30.11.06. Lov om Hungersnøden i Ukraine i årene 1932-33
29.11.06. Ukraine: Hungersnød var folkemord
28.11.06. Parlamentet vedtager historisk resolution om folkemordet i 1932-33
28.11.06. One hundred days: Traps the Yanukovych government has fallen into
28.11.06. Europe Features Ukraine and NATO - not exactly love at first sight
23.11.06. Gazprom har kig på Ukraines gastransitsystem
23.11.06. Jusjtjenko presser på for en resolution om folkemordet 1932-33
15.11.06. Udenrigs- og forsvarsministeren under pres i parlamentet
14.11.06. Rusland mere åben i spørgsmålet om ukrainsk folkemord
13.11.06. Hayduk: Jusjtjenkos mand i Donetsk-klanen
13.11.06. Ukraine's politics up for grabs
13.11.06. Jusjtjenko og koalitionen uenige om den udenrigspolitiske kurs (eng.)
12.11.06. Så meget tjener de rigeste fodboldspillere i Ukraine
10.11.06. Ukraines udenrigsminister på officielt besøg i Danmark
09.11.06. Ukraine: Prospects and risks
09.11.06. "Vores Ukraine" beskylder regeringen for aftalebrud
09.11.06. Rusland kæder gasprisen sammen med politiske krav til Ukraine (eng.)
06.11.06. Samhandlen mellem Danmark og Ukraine vokser støt
02.11.06. NATO Chief seeks closer ties with Russia
01.11.06. Jusjtjenko vil ikke være i opposition til regeringen
01.11.06. Janukovytj manifesterer sin magt i parlamentet
01.11.06. Parlamentet fyrer to af Jusjtjenkos ministre
31.10.06. Den russiske Sortehavsflåde kan blive på Krim til efter 2015
25.10.06. Ukraine og Rusland enige om pris på gas
21.10.06. Jusjtjenkos parti overvejer at gå i opposition (eng.)
13.10.06. Indecision and opportunism derail NATO in Ukraine
13.10.06. Yushchenko, Yankukovych wrestle over governors
05.10.06. "Vores Ukraine" går i opposition til Janukovytj
03.10.06. Lov giver regeringen øgede beføjelser
03.10.06. NATO parat til at fortsætte samarbejdet med Ukraine
NATO agter at fortsætte samarbejdet med Ukraine indenfor de eksisterende rammer og er parat til at hjælpe Kiev med at informere befolkningen om Alliancens rolle og arbejde, hedder det i en erklæring fra NATO's parlamentariske forsamling inden NATO's topmøde i Riga den 28-29. november, oplyser nyhedsbureauet Interfaks-Ukrajina.
Alt i alt består dokumentet af femten punkter, hvor spørgsmålet om samarbejdet med Ukraine er blevet tildelt en 12. plads, efter Rusland.
"Idet vi erkender Ukraines vigtighed som en strategisk partner og fremhæver, at Ukraine fortsat er hengiven overfor den euro-atlantiske integration, vil NATO fortsætte med at udvikle relationerne med Ukraine ved at virkeliggøre handlingsplanen Ukraine-NATO og føre en mere intensiv dialog indenfor rammerne af trustfonden under programmet Partnerskab for fred", hedder det i erklæringen.
Desuden fremhæver alliancen nødvendigheden af at henlede opmærksomheden på den offentlige mening om NATO.
I denne forbindelse erklærer Alliancen sig parat til at hjælpe den ukrainske regering med at udbrede informationerne om NATO's rolle og arbejde.
Hvad angår Rusland, bekræfter NATO nødvendigheden af at udvikle samarbejdet og fremhæver de betydelige fremskridt, som der er sket i samarbejdsrådet NATO-Rusland.
Samtidig med det henleder man i Alliancen opmærksomheden på eksistensen af sådanne hindringer som "en dybt rodfæstet mistro og manglende accept".
"Sådanne spørgsmål som menneskerettighederne, energimæssig sikkerhed og situationen med nabolandene bør diskuteres åbent og tillidsfuldt", fremhæves det i erklæringen.
I punkt 14 i erklæringen står der om den kommende udvidelse:
"Medlemskabet af Alliancen bør forblive åbent for alle de kandidater, som udviser, at de bekender sig til Alliancens fælles værdier og vurderes af medlemslandene som værende parate til et medlemskab. Under Riga-topmødet skal lederne komme med klare anbefalinger til Albanien, Kroatien og Makedonien om hvornår de kan forvente at blive inviteret indenfor i Alliancen.
"Riga-topmødet for Alliancens stats-og regeringschefer giver lederne mulighed for at bekræfte den gennemgående betydning, som NATO har som et transatlantisk nøgleforum, som sikrer vores kollektive sikkerhed", hedder det i erklæringen. UP.
Den nye lov om regeringen betyder, at regeringen er underlagt parlamentets kontrol og skal stå til ansvar overfor det.
"Regeringen står til ansvar overfor præsidenten og parlamentet og er underlagt og står til regnskab for parlamentet indenfor forfatningens rammer", oplyser om vice-premierminister med ansvar for humanitære anliggender Dmytro Tabachnyk om lovforslaget.
Ifølge Tabachnyks oplysninger skal regeringen rette sig efter præsidentens dekreter, hvis de er udstedt på grundlag af og som led i efterlevelsen af forfatningen.
I lovforslaget opererer man endvidere med et princip om, at præsidentens dekreter skal kontrasigneres.
Ifølge 1. vice-justitsminister Oleksandr Lavrynovytj opererer lovforslaget endvidere med "en klar lodret eksekutiv magtstruktur".
"Regeringen kan annullere beslutninger truffet af ministerier og statsadministrationer i regionerne", sagde han og fremhævede, at "det er ikke lykkedes at nå til enighed om alle spørgsmål".
På spørgsmålet om, hvorvidt disse bestemmelser i lovforslaget ikke indsnævrer præsidentens beføjelser, svarede justitsminister Roman Zvarytj: "Disse bestemmelser er ikke det nye i lovforslaget".
"Det er forfatningsmæssige dispositioner, som allerede er indeholdt i forfatningen. Vi havde ikke mulighed og retten til hverken at udvide eller indsnævre dem", sagde han.
I den forbindelse afviste Zvarytj "som medlem af en regering underlagt parlamentet" at kommentere parlamentsformand Oleksandr Moroz' tiltag i forhold til loven om en indefrysning af de kommunale afgifter, idet han sagde: "Dette er ikke vores bord".
Desuden oplyste Zvarytj, at lovforslaget er blevet udarbejdet sammen med præsidentens sekretariat og har ikke "nogen politisk undertone". "Der er ingen politik, der er kun et forsøg på at finde fælles vej til et juridisk eksperiment", sagde han.
Tabachnyk tilføjede, at han ikke havde forventet indvendinger fra sekretariatets side, eftersom præsidentens rådgiver Ihor Koliushko deltog i udarbejdelsen af dokumentet, og derfor er lovforslaget ifølge vice-premierministeren "en endegyldig redaktion i dokumentet".
Samtidig udtalte Lavrynovytj, at "dette projekt ikke vil få det let", og præsidenten kan også nedlægge veto mod det, ligesom andre præsidenter har gjort før ham i løbet af alle de år, som lovforslaget har været undervejs.
"Men i det pågældende tilfælde er der lidt mere håb om, at man vil overvinde denne tradition og at vi langt om længe får den lov", sagde han.
Ifølge Tabachnyk henvender regeringen sig til præsidenten med anmodning om at indstille dette lovforslag til parlamentet som uopsætteligt. UP.
Lederen af fraktionen "Vores Ukraine", Roman Bezsmertnyj, siger, at han parti går i opposition.
"Vi er helt afklarede med det. Der er en regeringskoalition og der er "Vores Ukraine", som er i opposition til regeringskoalitionen", sagde han til pressen efter afslutningen af forhandlingerne.
Ifølge Bezsmertnyj vil det formelle skrift til en oppositionel status finde sted på torsdag. I den forbindelse bekræftede han endnu engang, at "Vores Ukraine" vil anmode præsidenten om at tilbagekalde de ministre, som kommer fra "Vores Ukraine".
"Lad ministrene træde tilbage, eller også kan de træde ud af partiet og fortsætte som partiløse", sagde Bezsmertnyj.
På spørgsmålet om, hvordan hans holdning er blevet modtaget blandt andre politiske partier, svarede Bezsmertnyj:
"Det kan være det samme. Jeg kan jo ikke se ind i deres sjæl. Måske bløder nogles hjerter, som fx hos Petro Symonenko, andre er måske glade. Det er et arbejde. Her er det som sagt ikke med hjertet, men men hovedet man skal arbejde".
Han ville dog ikke præcisere, hvorvidt "Vores Ukraine" vil tilslutte sig den tværpolitiske oppositionelle sammenslutning, som Julia Tymoshenko står i spidsen for. Bezsmertnyj siger:
"Vi har afsluttet forhandlingerne med antikrisekoalitionen, og nu begynder forhandlingerne med repræsentanterne for oppositionen. Sådan er det at være politiker", sagde Bezsmertnyj og tilføjede, at han endnu ikke har snakket med nogle om det.
Jeg sagde allerede den 29. marts, at vi er næststørst og forventer at gå i opposition", tilføjede han. UP.
Eurasia Daily Monitor
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
By Oleg Varfolomeyev
As President Viktor Yushchenko struggles to adapt to a situation in which his party controls neither the cabinet nor the parliament -- and the prime minister is not his ally, let alone his appointee -- he may also lose control of the regions. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has apparently decided it is high time for his Party of Regions (PRU) to use the advantage of having control of most of Ukraine's regional councils, after winning not only the national, but also most of the local, elections in March 2006. Yanukovych wants to get rid of pro-Yushchenko regional governors and, should he not succeed, the PRU may try to push through parliament a law abolishing presidentially appointed governors altogether.
At a cabinet meeting on September 28, Yanukovych suggested that Yushchenko should dismiss five regional governors for poor performance. He named Poltava region's Valery Asadchev, Ternopil governor Ivan Stoyko, Kharkiv governor Arsen Avakov, Kherson governor Borys Silenkov, and Chernihiv governor Mykola Lavryk. Asadchev represents the pro-Yushchenko Ukrainian People's Party, and the other four are from Yushchenko's Our Ukraine.
Yanukovych was confronted by Yushchenko appointees Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and Justice Minister Roman Zvarych, as well as the newly appointed deputy head of Yushchenko's secretariat, Arseny Yatsenyuk. They warned Yanukovych against taking hasty decisions. Zvarych argued that Yanukovych's draft document regarding the five governors had not been assessed by the Justice Ministry, as required by law. In response, Yanukovych threatened to dismiss Zvarych. Yanukovych recalled that Zvarych's party, Our Ukraine, is still not formally a member of the government coalition, so the chairs under Zvarych and other Our Ukraine representatives in the cabinet are shaky.
Yushchenko's reaction to Yanukovych's request was predictably negative. In an unprecedented show of contempt for Yanukovych, he refused to attend the cabinet meeting, although he had been scheduled to participate. Speaking on the following day in Ternopil, one of the regions whose governor Yanukovych wants to fire, Yushchenko rejected Yanukovych's request, warning him against "hasty decisions on personnel." He said that the cabinet should coordinate its decisions regarding regional governors with the presidential secretariat. The cabinet accepted this condition on October 3, suggesting that Yushchenko should study the situation with the five governors jointly with the cabinet.
Yushchenko does not want to sack the five governors, arguing that Yanukovych is guided by nothing more than political considerations, as their economic performance has not been bad. The problem is that the constitution is on Yanukovych's side. Article 118 states that the president appoints or dismisses regional governors at the request of the cabinet. This was a formality before the constitutional reform that came into effect this year, as all previous cabinets consisted of presidential appointees, so the president's choice of a governor was by default also the cabinet's choice. Now that it is parliament, not the president that hires and fires the prime minister and the cabinet, nothing should prevent the prime minister, if he is not an ally of the president, from disagreeing with the president's choice of governors.
The current situation, however, looks like a stalemate. Yushchenko does not want to accept Yanukovych's opinion, and Yanukovych apparently does not see how he can enforce his will regarding the five governors he wants to remove. A possible way out for Yanukovych is to try and abolish regional governors altogether. During a visit to Donetsk on September 29, Yanukovych said that a regional government reform bill will be offered to parliament later this fall, providing for scrapping the regional state administrations, i.e. governor offices, and replacing them with regional executive committees that would be subordinated to regional councils, rather than to the central executive.
If parliament adopted this reform, governors would be abolished as early as next year, Yanukovych said. Yushchenko, in that case, may lose control over the regions, which are currently run by governors, most of whom are his appointees. Most of the regional councils however, except those in the west of Ukraine, are controlled either by the PRU or by PRU-dominated local coalitions. Yanukovych's reform plans, however, contradicts the constitution, which subordinates regional governments to the central executive.
Meanwhile, seven local deputies in PRU-dominated Kharkiv went on a hunger strike on October 2, protesting Yushchenko's refusal to dismiss Kharkiv governor Avakov, who was on Yanukovych's list. The seven issued a statement accusing Yushchenko of violating the constitution. They quoted the same Article 118, which stipulates that the president has to dismiss a governor if two-thirds of deputies on a respective regional council vote no confidence in the governor. The Kharkiv regional council voted no confidence in Avakov in a vote of 105-1 with three abstentions in June 2006. Avakov appealed against the council's decision in courts, which have not taken any decision so far, the statement said.
The Ukrainian Observer (Kyiv)
By Taras Kuzio
Ukraine has led the way in the CIS with its deep levels of cooperation with NATO, and in seeking EU and NATO membership. Ukraine has always supported intensive levels of cooperation multilaterally within NATO's "Partnership for Peace" ("PfP") and bilaterally "In the Spirit of Partnership for Peace" programs. Ukraine helped to facilitate the enlargement of NATO into Central and Eastern Europe by supporting the broadening of the alliance eastwards to the borders of the Western CIS, looking upon an enlarged NATO as enhancing Ukraine's national security.
Following Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's visit to NATO headquarters in September, 2006 he was heavily criticized by the presidential secretariat and Our Ukraine for his call for a "pause" in the seeking of a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP).
Two issues arise. Firstly, it is not Ukraine's prerogative to request, or not to request, a NATO MAP, since it is NATO that does the inviting into the MAP process as a preparatory phase before membership. Secondly, NATO had already unofficially moved away from its intention to offer Ukraine a MAP following the collapse of the brief Orange coalition; already two months prior to Prime Minister Yanukovych's visit to NATO. The lack of an invitation into a MAP is more a result of the failed strategy pursued by the presidential secretariat, President Viktor Yushchenko and Our Ukraine following the March 2006 elections, rather than Prime Minister Yanukovych.
Party of Regions opportunism and NATO
This does not absolve the Party of Regions from the accusation of blatant opportunism in its stance towards NATO, and foreign policy in general, as seen in the following survey. In government in both 2002-2004 and in 2006, Prime Minister Yanukovych and the Party of Regions supported intensive cooperation with NATO and even membership. Briefly outside government in 2005-2006, Yanukovych and the Party of Regions opposed the very same policies.
Ukraine has held annual "PfP" and "In the Spirit of PfP" exercises since 1997 at Yaroviv, a military training ground near Lviv. Other exercises were held near Odesa and in Crimea. Centrist political forces, such as the Party of Regions, never opposed these exercises during Kuchma's decade in power. The first Yanukovych government supported the holding of these exercises.
Following NATO's signing of a Charter on a Distinctive Partnership with Ukraine on July 9, 1997, Ukraine supported the first and second rounds of NATO enlargement in 1997-1999 and 2002-2004. This position contrasted with that of Russia, which opposed NATO enlargement.
Ukraine first declared its intention to join NATO in July 2002, four months before Yanukovych became Prime Minister. The first Yanukovych government never rescinded the official position of seeking to join NATO, and never publicly stated that such a step would be impermissible because of low public support or because it would harm relations with Russia, two of the main arguments used by Yanukovych during his September 2006 visit to NATO headquarters.
During the 2004 presidential elections, Yanukovych introduced opposition to NATO membership in the last month of the campaign alongside raising the Russian language to a second state language and dual citizenship with Russia. All three issues, following the doubling of state pensions, were aimed at attracting Russian speaking and Communist Party voters.
The introduction of opposition to NATO membership into the election campaign by Yanukovych, when his government still officially supported NATO membership, smacked of opportunism. Following Yushchenko's election victory on December 26, 2004, the Party of Regions and the Social Democratic United Party (SDPUo) initiated steps to hold a referendum on NATO membership. The SDPUo is led by Viktor Medvedchuk who headed the presidential administration during the same two-year period that Ukraine had an official policy of seeking NATO membership in 2002-2004. Medvedchuk never called for Ukraine to hold a referendum on NATO membership under Kuchma.
The Party of Regions and SDPUo's strategy of campaigning for a referendum on NATO membership aimed to use anti-NATO sentiment to undermine the Yushchenko administration in Russian speaking Eastern and Southern Ukraine. These two regions had largely voted for Yanukovych in all three rounds of the 2004 elections and it was hoped that this would be repeated in the 2006 parliamentary elections.
Former pro-Kuchma centrists, such as the Party of Regions and the SDPUo, also backtracked from their support for cooperation with NATO (as well as seeking NATO membership). During the last fifteen months of the 2002-2006 parliament, both parties voted against legislation that supported Ukraine's military cooperation with "PfP" and "In the Spirit of PfP".
Between 1997-2004, this legislation had been routinely approved by pro-Kuchma centrists and the then center-right opposition (with only the left voting against). Yet, in 2005-2006, the Ukrainian parliament was unable to adopt legislation permitting foreign troops to exercise in Ukraine and for NATO to lease Ukrainian transportation aircraft because the center aligned with the traditionally anti-NATO left.
The anti-NATO/Yushchenko alliance of the Party of Regions and the SDPUo disintegrated following the March 26, 2006 parliamentary elections. Of the former pro-Kuchma centrists, only the Party of Regions entered parliament with 32 percent of the vote. The campaign to hold a referendum on NATO membership became less important to the Party of Regions than entering government. Former pro-Kuchma allies, such as the SDPUo, were ditched in favor of holding negotiations with Our Ukraine on establishing a parliamentary Grand Coalition.
The Party of Regions successfully capitalized on internal disquiet in the Orange camp, and on weak presidential leadership. Anti-NATO and anti-American rallies in the Crimea in May-June 2006, orchestrated by the Party of Regions and its extreme left and Pan-Slavic allies, led to the first ever cancellations of "PfP" and "In the Spirit of PfP" exercises.
The rallies ended following the creation of the Anti-Crisis parliamentary coalition between the Party of Regions, Socialist and Communist Parties on July 5, 2006. President Yushchenko's Our Ukraine had opted to join an Orange coalition over a Grand coalition between Our Ukraine and the Party of Regions, but the Orange coalition rapidly collapsed after the Socialist Party defected. The Socialists, together with the Party of Regions and Communist Party, established the Anti-Crisis coalition and government.
The signing of the Universal of National Unity by President Yushchenko, the Our Ukraine pro-presidential bloc and the three members of the Anti-Crisis coalition reduced the need for the Party of Regions to continue its opportunistic anti-NATO activities. The Universal continues to support cooperation with NATO while ignoring the issue of membership.
On the same day that Yanukovych was confirmed by parliament as Prime Minister, parliament also voted to support the holding of "PfP" and "In the Spirit of PfP" military exercises, the very same legislation that parliament had failed to adopt in 2005-2006. Our Ukraine and the Party of Regions voted for the legislation, with the left voting against and the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc boycotting parliament.
The Party of Regions had never opposed Ukraine's cooperation under "PfP" and "In the Spirit of PfP" during the Kuchma era, including when Yanukovych first headed the government in 2002-2004. Following Yanukovych's return as Prime Minister, the Party of Regions returned to its Kuchma era support for cooperation with NATO. The Party of Regions opposed cooperation with NATO and fanned anti-NATO sentiment only when it was briefly in opposition in 2005-2006. In other words, opportunism, rather than ideological principles, guided the Party of Regions attitudes towards foreign policy.
Yanukovych in Brussels
During Prime Minister Yanukovych's visit to NATO headquarters in September 2006, he reiterated Ukraine's desire to deepen cooperation based on Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues and yearly Action Plans (in place since 2003). "Ukraine highly values the level of cooperation with NATO. We value continued support for our Euro-Atlantic aims, support for military reform and democratic and market transformations", Yanukovych told a closed Ukraine-NATO Commission. Yanukovych promised to improve information work on NATO, a step that NATO should hold him to as the NATO Information and Documentation Center, which was established in Kyiv in 1997, has traditionally had little support and cooperation from the Ukrainian authorities.
The main criticism of Yanukovych's visit to NATO focused on his disinterest at this current moment in time on Ukraine being invited into a NATO MAP. During his speech to the Ukraine-NATO Commission, he said that he had strove to separate membership issues from, "normal, mutually beneficial cooperation with the alliance". Our Ukraine and the Tymoshenko bloc had earlier accepted Prime Minister Yanukovych's linkage of membership to the holding of a referendum. With support for membership having declined to twenty percent, Ukraine differed from Georgia, which had seventy per cent support for membership.
Criticism from President Yushchenko's Secretariat and Our Ukraine was an attempt at deflecting blame from their own lack of a strategy since the March 2006 elections. Ukraine could have been invited into a MAP during NATO's meeting in New York in September, on the eve of the November 27-28 Riga summit, but this would have required a pro-reform coalition government to have been quickly established following the elections. The failure to create a pro-reform coalition and government, and the creation instead of the Anti-Crisis coalition with two members opposed to NATO membership ( i.e. the Socialist and Communist Parties), ruled out Ukraine being invited into a MAP already prior to Yanukovych's visit to NATO.
Following the Orange Revolution, Ukraine's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures has been focused upon the WTO and NATO where membership is on offer. Ukraine had two major hurdles to pass in its quest to receive a MAP; the first was to hold a free and fair parliamentary election. Ukraine passed this hurdle after the OSCE, Council of Europe and EU, declared them to have been held in a "free and fair" manner. The second hurdle was to transform free elections into a pro-reform parliamentary coalition and government, an obstacle that Ukraine failed to vault.
Following the 2006 elections, the Bush administration, and some other NATO countries, linked Ukraine's invitation into a MAP at the Riga summit to the creation of a pro-reform parliamentary coalition and government. "Pro-reform" was clearly understood as drawing on those political forces who had supported the Orange Revolution and who had entered the 2006 parliament ( i.e. the president's Our Ukraine, the Tymoshenko bloc and the Socialist Party). While supporting pro-reform forces the United States did not have a position on who should become prime minister from within the Orange camp.
The MAP-pro-reform government linkage was undermined by presidential inaction and lack of leadership, personal conflicts within the Orange camp and duplicitous negotiation tactics. As the Tymoshenko bloc's Mykola Tomenko noted, throughout the three-month coalition negotiations, Our Ukraine had "negotiated" with its Orange partners in the morning and "consulted" with the Party of Regions for a Grand coalition in the afternoon.
President Yushchenko and Our Ukraine had rightly taken credit for holding free elections while not accepting the election results, with Our Ukraine coming third after the Party of Regions and the Tymoshenko bloc. In the end, neither an Orange nor a Grand coalition emerged as the Socialist Party defected to the then opposition Party of Regions and Communists. This paved the way for the Anti-Crisis coalition, return of Yanukovych and no offer from NATO to enter the MAP process.
An important change following the summer 2006 crisis will be in Ukraine's attitudes towards NATO membership. Two members of the Anti-Crisis coalition, the formerly pro-Orange Socialists and anti-Orange Communists, are both opposed to NATO membership. Indeed, Ukraine is the first country seeking NATO membership where the entire left spectrum is against membership. The Communist Party is a marginal force in Georgia, which is also seeking an invitation into the MAP process and e ventual membership.
In the Ukrainian parliament two political forces support NATO membership, Our Ukraine and the Tymoshenko bloc, who together control 210 out of 450 deputies. The two left-wing parties, who control 54 seats, oppose NATO membership. The remaining 186 seats are controlled by the pragmatic Party of Regions, which has an opportunistic stance towards cooperation with, and membership in, NATO depending on whether it is in government or in opposition.
The Party of Regions dominates Eastern and Southern Ukraine where support for NATO membership is lowest. Therefore, Ukraine's NATO membership aspirations can only become realistically achievable if the Party of Regions is encouraged to gradually move from opportunism to support; that is, the position of Our Ukraine and the Tymoshenko bloc. Whether this will prove possible only time will tell but in the short term the Party of Regions should not be blamed for undermining Ukraine's invitation into the MAP process in 2006. The fault for this clearly lies elsewhere.
By Oleg Varfolomeyev
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Our Ukraine bloc of six right-of-center parties, which supports President Viktor Yushchenko, has withdrawn from talks on joining the government coalition with the Party of Regions (PRU), the Socialists, and the Communists. Roman Bezsmertny, the formal leader of Our Ukraine (NU), announced that it would be going into the opposition and that its ministers should quit the cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. This decision was prompted by the protracted tug-of-war over powers between Yushchenko and Yanukovych (see EDM, September 27, October 4), as well as by the refusal of the would-be partners to base a grand coalition on the declaration of national unity that was signed by the leaders of the four parties in early August at Yushchenko's request.
Despite NU's decision to be in the opposition, the ministers representing it are reluctant to quit Yanukovych's cabinet. This reflects both Yushchenko's indecision and the artificial character of NU, especially its core component, People's Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU), whose members place loyalty to Yushchenko above affiliation with the party.
Talks on a grand coalition started well before August 3, when the national unity declaration was signed, and they intensified in September, when parliament re-convened after summer vacation. Quite soon it became clear that the PRU, which dominates the government coalition that was formed in July, does not intend to drop the Communists from the alliance. NU hoped for that, as the Communists -- their main ideological adversaries -- had signed the August 3 declaration with reservations, indicating that most of Yushchenko's strategic goals were unacceptable for them, such as EU and NATO integration and making Ukrainian the only national language not only de jure, but also de facto. Later on, the more radical elements of NU started to suspect that the PRU was using the Communists' ideological opposition to NU only as a pretext for dragging their feet over a final agreement in order to secure more concessions from Yushchenko.
NU eventually lost patience. Bezsmertny stated on October 2 that the talks would be stopped if the national unity declaration is not used as the foundation of the would-be grand coalition. On October 3, the NSNU council accused Yanukovych of ignoring the declaration and authorized Bezsmertny to stop the talks if the PRU and its satellites continue to reject their conditions. On October 4, Yushchenko, returning from a visit to Germany, again urged the sides to base a new coalition on the declaration. This request was again flatly rejected by the Communists at a meeting among the leaders of the four parties, including Yanukovych, and later on the same day Bezsmertny announced that NU was moving into the opposition to Yanukovych and would recall its ministers from his cabinet.
Bezsmertny's statement initially was not taken seriously. Yanukovych and Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz urged a continuation of the talks, and Yanukovych dismissed Bezsmertny's statement as too emotional. Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko suggested that NU had only tried to scare Yanukovych and planned to continue the talks anyway. Yushchenko still continues to believe, judging by his recent statements, that all the bridges have not yet been burned. There are signs that Yushchenko may distance hi mself from the NSNU -- the party that Bezsmertny constructed at his request in early 2005 -- and continue to insist on a grand coalition. The new head of Yushchenko's secretariat, Viktor Baloha, told a press conference on October 6 that Yushchenko may quit as NSNU honorary chairman. He also said that Yushchenko is equally distant from all political parties.
On October 6 Bezsmertny urged NU representatives to quit the cabinet. This, however, has not been met with enthusiasm by those concerned -- Justice Minister Roman Zvarych, Family and Youth Minister Yuriy Pavlenko, Culture Minister Ihor Likhovy, and Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko. Only Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk -- who leads NU's Rukh party, which has probably been the least keen on continuing the coalition talks, reportedly indicated that he would quit the cabinet because the talks failed. B ut Tarasyuk does not formally have to do so, as he was appointed to the cabinet not on NU's, but on Yushchenko's presidential quota. The other minister appointed on Yushchenko's quota -- Defense Minister Anatoly Hrytsenko -- made it clear that he would not resign unless Yushchenko asked him to do so.
On October 9, NU's press service quoted Bezsmertny as saying that all those who do not agree with the decision to go into the opposition to Yanukovych should quit NU. He said that all bridges have been burned, as the parties comprising NU had decided that there would be no more grand coalition talks. It remains to be seen whether NU will start to build bridges with Tymoshenko to build a united opposition. The Ukrainian media have been circulating a rumor that Yushchenko may appoint her secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and try to make this body a counterbalance to Yanukovych's cabinet.
Rusland og Ukraine er blevet enige om prisen gas. Aftalen kan mindske de indbyrdes spændinger mellem de to nabolande og dæmpe bekymringen i flere europæiske lande for leverancerne af energi.
Den russiske ambassadør i Kijev, Viktor Tjernomyrdin, oplyser, at den fremtidige pris på russiske gas til Ukraine bliver på 130 dollar pr. 1000 kubikmeter.
Prisen er en drastisk stigning sammenlignet med de 95 dollar, som de ukrainske myndigheder betaler i øjeblikket for gassen. Imidlertid er den nye pris langt fra kravet på 230 dollar pr. 1000 kubikmeter, som den russiske gasgigant Gazprom stillede.
Spørgsmålet om gasprisen er af afgørende betydning for Ukraine, som får næsten al sin energi via Rusland.
Aftalen er kommet i stand efter måneders intensive forhandlinger. Iagttagere ser det som udslagsgivende for et resultat, at den russiskvenlige Janukovitsj nu er regeringschef. De vurderer, at Ukraine skal komme med politiske modydelser over for Rusland.
Janukovitsj ventes at sinke gennemførelsen af reformer efter vestligt forbillede, som præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko satte i gang efter den "orange revolution" i 2004.
Det russiske dagblad Kommersant har tidligere skrevet, at et russisk hovedkrav kan være, at Ukraine hurtigt holder en planlagt folkeafstemning om NATO-medlemskab. I øjeblikket er folkestemningen nemlig skiftet til et nej i det spørgsmål.
Rusland presser også på for en forlængelse af aftalen om at leje flådebasen på Krim ved Sortehavet ud over 2017.
Striden om gasprisen fik tidligt i år Rusland til at lukke for gassen gennem Ukraine, hvilket også en række europæiske lande fik at mærke midt i vinterkulden. 80 procent af den russiske gas til Europa passerer gennem Ukraine.
Janukovitsj lover forsyninger uden afbrydelser til Europa efter den nye prisaftale. Han siger, at "europæiske partnere ikke vil mærke noget ubehag".
Beslutningen om muligheden for en fortsat udstationering af Ruslands Sortehavsflåde på Krim vil blive taget efter 2015. Det udtaler Ukraines forsvarsminister Anatolij Hrytsenko, oplyser Interfaks-Ukrajina.
"Beslutningen herom vil hverken blive taget af mig eller Janukovytj, men af de personer, som sidder i vores embeder efter 20156", - sagde han på et pressemøde tirsdag i byen Bila Tserkva.
Ministeren gentog, at Ruslands Sortehavsflåde vil være i Ukraine "som en undtagelse".
Den ukrainske forsvarsminister understregede, at der i teorien godt kan blive vedtaget nogle forfatningsændringer, som tillader fremmede magters militærbaser på ukrainsk territorium. Men det vil efter Hrytsenkos mening ikke finde sted.
Forfatningens § 17 forbyder fremmede magters militærbaser på ukrainsk territorium.
På den anden side fremgår det af pkt. 14 i forfatningens overgangsbestemmelser, at fremmede magter på grundlag af en international aftale ratificeret af Verkhovna Rada midlertidig kan forpagte militærbaser på ukrainsk territorium og bruge dem til deres tropper, såfremt de befandt sig der på tidspunktet for forfatningens vedtagelse.
Hrytsenko oplyste desuden, at det under 1. behandlingen af finansloven for 2007 er lykkedes at opnå visse positive ændringer i de spørgsmål, som vedrører De væbnede Styrker.
Ifølge ministeren har man fået fjernet de sætninger, som ville have mindsket militærfolkenes sociale understøttelse og pensioner. Desuden har man ifølge ham fjernet begrænsningen af den fratrædelsesgodtgørelse, som militærfolk får efter opsigelse fra hæren.
Hrytsenko håber på, at ændringerne medfører et positivt resultat.
"De (militærfolkene) bør være sikre på, at staten har en ansvarsfuld holdning til dem, og at vores opgave er at genskabe soldaternes tillid til deres stat", sagde Hrytsenko. UP.
Ukraines parlament, Verkhovna Rada, har afskediget justitsminister Roman Zvarytj og kulturminister Ihor Likhovyj. Henholdsvis 247 og 246 deputerede stemte for resolutionen.
Tidligere på dagen havde premierminister Viktor Janukovytj foreslået Verkhovna Rada at bakke op om regeringens beslutning om at afskedige disse to ministre, eftersom der allerede var fundet afløsere til dem. Premierministeren nævnte ikke navnene på afløserne.
Efter afstemningen gav Zvarytj og Likhovyj Janukovytj og de øvrige regeringsmedlemmer hånden, hvorefter de forlod regeringspladserne. UP.
Tidligere på dagen ankom premierminister Viktor Janukovytj til Verkhovna Rada. I regeringens loge sad sammen med ham de fire ministre fra præsident Jusjtjenkos parti "Vores Ukraine", som har indgivet deres afsked; nemlig Roman Zvarytj, Jurij Pavlenko, Ihor Likhovyj og Jurij Poljatjenko.
Som premierministeren påpegede i sin tale, havde han ikke noget at udsætte på disse ministres arbejde: "Alle problemerne var af løbende karakter".
Janukovytj mener, at erklæringerne fra disse ministre er politiske: "Jeg kan godt have ondt af dem rent menneskeligt, fordi de er blevet udnyttet".
Premierministeren henvendte sig til de deputerede og bad dem om at støtte regeringens beslutning om at justitsministeren Roman Zvarytj og kulturministeren Ihor Likhovyj får imødekommet deres afskedsbegæringer: "Jeg beder parlamentet om at støtte regeringens beslutning om at afskedige disse to ministre". UP.
Præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko mener, at afskedigelsen af ministrene fra "Vores Ukraine" ikke ligefrem gavner forhandlingsprocessen.
"Vores Ukraine"-ministrenes udtræden af regeringen bidrager ikke ligefrem til kompromiset eller forhandlingsprocessen. Jeg vil tro, at det vanskeliggør spørgsmålet om dialogen mellem partierne", sagde han under et møde med de regionale massemedier i Kharkiv.
"Præsidenten vil ikke være i opposition til regeringen. Vores relationer med regeringen vil basere sig på forfatningens bestemmelser", sagde Jusjtjenko.
"Jeg vil stå fast på forfatningens grundlag", tilføjede han og understregede, at der ikke vil blive tale om ændringer i præsidentens eller andre institutioners status.
Jusjtjenko betonede nok engang vigtigheden af en samfundsmæssig og politisk konsolidering i Ukraine: "Den politiske stabilitet er en uadskillelig faktor i udviklingen". UP.
By MARIA DANILOVA/
The Associated Press
Thursday, October 26, 2006
MOSCOW -- NATO's secretary general on Thursday called for a deeper relationship between Moscow and the Western alliance, saying Russian involvement in world affairs is key to resolving many conflicts.
"Russia carries great responsibility in world affairs," Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told President Vladimir Putin at the start of their Kremlin meeting. "Russia's active participation for the solution of many conflicts is essential."Putin praised Russian-NATO cooperation in battling terrorism, citing Moscow's aid to NATO in Afghanistan and the Mediterranean.
"Our cooperation is developing and developing successfully according to our estimation," Putin told de Hoop Scheffer before journalists were ushered from the room.
Russia signed a partnership agreement with NATO in 2002 that outlined cooperation in counterterrorism, nonproliferation and peacekeeping. At the same time, Russia has raised concerns about the alliance's eastward expansion.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said NATO's plans to embrace other former Soviet nations would be raised during the talks with de Hoop Scheffer, Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.
Grushko referred in particular to Georgia, saying NATO's decision to open a so-called "intensified dialogue" had been "interpreted by the Georgian authorities as an incentive to pursue a confrontational policy toward Russia." Georgia, a U.S. ally, aspires to join the alliance in 2008.
Georgia's brief arrest of four alleged Russian spies last month triggered the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries in years. Moscow imposed a transport blockade on its tiny southern neighbor and launched a crackdown on Georgian migrants.
Moscow has in the past expressed alarm over plans by Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO, which would take its Cold War-era foe right up to Russia's southern border and part of its western flank.
Ukraine's new government, led by Russian-leaning Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovych, has put the brakes on the drive for NATO membership, but
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is pushing determinedly to join the
Grushko said Moscow was also exasperated by NATO member states' persistent refusal to ratify an amended version of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which limits the number of troops, aircraft, tanks and other heavy non-nuclear weapons in Europe.
Russia, worried about the prospect of NATO bases on its doorstep, has urged alliance members, particularly the ex-Soviet Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to ratify the 1999 version of the treaty, which was meant to reflect changes since the 1991 Soviet breakup.
NATO members have refused to do that until Russia abides by its commitment to withdraw troops from the ex-Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia. Moscow says the two issues are not linked.
I de sidste fem år er samhandlen mellem Danmark og Ukraine blevet mere
end fordoblet, og nåede i 2005 op på 345,37 mill. $, hvilket er en
stigning på 12,8% i forhold til det succesrige 2004. Dog udgør disse
relativt høje tal kun 0,3% af Danmarks og 0,5% af Ukraines samlede
I første halvår af 2006 bevaredes ifølge Ukraines statslige statistiske
komite tendensen til en stigning af den dansk-ukrainske samhandlen med
varer og tjenester og udgjorde 222,6 mill. $ mod
$ i 1. halvår af 2005, hvilket er en stigning på 38,8. Tallet dækker over
en stigning af eksporten fra Ukraine med 46,3%, hvilket har medført et
fald af Ukraines handelsunderskud i forhold til Danmark.
Udviklingen i Ukraines samhandel
med Danmark ifølge Ukraines statslige
Eksporten af ukrainske varer til Danmark voksede med 21,4% i første halvår 2006 og udgjorde 67,7 mill. $.
Importen af danske varer til Ukraine vokser ufortrødent og steg med 2% ifølge Ukraines statslige statistiske komite (ifølge det danske udenrigsministeriums eksportråd steg importen med 18%).
Ifølge Ukraines statslige statistiske komite steg importen fra Danmark i første halvår af i år med 28,7% og nåede op på 103,1 mill. $.
I 1. halvår af 2006 fordobledes handlen med tjenesteydelser – fra 24,4 til 51,8 mill. $. Eksporten af tjenesteydelser til Danmark udgjorde 41,5 mill. $ (mod 18,9 mill. $ i første halvår af 2005), mens importen af tjenesteydelser fra Danmark udgjorde 10,2 mill. $ (5,5 mill. $). Ukraine har et overskud i handlen med tjenesteydelser med Danmark på 31,3 mill. $.
af direkte danske investeringer i Ukraines økonomi fortsætter ligeledes
med at stige. Mens de danske investeringer pr. 1.1.2005 udgjorde 105,9
var beløbet i 1. halvår af i år oppe på 150,8 mill. $.
(Således står Danmark nu officielt for 1,22
de samlede udenlandske investeringer i Ukraine. Danskerne har investeret i 106 ukrainske virksomheder (af dem er 24 joint-ventures) indenfor levnedsmiddelsektoren,
og møbelindustrien, samt den animalske produktion og handelssektoren.
Hitting the only area where Ukraine has some leverage, apparently, Russia is demanding that the transit price for its gas through Ukraine not be changed.
Assuming that the sources are right in an Oct. 20 Kommersant article entitled «The Price of the Vote», Ukraine officials negotiated a new gas deal with Russia on the following terms: Ukrainian authorities will hold a national referendum on NATO membership; they will allow the Russian fleet to remain in Sevastopol until 2017; they will guarantee to cooperate with gas trader Rosukrenergo for at least five more years; they will agree to receive gas from Turkmenistan exclusively through Russia; and finally they will not change the transit price for Russian gas to Europe. In exchange, Ukraine will receive gas from Russia at a price of $130 per 100 cu.m, $35 over the current price. Once these terms are agreed, it is not clear if Russia will pledge not to further raise the price for its gas in the future. But other than gas at a higher economic and political price, what's in it for Ukraine?
First, Ukraine is told to hold a referendum on NATO membership. While everybody knows that Russia is extremely nervous about Ukraine or Georgia joining NATO, a national referendum on membership held in Ukraine would be good for Russia, particularly if 60 percent of Ukrainians oppose membership. Such low public support was never recorded in other former communist countries that joined NATO, nor in the former Soviet republics that joined, i.e. the Baltics. In Central Europe, where politicians favored membership, they learned fast to organize debates, conferences, workshops and information sessions, making clear strategic statements on the necessity of joining NATO, to appease the nay-sayers. In Ukraine, the public seems divided on the issue of membership. But a referendum would show that the government is sensitive to public opinion, much like in many democratic countries. So, a referendum would also be good for Ukraine, as would a serious, well-structured debate. But a referendum would be advisable because the Ukrainian authorities see it that way, not because the Kremlin demands it. Besides, a referendum on NATO membership has or should have nothing to do with the topic of gas. Imposing this condition on Ukraine, a mere month before the start of the long cold winter, smacks of political pressure and blackmail. Russia contends that new prices need to be negotiated to reflect the rise in world market prices. If that is so, Russia should set conditions for a new gas deal based on market considerations, not on political agendas that have nothing to do with gas.
Second, allowing the Russian fleet to remain in Sevastopol until 2017 is equally unrelated to gas. The Grand Fleet Treaty of 1997 on the division of the former Soviet fleet between Ukraine and Russia stipulates indeed that the Russian fleet remain in the area until 2017. Russia agreed to pay a land lease for the use of Ukrainian territory for its fleet. But in response to the Russian argument that worldwide gas and oil prices had sky-rocketed since agreements were signed, Ukrainian authorities called for a renegotiation of the lease to reflect the higher value of the land. The Russian authorities refused to renegotiate the terms of the treaty. In January 2006, a series of unexpected and unannounced Russian military maneuvers prompted Ukraine to accuse Russia of undertaking "unauthorized moves of military units" on its territory and called again for a renegotiation of the 1997 agreement. Ukraine told Russia to be prepared to leave Crimea sooner than 2017, and in the interim, to pay a higher lease. Russia retorted that the 1997 agreement stayed and that Ukraine had nothing left to do but accept the situation. Apart from being a condition unrelated to gas, this demand is an example of Russia's stance that 'correct' business standards are the ones it imposes on others, not the ones dictated by fair competition or market prices.
Third, Ukraine is also being asked to offer a guarantee that it will cooperate with gas trader Rosukrenergo for at least five years in its dealings with Russia. This condition certainly has something to do with gas. Apart from the fact that Rosukrenergo is widely accused of shady business dealings, the Russian request is obviously a way for the Kremlin to say, "Kyiv, you will do business as we tell you to." This is blatant interference in Ukraine's national energy decisions, bordering on interference in the country's sovereignty.
Fourth, Kyiv is being asked to agree to receive gas from Turkmenistan exclusively through Russia. This condition was set after an early October announcement by Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz that, in the future, Ukraine would stop purchasing Russian gas. Spokesman Dmytro Marunich told The Associated Press in an Oct. 7 article entitled «Ukraine won't buy Russian Gas,» that an agreement to purchase 57.5 billion cu. m of gas needed for Ukraine's internal consumption had been reached with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Ukraine would pay these three countries the same price it paid Russia. "There is no need to buy from anybody else," said Marunich. This announcement signaled that Ukraine was not only serious about energy independence from the Kremlin, but it was also doing something about it. Once again the Russian stance shows how insecure the Kremlin is about the increasing "sovereign-mindedness" of Central Asia. Turkmenistan was the first Central Asian major gas supplier to raise its price for gas from $65 to $100 this year. Uzbekistan followed suit and Kazaksthan is expected to do so soon.
Finally, it appears that while all the above conditions are intended to bully Ukraine into an agreement that mostly benefits Russia, one would hope that Russia would reciprocate a little. The last condition for the new gas deal further enforces the impression that this won't happen. Hitting the only area where Ukraine has some leverage, Russia is demanding that the transit price for its gas through Ukraine not be changed. The transit price would remain at the current level, $1.60 per 100 cu. m per 100 km. (compared to world rates of $2.40 to $3.20). While the official reason for Russia's drastic and sudden increase in the gas price for Ukraine last winter was a "compliance with current world realities and prices in the gas market," Russia does not recognize the right of its neighbors to invoke the same principle in setting their transit prices for Russian gas. At least President Putin is honest when in meetings with counterparts from the European Union, he invokes "Russia's national interest" in declining to sign the Energy Charter Treaty. What he and Gazprom mean by setting such conditions on countries that are energy dependent on Russia is that "Russia's national interest is to tell other countries what to do and for them to follow."
Overall, if these conditions were indeed being negotiated to secure a more durable gas deal between Ukraine and Russia, then they show significant interference by Russia in Ukraine's sovereignty. All five conditions highlight the key areas of the Kremlin's unhappiness with Ukraine, particularly after Ukraine's 2004 pro-Western Orange Revolution. If Kyiv agrees to any of them, it will de facto relinquish national security decisions to the Kremlin.
Since President Yushchenko relinquished his rights to push the Orange agenda when he accepted the administration of Viktor Yanukovych, it behooves the pro-Russian prime minister of Ukraine to decide if his administration's energy strategy is in line with Ukraine's national interest.
Eurasia Daily Monitor
Wednesday, October 25, 2006 -- Volume 3, Issue 197
By: Oleg Varfolomeyev
The pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc will be in opposition to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet, Our Ukraine's formal leader, Roman Bezsmertny, declared in parliament on October 17. He urged the four ministers representing Our Ukraine in the cabinet to resign, and the next day President Viktor Yushchenko urged the ministers to comply with their party's decision. Justice Minister Roman Zvarych, Family and Youth Minister Yuriy Pavlenko, Culture Minister Ihor Likhovy, and Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko did so on October 19. The congress of Yushchenko's party on October 21, however, showed that Yushchenko does not like Our Ukraine's opposition status, so a rehashed Our Ukraine may resume talks with Yanukovych.
At a press conference on October 19 Zvarych, explaining his and his colleagues' decision to quit Yanukovych's cabinet, said that the Yanukovych-led government coalition of the Party of Regions, the Communist Party, and the Socialists Party had breached the National Unity Declaration, which they signed with Yushchenko on August 3. Our Ukraine's ministers joined the cabinet, and Our Ukraine planned to join the coalition only on condition of full adherence to the Declaration. This, however, has not happened, Zvarych said, as the cabinet ditched the NATO Membership Action Plan, failed to accelerate entry to the WTO, and has been reluctant to fight corruption and ensure state-language status for Ukrainian.
Parliament has yet to approve the four ministers' resignations. This will not happen before November, as parliament has taken a break. Zvarych, Pavlenko, Likhovy, and Polyachenko carry on as ministers, along with another three cabinet ministers who represent Yushchenko as president, rather than his party; this is a consequence of constitutional reform and personal agreements between Yushchenko and Yanukovych. These are Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, and Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko.
Lutsenko initially also tendered his resignation, but Yushchenko declined it, and Lutsenko told journalists on October 19 that he would be happy to continue his work. He emphasized that, not being a member of Our Ukraine, he was not obliged to abide by Our Ukraine's decision to go into opposition. The behavior of Lutsenko, who heavily relies on Yushchenko's support since he quit the Socialist Party, and whom Yushchenko trusts, was widely interpreted as a sign that Yushchenko was not comfortable about his team's opposition status.
Yushchenko confirmed this at the October 21 congress of People's Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU), the core element of Our Ukraine. Yushchenko urged the consolidation with Yanukovych's coalition and the continuation of talks with it. He said that being in opposition was not the best option for Our Ukraine. Yushchenko, in fact, blamed Bezsmertny for the failure of talks with the Yanukovych-led coalition and suggested changing the party's leadership. At the same time, he confirmed that he would continue to steer NSNU as its honorary chairman. Bezsmertny announced a recess in the congress until early November as soon as Yushchenko finished his speech.
To all appearances, Yushchenko will use the time-out to secure his grip on the party and to resume coalition talks with Yanukovych. Zvarych, speaking on October 23, indicated his readiness to resume the talks. The leader of the pro-Yanukovych parliamentary majority, Raisa Bohatyryova, promptly confirmed the Party of Regions' readiness for this.
Yushchenko understands that his party is not ready for coalition talks in its present shape. Being torn from within by at least two groups with different goals and views on Our Ukraine's future, Our Ukraine is not a rational player capable of following a clear agenda, which is indispensable for success in talks with Yanukovych. The followers of NSNU political council head Mykola Katerynchuk believe that Our Ukraine has to move under the wing of Yulia Tymoshenko in the radical opposition to Yanukovych. NSNU's main financiers -- grouped around Petro Poroshenko, who controlled the party until his dismissal as secretary of the national security council a year ago -- favor a coalition with Yanukovych, but only on their conditions, which reportedly include concessions such as the post of head of Naftohaz Ukrainy, the national fuel company.
The Ukrainian media almost unanimously maintain that Yushchenko wants to replace Bezsmertny with the more charismatic Arseny Yatsenyuk, who joined NSNU ahead of the October 21 congress. Yatsenyuk steered the central bank as its acting chairman in 2004 and served as economics minister in 2005-2006. Yushchenko appointed Yatsenyuk first deputy head of the presidential secretariat in September, but he will not have an easy time convincing the NSNU grassroots and rival groups within the party to accept Yatsenyuk, a newcomer who is just in his early 30s, as a compromise figure to head the party at a time when it is on the verge of a split.
According to Segodnya, a newspaper linked to Yanukovych, Yatsenyuk is close to the Industrial Union of Donbas, the Donetsk-based business conglomerate whose co-owner Vitaly Hayduk became security chief earlier this month (see EDM, October 18). Segodnya has suggested that Hayduk's team may replace the businessmen grouped around Poroshenko as the main financiers of Yushchenko's party and seek ways to resume dialogue with Yanukovych.
by James Sherr
Conflict Studies Research Centre
Central & Eastern Europe Series 06/52
Defence Academy of the United Kingdom
A serious political conflict has erupted in Ukraine over foreign policy prerogatives. In principle, there are several grounds to hope that this conflict, brought about by the new division of power between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, will not lead to major changes in Ukraine's foreign policy course. In practice, institutional rivalries, external pressures, ignorance and mistakes may combine to do so. Yanukovych's foreign policy record and the content of his 14 September speech in Brussels (calling for a 'pause' in NATO integration) are far less negative than often portrayed. Nevertheless, one should not take for granted that Ukraine will continue down the path that President Yushchenko set in January 2005. Once again, politics is undermining clarity of purpose and coherence of action.
The positive factors are these:
The President's Euro-Atlantic team-Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and Minister of Defence Anatoliy Hrytsenko-was swiftly reconfirmed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), as were three other Yushchenko appointees in the national security area, Minister of Interior Yuriy Lutsenko, SBU (Security Service) Chairman Ihor Drizhchanyy and Minister for Emergency Situations Viktor Baloha (who on 16 September left this post when he was appointed State Secretary/head of the President's Secretariat). The President retains the power to designate the Secretary of the country's influential National Security and Defence Council (NSDC), which, according to Article 107 of the country's constitution, 'coordinates and controls the activity of bodies of executive power in the sphere of national security and defence'. After much speculation, he appointed Vitaliy Hayduk to this post on 10 October.
As Prime Minister under President Leonid Kuchma, Yanukovych pursued a generally positive line towards NATO. He was an architect of the NATO-Ukraine Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on airlift (which parliament rejected), and he supported the drive for a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at a time when Kuchma was losing credibility in the West.
Although repairing relations with Russia is his top priority, Yanukovych is known to favour a multi-vector policy on a basis that respects Ukraine's national interests. He has indicated on several occasions that this will prove difficult unless the West remains firmly in the equation. He was humiliated by President Putin on at least one occasion during the 2004 electoral contest and is capable of drawing conclusions from Putin's warning (to Russia) that 'only the strong are respected' in international affairs. It is unlikely that he, any more than Kuchma, wishes to be a 'vassal of Russia'.
This inclination towards balance is reinforced by very powerful business interests in eastern Ukraine: by the group of industrialists in Rinat Akhmetov's Systems Capital Management (which constitutes the 'economic resource' behind Yanukovych's Party of Regions), as well as the somewhat less powerful but very successful rival group, the Industrial Union of Donbas (IUD), co-chaired by Hayduk up to the time of his appointment to NSDC. Both groups know how to work with Russian partners, but also have a number of competing interests, as well as a growing portfolio of investments in Central and Western Europe. These industrialists rely upon a predictable macro-economic framework with their eastern neighbour, but have learnt to expect the unexpected. Although they have the capacity to absorb energy price rises, they can only do so if the increases are predictable and gradual.
But the negatives are telling:The internal strength of Regions. The Party of Regions, with its working 'blue' majority in parliament, believes it is in a dominant position and is wasting no time in exploiting it. As of January 2006, Ukraine is no longer a presidential republic. Although the President retains the formal prerogative in foreign, defence and security policy, Parliament's control of the money and its power to dismiss ministers risks confining this prerogative to paper.1 If Our Ukraine is a loosely knit village, Regions is an entity run on Leninist principles with a lack of inhibition about using the power it has.
Yanukovych's appointment of First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov (former First Deputy PM and head of the Tax Administration under Kuchma), and Deputy PM Andriy Klyuev (responsible for supervising the country's unreformed energy sector) should leave one in no doubt about this. Both appointments risk restoring opaque, post-Soviet norms of governance. Already, apprehensions have been voiced that Azarov might become the power behind the throne, reviving the reviled precedent set by Viktor Medvedchuk, head of ex-President Kuchma's presidential administration (but with the added advantage of ministerial appointment). Like Medvedchuk, Azarov is striving to become master of the bureaucratic apparat as well as the Cabinet of Ministers. As architects of Kuchma's administrative system, both of these figures studiously turned state and public institutions into tools of presidential interests. In the short time since his reappointment, Azarov has already replaced five regional heads of the once notorious Tax Administration, as well as its Chairman. The new Minister of Economy, Volodymyr Makuha (a supporter of integration into the Russian sponsored Single Economic Space) and the new Prosecutor General, Oleksandr Medvedko, are allies of Azarov. Whilst Klyuev appears to have the ability and ambition to offset some of Azarov's power at an institutional level, he shares the latter's kuluarno ( 'in the lobbies') understanding of power, administration and the relationship between business and government. To a country whose greatest security problem is the relationship between politics, business and crime, these figures are unlikely to offer guidance or help. Euro-Atlantic norms of accountability and transparency are not on their agenda or in their bloodstream.
The weakness of Regions vis-?-vis Russia. Russia's energy instruments remain in place: a concessionary gas price (now $95 per th cu m) subject to frequent review and a bankrupt state energy sector, excluded from the sources of income needed to repay its debts (thanks to the damaging agreement between Gazprom and Naftohaz Ukrainiy of 4 January 2006). The 15-16 August summit between Putin and Yanukovych in Sochi did nothing to change this status quo. Both sides were dissatisfied with the meeting: Yanukovych, because the Russians showed no inclination to change the rules; Putin, because Yanukovych failed to make the concessions-control of the pipeline network and full entry into the Single Economic Space-that would induce him to change them. But instead of refocusing Ukraine's efforts on the Western vector, the summit appears to have redoubled efforts to concede ground to Russia in other areas. There are grounds to fear that this might entail accepting a de facto Russian veto on further steps towards NATO and the WTO (which, in turn would put paid to the prospects of a free-trade agreement with the EU). The dominance of 'Moscow retransmitters' in Yanukovych's apparat (and the appointment of Anatoliy Orel, Kuchma's former foreign policy adviser to the analogous post under Yanukovych) has possibly propelled Yanukovych in this direction, though it is possible that more balance will emerge with the recent appointment of two other figures: former Foreign Minister Konstantin Hryshchenko and a young, independently minded refugee from Kuchma's Presidential Administration, Anatoliy Fialko. 
For the moment, the disposition to make concessions to Russia appears to have brought relief. On 12 October, the government delegation in Moscow (parliamentary Speaker Moroz, Deputy PM Klyuev and Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Boyko) announced a 'breakthrough': the delayed introduction of the new price ($130) until 1 January. As Moroz triumphantly asserted, 'the price issue has been resolved, and we can draw a line under these relations'. Just how it has been resolved, he did not say. 
This combination of internal strength and external weakness has produced two unfortunate developments:The bypassing of the President, Foreign Ministry and NSDC. Neither Yushchenko nor Tarasyuk (let alone the Ukrainian delegation at NATO HQ) knew what Yanukovych would say in NATO HQ until he said it. The five-hour meeting between Yushchenko and Yanukovych following the latter's return produced an agreed position on NATO integration which survived until Yanukovych's first press conference.
The undermining of Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko. In contravention of its commitment to deepen public understanding of NATO, Yanukovych's government has disbanded the Interdepartmental Committee on Euro-Atlantic Integration (which Tarasyuk chaired) and cut funds for the government's two NATO information programmes by 40 percent. The budget for reform of the Armed Forces has been cut by half: a cut which makes it brazenly optimistic to suppose that the MOD will be able to match projected force reductions with the funds required to rehouse retired officers. It is unlikely that the architects of these cuts fail to understand the relationship between these components of the State Programme, the standing of Minister Hrytsenko in the Armed Forces and the evaluation of Ukraine's defence reform by NATO. It is, after all, this State Programme and Hrytsenko's capable implementation of it that has provided NATO with its strongest argument for extending MAP to Ukraine.
In response, a president who was reluctant to use his powers when he had them has now begun to fight a vigorous rearguard action:An institutional counter-offensive. The first vehicle in this fight, the Secretariat of the President, is a purely presidential structure. After almost two years of frustration, infighting and ineffectiveness, it looks as if it finally will be capably led and directed. Although its new head, Viktor Baloha, is reputed to be a key figure in the much reviled Mukachev business group, he is also regarded as a strong and competent administrator. Noteworthy amongst his appointments is one of his two first deputies, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former Economics Minister; and, amongst three deputies, the urbane and well seasoned Oleksandr Chaliy, former Deputy Foreign Minister and latterly Vice President of the Industrial Union of Donbas. Yatsenyuk is also considered an 'IUD man'. These appointments suggest that the President is not only trying to defend his foreign policy turf but limit damage on the domestic, economic front as well and enlist a new set of allies to this end. But how will the Secretariat succeed in the absence of the real levers of power that the Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament now possess?
The President's second institutional vehicle is the NSDC. Although chaired by the President, its members consist of ministers in Yanukovych's government as well as other senior decision makers with national security responsibilities. The August agreements with the Prime Minister and Parliament have already diluted the NSDC, bringing into the fold Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko, parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Moroz and National Bank Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh. Although it cannot be said that these figures lack national security responsibilities, their priorities are certainly different from those of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior, Chairman of the SBU and Chairman of the SZR (Foreign Intelligence Service). Moreover, Medvedko and Moroz are political opponents of the President, and it was the latter's defection from the Orange coalition which brought Yanukovych back to power.
Nevertheless, it is the Council's Secretary who has tended to play the key role in its affairs, not to say a key role in the strategic direction of the state. Under the initial stewardship of Volodymyr Horbulin (1996-99) the NSDC was an effective and respected body, adhering strictly to its constitutional remit and providing the rudiments of inter-agency coordination in a country hobbled then (as now) by debilitating institutional rivalries. But under Horbulin's successors, Yevhen Marchuk and Volodymyr Radchenko, the Council was sidelined by President Kuchma and the head of the Presidential Administration, Viktor Medvedchuk, who not only usurped the Council's traditional powers, but directly supervised ministers and, despite his lack of an elected position or a constitutional role, became the second most powerful figure in the country.
From the start, those who expected President Yushchenko to restore constitutional norms were rudely disappointed. As Secretary (January-September 2005), Yushchenko's close associate, Petro Poroshenko used the NSDC as a foil against Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and secured presidential backing to widen its remit well beyond its statutory role. The result was a full blown crisis which broke up the Orange coalition only nine months after the Orange revolution brought it to power. After this trauma, it is not surprising that Yushchenko returned the NSDC to safer hands: former Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh (September 2005 to May 2006) and, after Kinakh took up a parliamentary seat, to Horbulin once again (but as Acting Secretary). It was clear that Horbulin could only be a stopgap. On 10 October, Vitaliy Hayduk, Co-Chairman of the Industrial Union of Donbas, was appointed to this post.
The appointment of Hayduk, Chaliy and Yatsenyuk (and the reappointment of Oleksandr Zinchenko as presidential adviser) has brought the Industrial Union of Donbas into the core of Yushchenko's administration. This gives the President allies on his opponent's turf. In a country where those who own and those who run the country are often indistinguishable, this is a significant development. By taking this step, Yushchenko has expanded his financial resources in ways which he appears to believe will improve his prospects for re-election in 2009. But well before then, he clearly hopes to limit the ability of Regions to damage his foreign policy and monopolise the economy. The by now exhaustively explored alternatives offered him no egress: deeper dependence on Regions diminished Our Ukraine and on 'dear friends' already compromised by the events of 2005; or alliance with Yulia Tymoshenko, whom both he and the 'dear friends' regard as ambitious, uncontrollable and too knowledgeable about the shortcomings of his administration. This erstwhile inner circle also advised him not to appoint Hayduk, but he has wisely ignored their advice.
For the Industrial Union of Donbas, the new developments are, of course, propitious. From the moment that Yanukovych and Azarov returned to power, the IUD was made to feel the financial levers of Akhmetov and the administrative resources of the Yanukovych/Azarov/Klyuev government. Now they will have administrative resources of their own. They will also aim to counterbalance the geopolitical tilt of Regions' economic policy. Hayduk will almost certainly make energy security a major priority at NSDC. Central to this enterprise will be steps to counter the covert Russification of Ukraine's energy sector and electricity market-and its not so covert proponents, Deputy Prime Minister Klyuev and the Minister of Fuel and Energy, Yuriy Boyko. The fact that Hayduk firmly opposed the January 2006 gas accords and the formation of RosUkrEnergo-which the President's men negotiated and the President defended-is an awkwardness that both men will have to manage. The President now appears ready to support efforts to free Ukraine from the vice that these accords created, as long as radical means-the denunciation of the accords and a fresh gas crisis-are avoided. Hayduk is not a radical, and he will pursue other, more subtle forms of attack and defence. As a major player in the economy-and, not incidentally, a former Deputy Prime Minister under Yanukovych's last government-he retains all the necessary back channels to Regions. He knows how to compromise as well as resist. The appearance of another IUD man, Konstantin Hryshchenko, in the Prime Minister's team, will also keep lines of communication open.
On the date that Hayduk was appointed, the breakdown of the Universal agreement had a second political consequence. Our Ukraine announced that it was going into opposition and called for the resignation of all ministers 'appointed on behalf of Our Ukraine'. But just who belongs to that category? Our Ukraine's leader, Roman Bezsmertniy, insists that the entire pro-presidential bloc in Cabinet belongs to it. Minister of Defence Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who belongs to no faction, is adamant that he does not. So is Borys Tarasyuk, who whilst a member of Our Ukraine, does not owe his appointment to its leaders, but to the President's foreign policy prerogative. For his part, the President is holding 'consultations' on the issue, which in accordance with his well established convention, appears to mean that 'we will make a decision on Friday, and on Tuesday we will make another'. As of 14 October, he also continues negotiations with Yanukovych to resurrect the coalition. The indecisiveness of the President survives.
But the die appears to have been cast. The experiment in unity between the foes of 2004 has collapsed. Yet instead of restoring old alliances, the collapse is producing a new and more complex alignment. Who in these new circumstances will the President's people now be? What kind of opposition will be formed and against whom? On 12 October the leadership of Our Ukraine boldly announced the formation of a nine-party opposition 'confederation' under the name European Ukraine. Yet this format, if realised, will simply replicate the format of Our Ukraine in 2001. The centrepiece of parliamentary opposition, Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc, has not been invited to join it. The IUD's men in parliament who, like Hayduk himself, enjoy good relations with Tymoshenko, certainly will not join it. Will the IUD's men in the Secretariat and NSDC be able to stabilise the relationship between the President's team and hers? Will they give teeth and ballast to the parliamentary opposition? Will Tymoshenko's bloc in turn be able to give the IUD more of a political shape? Where will Our Ukraine fit into this matrix? Is it capable of doing so, or will it retreat into its village and its nostalgia?
A dangerous or fertile tension?
Although the Universal agreement set out a framework for civilised dvoevlastie (bifurcated power), politics has set Ukraine on a course of antagonistic dvoevlastie. Need that be a destructive course? If the struggle were played out along Orange-Blue lines, that would probably be the case. Either Yanukovych's Party of Regions would prevail (because Blue is stronger), or both antagonists would lose (because Blue would win in opposition to most of the country and the greater part of Ukraine's foreign and defence policy establishment). The short and mid-term casualties would be accountability, legitimacy and coherent policy.
Today's developments point to the emergence of new lines of cleavage: between democratically orientated Euro-realists and the bastions of eastern Ukrainian paternalism and the multi-vector approach. By reaching out to the foils of Yanukovych and Akhmetov in eastern Ukraine (and disregarding the counsels of those who only recently were his closest confidants), President Yushchenko has either shown strategic wisdom or achieved a strategic breakthrough by accident. Yet the new alliance is unlikely to give much joy to idealists. The IUD are not crusaders against corruption or ideologues of financial transparency and G7 style corporate governance. But they are self-interested proponents of a European future for Ukraine, and they have set themselves in opposition to the key projects that would turn Ukraine towards another future: the Single Economic Space and the Russian-Ukrainian energy consortium. Unlike most of Yanukovych's entourage, those brought into the NSDC and President's Secretariat understand Western institutions and impress Western decision makers with their knowledge, pragmatism and competence. The IUD team has also developed a productive relationship with Ukraine's most prominent opposition figure, Yulia Tymoshenko, whose public profile is considerably more radical than their own. From the start, she, unlike the leaders of Our Ukraine, has sought to move onto the opponent's ground, eastern Ukraine.
The past fortnight's developments suggest that the struggle might be shifting onto that ground. If so, it is a good and necessary thing. Eastern Ukraine is a region that many in the West have considered lost and that many more in Russia have considered nash (ours). Yet it has never been a monolith. The East-West political paradigm has repressed its divisions, ambivalences and even its Ukrainian identity. Whereas President Kuchma managed for a time to alter this paradigm, the electoral contest of 2004 revived it in Orange-Blue form. In that form, politics in Ukraine is fated to be a process that weakens Ukraine. The political course since Yushchenko's inauguration makes it worth reiterating that Ukraine's greatest challenge is not integration with the West, but the integration of Ukraine. This will not be possible without the diminution of the regional divide and the mutation and reconstitution of today's political blocs. The short-term effect of this process of mutation is bound to be incoherence and an untidy, altogether Ukrainian accommodation to the mixed agendas of key players. But that might be a price worth paying if it breaks the mould of Ukrainian politics. That mould-the absence of an opposition able to operate on Regions' own turf-has not only handed eastern Ukraine's electorate to Regions, it has retarded the evolution of Regions itself. Those who believe in the possibility of Regions' evolution should welcome this process.
Conclusions and recommendations
The events of recent days demonstrate once again that things are never as good or as bad in Ukraine as they seem. The emergence inside eastern Ukraine of a capable bloc of pro-presidential allies is not only redressing some of the imbalance between Yushchenko and Yanukovych. It is shifting the ground of Ukrainian politics in ways that demand examination by the West, not to say encouragement. The alternatives which have commanded so much attention are not viable. A revived Orange coalition, like the original coalition, would have little internal coherence and possibly an even shorter shelf life than the first. The grand coalition has already fallen apart, and its instrument of unity, the Universal agreement, merely enabled Regions to come to power and exercise it without too much regard for its provisions. For the moment, a gross imbalance persists. Yanukovych and Regions are seeking to establish de facto control over foreign and security policy, and they believe they possess the tools to do so. Despite the President's counter-offensive, they might be right. The struggle between Yushchenko and Yanukovych is no longer the only game in town, but it remains the biggest game, and it could prove to be a destructive one.
That puts the West in a dilemma. How can NATO and the EU accommodate to the reality of Regions' de facto power without legitimising it? In today's circumstances, the establishment of direct lines of communication with Ukraine's new government is essential. In principle, there is no impropriety in establishing them. But there is a difference between exchanging views with the Prime Minister and Cabinet and transacting official business with them. Western governments will need to get this balance right. We dare not suggest by our behaviour that power and money trump the laws and the constitution of Ukraine.
For its part, Regions will need to come to terms with three realities The first is the West. Yanukovych and a good many others in his entourage and government are hobbled by a lack of understanding of the West and the working culture and ethos of its core institutions, NATO and the EU. They exaggerate the extent of geopolitical competition for Ukraine and underestimate the importance we attach to its democratisation, the liberalisation of its economy and the modernisation of its institutions. They also underestimate our knowledge of how Ukraine works, the depth and extent of our relationships in the country and our ability to see through the scams and deceptions of politics and daily life. Finally, they overlook the magnitude of our other security problems and the limits of our attention span and patience. Unless we can break through these misunderstandings we may be heading for trouble.
The new authorities might also underestimate the extent of democratisation that has occurred in Ukraine itself: the growing astuteness and assertiveness of civil society, the knowledge and courage of journalists and experts and the extent to which people have come to take liberty for granted during the past two years. We must not forget that despite the failings of Yushchenko, Yanukovych (who secured 36 per cent of the vote in October 2004) secured only 32 per cent of the vote in Ukraine's freest elections to date, those of March 2006. The majority of Ukrainians do not support him, and there is a risk that he will overestimate the limits of their tolerance.
Finally, Regions might overestimate their ability to improve relations with Russia. Yanukovych and most of his supporters are not tools of the Kremlin, but Ukrainians who recognise that the achievement of good relations with Russia will not be easy. Nevertheless, they currently believe that 'Yushchenko is to blame' and hope for real improvements that do not damage Ukraine's independence. It is likely that this will prove to be an illusory hope. Will Regions continue on a course of covert accommodations and incremental capitulations, or at some point will they draw lines and seek help? If they have alienated the West before they reach that point, then re-engagement on our part might prove difficult.
On all three fronts, the learning curve is likely to advance slowly. As clearly as possible, then, it would be in the West's interests to communicate three messages:We would like Ukraine to join the Euro-Atlantic community to the extent that it is willing and able. It is Ukraine's choice. But it cannot do so on the basis of values and interests that we do not share. A retreat from democratic norms--not only in elections, but in media freedom, administration and law enforcement--will have immediate and damaging repercussions in Europe and North America.
For its part, the West needs to understand that a period of incoherence will not necessarily be bad for Ukraine if it breaks down today's outdated divisions and alters the dysfunctional pattern of politics in the country. Where Euro-Atlantic integration is concerned, it would also be best to adopt the maxim, 'better later, but better'.
At the meeting Borys Tarasyuk passed over a letter to the Queen of Denmark from President Viktor Yushchenko with an invitation to visit Ukraine.
The Foreign Minister also confirmed the Government's desire to develop partnership with Denmark and assured a Danish delegation Ukraine's EuroIntegration course remains invariable.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk meets with Danish Vice Prime Minister Bendt Bendtsen.
A meeting saw discussion of bipartite economic relations, trade cooperation and cooperation in the energy sector. The meeting was held within the framework of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk's official visit to Denmark.
The parties discussed energy security. The sides found it expedient to reach a number of agreements on exchange of delegations at an officinal and business levels.
Den ukrainske avis "Gazeta po Kievski" har offentliggjort en liste over de dyreste fodboldspillere i Ukraine. Brasilianeren Matusalem fra Champions League deltageren "Shakhtar" Donetsk tjener ifølge avisen 150.000 $ om måneden. Hos den anden ukrainske Champions League deltager "Dynamo" Kyiv er brasilianeren Rinkon den bedst betalte spiller med en månedsløn på 100.000 $.
"Dynamo" Kyiv agenten Sandor Varga siger i en kommentar til de ukrainske spillerlønninger: "Mine spilleres (som ifølge "Gazeta po Kievski" er Rebrov, Rotan og Shovkovsky) lønninger er to-tre gange mindre end de højst betalte "Dynamo"-spilleres. Det er skidt. De udenlandske spillere bliver lokket til Ukraine af de høje lønninger. I Rusland er man gået en mere fornuftig vej; nemlig at bruge de høje lønninger til holde på de bedste hjemlige spillere. Det kræver en fornuftig ledelse, noget som i vores klubber er det svageste led. De forstår ikke, at de hjemlige spillere har en bedre klubfølelse. Da eksempelvis Rebrov vendte tilbage til "Dynamo" fra et ophold i England, ville han bare hjem og tænkte kun meget lidt på den materielle side af sagen. I dag tjener han tre gange mindre, men det er underordnet for ham".
Det er værd at nævne, at Andrij Shevtjenkos månedsløn i Chelsea svarer til det Rebrov skal bruge over 1,5 år på at tjene i "Dynamo".
De bedst betalte spillere i Ukraine:
Matusalem, brasiliansk midtbanespiller, "Shakhtar" - $ 150.000 om måneden
Elano, brasiliansk midtbanespiller, "Shakhtar" - $ 130.000 om måneden
Jadson, brasiliansk midtbanespiller, "Shakhtar" - $ 125.000 om måneden
Rinkon, brasiliansk midtbanespiller, "Dynamo" - $ 120.000 om måneden
Rodolfo, brasiliansk forsvarsspiller, "Dynamo" - $ 100.000 om måneden
Kleber, argentinsk angriber, "Dynamo" - $ 80.000 om måneden
Tymosjtjuk, midtbanespiller, "Shakhtar" - $ 80.000 om måneden
Rebrov, midtbanespiller, "Dynamo" - $ 50.000 om måneden
De bedst betalte spillere i Rusland:
Arshavin, angriber, "Zenit" - $ 250.000 om måneden
Tekke, tyrkisk angriber, "Zenit" - $ 180.000 om måneden
Loskov, midtbanespiller, "Lokomotiv" - $ 160.000 om måneden
Ignashevitj, forsvarsspiller, "CSKA" - $ 160.000 om måneden
Titov, midtbanespiller, "Spartak" - $ 145.000 om måneden
De bedst betalte spillere i verden:
Shevtjenko, angriber, Chelsea - $ 1 million om måneden
Ballack, midtbanespiller, Chelsea - $ 1 million om måneden
Ronaldinho, midtbanespiller, Barcelona - $ 1 million om måneden
Lampard, midtbanespiller, Chelsea - $ 760.000 om måneden
Henry, angriber, Arsenal - $ 660.000 om måneden
Eurasia Daily Monitor
Monday, November 6, 2006 -- Volume 3, Issue 205
By Vladimir Socor
The governing Party of Regions and its leftist allies have launched a systematic offensive to wrest control of Ukraine's foreign policy from the president and his appointees. This offensive is forcing President Viktor Yushchenko to defend his positions more resolutely than has hitherto been the case, beginning with the issue of the Russian Fleet's basing in Ukraine's Crimea.
Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to prolong that Fleet's 1997 basing agreements beyond 2017, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych hinted that he is in favor while Yushchenko obliquely indicated that he is opposed (see EDM, October 30, November 1). However, amid the contest over the conduct of foreign policy, their respective positions have quickly polarized.
Speaking on November 1 in the Party of Regions' stronghold Kharkiv, Yushchenko came out clearly against prolongation, citing the constitutional ban on foreign bases and the agreement's 2017 expiry deadline as definitive: "There is no point mulling over this issue anymore, let's put a full stop to it." Ukraine will fully observe the 1997 agreements, expects Russia to do the same, and meanwhile it seeks repossession of Russian-used lighthouses and other installations, Yushchenko declared. All differences will be discussed in the Putin-Yushchenko commission, "but let no one try to revise those agreements or do anything that would turn our relations into something other than good-neighborly" (Interfax-Ukraine, Itar-Tass, November 1).
Equally clearly, Yanukovych is now speaking in favor of prolonging the stay of Russia's Fleet: "Ukraine has an interest in our partners operating some naval installations, as this will bring in revenue....A decision will depend on how beneficial and necessary this will be to both Ukraine and Russia. The [prolongation] issue will be considered in the framework of Ukraine's political and economic relations with Russia....Unquestionably, Ukraine is interested in good relations with Russia" (Interfax-Ukraine, Itar-Tass, November 2).
On the institutional level, the Regions-led coalition seeks a transfer of prerogatives from the presidency and the presidentially controlled Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministries to the coalition-controlled parliament and government. A joint working group of the Party of Regions, Socialist, and Communist parties is well advanced in drafting a new law on the foundations of the state's domestic and foreign policies. Ever since this government's formation in August, Yanukovych and his allies have cited a constitutional stipulation that the parliament "determines the foundations of domestic and foreign policies" to question the president's authority over foreign policy. By now, they want to turn that vague stipulation into a clear-cut law not just questioning, but counterbalancing and even reducing the president's authority in that domain. According to Yanukovych, the new law will take account of the constitutional reform and the consequent redistribution of competencies from the presidency to the parliament and government (Interfax-Ukraine, October 30, November 3).
On November 3, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution to summon the presidentially appointed ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Borys Tarasyuk and Anatoliy Hrytsenko, to report on their activities to a plenary session of parliament on November 15. The 241 votes of the Regions, Socialist, and Communist parties were sufficient to pass this resolution. Yushchenko has termed the planned sitting an "inquisition" (Channel Five TV, One Plus One TV [Kyiv], November 3).
The Rada's majority coalition took that step promptly on Yanukovych's cue. Yanukovych had declared on November 1 and 2 that he has differences over foreign policy with Tarasyuk; that the latter cannot remain a minister and the leader of an opposition party (Rukh, within the bloc Our Ukraine) at the same time; that "the situation "must be resolved very soon; and that, while the two ministers' appointment and dismissal is not within the government's competency, the parliament should take up that issue citing its authority to "determine the foundations" of policies (Interfax-Ukraine, November 1, 2).
Major elements in the Party of Regions and allied parties deeply resent Tarasyuk as a symbol of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic orientation and Hrytsenko for his efficient implementation of NATO-assisted military reforms. Moscow almost certainly seeks the removal of these ministers.
Meanwhile, Yanukovych is building up a strong professional staff on foreign and national security policy, mainly drawn from ex-president Leonid Kuchma's administration and governments (Interfax-Ukraine, November 3; Glavred, November 4). The goal is to duplicate and counterbalance the presidentially controlled structures (National Security and Defense Council, the Presidential Secretariat), encroaching on the president's constitutional authority on that front as well.
On a symbolic level, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a statement of solidarity with Cuba's regime (referenced as "the people") on November 3, the same day as the summons to Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko. Out of 436 deputies registered for the sitting, 318 voted in favor of the statement on Cuba (Interfax-Ukraine, November 3). Russia's Duma also adopted a declaration of solidarity with Cuba on that same day.
Some of the protagonists of these efforts heralded their intentions in Moscow just before taking action in Kyiv to take foreign policy under their control. Yanukovych announced those intentions in a wide-ranging interview with the governmental Rossiiskaya gazeta on October 30. Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk, writing in the October 27 issue of the governmental Rossiyskiye vesti, charged that the European integration rhetoric of certain Ukrainian officials largely "covers up" the wish to join NATO. Ukrainian and Georgian membership in NATO "would allow Washington fully to control the energy transit to Europe and severely restrict Russia's political and economic leeway in the Black Sea region," Tabachnyk warned. Arguing that Western Europe does not want Ukraine in the European Union, partly in deference to Russia and partly due to the EU's own enlargement pause, Tabachnyk argues that "Ukraine's European vector must be substantially corrected."
Following his mid-October visit to Moscow, Rada Chairman Oleksandr Moroz is also explicitly espousing a two-vector policy while becoming openly critical of NATO and the United States. In a speech to Kyiv students, Moroz claimed, "NATO is not coping with the post-9/11 challenges" and that "Ukraine's entry into NATO is being advocated by only one superpower, in pursuit of its own geopolitical interests. We must not become a bargaining card" (Interfax- Ukraine, October 27).
Thus, an effort to change Ukraine's external orientation seems to be suddenly and openly gathering force on several fronts simultaneously.
Nov 2nd 2006 | Kyiv
The birth-pangs of democracy, or an unseemly power struggle?
WHEN Ukraine emerged from the dying Soviet Union there were some, especially in Russia, who said its independence was provisional, and its destiny was to be swallowed up by its neighbours. During the "orange revolution" of 2004, which swept Viktor Yushchenko to Ukraine's presidency, the threat of dismemberment was revived by supporters of Viktor Yanukovich, his Russian-backed rival. That talk has receded, but all else in Ukrainian politics continues to be provisional.
Viktor loses the spoils
Mr Yanukovich's status as a disgraced election-rigger was temporary. After his party won most seats in parliament last March he again became prime minister, the job he held before the revolution. Other old faces have returned with him. Under new, possibly provisional, constitutional arrangements, the job carries increased powers that overlap with the president's. Oleksandr Chaly, deputy head of the presidential administration, says that all democracies go through transitional periods in which the powers of various arms of government are defined. But in Ukraine the process looks less like constitutional fine-tuning than a revived power struggle.
So far, says a Western diplomat in Kyiv, "the prime minister is winning". The constitution makes the president responsible for foreign policy, but that did not stop Mr Yanukovich saying, on a trip to Brussels, that Ukraine's integration into NATO should be delayed. Despite Mr Yushchenko's urgings, parliament is stalling over the legislation needed for Ukraine to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Last week José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, admitted that neither the European Union nor Ukraine was ready to talk about Ukrainian accession to the EU.
Mr Chaly insists that there are "no strategic differences" between the two Viktors. Yet the course of Western integration that Mr Yushchenko had set may turn out to have been provisional. Mikhail Fradkov, Russia's prime minister, was in Kyiv just as a new deal was being reached on Ukraine's gas imports. Ukraine faces a rise in the price of gas it buys from Russia and Turkmenistan in 2007, though not as sharp as it feared. The prospect of a renewed gas crisis, in which supplies to Ukraine could be cut off as they were last January, seems to have been averted.
But the deal is temporary and opaque, and rumours swirl over what concessions the Russians have extracted in return. Mr Fradkov talked of the two countries "synchronising" their WTO bids (the Russians fret that Ukraine might get in before them). Mr Yanukovich mooted the possibility of Russia's Black Sea fleet staying at Sebastopol, its Crimean base, after its lease runs out in 2017. Mr Yushchenko's line, repeated again this week, was that it would have to go. The bigger fear is that Kyiv's control of Ukraine's gas-pipeline network may be provisional too.
So might be the uncomfortable cohabitation of the two Viktors. Our Ukraine, the president's party, last month broke off coalition negotiations with Mr Yanukovich's lot-talks that, somewhat incredibly, had been going on ever since March. Several ministers whom Our Ukraine had provisionally nominated to the cabinet have now tendered their resignations-even though murmurs about restarting the talks are growing louder. Mr Yanukovich's coalition still has a parliamentary majority, but its odd combination of Communists and business tycoons may prove unstable. (Like so many revolutionary alliances, the "orange" team, led by Mr Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, was purely tactical and has now collapsed.)
Some in MrYanukovich's team see Mr Yushchenko himself as a temporary president. He has brought some tough businessmen into his administration. But his popularity is now so low that his chances of winning the next presidential poll, in 2009, look slim. A few crowd-pleasing arrests of corrupt former officials would buoy up his ratings; but it seems that his campaign promises of justice were themselves provisional. Whether the real gains of the revolution-freer media, cleaner elections and competitive politics-prove more lasting remains to be seen.
The newly appointed head of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, Anatoliy Hayduk, is a valuable tool for President Yushchenko, but he has yet to be used effectively. Like Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Regions Party money bags Rinat Akhmetov, Hayduk is from Ukraine's east, where much of the electorate favors strong ties with Russia and fears the expansion of NATO. Also like the Regions leaders, Hayduk is a tough negotiator, who knows his way around tricky issues like gas, and can talk to the Kremlin in its own language.
However, Hayduk openly supports pro-Western integration. This is a valuable tool. One could say that Yushchenko now has his own Donetsk tycoon. Hayduk, co-owner of one of Ukraine's largest business groups, could not only offer financial support to a new political party if Our Ukraine disintegrates, he is also well respected in Donbass and therefore could help Yushchenko muster support for his pro-Western integration agenda and liberal economic reforms by offering eastern Ukrainians another voice to listen to. This could break the Regions' grip on this heavily populated part of the country.
The establishment of a new political party with support in both eastern and western Ukraine would help bridge the country's geographic and linguistic divide. It would prevent polarization on sensitive issues that have too often been exploited by demagogues at election time, sometimes threatening the country's very sovereignty.
A new party headed by someone like Hayduk could drive a wedge through the powerful Regions party, its coalition with leftist parties and the team of Yanukovych himself, giving rise to more plurality in Ukrainian politics.
But to do all this, Hayduk has to be more vocal. He has to appear more often in public, reminding Ukrainians that not all of the country's business elite have the same views. Some eastern Ukainians, like Mr Hayduk, support Western integration and liberal market reforms. Hayduk should speak for them.
Ukraines udenrigsministerium noterer sig, at tonen i kommentarerne fra det russiske udenrigsministeriums informationsafdeling i forhold til den ukrainske Hungersnødkatastrofe i 1932-33 er blevet mere imødekommende.
Det sagde lederen af det ukrainske udenrigsministeriums presseafdeling, Andrij Deshytsya, i dag i en kommentar til de russiske udtalelser om.
"Alene det forhold, at tonen i kommentaren er mere positiv end i de forudgående kommentarer, siger noget om, at samtalerne mellem Ukraine og Rusland ikke har været forgæves", sagde Deshytsya.
Det ukrainske udenrigsministeriums repræsentant understregede, at Hungersnødkatastrofen er blevet omtalt på mødet mellem præsident ´Viktor Jusjtjenko og den russiske udenrigsminister under dennes besøg i Kiev den 8. november. Samme tema er blevet rejst under forhandlingerne mellem Ukraines og Ruslands udenrigsministre i løbet af det førnævnte besøg.
"Vi hilser det velkommen, at man fra russisk side nu anser det for formålstjenligt at påbegynde en mere grundig forskning af dette problem mellem vore to landes historikere, og jeg håber, at dette arbejde vil fortsætte", sagde Deshytsya.
Han understregede, at Ukraine også fremover vil tage relevante initiativer såvel på internationalt niveau som på bilateralt niveau for at sikre, at Hungersnødkatastrofen i 1932-33 bliver anerkendt som et folkemord begået mod det ukrainske folk.
Tidligere har det russiske udenrigsministeriums informationsafdeling i en kommentar til den ukrainske kampagne for at anerkende Hungersnødkatastrofen i 1932-33 som et folkemord mod den ukrainske nation, sagt, at Ukraine i dette spørgsmål prøver at skyde skylden på dagens Rusland".
De russiske diplomater har endvidere tilbagevist oplysningerne om, at der pågår konsultationer mellem Moskva og Kiev om at anerkende Hungersnødkatastrofen i 1932-33 som et folkemord mod Ukraine. Liga. UP.
Om 14 dage vil Ukraines parlament Verkhovna Rada tage stilling til, om den provestlige udenrigsminister Borys Tarasyuk og forsvarsminister Anatolij Hrytsenko kan fortsætte på deres poster. Et flertal på 246 deputerede stemte for resolutionen.
Ifølge den kommunistiske næstformand for parlamentet, Adam Martynjuk, vil de relevante udvalg om 2 uger komme med resolutionsforslag der indeholder konklusioner for så vidt angår Tarasyuks og Hrytsenkos arbejde. "Og vi vil så stemme for den resolution og de konklusioner, som måtte være indeholdt i den", sagde han.
Samtidig udtalte ledende medlem af Regionernes Parti Taras Tjornovil til pressen, at Tarasyuks tilbagetræden kun er et spørgsmål om tid.
"Hvad angår Tarasyuk, så er det hans manglende konceptuelle forståelse af diplomatiets væsen og landets interesser, der gør spørgsmålet om hans afgang aktuel. Nu er det kun et spørgsmål om tid", sagde Tjornovil.
Han understregede, at afskedigelsesmekanismen er indeholdt i forfatningen og i parlamentets reglement.
"Parlamentet udnævner disse ministre efter indstilling fra præsidenten, men afskediger dem uden nogen som helst forudgående indstilling", sagde han.
Hvad angår forsvarsminister Anatolij Hrytsenko vil parlamentet ifølge Tjornovil pålægge rigsadvokaten at fortsætte efterforskningen med henblik på "at undersøge, hvorvidt han er indblandet i korruption i forsvarsministeriet".
"Vi mener, at i lyset af de positive tendenser i forsvarsministeriets udvikling, kan han (Hrytsenko) godt beholde sin post", sagde han og tilføjede, at flertallet af de deputerede er tilbøjelige til at tro på Hrytsenkos forsikringer om, at han ikke er involveret i korruption. UP.
The Associated Press
Friday, November 17, 2006; 3:37 PM
KIEV, Ukraine -- President Viktor Yushchenko's bid to include the word "genocide" in legislation on the Soviet-era famine that killed up to 10 million people in Ukraine ran into difficulties Friday from lawmakers seeking to water the bill down.
Some lawmakers allied to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, bowing to Kremlin complaints, proposed dropping the word and calling the 1932-33 Great Famine a tragedy instead.
krine's 450-member parliament failed to consider the bill submitted by Yushchenko and instead registered their own version.
The move is a blow to Yushchenko, who had personally lobbied lawmakers to pass his bill ahead of the Nov. 25 anniversary, saying Ukraine must have the courage to convince the rest of the world of its position.
The Great Famine was started by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin when he ordered the government to seize crops as part of a campaign to force Ukrainian peasants to join collective farms. The famine is already recognized as a genocide by 10 countries, including the United States, but such a move is strongly opposed by Russia.
Moscow has argued that the famine was part of Communist repression that also targeted other ethnic groups in the former Soviet Union and should not be considered a genocide against the Ukrainian people. Russia, the successor state to the Soviet Union, has been reluctant to tread too deeply on Soviet-era crimes.
Roman Zvarych, Yushchenko's representative in parliament, criticized attempts to water down the bill.
"A tragedy is not necessarily a planned action. It can be caused by natural reasons," said Zvarych, noting that if Yanukovych's allies do not want to recognize the famine as genocide, they must say it openly.
Yanukovych's ally Taras Chornovil, however, said that ultimately he thinks Yushchenko's bill _ with the word "genocide" _ will be supported. "Some lawmakers just need time to study the real facts about the famine," Chornovil told The Associated Press. "Recently, they've gotten a lot of confusing information."
Ukrainian Communists also strongly oppose declaring the famine a genocide.
Yanukovych's pro-Russian party won March parliamentary elections and formed a governing coalition, pledging to improve relations with Russia.
Eurasia Daily Monitor
November 13, 2006
Gazprom is moving rapidly to take over Ukraine's gas transport system through its monopolist offshoots in Ukraine: RosUkrEnergo and UkrGazEnergo. The immediate target is Ukraine's internal gas distribution network, although the transit system is being targeted as well.
This month, on the threshold of winter, RosUkrEnergo's front company, UkrGazEnergo, has refused to sign supply contracts with 16 Ukrainian companies, many of which distribute gas in Ukraine's oblasts. The apparent goal is to take them over by creating Russian-controlled joint ventures with them.
This could not have come as a surprise. Already in September, RosUkrEnergo had announced plans to buy stakes in the gas distribution systems of seven of Ukraine's oblasts (out of 26) and place them under UkrGazEnergo's management, as a first stage in its intention to bring Ukraine's distribution system under Russian control. Conveniently for Gazprom, the Aval Bank -- a Ukrainian subsidiary of Austria's Raiffeisen Bank, which represented RosUkrEnergo from the outset -- was entrusted with appraising those companies' assets (Action Ukraine Report, September 14; see EDM, September 15 or 16).
This is the first planned stage in a systemic takeover, and the number of targeted Ukrainian companies is growing. On November 10, Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko confirmed that RosUkrEnergo intends to take over 16 companies. Boyko describes this method as normal and "civilized," citing Gazprom's practices in certain European countries. "We take the same path," Boyko averred, ignoring the EU's anti-monopoly policy and the opposition of many European governments to that type of arrangement with Gazprom ("2000" [Kyiv] cited by Interfax, November 10).
Apparently, gas-dependent Ukrainian factories might increase the number of targets for hostile takeovers by Russian interests and their local auxiliaries. According to Deputy Prime Minister for Fuel and Energy Andriy Klyuyev, $130 per 1,000 cubic meters (the price to take effect in 2007) is a high price that Ukraine's economy is not yet prepared to afford. With Ukraine's export-oriented chemical industry particularly affected, Klyuyev suggests resorting to a "merger of the chemical enterprises with the suppliers of gas" as a means of capping the price of Russian-delivered gas. Moreover, Klyuyev insists that UkrGazEnergo's stoppage of deliveries to those companies is a "purely commercial issue" beyond the government's remit (Interfax-Ukraine, November 7). On that same day in Moscow, Gazprom was identically characterizing as "pure commerce" its move to take Georgia's trunk pipeline under the threat of stopping gas deliveries (see EDM, November 9).
According to National Security and Defense Council Secretary Vitaliy Hayduk, those 16 Ukrainian companies risk either being forced to a halt or being forced to change owners. The NSDC plans to discuss the situation at an urgent session (One Plus One TV [Kyiv], November 12). Hayduk was a critic of the January 2006 gas agreements that paved the way to this situation.
Gazprom also seems to contemplate absorbing Ukraine's state oil and gas company, Naftohaz Ukrainy, through RosUkrEnergo. Chuychenko proposes that Naftohaz Ukrainy join RosUkrEnergo's stockholders. Gazprom board member and RosUkrEnergo co-managing director Konstantin Chuychenko proposes that Naftohaz Ukrainy become a stockholder in RosUkrEnergo. Gazprom holds a 50% stake in RosUkrEnergo and claims unverifiably that two Ukrainian partners of Gazprom hold the remainder. Merging Naftohaz into a network of Gazprom-controlled structures looks like a first step toward its absorption by Gazprom, whose ultimate target is Ukraine's Naftohaz-operated gas transit system.
Airing this proposal in the leading newspaper of Switzerland (where RosUkrEnergo is nominally based), Chuychenko also explains the three-stage monopolistic arrangements whereby Russia supplies gas to Ukraine: Turkmenistan sells the gas exclusively to Gazprom; Gazprom sells that to [its creation] RosUkrEnergo as the exclusive supplier to Ukraine; and RosUkrEnergo sells that gas to [its creation] UkrGazEnergo as the exclusive distributor within Ukraine. In the first stage, Gazprom buys the Turkmen gas at $100 per 1,000 cubic meters; RosUkrEnergo operates the transit through Gazprom's pipelines, at a cost of $25 per 1,000 cubic meters for the entire distance to the Ukrainian border; and there, RosUkrEnergo sells the gas to UkrGazEnergo. With the price of $130 in 2007, RosUkrEnergo reckons to make $5 in profits for each thousand cubic meters of gas delivered (Neue Zuercher Zeitung, November 10).
While Chuychenko's information on the profit margin must not be taken at face value, his description of the mechanism is realistic. In 2007, this mechanism will deliver no less than 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine -- a deceptive way to provide for "energy security," designed to pave the way for massive transfers of assets to the supplier.
As Hayduk observes, it is "nonsense" to speak about "market
relations between commercial entities" when RosUkrEnergo is a
monopolist representing the Russian state. As long as this is the case,
the NSDC and Presidential Secretariat take the position that
Russia-Ukraine gas relations should properly be handled at the inter-state
level (One Plus One TV, November 12). Meanwhile, parliament and public
opinion are still in the dark about the details of the October 24 supply
agreement signed by Boyko in Moscow. This would seem to be an issue made
to order for the Presidency and Yulia Tymoshenko to close ranks in the
Nov 24, 2006, 19:00 GMT
By Stefan Korshak
KYIV - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is a good deal more enthusiastic about his country's prospects to become a NATO member than most of his countrymen - and even he is not brimming over with enthusiasm.
'Our country may consider joining NATO someday,' Yushchenko conceded in a recent interview. 'But it won't be any time soon.'
Subjugated for centuries by NATO's traditional opponent, Moscow, and right next to new NATO members Hungary and Poland on the map, Ukraine is seen by many in Europe to be the alliance's logical next member.
Very few Ukrainians share that opinion, however.
'Most of our population grew up during the Soviet Union, and we thought we were building Communism,' explained Oleh Dimitriev, a Kharkiv-based political researcher. 'We were brought up to believe NATO was our enemy, and you cannot erase all those years of education overnight.'
Less than a third of Ukrainians believe their country would be safer if it joined NATO, and around half (the exact percentage depending on the survey company) consider NATO not a defensive alliance, but an offensive one, according to surveys.
Ukrainians overwhelmingly opposed the NATO bombings of Serbia in the 1990s, true to the regional tradition that Orthodox Christian Slavs should support other Slavs if attacked by outsiders.
The Ukrainian attitude also reflected latent hostility to any powerful European nation imposing its will on a weaker one - a fate suffered by Ukraine repeatedly over the last century.
NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in a recent speech in Riga delicately described the difference between the way countries like Ukraine see NATO, and how Brussels views itself, as a 'lack of information.'
Certainly, NATO officers in Ukraine have been busy of late. NATO nation warships have practised 'peacekeeping operations' with Ukraine's navy - at a swoop providing the cash-strapped Ukrainian military funds for a few ships actually to sail out of port, and of course infuriating Russia.
NATO experts have worked with Ukraine's military leadership for years on figuring out ways to reduce Ukraine's bloated Soviet-era army. By no coincidence, the Ukrainian military's top leadership is generally pro-NATO.
But Ukrainian media have not just energetically repeated NATO press releases, but also reported extensively on the difficulties faced by neighbouring Poland and Hungary after they joined the Atlantic alliance.
'Do we want our boys sent to die someplace hot? Can we afford it?' blared an article in the Kieveskie Vedemosti newspaper, describing the Polish government's problems in finding sufficient troops and government funding to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2003, Ukraine sent 1,500 infantrymen as part of the international Iraq occupation force, to be stationed in the predominantly Shia province of Wasit. It was supposed to have been an excellent way to ease Ukraine's military into NATO-standard combat operations.
The results are unlikely to convince many Ukrainians that NATO- style military expeditions are a good idea. Ukraine withdrew its brigade from Iraq in October 2005, having seen 23 of its soldiers killed and dozens injured.
The US military - incorrectly - accused Ukrainian troops of deserting their positions. Iraq's insurgents stopped attacking the Ukrainians from the moment Yushchenko announced Ukraine was pulling its troops out of the country.
Then there is Russia. The official NATO position on Russia is, of course, that the alliance has moved on beyond the Cold War, that there is plenty of military cooperation between Moscow and Brussels, and that countries should join or not join NATO not because of fears of Russian invasion, but because they want to be part of the world's leading security alliance.
All of which falls quite flat indeed in Ukraine. This is a country that not only gained its independence sixteen years ago by defying none other than the Kremlin; it is also a nation where close to half the population speaks Russian as a first language.
'The question of how 'Russian' we Ukrainians want to be colours just about every debate in this country,' said Kyiv journalist Taras Kovalchiuk. 'The 'Russian question' is everywhere in Ukraine - real estate prices, the sport of football, ladies' fashion, who gets tax breaks, fuel prices, media rights, whatever you want.'
'Until we Ukrainians decide what terms we want to be on with Russia, how could we possibly consider alliance with the West?' he asked, expressing a commonly-held viewpoint.
The Kremlin for its part has always played hard-ball with former Soviet republics and did so even in the beginning stages of NATO courtship.
NATO-enthusiast Georgia has been the most recent target and has, over the past six months, seen Russia cut off most trade ties, evict thousands of Georgian nationals, and threaten a doubling of energy rates - all in retaliation for Tbilisi's overtures to the Atlantic Alliance.
'Certainly Ukraine will consider joining NATO,' opined Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's pro-Russia Prime Minister, in heavy understatement. 'But just right now, the time is not right.'
12 November 2006 marked 100 days since Viktor Yanukovych's appointment as Premier of the coalition Government. It has become customary in Ukraine to use this period as an opportunity for an early appraisal of a Government's performance. Since constructive criticism is an essential part of the democratic process and criticism of the Government inevitable in a democratic society, analysts at the ICPS have made their contribution to the discussion. The main task for a strong Government is not only to be able to accept this criticism, but also to learn from its mistakes
The current Government is the first one to operate since amendments to the Constitution came into force on 1 January 2006. However, it has fallen into many of the same traps as earlier Governments.
Trap #1: No clear plan for the future
For most of its first 100 days in office, the new coalition seems to have spent more of its energy on consolidating power for itself. The only public policy documents that it had before taking office were the three parties--election platforms, the agreement to form an "anti-crisis" coalition, and the Manifesto of National Unity. However, all three documents are filled with general concepts that shed little light on the practical steps that the Government intends to take.
Without a clear strategy for action agreed by the coalition partners, the Government itself often does not seem to know what it wants to do. By not presenting a clear plan of action, the Government has allowed people to come to their own conclusions about its policies. In particular, it has fuelled suspicion among its opponents that it is only concerned with promoting its own business interests at the expense of most other social and economic spheres. In short, if the Government does not establish goals and criteria by which it should be judged, others will establish such criteria-and not in the Government's favor.
Without a clear, comprehensible program, the Government will be criticized, even if it makes absolutely successful decisions, as voters will not understand the logic of these decisions. For example, although the Cabinet has significantly improved the relations with Russia, the opposition is still very critical of the Russian vector in foreign policy. The lack of a clear Government position on just how far economic and political cooperation with Russia will go and which forms it will take arouses suspicions that the Cabinet is ready to sell out national interests on strategic issues.
Trap #2: No consultation with interest groups
In most instances, the Government continues to see consultation processes as a formality rather than as a truly useful tool for gathering information about the positions of key stakeholders that can then be used to develop policy that is more likely to gain broad acceptance among voters.
A very good example of this was the Draft 2007 State Budget, which was made publicly available for discussion just one day before the Verkhovna Rada was scheduled to vote on it. As a result, the Draft Budget became the focus of criticism from many interest groups. Much of this public criticism could have been avoided had informal consultation mechanisms been employed beforehand. This mistake has been repeated with many economic decisions, especially with the re-introduction of special economic zones (SEZs) and restrictions on grain exports.
The Government often replaces the necessary democratic procedures with "the will of the people" and public opinion. For example, although the Premier's statement that Ukraine would not join the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2006 may have reflected broad public opinion, it was not agreed with other government institutions, such as the Presidential Secretariat or the Ministry of Defense. This drew strong public criticism of the Premier from these bodies. It also created an impression among Ukraine's international partners that the Government is disorganized and is unable to coordinate a clear policy among different domestic interest groups.
The continuing tug-o-war over the Bill on the Cabinet of Ministers and the Bill on the Opposition suggests that, rather than engaging in consultations that might find consensus among different political forces, the Government has tried to impose its own vision of this issue and so it remains deadlocked.
ICPS analysts are convinced that strictly formal consultations that have no impact on the decision-making process also damage the Government and the state. Firstly, the quality of the decisions made by the Government is worse because these do not adequately take into account the interests of important stakeholders. Secondly, they generate anger and frustration among various interest groups. A good example is when grain traders filed a claim with the courts after the Government slapped quotas on grain exports.
Trap #3: Opaque decision-making
Over its first 100 days, the Government has often failed to explain the procedures it uses to make decisions or to justify these decisions convincingly. The most obvious case was its negotiations with Russia over the price for gas in 2007. The Government has still not provided any essential information about the substance of these talks. On one hand, it is natural that the details of negotiations remain secret until a deal is struck. On the other, the closed format in which these negotiations took place has caused significant concern.
The danger is not only that Ukraine will end up with another gas deal that is not in its best interests. Even if the Government managed to get what it considers a "normal" price for gas in 2007, it is unlikely to convince the public that it has done so. Most people are either confused or concerned by the limited and conflicting information they are receiving. At the same time, the Government has done little to prepare the public for continued increases in the price of gas. The murky deal has thus created a situation where the price of natural gas will continue to be a politically divisive issue in Ukraine.
Jockeying for power vs long-term growth
Over its first 100 days, many of the Government's actions appear to have been motivated more by an ongoing struggle for power between the President and the Premier than by long-term strategic plans for the country's development. One victim of this struggle is the reform of the civil service. The Cabinet has refused to implement it, that is, to divide administrative and political positions in the civil service and to introduce the institute of the State Secretary, for fear that this could strengthen the position of the President.
The Government seems to be similarly motivated in discussing the Bill on the Cabinet of Ministers, in adopting personnel-related decisions, and even in setting up the coalition. Carried away by the struggle for power and making decisions based on political considerations alone, the coalition and the Government are committing a double mistake. Firstly, these actions provide the opposition with excellent fuel for criticism. Secondly,-and this is the more important point-, voters are inevitably becoming disgruntled as they see that making effective decisions is not a top priority for this Government.
The Government needs to work better with voters
As a result of its actions over 100 days, the Yanukovych Government is already at risk of becoming just as ineffective and unpopular as earlier Ukrainian Governments. The Government cannot return to the administrative chain-of-command, but it also has not learnt how to govern in an open political system, with stronger parties, a free press and a more demanding electorate. If the Yanukovych Government does not learn how to interact better with voters, it is unlikely to be considered successful over the longer term, even if the economy continues to grow.
233 ukrainske parlamentsmedlemmer (der skal 226 til et flertal) vedtog i dag præsident Jusjtjenkos lovforslag om Hungersnøden i 1932-33. 2 medlemmer af Regionernes Parti (Hanna German og Taras Tjornovyl) stemte for resolutionen, desuden stemte 118 fra Julia Tymoshenkos fraktion, 79 fra "Vores Ukraine", 30 socialister og 4 løsgængere for. Regionernes parti og kommunisterne undlod at stemme.
Lovforslaget om Hungersnøden var blevet fremsat af Ukraines præsident. De folkevalgte havde inden afstemningen ændret ordlyden af lovforslaget, idet omtalen af Hungersnøden som "et folkemord på den ukrainske nation" blev ændret til ""et folkemord på det ukrainske folk".
I det vedtagne lovforslag er det også nævnt, at en offentlig benægtelse af Hungersnøden i Ukraine i 1932-33 "er retsstridig, en forhånelse af mindet om millioner af ofre for Hungersnøden og en ærekrænkelse af det ukrainske folk".
Som bekendt havde præsidenten i sit lovforslag ønsket et forbud mod offentlig benægtelse af Hungersnøden.
På sin side havde Regionernes parti fremsat et lovforslag, som skulle betragte folkemordet som "forbryderiske handlinger udført af det totalitære og undertrykkende Stalin-styre rettet mod masseudryddelsen det ukrainske og andre folk i USSR som følge af den kunstigt fremsatte Hungersnød i 1932-33".
Regionernes parti insisterede også på at fjerne ordet "forbud" fra den del af lovforslaget, som omhandlede den offentlige benægtelse af Hungersnøden.
Inden afstemningen satte parlamentsformand Oleksandr Moroz de to lovforslag - fra præsidenten og fra Regionernes parti - til afstemning særskilt.
Samtidig sagde souschef i præsidentens sekretariat Ivan Vasynjuk, at præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko vurderer vedtagelsen af en lov om Hungersnøden for at være et historisk skridt, som konsoliderer det ukrainske folk.
"Præsidenten anser dagens beslutning i parlamentet for at være et historisk skridt, hvorved det ukrainske parlament tilbagebetaler det, som det skylder mindet om de generationer, der ikke overlevede denne Hungersnød", sagde Vasynjuk ifølge UNIAN.
Ifølge ham betyder kriminaliseringen af benægtelsen af Hungersnøden som et folkemord på det ukrainske folk, at sådanne personer vil stå til ansvar efter loven.
Vasynjuk tilføjede, at spørgsmålet om ansvaret for en overtrædelse af denne lov kræver et nærmere studium. Ifølge ham vil der blive brug for at føje ændringer til andre love, som regulerer ansvaret for en overtrædelse af denne lovs normer. UP.
Parlamentet i Ukraine har erklæret en hungersnød under sovjettiden for folkemord.
Ifølge historikere skabte den sovjetiske leder Josef Stalin hungersnøden ved at konfiskere de ukrainske bønders høst, hvorefter han tvang dem ind i de kollektive landbrug.
Op mod 7,5 millioner mennesker døde under hungersnøden i 1932-1933.
Lovforslaget var fremsat af den pro-vestlige præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko. Det ses som et vigtigt skridt i forsøget på at få FN til at godkende hungersnøden som et folkemord.
Men lovforslaget truer også med at ødelægge det i forvejen spændte forhold til Rusland.
Idet Ukraines parlament – Verkhovna Rada - ærer mindet om de millioner af
landsmænd, som blev ofre for Hungersnøden i 1932-33 og dens
ærer alle de borgere, som overlevede denne frygtelige tragedie for
det ukrainske folk,
vedkender sig den moralske forpligtelse overfor de forgangne og
kommende generationer af ukrainere, samt anerkender nødvendigheden af at
genskabe den historiske retfærdighed og befæste samfundets afvisning af
en hvilken som helst form for vold,
understreger, at Hungersnødtragedien i 1932-33 i Ukraine igennem
mange årtier blev fortiet på officielt plan af det sovjetiske styre,
fordømmer det totalitære sovjetiske regimes kriminelle
handlinger, som tog sigte på at fremkalde en hungersnød, hvis følge
blev udryddelsen af millioner af mennesker, tilintetgørelsen Det
ukrainske folks sociale base, dets århundredelange traditioner, åndelige
kultur og etniske egenart,
føler med andre folkeslag i det tidligere USSR, som også led tab
værdsætter det internationale samfunds solidaritet og støtte i
fordømmelsen af Hungersnøden i 1932-33 i Ukraine, navnlig parlamenterne
i Australien, Argentina, Georgien, Estland, Italien, Canada, Litauen,
Polen, USA og Ungarn, samt den under FN’s Generalforsamlings 58. session
offentliggjorde officielle erklæring i anledning af 70-året for
Den store Hungersnød i Ukraine i 1932-33, som blev tiltrådt af
Argentina, Azerbajdzhan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bosnien og
Herzegovina, Guatemala, Georgien, Egypten, Iran, Kazakhstan, Canada,
Qatar, Kirgizistan, Kuwait, Makedonien, Mongoliet, Nauru, Nepal, De
forenede Arabiske Emirater, Pakistan, Peru, Sydafrika, Korea, Moldova,
Rusland, Saudi-Arabien, Syrien, USA, Sudan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan,
Timor-Leshti, Uzbekistan, Ukraine og Jamaica, samt støttet af Australien,
Israel, Serbien og Montenegro og de 25 EU-medlemslande,
med udgangspunkt i de anbefalinger, som er givet af parlamentshøringen
til mindet om ofrene for Hungersnøden i 1932-33, det ukrainske parlaments
resolution af den 6. marts 2003 samt dets ekstraordinære møde den 14. maj
2003 til mindet om ofrene for Hungersnøden i 1932-33, tiltrådt af
Ukraines parlaments resolution af den 15. maj 2003, hvori Hungersnøden
betegnes som et folkemord på Det ukrainske Folk og en udløber af det
totalitære og repressive stalinistiske regimes overlagte handlinger, som
tog sigte på at udrydde en del af det ukrainske folk og andre folkeslag i
det tidligere USSR,
anerkender Hungersnøden i Ukraine i årene 1932-33 som en målrettet
masseudryddelse af mennesker i henhold til Konventionen af den 9. december
1948 vedrørende forebyggelse af folkemord og strafansvar herfor,
vedtager det herved følgende lov.
Hungersnøden i Ukraine i årene 1932-33 var et folkemord på det
offentlig benægtelse af Folkemordet i Ukraine i årene 1932-33 betragtes
som en forhånelse af mindet om millioner af ofre for Hungersnøden og en
ærekrænkelse af Det ukrainske Folk, og er dermed en strafbar handling.
§ 3. De
statslige og lokale myndigheder er indenfor deres kompetence forpligtet
at deltage i udformningen af og implementeringen af statens politik
hen imod genskabelsen og bevarelsen af Det ukrainske Folks nationale
at medvirke til en konsolidering og udvikling af den ukrainske
nation, dens historiske bevidsthed og kultur, udbredelse af kendskabet til
Hungersnøden i Ukraine i årene 1932-33 blandt Ukraines borgere og
verdenssamfundet og sikre, at der bliver undervist i Hungersnødtragedien
i de ukrainske uddannelsesinstitutioner,
at arbejde for en forevigelse af mindet om ofrene for Hungersnøden
i Ukraine i årene 1932-33, herunder opførelsen af mindesmærker og
monumenter for Hungersnødens ofre i beboelsesområder,
at sikre, at forskningsinstitutioner, organisationer, forskere og
almindelige borgere, som studerer Hungersnøden i Ukraine i 1932-33 og
dens følger, får adgang til arkiver og andre materialer, der omhandler
Staten sørger for, at der kan gennemføres forskning i og tiltag hen imod
en forevigelse af mindet om ofrene for Hungersnøden i Ukraine i årene
1932-33 på grundlag af et landsomfattende program, som der skal afsættes
penge til i Ukraines statsbudget.
den status og de funktioner, som Det ukrainske institut for national
erindring skal have, samt at sikre instituttets finansiering via
statsbudgettet som en særlig nedsat regeringsinstitution, der beskæftiger
sig med genskabelsen og bevarelsen af det ukrainske folks nationale
Inden tre måneder
efter denne lovs ikrafttræden:
skal regeringen i parlamentet fremlægge forslag til en afstemning af
Ukraines lovgivning med nærværende lov,
skal regeringen justere sine dekreter og beslutninger i overensstemmelse med
skal regeringen sikre, at regeringsorganerne reviderer og ophæver de af
deres dekreter og beslutninger, som ikke stemmer overens med nærværende
Kyivs statsadministration skal den sørge for, at der i Kyiv bliver opført
et monument i anledning af 75-året for Hungersnøden i Ukraine i 1932-33
til mindet om ofrene for hungersnød i Ukraine.