Press-94.htm

                                      PRESS-RELEASE 

                                                          OF THE EMBASSY OF UKRAINE

TO THE REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA

                                          94                                                27.05.2005  

 

UKRINFORM NEWS AGENCY

  NEWS FROM UKRAINE

As Presidential Secretariat sources told Ukrinform, on Friday, May 27 President Viktor Yushchenko conducted deliberations, which focused on development problems of the Ukrainian space industry.

The deliberations lasted over two hours and were attended by NSA President Academician Borys Paton, State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko, Deputy State Secretary Boris Sobolev, presidential adviser Volodymyr Horbulin, Transportation & Communication Minister Yevhen Chervonenko, acting director general of the National Space Agency Valeri Komarov, Southern Engineering Works director general Yuri Alekseyev, Southern Office designer general Stanislav Konyukhov, UkrKosmos director general Aleksandr Makarov.

As President Yushchenko told the attendants, he views Ukraine's space industry as among the nation's top priorities.

The Head of State set the task of drafting a comprehensive program for the space industry's development.

The deliberations' materials are supposed to provide a base for the President's decree on revivification of space rocketry manufacture in Ukraine.

The deliberations were preceded by State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko's trip, on the President's errand, to Dnipropetrovsk on May 11, where Mr Zinchenko met with chiefs of the Southern Design Office and the Southern Engineering Works.

***

Ukraine and the USA have signed a framework agreement on cooperation in nuclear safety and security.

Commenting on the document, which was signed by US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman on behalf of the US party, Emergency Management Minister Davyd Zhvaniya said the US party will finance work to raise safety - security standards of Ukrainian storages for fissionable wastes.

The long-term project's implementation will cost dozens of millions of dollars, the Ukrainian Minister noted.

In the early phase of their cooperation the parties will work to enhance storaging standards at RADON facilities.

There are seven such facilities, Mr Zhvaniya, disclosed, where radioactive wastes are kept, including phased out x-ray apparatus and wastes from enriched uranium.

The second phase of the project provides for reducing the number of these facilities to just one.

Primarily, those facilities will be scrapped which are located too close to populated places, including Kyiv and Lviv.

In particular, fissile wastes will be storaged within the Chornobyl nuke zone at facilities, run by the enterprise VEKTOR.

According to the Minister for management of emergencies and the population's protection from the Chornobyl nuclear accident's consequences, fissile wastes, kept at the RADON facilities, account for a mere 5 percent of the total.

As the Minister further disclosed, the parties agreed to carry out a feasibility study within two months.

The talks also involved the need to tighten security at the RADON facilities.

This problem, Davyd Zhvaniya said, will be addressed by the NSDC. The US party, Mr Zhvaniya noted, has suggested that Ukrainian research centers switch to work with only low-enriched uranium.

According to Mr Zhvaniya, experts contend that carrying out research work with highly enriched uranium is inexpedient.

***

Ukraine's political processes following the new President's advent eliminate many of those obstacles which used to bar Ukraine from diversifying its sources for fuel supplies, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko noted, meeting in Kyiv on Friday with visiting US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

The Ukrainian Head of Government stated her conviction that Ukraine and the USA may have quite a few joint projects in the fuel-energy sector.

She thanked the US party for actively assisting Ukraine is solving the Chornobyl nuke problem and for the USA's aid to Ukraine in implementing programs toward enhancing Ukrainian nuclear power plants' safety - security standards.

Mrs Tymoshenko particularly noted the US-based Westinghouse company's great role in diversifying supplies of fissile fuels to Ukrainian NPPs.

In turn, Secretary Bodman stressed that the USA is pleased to be a party to financing urgent projects for the former Chornobyl nuke.

He stated the American party's interest to get familiar with the Ukrainian Government's list of steps with regard to the former nuke.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Bodman said the parties had exchanged opinions about ways to step up bipartite cooperation.

He stated his satisfaction with the talks with the Ukrainian Prime Minister and noted that the thus reached agreements will be implemented in close collaboration with the US Embassy in Kyiv.

The meeting was attended by Emergency Management Minister Davyd Zhvaniya, First Deputy Fuel & Energy Minister, ENERGOATOM national company chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko, US Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Ukraine John E. Herbst.

***

As the NSDC press service told Ukrinform on Friday, US Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, who arrived in Kyiv on President George Bush's errand, with a view of attaining a higher level of bipartite cooperation in implementing agreements, reached during President Viktor Yushchenko's latest visit to the USA, met with NSDC Secretary Petro Poroshenko.

The meeting dealt with a  broad rage of cooperation issues, including America's financial aid to Ukraine in upgrading the Shelter facility and in Ukraine's effort to improve the nation's borderline infrastructures.

Matters of Ukrainian-American cooperation in nuclear researches were discussed, as well.

The parties reached an agreement on holding talks not only with US officials, but also with potential investors toward boosting investments in the Ukrainian economy, the energy sector, in particular.

Samuel Bodman articulated the US Administration's readiness to maximally foster sprouts of nascent Ukrainian democracy and promises the USA's comprehensive support for Ukraine in the latter's drive to boost the nation's energy capability.

According to Mr Bodman, he is pleased with the level and results of his meetings in Kyiv.

***

As Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko told journalists in Kyiv, all the discrepancies, which were aired at the NSDC's session on May 20 between the Head of State and the Prime Minister, have been eliminated.

I had a talk with the President yesterday (on May 25), and, as I believe, 99 percent of issues were eliminated, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, we arranged for our work toward eliminating any manifestations of disharmony within the authority's ranks.

Mrs Tymoshenko attributed the discrepancies to the new team's continued evolution and still imperfect interactions. During the NSDC's session Prime Minister and the President split on the gasoline crisis.

Commenting on the debate with the President in the presence of Russian oilers, Mrs Tymoshenko said there was a need to scare the Russian oil traders, and we did that together.

***

First Vice Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh aired his conviction that the final decision with regard to strategic development of the domestic economy will be best grounded, if it is based on a high professional discussion, the Vice Prime Minister's press service told Friday.

According to him, complex social-economic problems can't be solved by simple methods, for example by searching guilty, resorting to PR and populism.

As Vice Prime Minister Kinakh noted, in the general discussion the personal opinion of each of Govt members means a lot, as an opposition opinion is valuable.

He stressed the need of a fair dialogue among the authority, the society and business.

***

First Vice Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh urged to cease political aggravation around Ukrainian-Russian relations, talking to journalists on Friday.

"I want once again to stress that Ukraine is developing as a legal democratic state, which means the authority's strict adherence to principles of supremacy of law, protection of rights of investors and owners, establishment of favorable conditions for business and equal competition, irrespectively of cooperation directions, be it West or East", the First Vice Prime Minister stressed.

As he reminded, Russia is Ukraine's strategic partner, which fact won't be revised by anyone. Ukraine and Russia have a series of prospective directions of cooperation, particularly, joint projects of establishment of industrial-financial groups and transnational companies in the energy sphere, transit and cargo transportation, engineering and aircraft construction, agrarian and mining-metallurgical areas, the First Vice Prime Minister stated. According to him, the huge trade-economic and investment capabilities of Ukrainian-Russian relations must be strengthened and deepened.

As Antoliy Kinakh believes, Russia and Ukraine have enough wisdom and self-restrain not to destroy the previous achievements and, relying on mutual respect, build up cooperation and strengthen trust between the two states and peoples.

***

The Cabinet of ministers of Ukraine approved a draft resolution by the President of Ukraine on establishment of a commission on inventory of basic types of armaments and materiel and their technical condition in the Armed Forces, other paramilitary units and law-enforcement bodies of Ukraine, Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko told Ukrinform correspondent.

According to him, the commission is aimed at determining the necessary number of armaments, which excess will be sold through the UkrSpetsEksport company. The commission is also supposed to draft conclusions on the need to modernize the materiel or to develop new armament systems.

As the Minister for Defense noted, the commission is scheduled to work through October 1, 2005.

***

First Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Buteiko held a meeting with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Jean Fournet, who arrived in Kyiv with a view of attending a session of the Ukraine - NATO Working Group for science and natural environmental protection, Foreign Ministry source told Ukrinform on Friday.

The parties to the meeting exchanged opinions about the current status and prospect of Ukraine - NATO non-military cooperation, in particular, in science and natural environmental protection. Special attention was given to deepening cooperation in informing the public.

Jean Fournet informed the host side about his vision of NATO - Ukraine cooperation in the future, in particular, in the context of the Intensified Membership Dialogue, which was initiated at the Ukraine  - NATO Commission's April 21 session in Vilnius, Lithuania.

***

On Thursday NaftoGaz Ukrainy chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko ,et with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to discuss conclusion of an agreement between the Ukrainian company and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan on long-term cooperation in extracting petroleum and natural gas in Azerbaijan and in supplies of Azeri crude oil and petroleum products to Ukraine.

Messrs Ivchenko and Aliyev also discussed establishment of a mixed joint-stock company by the NaftoGaz Ukrainy and the Azerbaijanian State Oil Company, with a view of transporting crude petroleum via the Baku - Supsa and Odesa - Brody pipelines to Europe.

According to the NaftoGaz Ukrainy public relations, Oleksiy Ivchenko, who led a delegation to Azerbaijan, held talks with Natik Aliyev, president of the State Oil Company, which resulted in an agreement to form and staff working groups in charge of drafting documents, which will be readied for signing during President, Viktor Yushchenko's visit to Azerbaijan, slated for July 2005.

During the Ukrainian delegation's stay in Azerbaijan they attended solemn ceremonies to open the Azerbaijanian segment of the Baku - Tbilisi - Jeihan oil pipeline.

Oleksiy Ivchenko met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to discuss preparations for President Yushchenko's visit to Kazakhstan on May 30.

Oleksiy Ivchenko also met with President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia to discuss problems relating to the Baku - Tbilisi - Jeihan oil pipeline project.

***

Moscow played host to yet another round of Ukrainian and Russian expert groups' consultations toward delimitating the marine borderline in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

The Ukrainian delegation were led by roving ambassador Aleksandr Kupchishin, the Foreign Ministry's press service told Ukrinform on Friday.

The May 25 - 26 consultations helped the parties narrow their differences.

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian side stated concern over the Russian party's non-constructive, unlawful stand on the Kerch Strait, which refuses to accept the former USSR's borderlines there as the Ukrainian-Russian borderline.

***

Ukrainian Ambassador to China Serhiy Kamyshev met with Director of the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China (NNSA), Vice Minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) Wang Yuqing on Thursday, the Ukrainian Embassy in China sources told Ukrinform.

Wang Yuqing briefed the Ukrainian envoy about the NNSA activities in the sphere of control over exploitation of nuclear power facilities, including nuclear power plants, and the Chinese Government's strategy to enhance the peaceful use of atomic power and to prevent emergencies in this domain.

As he said, a visit by a NNSA delegation to Ukraine is slated for June-July, which is aimed at deepening Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation in nuclear safety, sharing experience in overcoming consequences of emergencies and studying the security system at Ukrainian NPPs.

Serhiy Kamyshev familiarized his interlocutor about Ukraine's concrete steps in the context of preparations for the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe and activities of Ukrainian scientists, engineers and doctors in elimination of consequences of the Chornobyl disaster.

***

As Ukrainian Ambassador to Hungary Yuriy Mushka, who was recently elected Secretary of the Danube Commission, told Ukrinform's Budapest-based correspondent, shortly the last barrier will be removed to resume unhampered merchant shipping along the Danube.

Construction of the Sloboda bridge in Novi Sad is nearing completion, the Ambassador noted.

As the disclosed, the Danube Commission heard a report about the draft of a new convention on free shipping along the Danube, which will amend the Belgrade Convention of 1948 and which is likely to be approved next year.

***

As Crimean Prime Minister Anatoliy Matviyenko told a Friday news conference in Kyiv, in 22 days the Crimean authority will stage a tender for developing the Pontic Shelf's deposits of carbohydrate fuels.

As Mr Matviyenko contended, the Black Sea's deposits of these will dwarf those of the Caspian Sea.

Mr Matviyenko also stated the peninsular autonomous republic's interestedness in transit transportation of Caspian oil, which can be carried not only via the Odesa Seaport, but also across Crimea's territory.

***

The National Bank of Ukraine is continuously monitoring the hryvnia's exchange rate on the interbank currency market and will not allow any upheavals to happen, Mykola Melnychuk, director of the NBU Department for managing currency reserves, told correspondents in Kyiv Friday.

As he noted, after the elections the NBU withstood the agitated attack of "hot money."

Over 2005's first four months, he disclosed  non-residents bought 670 M. USD's worth of state loan bonds. Within just one week (April 13 - 20) supply of currency on the interbank currency exchange exceeded demand by 611 M. USD.

With a view of stoppering the influx of speculator capital, on April 21 the NBU resorted to a momentary move to revaluate the hryvnia by 2.7 percent, setting the UAH's exchange rate at 5.05 UAH per dollar.

According to Mykola Melnychuk, the UAH's consolidation will diminish inflation- related pressure on internal prices, will make critical imports cheaper, will diminish the economy's dollarization.

As he admitted, the impact of the national monetary unit's revaluation shocked the investment segment and Ukrainian exporters, which may adversely affect the economy's development in 2005.

***

Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Mykola Selivon met with representatives of constitutional courts from 18 countries and scientists, participants in the 13th International Conference of Judges, which was underway in Kyiv on Thursday.

As the Constitutional Court's press service told Ukrinform, Mykola Selivon told the guests about functions, structure and activity of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and its role to ensure the supremacy of the basic law in the state and society. As an example he cited some cases. He particularly told the participants about the decisions, which are aimed at protecting rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen.

Mykola Selivon briefed the guests about the Constitutional Court's international ties.

***

On Friday, May 27 Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko and Clearing Chamber Chairman Valentyn Symonenko signed an agreement on the two organs' interactions in uncovering an preventing misappropriation of funds.

The agreement provides, in particular, for exchanging information about findings of the Clearing Chamber's checks and revisions and for the Interior Ministry's steps to safeguard Clearing Chamber personnel's security.

According to Minister Lutsenko, cooperation between the two bodies will be helpful in bridling fund misappropriation.

As an example Mr Lutsenko cited misdeeds, which the Clearing Chamber uncovered and following which the Interior Ministry launched an investigation into allotment last year of 50 M. UAH from the budget allegedly to finance photomapping of the Kyiv-Odesa autobahn by aircraft, which work was never performed.

***

Police resumed investigation of facts of mass disorders near the Central Electoral Commission, in which representatives of the public organization "Union of Ukrainians of Transdniestria" and the all-Ukrainian public organization "Bratstvo" participated in 2004, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's public relations told Ukrinform.

In this connection the Ukrainian Interior Ministry addressed the leading tv channels to render video materials they possess on the facts of September 23, 2004 disorders near the CEC.

As the Interior Ministry reminded, some 60 representatives of the said organizations, led by candidate for the presidency Dmytro Korchynsky, were committing hooligan actions for 40 minutes in the CEC premises, as a result of which Ukrainian State Security officers got physical injuries. Criminal proceedings were instituted on the fact of violations on September 27, 2004 under article 293 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (public disorders). But under a direction from the Presidential Administration, the criminal case was groundlessly closed.

As of May 27 the illegal decision was canceled and the investigation was resumed.

***

As Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko told Ukrinform's metropolitan correspondent on Friday ex-premier Viktor Yanukovych and the ex-president's chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk have been summoned to four regional police departments to testify as witnesses.

Messrs Yanukovych and Medvedchuk are to give explanations about certain land plots and buildings in Ivano-Frankivsk region.

In particular, Viktor Medvedchuk has been requested to give explanations with regard to alienation of a land plot to construct the Beskyd recreational center in the village of Muslivka, Ivano-Frankivsk region.

He will have to either confirm or deny reports, which allege that the center belongs to either him or his family.

Viktor Yanulkovyh and former Ivano-Frankivsk vice governor Myroslav Blashchuk will be questioned in connection with illegal transfer of land plots for constructing cottages to them in the Mulivka forestry.

Besides, Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Medvedchuk are to be questioned in Crimea, Transcarpathian region and Kyiv City.

Taking into account their modest hobby of collecting dachas, they will have to make a tour of Ukraine.

 Ukraine needs financial and technical aid by European institutes in combating illegal migration, Ukrainian Minister for Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko said at a meeting with representative of the International Organization for Migration in Ukraine Jeffrey Labowitz. "Ukraine has practically become a buffer zone for illegals, who are heading for Europe. Independently, without the European Union's assistance, it's impossible to counteract to such number of migrants", the Minister said.

Yuriy Lutsenko cited such data, since early 2005 some 5,000 illegal migrants have been detained in Ukraine, about 4,000 of them have been already departed, the rest are staying in special establishments. Some 2.5 M. UAH has been spent to these ends.

According to the Interior Minister, the situation can be improved by means of establishment of a system to obstacle the growth of flow of illegal migrants, which could include technical equipment improvements and establishment of a central data bank. In particular, Yuriy Lutsenko asked the IOM representative to view the possibility of financial support of introduction of the "Kazakh project" in Ukraine on identification of persons by biometrical information.

The IOM representative briefed his interlocutor about the recent projects by the EU and the European Commission, which are directed at helping Ukraine and other states to relieve certain problems of illegal migration. One of the biggest projects is allotment of 4 M.Euros for developing centers, where detainees are kept. This project contains voluntary return of migrants to their native country, he said. The IOM plans to hold a meeting with Ukrainian, Belarussian and Moldovan officials, with a view of determining the needs of these countries, and, thus, planning the further aid.

 ***

As Security Service Chairman Aleksandr Turchinov told journalists in Kyiv, the Security Service will approach Transportation & Communication Minister Yevhen Chervonenko to get information about the whereabouts of Ihor Bakai, former head of the State Agency for managing the Presidential Administration's affairs.

Mr Turchinov said this, by way of commenting on known the Minister's statement that during his recent working trip to Moscow he met there with Ihor Bakai and talked to him.

According to Aleksandr Turchinov, the Security Service has appealled to the FSB to request their aid in locating Ihor Bakai and starting the process of his extradition to Ukraine.

The news about Yevhen Chervonenko's meeting with Ihor Bakai was rather stunning, Mr Turchinov noted, as Mr Chervonenko should have know about Ihor Bakai having been declared wanted.

***

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General Office instituted criminal proceedings with regard to UkrZaliznytsia (Ukrainian Rail Road Administration) officials' transfer of more than 3,000 special-purpose cars, which are preliminary estimated at 160 M. hryvnias, to a Donetsk commercial entity, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Office's press service told Ukrinform. According to it, the criminal proceedings were instituted under article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misuse of authority).

The PGO goes on investigating facts of misuse of authority by UkrZaliznytsia officials. Under suspicion of committing these crimes and in connection with their preventing to establishment of truth, three officials were detained two of them were put to custody.

***

On Friday, May 27 the 2nd International Anti-Terrorism Forum, which got under way in Kyiv on May 24, drew to a close.

Speaking at a follow-up press conference, representatives of the International Anti-Terrorism Unity said this public organization, in conjunction with the Security Service of Ukraine, had drafted a comprehensive educational program on the subject of combating terrorism.

The program proceeds  from the assumption that combating terrorism necessitates joint efforts by state authority bodies and NGOs.

***

As the Defense Ministry press service told Ukrinform Friday, a delegation of Danish Defense Ministry ecologists are visiting Ukraine, with a view of jointly implementing a natural environmental protection project in Kyiv region, which provides for restoring natural environments through introducing a system of management of natural environments and landscapes in the vicinity of Divychky, Kyiv region, where an artillery range is located.

The project is being financed by the Danish side.

***

As the Security Service public relations told Ukrinform, on Friday a solemn public gathering was held at the Security Service Center for culture and arts, which was timed to Day of Borderguard and which was attended by State Borderguard Service personnel, their families.

State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko, Vice Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for national defense and security Borys Andresiuk, Chairman of the State Committee for matters of veterans Serhiy Chervonopyskiy were among the guests of honor.

***

On May 25 the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry convened its 7th Congress in Kyiv, which drew about 160 delegates and foreign guests, including Vladimir Bobrov, chairman of the Belarussian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergei Katyrin, vice president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Todor Lavrov, president of the Moldovan Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

Messages of greetings to the Congress came from Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, First Vice Premier Anatoliy Kinakh, Ukrainian diplomats, chiefs of Ukrainian expo companies.

Under new social-economic conditions Ukraine is seeking to enter the global economy and has already promoted its brands of commodities on foreign markets, to which the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has contributed very heavily.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has done much to support Ukrainian producers and will continue this effort, the Speaker's message of greetings said.

During the current period of Ukraine's transition to market economy the Chamber of Commerce and Industry continues greatly facilitating Ukrainian producers' advent onto international markets, which can be attested by the fact that in 2000-2005 agreements were concluded with 88 nations and over 900 expos and fairs were staged abroad, in which 46,000 Ukrainian producers participated, the Prime Minister's message of greetings said.

Speaking at the 7th Congress, CII president Serhiy Skrypchenko briefed the audience about the Chamber's work in 2000-2004 and outlined the organisation's chief tasks and objectives in 2005.

Touching on promotion of foreign trade, Serhiy Skrypchenko said over that time 573 delegations from almost 70 countries visited the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, over 30 business missions were organised to foreign countries, economic relations with which are of interest to Ukraine.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry continues working toward Ukraine's accedence to the World Trade Organisation and promoting economic relations with EU members.

Mr Skrypchenko singled out as particularly important the Chamber's participation in the 12th Congress of the EuroChamber in October 2004, which Vienna, Austria hosted.

He pointed to the 3d Economic Forum in Lviv into matters of transborder cooperation in 2002 as another salient event in the Chamber's history, along with the 4th Forum "Through Goodneighborliness To United Europe's Prosperity" and traditional Ukraine - Poland fora.

Expanding cooperation with CIS member-nations, the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been actively participating in sessions of the CIS Council of directors of chambers of commerce and trade and in joint work to draft legislative acts.

In 2000 - 2004 the Chamber of Commerce and Industry established 16 bipartite business councils in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Hungary, other nations.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is co-founder of the Polish-Ukrainian Economic Chamber, the Union of Economic Cooperation "Ukraine - Czech Republic," and a participant in the BSEC and GUAM Economic Councils.

Besides, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has established its permanent representation offices in Afghanistan, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland.

According to Serhiy Skrypchenko, the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also engaged in implementing a number of international programs, in systemic work to draw foreign capital investments, in expo-related activities.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry continues attracting Ukrainian experts and specialists to expos and fairs in virtually every European country, as well as Middle East, Asian and African countries.

As Serhiy Skrypchenko said, one of major areas of the Chamber's activity is expertise and certification of commodities. In particular, since its establishment the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has carried almost 500 expertises of domestic commodities, which has greatly enhanced the Ukrainian economy's competitiveness.

Commenting on the Chamber's tasks and objectives, Serhiy Skrypchenko listed these as specifying the Chamber's role as a go-between to mediate business-authority relations, facilitation of the Ukrainian economy's innovative investment development, promotion of processes, aimed at Ukraine's accedence to the WTO and eventually to the EU, expanding cooperation with CIS countries toward creation of a CIS Free Trade Zone.

Mr Skrypchenko also stated the Chamber's yet another important task as assisting the new Ukrainian authority in amassing basic assets, overcoming the shadow economy, enhancing domestic producers' competitiveness on international markets and promoting Ukraine's profile in the world.

***

According to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, capital investments in the Ukrainian economy over this year's first four months totalled 14.7 bn. UAH.

The bulk of the investments (85.8 percent of the total) were made in capital assets (capital construction, acquisition of equipment), expenses involving  acquisition and creation of other non-circulating assets, purchases of land plots, containers, and so, and accounted for 2.2 percent of the total.

Around 0.5 percent was invested in increasing livestock herds. Non-material assets drew 3.1 percent of the total investment, while 8.4 percent of the aggregate investment was spent on modernization of facilities.

Enterprises' own means remained the major source for investment (68.9 percent of the total). The share of central and local budgets amounted to 6.2 percent of the total, while money from foreign investors accounted for 6.0 percent of the total.

The population's share in investments in construction of dwellings was 3.8 percent of the total investments. Spending on natural environmental protection and rational use of natural resources amounted to 1.1 percent of the total.

Over the January - March period enterprises of all proprietorial status spent 12.6 bn. UAH, which was 4.5 percent more than in last year's similar period.

Increases in investment in main assets were registered in 13 regions, most actively in Kirovograd, Zhytomyr, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk regions, Kyiv City and Sevastopol.

As far as investments in main assets are concerned, 51.9 percent of these was used to purchase machinery and equipment, 41.5 percent was spent on construction of facilities and equipment mounting.

As was the case in 2004, the bulk of investments were made in extracting and treating industries, facilities for generation of electric power, distribution of gas and water supplies.

Over 60 percent of these was made in treating industries, 1.2 times more than in 2004.

Investments sizeably grew in manufacture of rubber articles and plastics (3.1 times), textile and sewing industries (2.8 times), in manufacture of leather goods and leather footwear (2 times).

Reductions in investments were registered in pulp-paper making industry, printing and publishing (- 69.8 percent), manufacture of glassware and construction materials (- 33.5 percent).

The transportation and communication sectors witnessed 1.1fold and 1.5fold increases in capital investment, respectively.

Capital investment in construction of dwellings totalled 1,751.4 M. UAH, 5 percent down from last year's figure for the same period (13.9 percent of the aggregate investments).

As of April 1, 2005, investors from 116 foreign nations invested 8.8 bn. USD in the Ukrainian economy.

The list of  major foreign investors was topped by the USA (13.7 percent of the total).

The USA was followed by Cyprus (12.7 percent), Britain (10.17 percent), the Virgin Islands (7.8 percent), Germany (6.9 percent), the Netherlands (6.4 percent), Russia (5.8 percent), Austria (4.0 percent).

Almost a third of foreign capital investments was made in wholesale trade enterprises, trade agencies, food industry, processing of agricultural products.

Sizeable investments were also made in the realty sector (8.8 percent of the total), financial activity (8.1 percent), engineering (7.6 percent), transport and communication (7.5 percent), chemical, petrochemical industries (5.2 percent), metallurgy and metal treatment (4.9 percent).

***

. As Industrial Policy Minister Volodymyr Shandra told the weakly Zerkalo Nedeli ("Week's Mirror"), the Ministry is engaged in talks with the company JPMorgan Europe and the Switzerland-based bank Credit Suisse First Boston toward investing in a joint lease project in the aircraft making industry.

According to the Minister, the Swiss bank has sent a message to the Ukrainian party to intimate its readiness for investing in the promising project because using leasing schemes is currently the main mode of selling domestically made aircraft.

So, the project promises turnover, computable in billions of US dollars.

As Mr Shandra stressed in his interview to the Zerkalo Nedeli, only very large, powerful companies can cope with a project of this magnitude. Mr Shandra aired his hope in this connection that such a corporation will be established in Ukraine this year.

If we seriously mean to establish Ukraine as an aircraft making nation on the global market of aircraft, the Minister contended, we must set up the corporation on the base of existent state-owned aircraft making enterprises.

Joining and coordinating their efforts will secure the results we wish to attain, he said.

We must make the aircraft manufacturers interested in the designers' work, so that the latter category's effort is duly remunerated.

The entire world is moving towards integration, the Minister was further quoted as saying.

As Volodymyr Shandra admitted, there are rather many reservations with regard to setting up the integrated corporation.

The main thing, Mr Shandra said, is the aircraft industry enterprises' financial condition.

For instance, the O.K. Antonov Aircraft Design-Manufacturing Complex can boast of relative financial stability, but the Kharkiv State-Owned Aviation Production Enterprise (KSAPE) has significant credit indebtedness.

However, all the aviation industry enterprises are unanimous on the need to integrate.

As long as aircraft making enterprises remain isolated every enterprise will have to think about running its servicing centers.

This need has been stated by Ukraine's potential customers in Sudan, who say there must be such a center to render technical maintenance services to operators of Ukrainian planes.

Running servicing centers involves great expenses, so this job should be collectively dealt with. In particular, Ukraine's contract with Sudan provides for allocating 10 M. USD for getting up an aircraft servicing center in Sudan.

As the Industrial Policy Minister said, Ukraine has markets to sell its aircraft. Once there were 22,000 AN family planes, flying in the world.

Though two thirds of that number have been phased out by now, a most 7,000 AN planes are operational.

Despite this fact, we must be sober-minded on Ukraine's chances for success in setting established on the international market of aircraft because the Ukrainian aircraft making industry has assembled only 22 planes over the past five years.

The KSAPE's rate of assembling aircraft is pretty low, a mere 0.7 plane almost. So, the KSAPE should raise it to at least one plane a month.

Labor productivity in the Ukrainian aircraft making industry is about 43,000 UAH per worker per month, whereas in Europe it reaches 200,000 euros per worker per month.

So, Ukraine's advent onto the international market of aircraft will entail additional spending on servicing centers, on advertising Ukrainian planes, and so on, Volodymyr Shandra noted.

Though servicing sellers for maintenance of AN family planes have been set up in over 35 countries, though there centers AN planes repair works in Russia (two), Cuba, India, Vietnam (one in each country), are Ukrainian experts can repair an AN plane within 72 hours, at best, whereas a Boeing plane is normally repaired within ten hours.

As the Industrial Policy Minister further disclosed, in the first stage of forming the corporation its members will retain the status of juridical persons.

In addition to the two aviation industry's flagships (O.K. Antonov and KSAPE), the corporation will include the Kyiv works # 450 and the UkrNDIAT (Ukrainian Research Institute for Aviation Transportation).

***

According to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, in January - April industrial production output increased by 6.7 percent, as compared with 2004's first four months.

In extracting industries production output grew by 3.7 percent, on average. Extraction of metal ores increased by 9.4 percent, of coal and turf by 0.1 percent; extraction of coal totalled 970,000 tons and of natural gas reached 6.4 bn. cu. m.

Extraction of iron ore and manufacture of non-agglomerated concentrates reached 23.1 M. tons, and 22.5 M.  tons of agglomerated concentrates was made, which was 8.2 percent and 6.8 percent more than over 2004's January - April period. In treating industries production output increased by 7.1 percent.

Production output in food making  and processing industries grew by 16 percent. Biggest increments were registered in processing of vegetables, berries, fruit (+ 22.8 percent), production of pasta articles (+ 22.5 percent), cigarets (21.9 percent), beverages (+ 20.5 percent), meat products (+ 19.5 percent), pastry and confectionery articles (+ 18.1 percent), bread and bread articles (+ 6 percent), fats (+ 4.6 percent), cereals and flour (+ 2.3 percent).

A total of 169,000 tons of fruit and vegetable juices, 10,800 tons of jams, 31.300 tons of pasta articles, 37 bn. cigarets, 736,000 decaliters of cognac, 14.9 M. decaliters of vodka, other kinds of spirits, 59.8 M. decaliters of beer, 45.5 M. decaliters of soft drinks, 164,000 tons of meat, 99,800 tons of sausages, 244,000 tons of milk, 78,100 tons of fat cheeses, 160,000 tons of sour milk products, 33,200 tons of canned milk, 87,000 tons of chocolate articles, 110,000 tons of confectionery articles was made.

Light industries registered a 3.2 percent average growth. Manufacture of blankets and plaids increased twofold, manufacture of wool yarn grew 1.6 times, manufacture of linen, woolen fabrics, chemical fibers, cotton yarn and cotton fabrics, hosiery, rugs increased by between 5 percent and 17 percent.

Manufacture of woodenware increased by 24 percent. Manufacture of wooded frames for doors, windows, thresholds, plywood, boards, increased by between 66 percent and 29.2 percent.

The paper making industry and publishing increased production output by 16.9 percent. Production of goffered paper and cardboard grew by 22 percent and 35 percent.

Manufacture of wallpaper increased by 7 percent, though a sizeable, 35 percent reduction was registered in manufacture of notebooks.

Metallurgy and metal treatment registered negligible increments in production output, which grew by a meger 0.5 percent in January - April 2005 versus last year's similar period.

Manufacture of cast, pig iron, steel, ferrous alloys increased by 3.4 percent, of steel pipes by 24.1 percent, of primaty cast iron and steel by 4.5 percent.

Between January 1 and April 30 10.6 M. tons of cast iron, 9.8 M. tons of steel, 7.5 M. tons of rolled metal, 753,000 tons of pipes was made. Manufacture of non-ferrous metals diminished by 40.6 percent.

Engineering kept the upward trend, having registered an 11.9 percent growth in production output. Production output in automaking industry, in manufacture of equipment for metallurgy, computers increased by 45.3 percent, 38.2 percent, 34.5 percent, respectively.

Manufacture of household appliances, machine tools, machines for processing of agricultural products, agricultural machinery, electric motors and accessories grew by 9.1 percent, 7.5 percent, 4.1 percent, 3.8 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Over the January - April period almost 202,000 ice-boxes, 116,000 washing machines, 22,800 vacuum cleaners, 952 machine tools for wood treatment, 1,600 tractors for agriculture and forestries, 8,600 desktop computers, 54,000 automobiles, 1,000 buses was made.

Chemical and petrochemical industries posted a 14.3 percent growth. Manufacture of chemicals increased by 13.3 percent, of basal chemicals by 12.6 percent, of lacquers and dyes by 9.2 percent.

The pharmaceutical industry registered a 16.1 percent growth. Manufacture of soaps, perfumery, cosmetics, detergents, polishers increased by 33.3 percent.

Manufacture of potassium fertilizers, sulfur acid, formaldehyde, methanol, aluminum sulfate, caustic soda, calcinate soda grew by between 14 percent and 30 percent, though production of phosphated fertilizers, calcium carbonate decreased by 48 percent to 58 percent, and manufacture of compound ethers diminished by 16 percent to 28 percent.

Coke making works decreased production output by 5 percent. Manufacture of diesel oil, oil fuel decreased by 7.1 percent and 9.3 percent respectively, though manufacture of gasolines increased by 10.1 percent.

Ukrainian electric power plants generated a total of 67.4 bn. kWh of electricity. Generation of electricity at fuel-fired, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants increased respectively by 0.6 percent, 10.2 percent and 0.9 percent.

***

Development of dialogue between Ukraine and the European Union in the area of energy will be at the center of attention when the director of the European Commission for Energy and Transport, Francois Lamure, visits Ukraine from June 2 to 4.

The Ukrainian representative office at the European Union disclosed this to Ukrinform.

Mr. Lamure will participate in an international industrial conference on the future of Ukraines gas transport system within the context of liberalization of the European Unions gas market, which will take place in Kyiv on June 3 under the auspices of the INOGATE program.

He will also discuss prospects for developing cooperation in the areas of energy and transport with Ukrainian government officials.

Mr. Lamure is expected to meet with President Viktor Yuschenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and First Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Kinakh during the visit to discuss concrete projects within the framework of the Ukrainian-European Union high-level dialogue on energy.

Specifically, they will discuss reform of the energy sector, the oil and gas transport system, energy efficiency, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, the restructuring of the coal sector, and safety at coal mines.

Mr. Lamure plans to visit a regional meteorological center that is being built in Ukraine with assistance from the European Union.

***

A meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of the member-countries of the Central European Initiative took place in Slovakia from May 26 to 27.

According to information from the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ihor Dolhov led Ukraines delegation to the meeting.

The participants in the meeting discussed the political situation in the Central European region and ways of deepening cooperation between the Central European Initiative and the expanded European Union.

The participants in the meeting welcomed the political changes that took place in Ukraine.

The Central European Initiative stated its readiness to assist Ukraine in its bid to integrate into the European Union and NATO.

The final document adopted at the end of the meeting states that the success of Ukraines integration into Europe will be of significant importance to the promotion of European values in the eastern part of the continent as well as for the unification of Europe in general.

The heads of the delegations to the meeting also held detailed discussions on the situation in the Balkan region.

A decision was made to establish institutional ties between the Central European Initiative and the European Union and grant the European Commission observer status within the Central European Initiative.

Members of the Ukrainian delegation stressed the importance of greater involvement of the Central European Initiative in the introduction of the Ukrainian-European Union action plan.

The heads of delegations also welcomed the intensive dialogue between Ukraine and NATO on membership and reform.

Mr. Dolhov also held several bilateral meetings.

He discussed prospects for deepening cooperation between the Central European Initiative and Ukraine and active involvement of Ukraine in the activities of the Central European Initiative with the director-general of the Central European Initiative.

He also met with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europes Secretary-General Jan Kubis and the deputy foreign affairs ministers of Poland, Moldova, Belarus, Macedonia, and Albania.

***

United Nations Undersecretary General Antonio Maria Costa, who heads the United Nations department for fighting narcotics and crimes, has expressed the desire to pay a visit to Ukraine, where, according to him, the campaign against crime and corruption has an important place in the society.

He speaking to delegates at the fourteenth session of the United Nations commission on crime prevention and criminal justice, which closed in Vienna on Friday.

According to information from the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the participants in the session discussed the results of the eleventh United Nations congress on crime prevention and criminal justice that recently closed in Thailand.

The Ukrainian delegation to the fourteenth session of the United Nations commission on crime prevention and criminal justice was led by Ukraines representative at Geneva-based international organizations, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko.

The delegation included representatives of the Prosecutor-Generals Office, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the Interior Affairs Ministry.

Members of the Ukrainian delegation participated in work on draft decisions on fighting transnational crime and improving criminal justice.

Specifically, they co-authored a resolution on international practical application of standard bilateral agreements on distribution of confiscated criminal assets.

Several important agreements on accelerating technical cooperation and modernization of the Ukrainian law enforcement system in line with international standards were reached during bilateral meetings with the leadership of the Vienna International Center.

***

President Viktor Yushchenko agreed to suspend the process of meting out Ukrainian state distinctions starting from June already, with a view of drafting clear and transparent decoration mechanisms, First Deputy Secretary of State Ivan Vasiunyk told a Friday news briefing. According to him, such a decision was drafted by members of the commission for decorations and heraldry under the President of Ukraine at its last session.

According to Ivan Vasiunyk, since the commission has been established the current session was the fourth, while only in 2004 as much as 41 persons were decorated with Hero of Ukraine Title. "I don't think you know a third of these names", he said. According to the data he cited, the number of decorations increased almost twofold in the pre-election period.

According to him, between 1999 and 2004 some 43,000 Ukrainian citizens were decorated with state distinctions, which is practically every thousandth citizen of Ukraine.

The majority of the commission members agreed on the new system of approach to "People's" and "Merited" titles, without canceling the status of the recipients, with certain exceptions under the Ukrainian legislation.

As presidential press secretary Iryna Herashchenko told the news briefing, moratorium for titles' meting out will be extended for June 6, when Day of Journalist is marked. According to Ms Herashchenko, it will be honest in relations between the state and journalists, if the President congratulates the "fourth power", whom he has much respect to, in another way. "It is important that the title was high and was proposed by the audience first of all", the presidential press secretary said.

***

As President Viktor Yushchenko believes, gaining Ukrainian citizenship must become a holiday, not a routine action, presidential press secretary Iryna Herashchenko told a Friday news briefing. As she said, the second session of the presidential commission on citizenship matters was held on Friday, which viewed and supported an initiative by Viktor Yushchenko on introduction of a solemn ceremony of passport presentation to citizens of Ukraine, both to persons who reach 16, and to those who take out Ukrainian citizenship.

In particular, President Yushchenko proposed that every new citizen of Ukraine was presented a special greeting by the President, a sample of the Constitution and the text of the Ukrainian Anthem.

***

President Viktor Yushchenko will make a working visit to Ternopil region on May 28, presidential press secretary Iryna Herashchenko told a Friday news briefing.

According to her, the visit is mainly aimed at touring his alma mater, the Ternopil State Economic University and meeting with its academics, students and graduates. The President graduated this University 30 years ago.

***

President Viktor Yushchenko will visit Zaporizhia region on June 4, presidential press secretary Iryna Herashchenko told a Friday news briefing.

According to her, Viktor Yushchenko will tour Khortytsia and meet with business and political figures and journalists.

***

As Viktor Yushchenko told journalists in Kyiv Friday, he intends to publish an album of photos he made.

There are about 700 photos, which I started taking, while canvassing regions during the 2004 presidential campaign, Viktor Yushchenko noted.

According to the President, he is keen on photography and normally uses a Nicon camera.

The other day, he said, my attention was riveted to the sunset on a lawn, studded with white caps of dandelions, and I made a beautiful photo.

***

The personal site of President Viktor Yushchenko will be renewed, to which end a tender will be announced, presidential press secretary Iryna Herashchenko told a Friday news briefing at the Secretariat of President of Ukraine.

As the current official site of the President, www.president.gov.ua , is concerned, its ideology is quite clear. It is aimed at rendering official information about the Ukrainian Head of State and the Secretariat. This is the first time when the official Internet site of the President contains the page of his spouse.

Answering questions by the journalists on whether a juvenile page will be placed on the official site, as on the site of the Russian President, or the pet page, as on the US President site, Iryna Herashchenko said that informal information may be placed only on the personal site of the President.

As the presidential press secretary stressed, neither the Secretariat nor the President has anything to do with the site www.president.org.ua . "We've conducted a small service investigation and found out that the site is registered in Australia. It exists for several years already and is aimed at adding filth to covering the presidential activity", press secretary Iryna Herashchenko said.

She addressed the journalists to send their remarks with regard to recently refreshed official site of the Head of State by e-mail.

***

The Cabinet's Thursday session endorsed procedures, under which citizens' devalued bank accounts, once placed with the USSR's Savings Bank, will be reimbursed in 2005.

According to Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, the scheme is both simple and complicated.

Its rationale proceeds from the fact that many citizens, who were barred from their deposits, could not timely and fully pay charges  for public amenities and rentals, so their debts will be written off by way of the State's settlement with them.

***

As Crimean Prime Minister Anatoliy Matviyenko told a Friday press conference in Kyiv, he supports the idea of making the Massandra Palace the President's residence, though this will necessitate the Massandra Palace's restoration.

Besides, he said, the Massandra Palace must be open to visitors, as is practised in civilized nations.

***

The National Institute for Problems of International Security (a body under the NSDC) and the Friedrich Ebert Fund's Representation to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova sponsored a round table to address ways toward deepening transborder-regional cooperation, which was attended by leading experts.

The participants discussed the subject of Ukraine bettering interregional cooperation with the limitrophe states in the context of globalization.

***

Ukrainian Transportation & Communication Minister Yevhen Chervonenko participated in the 89th Session of the Conference of European transportation ministers, which focused on development of high-quality transportation infrastructures in Eurasia.

Minister Chervonenko reiterated  Ukraine's initiative to restore the Great Silk Road and suggested that marine shipping be entered in the scope of the Conference's activities.

***

As Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko told journalists on Friday, while attending a ceremony to open the Karavayevy Dachi railroad terminal in Kyiv, construction of a new automobile - railroad bridge across the Dnieper and the Darnytsia Railroad Terminal cannot be discontinued for practical and legal reasons.

In the first place, the Mayor noted, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a bill to this effect, which earmarks 700 M. USD for financing the construction projects, secondly, there is a Cabinet resolution that specifies the period, within which the bridge's construction should be completed.

Thirdly, there is a real need for both the Bridge and the terminal, Mr Omelchenko contended.

***

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has offered the Kharkiv City-Hall to aid Ukraine's second biggest city in disposal of solid household wastes, using technologies, which allow to convert by-gases into teat or electric energy.

The idea is to construct a facility to apply such technologies at Kharkiv City's Dergachev dump. An experiment is under way in Kharkiv to separate solid household and other wastes.

Paper wastes are supposed to be sent to a cardboard factory in the suburban township of Rohan.