACE OF ANCIENT UKRAINE
                 Kievan Rus is the birthplace of Russia, despite its location 
              in what is today Ukraine. But going back further, historians are
                 uncovering the birthplace of the original Ukraine itself. For 
                    the answer, look south: To what is today Pridnestrovie.

Times staff, Tiraspol Times, Tiraspol, Pridnestrovie, Tue, May 3, 2007

KIEV -Historians looking to the origin of Ukraine and the Ukrainians are
looking south and finding answers: On the southern border of Ukraine, right
before the Dniester river, lies the origin of ancient Ukrainians.

The territory is today home to the unrecognized country of Pridnestrovie,
formally the Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica, to use its official
name (PMR for short). This land was never part of Romania or of any
independent Moldovan state at any time in history.

Its population has always been majority Slavic. In the past, it was part of
Kievan Rus – old Russia – and before that, it was the original location of
the earliest Ukrainians.

In ancient times present-day Pridnestrovie was inhabited by the Scythians,
who were later displaced by the Sarmatians. Early in the Christian era, a
series of invaders (Goths, Huns, Avars) overran the Ukrainian steppes,
stopping at the Dniester river – the southernmost border of old Slavic land.

In the 7th century, the Khazars included much of Ukraine in their empire. As
historians in Kiev now confirm, the Ukrainians themselves can be traced to
Neolithic agricultural tribes in the Dnieper and Dniester valleys.

The Antes tribal federation (4th-7th cent.) represented the first definitely
Slavic community in the area. Further north, in the 9th century, a Varangian
dynasty from Scandinavia established itself at Kiev.

Having freed the Slavs in the Dniester region from Khazar domination, the
Varangians united them in the powerful Kievan Rus. The land and people of
Ukraine formed the core of Kievan Rus, forerunner to what is today Russia.
              CRADLE OF PRE-RUSSIAN CIVILIZATION
” – It may sound far fetched, but in some ways, it makes sense to argue that
Russian civilization, or at least part of it, began when the old Slavic
people of the Dniester river valley joined to form the Kievan Rus,” says
Alex Holt who has researched the issue in depth and written on the history
of Pridnestrovie for The Tiraspol Times.

” – The evidence is there. Look at the historical record,” says Holt. “This
explains the sense of identity that Tiraspol feels when it looks to Russia
today, and is perhaps the most important reason why it is absurd for
outsiders to keep insisting that this place has a future inside a Moldovan
state.”

Following Yaroslav’s reign (1019-54), which marked the zenith of Kiev’s
power, Kievan Rus split into principalities, including the western duchies
of Halych and Volodymyr.

These and the rest of the western region, which included Podolia, had
separate histories after the conquest of Kievan Rus (13th century) by the
Mongols of the Golden Horde.

In the mid-14th century Lithuania began to expand eastward and southward,
supplanting the Tatars in Ukraine. The dynastic union between Poland and
Lithuania in 1386 also opened Ukraine to Polish expansion. Most of what is
today Pridnestrovie became part of Lithuania and then later Poland.
MAJORITY SLAV AND A KEY PART OF THE ORIGINAL UKRAINE
This part of old Ukraine flourished under Lithuanian rule, and its language
became that of the state; but after the organic union of Poland and
Lithuania in 1569, Ukraine came under Polish rule.

The formerly free Ukrainian peasants – many from Pridnestrovie – were made
serfs, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church suffered persecution.

In 1596 the Ukrainian Orthodox bishops clashed with the power of Polish
Catholicism, which led to the establishment of the Uniate, or Greek
Catholic, faith, which recognized papal authority but retained the Orthodox
rite. Meanwhile, the Black Sea shore, ruled by the khans of Crimea, was
absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1478.

As a growing power, Russia soon found itself involved in war after war with
the Ottoman Empire. This, too, was true for the area around Pridnestrovie,
where the original inhabitants have always been Slavs.

In 1738, in the Russo-Turkish War of 1735-1739, the Dniester River was the
front line. Russian forces failed to cross the Dniester that year, leaving
Moldova in Ottoman hands.

The 1792 Treaty of Jassy recognized Russia’s 1783 annexation of the Crimean
Khanate and transferred Yedisan, then the ruler of southern Pridnestrovie,
to Russia. This made the Dniester the Russo-Turkish frontier in Europe.

It was also the first time in history that Russia formally established its
boundary along the Dniester in the immediate vicinity of Moldova. At that
time, Moldova had been in existence for almost five hundred years and her
eastern boundary had been the Dniester for all this time.

Later, Moldova became part of Romania, while Pridnestrovie remained in
Russia. The border between the two was the Dniester River, just like it had
been throughout most of history.
FROM 1924: SEPARATE REPUBLIC WITH TIRASPOL AS ITS CAPITAL
In 1924, Pridnestrovie became a separate autonomous republic within the
newly created USSR. The republic, MASSR, had Tiraspol as its capital for
most of its existence. It never included any part of Moldova, on the other
side of the Dniester river.

This changed with the outbreak of World War II. Stalin, like Hitler, was
seeking expansion and used the excuse of war to grab a piece of Romania.

Soviet troops invaded today’s Moldova and annexed it to the MASSR. The
status was upgraded to Union Republic within the USSR and the capital was
moved from Tiraspol to Chisinau.

Although the MSSR was never a separate, sovereign country, this was the
first time in history that the two sides – Pridnestrovie and Moldova – were
together in their own state-like entity.

After Stalin’s death, many on both sides hoped that the forced and unnatural
union would be undone. But it took until 1990 and the dissolution of the
Soviet Union before the two sides could again go their separate ways.

Pridnestrovie declared independence in 1990, and Moldova did the same one
year later, in 1991. Although Pridnestrovie’s independence declaration was
never formally recognized by Moldova, an implicit nod was given to
Pridnestrovie’s right to freedom in the preamble to Moldova’s own
independence declaration.

In the text, from 1991, the brand new Republic of Moldova stated: “The
Republic of Moldova is a sovereign, independent and democratic state […]
within its historical and ethnic area.”

Pridnestrovie, old Slavic land and the birthplace of ancient Ukraine, was
clearly never a part of Moldova’s “historical and ethnic area.” Throughout
history, it was never part of Moldova.

And just as importantly, throughout history its population has always been
majority Slavic. This is true even today. According to the 2004 Census of
Pridnestrovie, Slavs still make up two thirds of the population.
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Article URL: www.tiraspoltimes.com/node/791
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17.   UKRAINE: REAPPOINTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
                               PISKUN INSTEAD OF MEDVEDKO


ANALYSIS: By Vasyl Panfilov, UCIPR analyst
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Research Update. Vol. 13, No. 14/486, Kyiv, Ukraine, 30 April 2007

The last political week was remarkable for closed sessions of the
Constitutional Court of Ukraine, a new presidential decree on postponement
of the date of early elections to June 24, 2007, a breakdown of negotiations
between the opposition and the coalition and new appointments in
law-enforcement agencies.

Specifically, former Attorney General MP Svyatoslav Piskun elected on the
lists of the Party of Regions was reappointed to the office on the day of
the issue of the presidential decree and the anniversary of the Chornobyl
catastrophe, April 26.

For Victor Yushchenko, that day was also notable because he had been once
dismissed from the office of Prime Minister on April 26, when there had been
neither Speaker nor Premier in Ukraine. V. Yanukovych and O. Moroz
shortened their work visits to Uzbekistan and Lithuania respectively.

According to S. Piskun, he perceived the third appointment to the office of
Attorney General as a surprise. “The President saw a man willing to work and
decided that he should work,” said Mr. Piskun. V. Yushchenko reappointed S.
Piskun on the judgment of the Shevchenkivsky district court of Kyiv.

In due time, when V. Yushchenko dismissed S. Piskun from the office, the
ex-Attorney General seemed to be satisfied and noted, “Don’t you see, under
what circumstances I have been working over those 9 months? This is nothing
but total schizophrenia.”

He added that he wanted to be a politician. It seems that for S. Piskun it
was more difficult to cope with duties of MP than with those of Attorney
General, since he agreed with Yushchenko’s decision.

There is the whole history of the lawsuit of Piskun vs. the President of
Ukraine. V. Yushchenko had fired S. Piskun on October 14, 2005 and appointed
Oleksandr Medvedko to the office of Attorney General by agreement of the
Verkhovna Rada on November 4, 2005. On November 18, the Shevchenkivsky
district court of Kyiv found Piskun’s dismissal illegitimate.

After that, the decision was appealed in the Kyiv Appellate Court. In July
2006, the Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine recognized Piskun’s

resignation legal. Later on, the case was heard by the panel of judges.

Though, S. Piskun turned out to be more effective than O. Medvedko. It
cannot be ruled out that the latter might have legal proceedings with V.
Yushchenko as well and there will be two Attorneys General in the country.
                                 HISTORY OF RETURNS 
Svyatoslav Piskun was first elected as Attorney General by 347 MPs. Speaking
in the Verkhovna Rada he convinced, “Fist of all, the Office of Attorney
General prioritizes combating corruption in law-enforcement agencies.”
Presently, S. Piskun prioritizes almost the same. On October 29, 2003,
President Leonid Kuchma fired Svyatoslav Piskun.

The President motivated his decision by ineffective work of the Office of
Attorney General on the disclosure of serious crimes.

On November 3, 2003, Leonid Kuchma submitted the Verkhovna Rada with the
proposal to appoint First Deputy Speaker and former Attorney of the Donetsk
region Hennadiy Vasyliev to the office of Attorney General pursuant to
Paragraph 11, Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

The dismissal of S. Piskun was once explained by political reasons, first
and foremost, by too active work of the Office of Attorney General on the
disclosure of serious crimes of recent years. At least, this was what
neutral to S. Piskun members of the opposition emphasized.

For instance, ex-leader of Our Ukraine V. Yushchenko commented on Piskun’s
dismissal as saying, “The Office of Attorney General is very close to the
disclosure of serious crimes and got new circumstances and facts in the
case of Georgiy Gongadze” (the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper, November 1,
2003).

S. Piskun was reinstated suddenly but timely. During the Orange Revolution,
on December 10, 2004, then President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma reinstated

Svyatoslav Piskun in the office of Attorney General following the judgment
of the Pechersky district court of Kyiv of December 9, 2004.

After reappointment, Mr. Piskun reinstated his formed deputies Serhiy
Vynokurov, Victor Shchokin, Oleksandr Shynalsky, Oleksandr Medvedko and
Tetyana Kornyakova.

So, newly elected President Victor Yushchenko did not have to approve a new
candidate for Attorney General in the Verkhovna Rada. By the way, the last
reappointment of S. Piskun does not require agreement of the Verkhovna
Rada as well.

In due time, Mr. Piskun was severely criticized as Attorney General and
released from the office. According to the Legal Department at the
Secretariat of the President of Ukraine, S. Piskun was dismissed in
compliance with the law in force, while “the right of the President of
Ukraine to dismiss the Attorney General of Ukraine is constitutional and not
limited to any circumstances.”

Paragraph 2, Article 122 of the Ukrainian Constitution reads, “The Office of
Attorney General of Ukraine is headed by the Attorney General of Ukraine,
who is appointed to office and dismissed from office by the President of
Ukraine, with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.”

Chairman of the Presidential Secretariat of that time Oleh Rybachuk
commented on the dismissal as saying, “There are more than enough reasons to
fire the Attorney General.”

He sneered, “As Mr. Piskun has been very excited recently, we must have
prevented him from instituting criminal proceedings against himself,
investigating it within one day and putting himself into prison.” O.
Rybachuk characterized the very fact of Piskun’s dismissal as a “normal and
timely step”.

Minister of Interior of that time Y. Lutsenko stated that the Ministry of
Interior and the Office of Attorney General of Ukraine failed to work well
together.

“Police can do little without the Office of Attorney General. And the Office
of Attorney General cannot do without police. Therefore, the life and the
law dictate us to work shoulder to shoulder,” he asserted.

According to Mr. Lutsenko, police and the Office of Attorney General failed
to work in concert for a variety of reasons and it is only the President,
who can decide who is to blame.

“If he made such a decision, I will take it for granted,” added the then
Minister of Interior. Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc linked the above presidential
decision to active actions of S. Piskun on instituting criminal proceedings
against P. Poroshenko.

Specifically, ex-Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Oleksandr
Turchynov held such a position and pointed out, “Notwithstanding
inconsistency of Piskun’s personality, I guess his resignation is connected
with investigation of corrupt practices of members of his entourage.”

Today, O. Turchynov notes that S. Piskun must protect interests of Ukraine
instead of working for some political force and emphasizes that the Attorney
General can work very effectively, when he wants to (the UNIAN, April 26,
2007).

Probably, S. Piskun has a desire to work effectively as the Attorney
General. On entering the office, he said that decrees of the President of
Ukraine must be implemented but it is the Constitutional Court that must
render a final judgment.

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether the Office of Attorney General intends to
take criminal proceedings against officials, who do not implement
presidential initiatives, especially, the decree on early elections.

“I cannot decide right away who will be prosecuted and for what. Now, I am
not ready to promise anyone that I will initiate criminal proceedings. I do
not rule out any possibility that may concern violation of the law,” said
the newly appointed Attorney General.
 Political Indifference to Politics of the Office of Attorney General
One of major reasons for the above shifts in the Office of Attorney General
is possible discontent of the President of Ukraine at the fact that O.
Medvedko actually did not responded to the situation surrounding the
implementation of presidential decrees, when inaction actually paralyzed any
opportunity to prepare for early elections. O. Medvedko was on a sick leave
and V. Pshonka performed his duties.

By the way, his son is a people’s deputy on the list of the Party of Regions
and a formulator of a draft on wider powers of the Office of Attorney
General of Ukraine and actions of the Foreign Intelligence Service of
Ukraine. A week before the reappointment of the Attorney General, the
President met Chairmen of coercive agencies.

At the meeting on April 16, V. Yushchenko inquired about a response of the
Office of Attorney General and the Security Service to actions on
non-compliance with the decree on dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and
disruption of early elections. Though, it has to be stated that the President has

no right to give direct orders to coercive agencies.

V. Yushchenko also said that he would like to know a position of the Office
of Attorney General on the decision of some regional councils concerning the
decree on early termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada, which demanded
to examine facts of participation of schoolchildren and students in mass
protest actions from the Party of Regions in Kyiv.

Also, V. Yushchenko wanted to hear a report of O. Medvedko on the response
of the Office of Attorney General to the Cabinet resolution prohibiting to
fund early elections, which in the opinion of the President, is
illegitimate.

Hence, for the time being, O. Medvedko is not the Attorney General. By the
way, a week ago, S. Piskun said that the Office of Attorney General held a
neutral position and should retain it in the future.

At present, it is rather difficult to forecast behavior of S. Piskun in the
old new office. As Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for
Legislative Provision of Law-Enforcement Activity, ex-Attorney General
advocated the limitation of the President’s right to appoint judges,
certainly, “with regard to the gist of the political reform and the fact
that Ukraine is a parliamentary-presidential republic.”

It is safe to forecast that S. Piskun will be more public than his
predecessor O. Medvedko. For instance, the latter has failed to hold press
conferences and give interviews to the media over 8 months after his
appointment. Instead, S. Piskun is notable for high media activity.

For example, within Piskun’s second term in office, the Office of Attorney
General regularly informed that “it has disclosed new crimes committed in
transport industry of Ukraine” and that “as a supervisory body, the Office
of Attorney General could not remain aloof from fight against smuggling and
other violations of the customs law that has begun in Ukraine since 2005.”

Yet, such the case as murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze was not
disclosed because murder customers should have been named “at the

second stage of investigation”. The same stands true for poisoning of
V. Yushchenko and the case of journalist Aleksandrov.

Perhaps, the reappointment of S. Piskun is a step of V. Yushchenko to
improve the situation in his favor because controllability of coercive
agencies in Ukraine is overstated.

At the same time, it is difficult to say whether S. Piskun will pursue the
President’s policy on lobbying for early elections and monitor legitimacy
concerning official sabotage of the presidential decree.

It has to be pointed out that Piskun’s return caused a negative response of
V. Yanukovych, who said that coercive methods were used for holding

early parliamentary elections.

“All that is going on is done in order to press on constitutional judges and
the Central Election Commission by means of force using the state machinery,
the Security Service of Ukraine (like the KGB under the USSR).

To make orders or look for opportunities how to substitute leadership of
law-enforcement agencies with those, who can execute orders, is a

deadlock,” noted the Prime Minister.

The old new Attorney General is a Yushchenko’s trump card in the present-

day political confrontation. The only question is how this situation will be
used. However, the use of the Office of Attorney General for political
purposes by any political party means a retreat from democratic values
discussed by all the stakeholders.

Most likely, S. Piskun will attempt to balance between centers of influence
and have legal proceedings with previous Attorney General O. Medvedko.
———————————————————————————————–

The Research Update bulletin is published in English and Ukrainian by the
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR) in assistance
with the National Endowment for Democracy since December 1995.

From December 2006, the Research Update is published in English in the
framework of the “Increasing Institutional and Program Capacity/2006-2007”

Project of the Open Society Institute Zug Foundation. Distribution of the
bulletin is free. Materials of the Research Update can be reprinted by
agreement with the UCIPR.

For more details about the Research Update, please contact the UCIPR by
tel.: (38-044) 235-65-05, 230-91-78, 599-42-51 or e-mail: ucipr@ucipr.kiev.ua.

Contact persons – Yulia Tyshchenko and Kostyantyn Mykhailychenko.
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18.    THE THIRD ADVENT OF PROSECUTOR GENERAL PISKUN
By Ostap Kryvdyk, political scientist, activist
Ukrayinska Pravda in Ukrainian, translated by Eugene Ivantsov
Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 29, 2007

Let’s recall January 2005.

When a sun-tanned Prosecutor General was spending hours at Mr. Yushchenko’s
headquarters, the entire country took rest after exhausting election.

Mr. Piskun, renewed in office just a month before, felt his position was
insecure as his past discredited him together with Medvedchuk, Kuchma and
Yanukovych.

It is unknown how he managed to persuade President Yushchenko who was

not even inaugurated then. It is a secret what arguments he presented to Mr.
Yushchenko’s staff either.

Non-transparence of the political process, lack of journalistic control and
fatigue of people brought Mr. Piskun to the high office again.

There was an immediate reaction to Vasyl Kremin’s nomination. This Minister
of Education was loyal to Leonid Kuchma. Mr. Kremin was fired. Svyatoslav
Piskun managed to confuse everybody, having demanded trial against
separatists.

Black lists were not such a bad idea. At least, officials of Kuchma’s epoch
had to stay away from power. However, the fact that most of the Orange have
collaborated with Kuchma this way or that, and migration of Kuchma’s
officials to authority made such black lists absolutely useless, as almost
all Ukraine’s political elite had to be included in there.

However, even in this case they have to introduce “Black Lists Light” with
the names of the most ardent supporters of ex-President Kuchma. No special
investigations are requires. Reading news archive would be enough.

Mr. Piskun had to be in the first 10. Shame on PORA that allowed Mr. Piskun
to get his position.

In 2005, Mr. Piskun was the main newsmaker in the country. He took advantage
of every opportunity to talk to mass media. Piskun initiated criminal
proceeding against former Prosecutor General Vasiliev, Piskun put Mr. Pukach
on the wanted list, Piskun found out that Mr. Kyrpa committed a suicide,
Piskun carried out another examination in Gongadze case, Piskun offered to
investigate Gongadze case from the very beginning.

These are news headlines of January 28, 2005. There were lost of similar
headlines during 9 moths he was in office.

The central newsmaker perfectly satisfied requirements of the slogan
“Criminals Must Go to Prison”. However, it was only during first
post-revolution months.

On the other hand, he completely discredited the slogan, having failed to
finish a single criminal case. Another delay in Gongadze case, negligent
investigation of Kolesnykov case, hushing down suicides of Kyrpa and
Kravchenko, delaying investigation of separatist case are consequences of
Mr. Piskun’s work in the office of the Prosecutor General.

Svyatoslav Piskun is a sepulchre of the revolution. He killed the slogan
“Criminals Must Go to Prison.”

The fact that people who rigged elections, illegally privatized
Kryvorizhstal, almost split the country are free now is his ‘great service’
for the country.

Now these people are authority. They are blue-and-white parliamentary
coalition, representatives of half-Ukraine. Mr. Piskun is the ‘father’ of
Mr. Yanukovych’s victory.

This is a man with no position. He managed to state that the previous
Prosecutor General was obliged to prevent presidential decree to dissolve
parliament. Now he clearly states that all officials with no exceptions must
comply with the presidential decree.

Now, ‘Piskun’s factor’ may play a decisive role in a shaky balance between
two opposing camps. A cunning player, capable of turning ‘black’ into
‘white’ and starting criminal proceedings to fail then in the end, Mr. Piskun
is in the saddle again.

He is in the charge again. It is not Yushchenko was made a favorable
decision but it is Mr. Piskun who took advantage of Yushchenko. And it is
Ukrainian citizens who will suffer.                          -30-

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LINK: http://www.pravda.com.ua/en/news/2007/4/29/7625.htm
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19.   PRESIDENTIAL REPRESENTATIVE SAYS CONSTITUTIONAL
                        COURT BECOMING “TOO POLITICIZED
 
UNIAN News, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, May 3, 2007

KYIV – The presidential representative to the constitutional court, Volodymyr
Shapoval, told a news conference on Thursday the court had not yet closed
hearings into the legality of Victor Yushchenko’s April 2 decree to dissolve
parliament, according to the President`s press-office.

“I am slightly surprised that the hearings into the first decree have not
been closed yet,” he said. “I am afraid the court is becoming too
politicized. It has a few justices who see themselves as politicians. I felt
it when I was taking part in the hearings. This is very dangerous for the
constitutional court.”

Speaking about the second decree to reschedule fresh elections for June 24,
Shapoval said it helped President Yushchenko resolve a number of political
and legal issues. He said his boss had stated in the preamble to the second
order that his first decree had been defied by the country’s top officials
and that the Central Election Commission had no quorum to work.

“Today, we can see some progress: the Central Election Commission is
working. So we can say the second decree has achieved results,” he said.

He said “the ideology of the second document has not changed” but added

that Yushchenko had cited item 1 of article 90 of the constitution to dissolve
parliament.

Shapoval said Ukraine’s governing coalition had admitted the second decree
was in force by appealing against it. He described parliamentary sessions as
“unauthorized gatherings of former deputies” and said he was ready to defend
Yushchenko’s position before the constitutional court again.       -30-

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20.               JUDGES OUTSIDE THE LAW
                        An update on the political crisis in Ukraine
COMMENTARY: Sergei Strokan, Kommersant, Moscow, Thu, May 3, 2007

The conflict between branches of the government in Ukraine
reached boiling point earlier this week when President Viktor
Yushchenko fired Constitutional Court judges Valery Pshenichny
(Deputy Chairman) and Syuzanna Stanik (rapporteur on the
presidential decree to disband the Rada). The parliamentary
Coalition of National Unity comprising the Regions Party,
Socialists, and Communists adopted “Appeal to the Ukrainian people,
Council of Europe, all international organizations” condemning
Yushchenko’s actions as an attempt to stage an unconstitutional
coup.

The document accused the head of state of determination to
“halt the work of the Constitutional Court” which the coalition
considered “capable of restoring the constitutional nature of
relations between the branches of the government.” Condemning
“systematic” presidential decrees, the coalition assumed that
Yushchenko might now order “tanks in the streets.” The Regions

Party released an individual statement condemning the president.

Stanik and Pshenichny appealed to the Prosecutor General’s
Office to intervene. Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun announced
that the Office would not evaluate the presidential decree, because
Ukraine has the Constitutional Court for that. On the other hand,
Piskun promised to have ex-judges’ complaints looked into because
the matter concerned their rights. “When the decision is made,
you’ll hear of it,” Piskun said.

Some observers in Kiev point out that Stanik and Pshenichny
could sway the Constitutional Court into ruling against the
president – and that supposedly compelled Yushchenko to step in and
fire them on the eve of the decisive vote. Stanik and Pshenichny
were dismissed for failing to abide by their oath – but what exactly
they had done or had not done was anybody’s guess.

Vladimir Kornilov, Director of the Ukrainian Division of the
Institute of CIS Countries this newspaper approached, explained the
logic of the president’s political opponents appraising his decree
as anticonstitutional. According to Kornilov, Yushchenko’s decree
violates the Law on the Constitutional Court, the document listing
nine clauses that may bring about a judge’s dismissal.

 
Seven clauses reserve the right to the Constitutional Court itself and two
to the Rada. As far as the Law on the Constitutional Court is concerned,
the president has nothing to do with it. “Yushchenko’s decision make
all and any compromises impossible. The parliamentary coalition is
now convinced of the futility of negotiations,” Kornilov said.

The Duma Committee for CIS Affairs met yesterday to discuss
Yushchenko’s latest decrees. “Staff changes in the Constitutional
Court at so serious a moment may undermine public confidence in it,
and that makes both the Constitution and state structures
vulnerable,” Senior Deputy Chairman Ahmed Bilalov said. According to
Bilalov, the Duma suggests involvement of the Council of Europe that
has experience and procedures for monitoring such conflicts.
(Translated by A. Ignatkin)                              -30-
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21.  YUSHCHENKO’S FIFTEEN DEMANDS FOR PM YANUKOVYCH
 
Original article in Ukrainian by Ukrayinska Pravda
Translated by Olga Bogatyrenko for UKL

Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ukrainska Pravda learned about fifteen demands made by Viktor Yushchenko for
Viktor Yanukovych within the framework of negotiations on how to resolve the
crisis.

The top leaders of the state meet to negotiate almost every day, sometimes
in the presence of ambassadors from the US or Germany.

For a long time, Yushchenko’s demands were unknown either to politicians
from both camps and to the general public.

According to UP, at first, Yushchenko’s proposals were not officially
recorded and he merely dictated them to Yanukovych who wrote them down

and, subsequently, they were being passed on in the corridors within the
President’s and Prime Minister’s close circles.

According to the vice-chairman of the Party of Regions Vasyl Hara,
Yushchenko’s demands go as follows:

1. To recognize President Yushchenko’s Decree on the dissolution of the
parliament.

2. To strike all the subsequent decisions passed by the Supreme Rada.

3. To agree to hold early elections. The president is willing to reconsider
the date.

4. To change the law on the elections of popular deputies with respect to
early elections. The president may accept the norm on open candidate lists.

5. To introduce amendments to the law on the budget with respect to funding
the elections.

6. The President, not the coalition, will have the right to propose
candidacies for the post of the Prime Minister with subsequent approval by
the Supreme Rada.

7. To pass the law increasing the power of the head of the state.

8. To pass the new version of the law on the Cabinet of Ministers that takes
into account the President’s propositions.

9. To pass the law on the opposition.

10. To make it a mandatory stipulation that coalitions cannot be formed to
include deputies from the opposition.

11. To approve a new version of the law on the ratification of the European
Charter of Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities.

12. To strengthen the Universal of National Unity legislatively.

13. To dismiss the Prosecutor General, to appoint a candidate proposed by
Viktor Yushchenko. The President demands to strengthen the President’s right
to dismiss the Prosecutor General constitutionally.

14. To appoint the candidacy proposed by the President of Ukraine to the
post of the Head of the National Security Service.

15. To allow the Central Electoral Committee to carry on with its work. The
President agrees to Viktor Yanukovych’s demand to reconsider the composition
of the Central Electoral Committee so that all the political forces
represented in the Parliament received quota representation.        -30-
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and is governed by appropriate Canadian and International law.
Dominique Arel, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa, 

559 King Edward Ave. Ottawa ON  K1N 6N5 CANADA
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22. THIRD ANNUAL DANYLIW RESEARCH SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY
        UKRAINIAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, SEPT 27-29, 2007

CALL FOR PAPER PROPOSALS: By Dominique Arel
Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada, Friday, May 4, 2007

The Chair of Ukrainian Studies, with the support of the Wolodymyr George
Danyliw Foundation, will be holding its Third Annual Danyliw Research
Seminar on Contemporary Ukraine at the University of Ottawa on 27-29
September 2007.

The Seminar will feature research papers, touching on Ukraine, from the
disciplines of political science, anthropology (ethnology), sociology,
economics, religious studies, demography, geography and other fields of
social science. Papers with a theoretical and comparative focus are
particularly solicited. Proposals touching on Belarus will also be
considered.

For the first time, the Seminar will hold a special section devoted to
current historical research. Applications on all themes, including but not
limited to the topics of imperialism, the famine, the Second World War,

and  nation-building, will be examined.

Scholars and doctoral students are invited to submit a 1000 word paper
proposal and a 250 word biographical statement, by email attachment, to
Dominique Arel, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, at darel@uottawa.ca. The
proposal deadline is 31 May 2007.

To be eligible, papers must not have been accepted for publication by the
time of the Seminar. The Chair will cover the expenses of participants,
including discussants, to the Seminar. An international selection committee
will review the proposals and notify applicants shortly after the deadline.

The aim of the Seminar is to provide a unique forum for researchers from
Canada, the United States, Ukraine, Europe and elsewhere to engage in
fruitful inter-disciplinary dialogue, disseminate cutting-edge research
papers on the Chair web site, encourage publications in various outlets, and
stimulate collaborative research projects.

Papers of the First Annual Danyliw Research Seminar in Contemporary
Ukrainian Studies can be downloaded at
http://www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca/news/danyliw_conf05.html.

Papers from the Second Annual Seminar will be made available shortly on the
website. The Seminar adopts the format of a Workshop, where each
presentation is followed by group discussion, and is open to the public.

The Seminar is made possible by the commitment of the Wolodymyr George
Danyliw Foundation to the pursuit of excellence in the study of contemporary
Ukraine.                                                    -30-
————————————————————————————————

[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23.       PLAST: UKRAINE’S OLDEST SCOUT ORGANIZATION
      CELEBRATES ITS 95TH ANNIVERSARY, FOUNDED IN LVIV

By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day #12, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, 17 April 2007 

On April 14-15, the Day of the Plast Oath, part of the celebrations of the
95th anniversary of the founding in Lviv of Plast, Ukraine’s oldest scout
organization, was widely celebrated.

On April 12, 1912, the official founding date of Ukraine’s scout movement,
the first group of boys swore the Plast oath to God and Ukraine.

As the press service of the Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine
told The Day, Plast is Ukraine’s largest scout organization, with over
10,000 members grouped in 130 centers.

Plast is a non- religious and non-political organization uniting both
six-year old novices and scouts with a record of active service (seniors)
around the national idea. The main goal of this organization is to raise
young people on the principles of patriotism and Christian values.

According to the press service of the Plast branch in Kyiv, the organization
holds over 100 specialized educational camps every year, as well as various
sports and intellectual-artistic competitions, and activities designed for
the youngest members.

The Plast action, Bethlehem Fire of Peace, has become a fine tradition in
Ukraine. On April 13 each Plast center in Ukraine marked Plast’s 95th
anniversary by organizing themed discussions, competitions, games, hikes,
and televised performances.

A key feature of the program was swearing the Plast oath to God and
Ukraine the same way as it was done 95 years ago in Lviv.

Last weekend, a solemn march around the city took place in Lviv. In
addition, flags of various Plast kurins (groups) were consecrated, a
memorial plaque to the founder of Plast, Oleksandr Tysovsky, was unveiled
at his former home, and a whole alley of flowers was planted.     -30-
—————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/180507/

————————————————————————————————-
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
24.                                  ORANGE PRIZE
          Serhy Yekelchyk steps back for a wider view of Ukraine’s historical
                    relationship with Russia and the West in his new book.

BOOK REVIEW: By Askold Krushelnycky
Moscow Times, Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 6, 2007

BOOK: “Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation”
By Serhy Yekelchyk
Oxford University Press, 304 pages. $19.95 March 2007
Available from your local bookstore or on amazon.com

History acquires added importance when it is about a country that, to a
great extent, is struggling for its existence. As tensions between Ukrainian
President Viktor Yushchenko and Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych
spilled onto Kiev’s streets this week, the world was reminded once again of
the deep divisions in national identity that persist 16 years after the
Soviet Union’s collapse.

Ukraine’s very history is being fought over with as much venom as in any
battle over gas pipelines. Serhy Yekelchyk’s “Ukraine: Birth of a Modern
Nation” is therefore a timely contribution to a growing, though still
relatively small, body of knowledge about the country.

Yekelchyk strikes an elegant balance between the exacting standards of
academia and a facility for providing an accessible and satisfying read to
those of us who may not be history professors.

Mindful of the fact that Ukraine has existed in its present geographical
form for just over half a century, he does not try to depict an inevitable
and direct rise to statehood from misty, myth-filled origins.

In his introduction, he writes: “Contemporary Ukraine can be presented as a
direct descendant of medieval Kyivan Rus, the seventeenth-century Cossack
polity, and the 1918-1920 Ukrainian People’s Republic, but these episodes of
statehood do not link up into a coherent story. The discontinuities are just
too great.”

Instead, he argues, the modern state owes its existence to something called
the “Ukrainian national project.” Yekelchyk charts both obvious and subtle
links between various events, showing how they in turn influenced, in
often-unforeseen ways, the evolution of an independent country called
Ukraine.

Before Ukraine’s independence, mainstream historical accounts tended to
treat it and its people as sideshows in a story about Russia or Poland, each
of which controlled large tracts of its land for long periods. It was in the
interests of those countries to portray Ukraine’s inhabitants as junior and
willing partners in the quest to forge a Russian or a Polish empire.

Yet while Poland has come to terms with the developments resulting from the
downfall of communism, the Kremlin and many influential Russians maintain a
sullen, often irredentist, attitude. Some of the tensions between Ukraine
and Russia seem bound up with resentment.

With Kiev — the city where “Russia” was Christianized — now the capital of
an independent state where most people are quite happy to live without
Moscow’s advice, Russia’s creation myths become embarrassingly vulnerable.

Apart from a short period after the 1917 Revolution and the end of World War
I, when the fragile Ukrainian states formed from the ruins of the tsarist
and Austro-Hungarian empires were briefly united, most Ukrainians were
scattered between East and West. Between the two world wars, they were split
among the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania.

Yekelchyk traces the history of these different areas to show how the
interplay between these communities and their various political systems —
most of them, except the Czech, repressive of their Ukrainian populations —
helped to cultivate the idea of a modern Ukrainian nation.

Particularly valuable in this book is the excellent overview of Ukraine’s
Soviet-era experiences, which delves into communism’s unforeseen
consequences. Vladimir Lenin did not really want a semi-independent Ukraine,
but deemed politically necessary a Ukrainization program, which resulted in
most eastern Ukrainians learning to read and write in their own language and
saw Ukrainian culture thrive for a vital decade.

Similarly, Josef Stalin had no intention of helping to create an independent
Ukraine half a century later when he collaborated with Adolf Hitler to
occupy the ethnically Ukrainian part of Poland.

Both of these actions nurtured the notion of a Ukrainian identity and
brought most ethnic Ukrainians together for the first extended period in
modern times, enabling them to resist the onslaught of the following
decades.

In describing these horrific events — the famine that claimed millions of
lives in the early 1930s, Stalin’s purges, and the butchery by both Hitler
and Stalin during and after World War II — Yekelchyk brings a fresh view to
some of the issues that have been closely examined by other historians.

Without ignoring the broader context, he shows how Ukraine and its people
have played an important part in some of the 20th century’s epic events.
There are also several interesting historical nuggets, such as the fact that
the famous 1921 anti-Bolshevik mutiny at the Baltic naval base of Kronstadt
“began shortly after a large contingent of disaffected peasant recruits from
Ukraine arrived.”

Moving on to later years, Yekelchyk chronicles the crucial effect of
developments in Ukraine, including a disastrous economic plunge, on the
decline and subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union. He charts
Ukraine’s stumbling journey toward independence, and chronicles events since
1991 in compressed but informative form.

Curiously, he skates over the massive corruption that has pervaded each
Ukrainian administration since independence, and spread, cancer-like, to
every strata of society, posing Ukraine’s single most formidable challenge.

Yekelchyk believes that interest in Ukraine has grown among politicians,
academics and the general public because “in the wake of the 2004 Orange
Revolution in Ukraine [they] are watching this country as the principal
arena of competition between Russia and the West.”

Events seem to support this proposition. The Kremlin, the communists and
Russian chauvinists would like to believe that the Orange Revolution was a
Western-organized concoction, because to them it is inconceivable that
ordinary people would manifest such an impressive, passionate and prolonged
defense of democracy and Ukrainian independence.

Indeed, it would be hard to imagine similar events in an increasingly
authoritarian Russia or in Alexander Lukashenko’s dictatorial Belarus. The
mere fact that the Orange Revolution happened, and that there was no
violence, shows that Ukraine has already moved dramatically further toward
democracy than Russia or Belarus.

Nevertheless, some aspects of history appear to be repeating themselves. As
in previous centuries, members of the Ukrainian elite such as Yanukovych
still collude with or seek help from foreign powers to retain their
positions and titles.

In February, Yanukovych’s supporters rejected Yushchenko’s nomination of
Volodymyr Ohryzko for foreign minister because the candidate had spoken in
Ukrainian during a meeting attended by Ukrainian and Russian politicians. In
an Orwellian manner, they accused Ohryzko of having an “inferiority
complex.”

Yekelchyk offers relatively little information about the Orange Revolution,
possibly because — as this week’s events demonstrate — it is still too
early to draw emphatic conclusions. Many Russians have gloated that the
revolution simply crumbled, leaving nothing.

But they are wrong. Despite the many disappointments and despite
Yushchenko’s squandering of opportunities, the Orange Revolution brought
about a profound and irreversible change in the Ukrainian psychology.

It saw Ukrainians demand and win a role in shaping their country’s future —
a right most Russians or Belarussians do not enjoy. Yekelchyk speculates
that Yushchenko will go down in history as a failed statesman, but that the
revolution’s effects will endure: “A more democratic Ukraine came into
being, and while political and economic problems persist, Ukrainian citizens
are now free to determine their country’s direction.” This book is a
valuable tool for understanding that country.                 -30-
———————————————————————————————-
Askold Krushelnycky is a journalist and the author of “An Orange

Revolution: A Personal Journey Through Ukrainian History.”
———————————————————————————————
http://context.themoscowtimes.com/story/175733/
Serhy Yekelchyk, serhy@uvic.ca
————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
25. FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE SPEAKS AS PART
             OF WOSKOB SERIES AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

Penn State Ag Sciences News, University Park, PA, Monday, April 16, 2007

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Steve Pifer, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine,
visited Penn State’s University Park campus April 10 to deliver a talk
titled, “The Role of Europe in Resolving Ukraine’s Orange Revolution
 Crisis.”

The address was sponsored by the Woskob Ukraine New Century Fund in the
College of Agricultural Sciences.

Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” followed the country’s highly charged
presidential election of 2004, when widespread intimidation and voter fraud,
allegedly perpetrated by the government of outgoing president Leonid Kuchma,
led to the disputed election of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych as the new
president.

After much political maneuvering and a series of peaceful protests that
nearly turned violent, the Ukrainian Supreme Court threw out the election
results, paving the way for a new vote.

Under close international monitoring, Ukrainians elected Viktor Yushchenko,
whose supporters had adopted orange as the signifying color of his campaign.

Now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies,
Pifer was a foreign service officer for more than 25 years, focusing on U.S.
relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as on arms
control and security issues. He served as ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to
2000.

Pifer’s talk was part of the Woskob Speaker Series, which in March featured
Cathy Campbell, president and CEO of the U.S. Civilian Research and
Development Foundation. Campbell spoke on “Fostering International
Collaboration and Peaceful Applications of Technology.”

The Woskob Ukraine New Century Fund — begun by real estate developers

Helen and Alex Woskob of State College — also supports several other
Penn State initiatives:

    –The Woskob International Research in Agriculture, or WIRA, program,
brings as many as four scholars from Ukrainian agricultural universities to
Penn State each year during the fall semester to study educational methods,
take and co-teach courses, establish links with Penn State researchers and
promote study-abroad opportunities for undergraduate students.

     –The Ukrainian Forest Resources Initiative is a joint effort between
Penn State, the National Agricultural University of Ukraine, the Ukrainian
National Forestry University and others to develop sustainable forest
management research and extension programs in Ukraine.

     –As part of a faculty exchange program sponsored by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences
since 1997 has hosted 55 young faculty members from countries of the former
Soviet Union, about half of them from Ukraine.

     These Ukrainian scholars have returned home to help advance the market
economy by improving educational programs in farm management, marketing,
farm policy, agribusiness and agrarian law.

     Penn State also co-hosts an annual conference in the region to bring
together former participants, university administrators, farmers and
government representatives. This year’s conference will be held in Ukraine
and will be sponsored by the Woskob Ukraine New Century Fund.

The Woskob fund also will support future planned initiatives in
horticulture, food science, and alternative energy and biofuels research.

Natives of Ukraine, the Woskobs are founders and co-owners of State
College-based A.W. and Sons Enterprises. Since 1963, they have developed
numerous real estate projects in Centre County, including housing for
thousands of Penn State students.

More information on programs sponsored by the Woskob Ukraine New Century
Fund is available by calling the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Office of
International Programs at (814) 863-0249 or by visiting the Web at
http://www.cas.psu.edu/docs/international.                    -30- 

———————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
26.           ‘BLUETOOTH REVOLUTION’ IN BELARUS?

By Alexa Chopivsky, NBC News Producer

Posted on NBC News World Blog, London, England, Wed, Apr 04, 2007

President Aleksander Lukashenko, dubbed “Europe’s last dictator” by
Condoleeza Rice, rules Belarus with a Soviet-style fist.

The country is nestled in Europe’s womb, sandwiched between Latvia,
Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Russia.

Independent media are banned and attending a political rally can land you
in jail. Last year’s presidential elections were called everything from
“fraudulent” by the U.S. government to “clownery” by a U.S.-based
Belarusian blogger.

Since he was six years old – when Lukashenko came to power – Franak
Viacorka, a 19 -year-old activist, has watched his country of 10 million
people stagnate. While other former Soviet republics developed civil
societies, albeit to varying degrees of success, Belarus was frozen in a
Cold War-era time warp.

Yet there is a trace of change in the Belarusian air. And it’s coming in the
form of Bluetooth, Skype, and rock videos as Viacorka is challenging his
generation to be catalysts for change – and he is getting his message out
using modern methods capable of evading government censors.

   NEW TECHNOLOGY USHERS IN POLITICAL CHANGE
“I think the Internet and new techniques are especially open for young
people, who are looking to be familiar with this technology,” explained
Miroslaw Dembinski, who followed Viacorka for four weeks over a one-year
period in the lead-up to the 2006 election, making a documentary about the
Belarusian youth opposition’s political efforts.

“The power of the young generation, I believe, can break this regime’s
isolation.” Dembinski said.

Dembinski’s film chronicles, for example, how Skype technology enabled an
interview with the anti-Lukashenko candidate, Alexander Milinkevich, to be
recorded and transmitted from a computer in a private home in Belarus to a
computer in Poland.

Polish TV then broadcast the interview, prompting the Polish TV presenter to
declare, “Belarusian authorities are limiting free access information, but
this cannot be done completely because the world is becoming a global
village.”

Watch this video to hear more about Viacorka and why Eastern Europe’s next
democratic movement just might be dubbed the “Bluetooth Revolution.”
————————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/04/04/111242.aspx
————————————————————————————————–
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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