30.11.05. Hanne Severinsens tale i Ukraines parlament (eng.)
30.11.05. Akhmetov stiller op for Janukovytjs parti
23.11.05. Janukovytj-støtte bange for at blive arresteret
23.11.05. Bush sender lykønskning til Ukraine
23.11.05. Tv-udsendelse afbrudt under Tymoshenkos tale
22.11.05. Jusjtjenko kan ikke regne med sine allierede i parlamentet (eng.)
20.11.05. Ukraine et skridt nærmere WTO
18.11.05. Rekordlav tilslutning til Jusjtjenkos regering
18.11.05. Gongadzes enke tilkendt erstatning i Strasbourg (eng.)
09.11.05. Lytvyn's blok som tilflugt for Kutjma-folk (eng.)
09.11.05. Ukraine forsøger at blive medlem af WTO før Rusland (eng.)
09.11.05. Gongadzes enke får tilkendt erstatning ved Menneskerettighedsdomstolen
07.11.05. Poroshenko den mest korrupte af de ukrainske politikere
03.11.05. Oleksandr Medvedjko udnævnt til øverste anklager
02.11.05. Yushchenko re-affirms Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic goals
02.11.05. Ukraines største virksomhed solgt til indisk magnat (eng.)
02.11.05. Lønefterslæb vokset med 60 millioner kroner
30.10.05. Ukrainernes tillid til Jusjtjenko falder
26.10.05. After the Orange Revolution: The U.S. and Ukraine
26.10.05. Public opinion poll results low for Yushchenko
25.10.05. Orange Revolution turns to rot
23.10.05. "Lytvyns Folkeblok" er en kendsgerning
22.10.05. Russia still gets it wrong on Ukraine
22.10.05. Moscow skillfully uses energy leverage to divide Europe
22.10.05. Den orange revolutions sponsorer
15.10.05. Jusjtjenko lover ikke at røre de ukrainske oligarker
14.10.05. Jusjtjenko afskediger rigsadvokaten
10.10.05. Betydningen af den politiske aftale mellem Jusjtjenko og Janukovytj (eng.)
06.10.05. Jusjtjenko: den politiske krise er slut
04.10.05. Uden Jusjtjenko bliver "Vores Ukraine" et marginalt parti
03.10.05. Danmark genåbner ambassade i Kijev
01. oktober 2005 03.54 Udland
Danmark genåbner sin ambassade i Ukraines hovedstad, Kijev. Det sagde Folketingets formand, Christian Mejdahl i går efter et møde med sin ukrainske kollega, Vladimir Litvin, rapporterer det russiske nyhedsbureau Itar-tass.
Ambassaden blev sammen med en stribe andre lukket i begyndelsen af 2002 kort efter, at Anders Fogh Rasmussens første borgerlige regering kom til magten. Lukningerne var en del af en større sparerunde i Udenrigsministeriet.
Efter oppositionsleder Viktor Jusjtjenkos sejr ved præsidentvalget efter den såkaldte orange revolution i slutningen af 2004 erklærede udenrigsminister Per Stig Møller sig parat til at genåbne den danske repræsentation.
De seneste meningsmålinger i Kiev viser, at Viktor Jusjtjenkos opstilling som nr. et på partiet "Folkeunionen Vores Ukraines" valgliste til foråret vil være af helt afgørende betydning for, om det lykkes partiet at opnå et godt resultat.
Ukrainsk valgbarometer 15-25. september 2005
Folkeunionen Vores Ukraine
med Jusjtjenko som spidskandidat
med en anden spidskandidat end Jusjtjenko
Julia Tymoshenkos blok
Det kommunistiske parti
Det socialistiske parti
med Volodymyr Lytvyn som spidskandidat
med en anden spidskandidat end Lytvyn
Natalia Vitrenkos blok
Ukrajinski Novyny, UP.
Præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko siger, at den politiske krise, som opstod i starten af september, er afsluttet. Ordene faldt under det økonomiske forum "Ukraine-EU", som finder sted i Lviv i dag.
"Jeg vil gerne forklare, at den krise, som opstod i Ukraine i starten af september - en politisk krise - i dag har udtømt sig selv. I går satte vi et punktum for den med regeringsdannelsen", sagde præsidenten.
Jusjtjenko gentog endnu engang sin kritik af Julia Tymoshenkos regering. "Dette år begyndte vi med en vækst i BNP på 6,5%. Vi havde opstillet et makroøkonomisk vækstmål på 9,3%... Efterfølgende blev vi nødt til at revidere denne indikator 2 gange, sidste gang var i juni. Tallene faldt med ca. 1,5 point om måneden, og i august havde Ukraine et minus i BNP-tilvæksten på 1,6%", sagde Jusjtjenko.
Præsidenten karakteriserede Tymoshenko-regeringens handlinger "som et rødt kort for, at de økonomiske processer har udviklet sig i den stik modsatte retning".
Jusjtjenko kritiserede også den forrige regerings told-, skatte- og investeringspolitik, samt situationen omkring afviklingen af de frie økonomiske zoner. "Venner, jeg vil gerne sige, at den nuværende regering i den nærmeste fremtid vil udforme et svar, således at deltagerne i de frie økonomiske zoner ikke føler sig forurettet... Sammen med regeringen deler jeg den ansvarlighed, som man bør have overfor den slags beslutninger og overfor jer", sagde han. Efter denne frase brød salen ud i klapsalver.
Ifølge Jusjtjenko kan en effektiv socialpolitik kun blive til virkelighed under en rationel økonomi, "hvor der på den ene side vil være sociale balancer, men på den anden side vil være en omsorg for erhvervslivet".
Jusjtjenko henvendte sig til alle de tilstedeværende med en appel om "i fællesskab at bekæmpe den pest, som går under navnet korruption". "Vi bør være partnere i dette spørgsmål", sagde han. UP.
Yushchenko signs deal with Yanukovych to get Prime Minister approved
By Taras Kuzio
The Ukrainian parliament confirmed Yuriy Yekhanurov as prime
minister on September 22 with 289 votes. His candidacy had been
rejected by parliament two days earlier when only 223 members of the
450-seat legislature voted for him (see EDM, September 21).
Without enough votes on his own, Yushchenko had to reach a
compromise with either former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko or the
centrists that had supported former president Leonid Kuchma.
Tymoshenko had held out a hand of friendship to Yushchenko after the
failed first vote, calling for them to conduct negotiations and "return
to our cooperation, our program" ( Ukrayinska pravda, September
21). Yushchenko needed a new prime minister after firing Tymoshenko
earlier this month.
Nevertheless, members of the business wing of Yushchenko's camp
refused any dealings with Tymoshenko. Acting Foreign Minister Borys
Tarasyuk, whose Rukh faction voted on both occasions for Yekhanurov,
said in Washington on September 20 that he hoped Tymoshenko and
Yushchenko would re-unite.
Instead, Yushchenko struck a deal with his rival for the presidency
in 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, head of Regions of Ukraine. The 50 votes
from the Regions of Ukraine faction, the second largest in parliament,
tipped the vote decisively in favor of a "yes" in the second
attempt. In the first vote, three Regions of Ukraine MPs had voted for
Yekhanurov and had, ironically, been expelled from the faction a day
Why did Regions of Ukraine accommodate Yushchenko in the second
vote? Regions had already expressed a willingness to work with
Yushchenko when they, alone among the hard-line opposition, signed the
bombastically entitled "Declaration of Unity and Cooperation for
the Sake of Ukraine's Future" after the removal of the Tymoshenko
Regions of Ukraine and Yekhanurov signed a ten-point declaration
that convinced the party to throw its weight behind the vote (
partyofregions.org.ua). The declaration, however, ties Yushchenko's
hands and leaves him vulnerable to charges of "betraying the
The ten points include support for constitutional reform, ending
"political repression" against the opposition, introducing
an amnesty, and preventing pressure on courts. Other points outline
the adoption of laws on local government, the opposition, the Cabinet
of Ministers, and the president of Ukraine. The government is to be
based on "professionalism and the separation of business from
politics," while the right to private property will be guaranteed.
Finally, there is a commitment to hold free parliamentary elections in
Why did Yushchenko take this potentially dangerous step towards
First, the outgoing government left the economy in crisis and
immediate action is needed. Economic growth had plummeted, inflation
was high, and high populist social spending depleted budgetary
Second, Yushchenko was losing high-ranking allies. He had signed a
decree reducing the unconstitutional additional powers of the National
Security and Defense Council and the state secretariat. Oleksandr
Tretyakov's positions as first adviser and the state secretary were
abolished. Tretyakov had been accused of corruption, but cleared by
the prosecutor's office.
Third, the deal with Yanukovych severely fractured the unity of the
hard-line opposition. The Social Democratic-United (SDPUo) and Regions
of Ukraine parties will now enter the 2006 elections separately,
rather than in the same bloc ( Ukrayinska pravda, September 22).
The Regions of Ukraine agreement with Yushchenko reveals how
shallow was the party's commitment to its "opposition"
stance. Regions of Ukraine had always reluctantly opposed Yushchenko,
because the oligarchs who supported it want to be on friendly terms
with the executive. Yanukovych praised the agreement as a major
victory for his party ( regionsofukraine.org.ua).
The reaction of the "Orange" opposition was predictable
and harsh. Outgoing First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko
described the agreement as a betrayal of the Orange Revolution. In
place of Tymoshenko, he argued, Yushchenko had brought in Kuchma and
Yanukovych. Tomenko advised Yushchenko to replace his campaign slogan
"Kuchma and Yanukovych -- Away!" with "Kuchma and
Yanukovych -- Yes!" ( Ukrayinska pravda, September 22).
The most alarming phrase in the declaration is "political
repression." By using the opposition's derogatory phrase,
Yushchenko implied that he agrees with the opposition that criminal
cases introduced this year against former Kuchma officials for abuse
of office, corruption, and election fraud qualified as
"repression." This decision, coupled with the declaration's
call for an amnesty, is highly controversial.
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (KVU), a widely respected NGO
involved in election monitoring, called upon Yushchenko to recant his
stated support for an amnesty for those who committed fraud in last
year's elections ( cvu.org.ua). The KVU wonders how the 2006 election
could be free and fair if the same officials who committed election
violations in 2004 are still in place
What does the new Yushchenko-Yanukovych alliance mean for Ukraine?
First, Tymoshenko will now claim the mantle of the true
representative of the Orange Revolution. Those who believe that
Yushchenko has "betrayed" the revolution will flock to her
side in the 2006 elections.
Second, the hard-line opposition that once challenged the president
has been split, as Yushchenko has co-opted almost the entire centrist
Third, the former Kuchma camp can claim a victory, as they were the
main backers of the impending constitutional reforms that weaken the
presidency -- and Yushchenko. The Kuchma camp and oligarchs also won
amnesty for election fraud and guarantees that re-privatization is
Fourth, Ukraine's relations with Russia will improve. (Tymoshenko
had been unable to travel there due to an open criminal case against
her.) However, Yushchenko's reliance on centrists, especially the
pro-Russian Regions of Ukraine, could derail Ukraine's desire to be
invited to join the process for NATO membership at the NATO-Ukraine
summit in May 2006.
This has been a turbulent week in Ukrainian politics. Yushchenko abandoned his principal ally from the 2004 presidential election, Tymoshenko, in favor of his principal adversary, Yanukovych. With some six months to go before the parliamentary elections, there is ample time for more maneuvering and more shifting alliances.
By Taras Kuzio
The Ukrainian parliament confirmed Yuriy Yekhanurov as prime minister on September 22 with 289 votes. His candidacy had been rejected by parliament two days earlier when only 223 members of the 450-seat legislature voted for him (see EDM, September 21).
Without enough votes on his own, Yushchenko had to reach a compromise with either former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko or the centrists that had supported former president Leonid Kuchma. Tymoshenko had held out a hand of friendship to Yushchenko after the failed first vote, calling for them to conduct negotiations and "return to our cooperation, our program" ( Ukrayinska pravda, September 21). Yushchenko needed a new prime minister after firing Tymoshenko earlier this month.
Nevertheless, members of the business wing of Yushchenko's camp refused any dealings with Tymoshenko. Acting Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, whose Rukh faction voted on both occasions for Yekhanurov, said in Washington on September 20 that he hoped Tymoshenko and Yushchenko would re-unite.
Instead, Yushchenko struck a deal with his rival for the presidency in 2004, Viktor Yanukovych, head of Regions of Ukraine. The 50 votes from the Regions of Ukraine faction, the second largest in parliament, tipped the vote decisively in favor of a "yes" in the second attempt. In the first vote, three Regions of Ukraine MPs had voted for Yekhanurov and had, ironically, been expelled from the faction a day later.
Why did Regions of Ukraine accommodate Yushchenko in the second vote? Regions had already expressed a willingness to work with Yushchenko when they, alone among the hard-line opposition, signed the bombastically entitled "Declaration of Unity and Cooperation for the Sake of Ukraine's Future" after the removal of the Tymoshenko government.
Regions of Ukraine and Yekhanurov signed a ten-point declaration that convinced the party to throw its weight behind the vote ( partyofregions.org.ua). The declaration, however, ties Yushchenko's hands and leaves him vulnerable to charges of "betraying the Orange Revolution."
The ten points include support for constitutional reform, ending "political repression" against the opposition, introducing an amnesty, and preventing pressure on courts. Other points outline the adoption of laws on local government, the opposition, the Cabinet of Ministers, and the president of Ukraine. The government is to be based on "professionalism and the separation of business from politics," while the right to private property will be guaranteed. Finally, there is a commitment to hold free parliamentary elections in 2006.
Why did Yushchenko take this potentially dangerous step towards Yanukovych?
First, the outgoing government left the economy in crisis and immediate action is needed. Economic growth had plummeted, inflation was high, and high populist social spending depleted budgetary revenues.
Second, Yushchenko was losing high-ranking allies. He had signed a decree reducing the unconstitutional additional powers of the National Security and Defense Council and the state secretariat. Oleksandr Tretyakov's positions as first adviser and the state secretary were abolished. Tretyakov had been accused of corruption, but cleared by the prosecutor's office.
Third, the deal with Yanukovych severely fractured the unity of the hard-line opposition. The Social Democratic-United (SDPUo) and Regions of Ukraine parties will now enter the 2006 elections separately, rather than in the same bloc ( Ukrayinska pravda, September 22).
The Regions of Ukraine agreement with Yushchenko reveals how shallow was the party's commitment to its "opposition" stance. Regions of Ukraine had always reluctantly opposed Yushchenko, because the oligarchs who supported it want to be on friendly terms with the executive. Yanukovych praised the agreement as a major victory for his party ( regionsofukraine.org.ua).
The reaction of the "Orange" opposition was predictable and harsh. Outgoing First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko described the agreement as a betrayal of the Orange Revolution. In place of Tymoshenko, he argued, Yushchenko had brought in Kuchma and Yanukovych. Tomenko advised Yushchenko to replace his campaign slogan "Kuchma and Yanukovych -- Away!" with "Kuchma and Yanukovych -- Yes!" ( Ukrayinska pravda, September 22).
The most alarming phrase in the declaration is "political repression." By using the opposition's derogatory phrase, Yushchenko implied that he agrees with the opposition that criminal cases introduced this year against former Kuchma officials for abuse of office, corruption, and election fraud qualified as "repression." This decision, coupled with the declaration's call for an amnesty, is highly controversial.
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (KVU), a widely respected NGO involved in election monitoring, called upon Yushchenko to recant his stated support for an amnesty for those who committed fraud in last year's elections ( cvu.org.ua). The KVU wonders how the 2006 election could be free and fair if the same officials who committed election violations in 2004 are still in place
What does the new Yushchenko-Yanukovych alliance mean for Ukraine?
First, Tymoshenko will now claim the mantle of the true representative of the Orange Revolution. Those who believe that Yushchenko has "betrayed" the revolution will flock to her side in the 2006 elections.
Second, the hard-line opposition that once challenged the president has been split, as Yushchenko has co-opted almost the entire centrist camp.
Third, the former Kuchma camp can claim a victory, as they were the main backers of the impending constitutional reforms that weaken the presidency -- and Yushchenko. The Kuchma camp and oligarchs also won amnesty for election fraud and guarantees that re-privatization is over.
Fourth, Ukraine's relations with Russia will improve. (Tymoshenko had been unable to travel there due to an open criminal case against her.) However, Yushchenko's reliance on centrists, especially the pro-Russian Regions of Ukraine, could derail Ukraine's desire to be invited to join the process for NATO membership at the NATO-Ukraine summit in May 2006.
This has been a turbulent week in Ukrainian politics. Yushchenko abandoned his principal ally from the 2004 presidential election, Tymoshenko, in favor of his principal adversary, Yanukovych. With some six months to go before the parliamentary elections, there is ample time for more maneuvering and more shifting alliances.
Præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko har afskediget rigsadvokaten Svjatoslav Piskun. Lederen af præsidentens sekretariat Oleh Rybatjuk oplyste, at Jusjtjenko havde underskrevet dekretet herom ved 11-tiden.
På spørgsmålet om de mulige årsager til Piskuns afskedigelse som rigsadvokat svarede Rybatjuk, at "der er mere end tilstrækkelig mange årsager til at afskedige rigsadvokaten". Samtidig føjede han til, at præsidenten vil redegøre for dem senere. Ifølge Rybatjuk har "vi sikkert sparet Piskun for at rejse tiltale imod sig selv, færdiggøre efterforskningen i løbet af en dag og sætte sig selv i fængsel, fordi han har været meget oprørt de sidste par dage".
Rybatjuk betegnede præsidentens afskedigelse af Piskun som "et normalt og rettidigt skridt".
Lederen af præsidentens sekretariat påpegede endvidere, at han har ført konsultationer med kendte og professionelle jurister om, hvorvidt det var muligt eller ikke for præsidenten at afskedige rigsadvokaten. Ifølge ham sagde juristerne, at en sådan afskedigelse er mulig, og de "underskrev endda et dokument".
Da pressen påpegede, at Piskun havde lovet at gå rettens vej, hvis han blev fyret, påpegede Rybatjuk, at Piskun også "havde lovet at opklare Gongadze-sagen".
Ifølge ham har Piskun som ukrainsk statsborger ret til at gå til domstolene. "Vi kan endda gætte os til, hvilken ret det så bliver", understregede Rybatjuk. Han ønskede Piskun "held og lykke i denne vanskelige sag".
Rybatjuk anser præsidentens beslutning om at fyre Piskun for at være "juridisk dadelfrit" og peger på, at såfremt sagen kommer i retten, så vil Ukraines præsident "vinder den".
Rybatjuk ville ikke svare på spørgsmålet om, hvem der kan afløse Piskun på posten som Ukraines rigsadvokat, idet han henviste til, at det er noget Ukraines præsident tager stilling til.
På sin side havde Svjatoslav Piskun kun skuldertræk tilovers for sin afskedigelse. "Det er da meget normalt. Gjort er gjort", sagde Piskun på et møde i rigsadvokaturen, oplyser 5. kanal.
Dagen forinden havde Piskun sagt, at hvis han bliver afskediget, så vil han indstævne præsidentens beslutning for domstolene. Som bekendt blev Piskun afskediget fra posten som rigsadvokat tilbage i 2003 af Leonid Kutjma, men genindsat i embedet af retten i Petjersk-distriktet i 2004.
I medfør af forfatningens § 122 bliver rigsadvokaten udnævnt efter en godkendelse i parlamentet og afskediget af præsidenten. Verkhovna Rada kan godt udtrykke mistillid til Ukraines rigsadvokat, hvilket medfører, at han må træde tilbage.
I henhold til lov om rigsadvokaturen kan rigsadvokaten blive afskediget, hvis Verkhovna Rada vedtager et mistillidsvotum mod ham, hvis hans embedsperiode udløber, hvis han ikke er i stand til at varetager sit embede af helbredsmæssige grunde, hvis han beklæder et andet embede samtidig, hvis han bliver sigtet, hvis hans statsborgerskab ophører eller hvis han indgiver sin afskedsbegæring. UP.
Præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko siger, at det ukrainske styre vil opføre sig korrekt overfor erhvervslivet og respektere ejendomsretten. Udtalelserne faldt på et møde med repræsentanterne for det tunge ukrainske erhvervsliv, oplyser præsidentens pressetjeneste.
"Styret bør først og fremmest opføre sig korrekt overfor erhvervslivet, respektere ejendomsretten og lære at beskytte denne ejendomsret", sagde Jusjtjenko.
"Min opgave består blot i at tilnærme styrets format til erhvervslivets format. Hvordan vi gør det - det vil jeg gerne have at vi drøfter sammen", sagde han og tilføjede, at det fremover vil være nødvendigt at udarbejde en regulær mødeform som den nuværende, gerne hver anden måned.
Præsidenten sagde, at han er overbevist om, at udformningen af en gensidig tillid mellem erhvervskredse og styret vil blive "den bedste gave" til staten i forhold til udviklingen af en videre økonomisk strategi for udviklingen af Ukraine.
Jusjtjenko forsikrede de tilstedeværende om, at han på sin side vil gøre alt for at forbedre den holdning, som styrets repræsentanter giver udtryk for overfor erhvervslivet.
"Jeg vil gerne garantere jer, at jeg vil gøre alt for at overbevise jer om, at holdningen til jer i løbet af de kommende 12 måneder vil blive ændret radikalt. Ingen vil forfølge jer og genere jer", understregede han.
Ifølge præsidenten kan man, såfremt man får en "politik med en gensidig tilnærmelse" fra styrets og erhvervslivets side, endvidere drøfte spørgsmålet om en amnesti til storkapitalen, en ny skattepolitik osv.
Præsidenten sagde desuden, at han er overbevist om, at styret og erhvervslivet, når de opnår en forståelse, har et stort potentiale for samarbejde i forskellige sfærer - lige fra den europæiske integration til løsningen af sociale spørgsmål.
Det drejer sig blandt andet om iværksættelsen af sponsorprogrammer omkring byggeriet af sygehuse, samt genopførelsen af kulturelle og historiske objekter.
Jusjtjenko kom også ind på nødvendigheden af en aktivisering af investeringspolitikken. "Vi bør gøre alt for at "kridte banen op" mellem styret og erhvervslivet og gøre spillereglerne klare og utvetydige.
1. næstformand for præsidentens sekretariat Ivan Vasyunyk oplyste på mødet, at Jusjtjenko havde pålagt regeringen om seneste en måned at udarbejde et lovforslag, som kan garantere ejendomsretten til de privatiserede selskaber.
"Det vil være et lovforslag, der vil kunne garantere ejernes rettigheder i forbindelse med privatiseringsprocessen fra 90'erne til 2004", sagde han.
Vasyunyk tilføjede, at lovforslagets ideologi og mekanisme vil blive fastlagt under udarbejdelsen af det. Ifølge ham vil dette lovforslag sætte et punktum for diskussionen om genprivatisering og blive et godt signal til udenlandske og ukrainske investorer. UP. Ukrajinski Novyny.
Tv-stationen Inters nyhedsudsendelse viste i går et klip fra mødet, hvor Jusjtjenko mindede de tilstedeværende om, at der skal betales skat.
tusinde $ overførselsdato
The Lynde and Harry
Bradley Foundation 500 03.07.2004
Foundation 750 18.07.2004 б/н
Boris 20.000 06.08.2004
Foundation 1.350 19.08.2004 б/н
"Naftohaz Ukrajiny 2.000 29.08.2004 Bojko Ju.
Forum 950 06.09.2004 б/н
Mott Foundation 1.450 15.09.2004 б/н
for Democracy 3.500 26.09.2004 б/н
The Ford Foundation 1.500 30.09.2004 б/н
"Ukrtatnafta" A/S 650 07.10.2004 Muratov R.
US Agency for
Development 2.300 28.10.2004 б/н
Zyuzeyevneft" 1.850 29.10.2004
The Soros Foundations 250 02.11.2004 б/н
Kilde: kopi af notat fra Det ukrainske sikkerhedspolitis fra 2004
The October 4 Russia-EU summit in London, as well as the talks Russian President Vladimir Putin held with Belgian leaders in Brussels on October 3 and with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on October 5, once again laid bare an important aspect of modern geopolitical realities: when global demand for energy grows steeply and world energy resources steadily peter out, the coveted hydrocarbons develop amazing strategic leverage. During his European tour the Kremlin leader has made clear that he is well aware of this fact and going to exploit it to the fullest.
The recent Russian-European encounter has also demonstrated the existence of two troubling trends in EU-Russia relations. First, while Russia and Europe drift closer to one another due to mutual economic interests, the two sides' understanding of some important political matters, including democratic values and rule of law, continues to diverge. Second, Russia seems as eager as ever to resort to the old tactics of divide-and-rule: even when Putin meets with the EU as a single entity, he still prefers to do business with the European leaders one-on-one, cutting advantageous bargains with the individual EU countries.
Most Russian analysts specifically stress Russia's growing significance for the EU not only as a key energy supplier, but, more importantly, as a principal guarantor of Europe's energy security. Moscow's pivotal role will only increase as the turmoil in the Middle East persists, and the offshore gas reserves in the North Sea continue to deplete.
Putin himself alluded to Russia being an "indispensable country," when he noted, at the London news conference, that about one-third of Europe's oil comes from Russia and that some countries depend on Russia for 90% of their gas. He added, however, that all the talk about Europe's rising dependency on Russian energy exports is exaggerated. But at the newly formed EU-Russia forum on energy cooperation, which met in London one day before Putin's arrival, Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko predicted that by 2020 up to 70% of Europe's total demand for gas would be met by Russian supplies. Some influential Western commentators appear to confirm the accuracy of this forecast. "Russia is a huge and expanding energy exporter and Western Europe is a large and expanding energy importer," British ambassador to Russia Anthony Brenton told journalists in Moscow.
A number of Moscow experts argue that, strategically, one of the most important outcomes of the London summit was the EU endorsement of the North European underwater pipeline project. It was a hard-fought victory, they add, as the bloc finally approved the construction of the pipeline running from Russia to Germany, despite the overt, fierce resistance on the part of the East European countries and the Balts.
In their talks, Putin and Blair reportedly discussed the possible extension of the North European pipeline to Britain via Belgium. Remarkably, at the time of the Kremlin leader's visit to Brussels, the Belgians announced plans to build a huge underground storage facility to contain Russian natural gas. While in London, Putin also met with a number of leaders from Western and Northern Europe who expressed their interest in increasing imports of Russian natural gas and building spurs leading from the main Baltic underwater pipeline to terminals in their countries.
The leaders from Eastern Europe ? seen as irreparably Russophobic by the Kremlin ? were conspicuously excluded from what is pompously billed as the EU-Russia energy dialog. "Russia is using energy to divide EU countries from each other," remarked one Western analyst gloomily. No wonder the situation looks differently from Moscow's perspective. The North European pipeline project, suggests a Russian expert, seems to "become a more effective instrument of Moscow's foreign policy in Europe than the Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany had been in the past."
Russia's deft usage of its enormous energy riches in pursuing both economic and political ends indeed poses a serious problem for the EU, as it reveals the bloc's inability to fashion a coherent common foreign policy, including a common strategy toward Russia. Symptomatically, on the eve of the London summit, a group of policymakers from Eastern Europe that included Bronislaw Geremek, currently a member of the European Parliament and former foreign minister of Poland, called on the EU countries' leaders "to abandon any private strategies in relation to Russia," adding that the Union "should not accept Russia's use of its energy resources as a means of exerting political pressure on its neighbors." It would appear, however, that for European heavyweights such as Germany and Britain, their energy security needs is the highest priority.
Naturally, Russian strategists positively view the growing decentralization of the decision-making process within the EU and the decrease in the European Commission's authority, interpreting these trends as the byproducts of the current EU crisis. They believe Moscow's interests will be better secured if the bloc continues to evolve more toward the liberal free-trade zone and away from the pan-European quasi-state model.
By Taras Kuzio
Russian leaders were delighted, even gleeful, when Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was fired in early September. Their unabashed gloating confirms that Moscow still does not realize why its interference in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections failed so miserably (see EDM, September 23). Instead, Russian officials have continued to look wistfully toward Ukraine.
Russian leaders believe that the ongoing political crisis could lead to Ukraine's disintegration or civil war between eastern and western Ukraine. If the country divides, Ukraine might return to Russia and end President Viktor Yushchenko's pro-Western foreign policy. These scenarios are decidedly wrong.
The 2004 presidential elections proved that Ukraine has changed since Leonid Kuchma was first elected president in July 1994. The 1994 vote followed a far deeper crisis, when hyperinflation and strikes by miners forced then president Leonid Kravchuk to call early presidential elections.
Throughout the 1990s the central issue of Ukrainian politics was statehood; that is, would Ukraine survive as an independent state. This issue was resolved in the 1999 presidential elections when Kuchma defeated the Ukrainian Communist Party leader.
The defeat of the main domestic threat to independence (the Communists) and the end to an external threat from Russia (after it recognized Ukraine's borders) changed the central issue of Ukrainian politics to what kind of state would be built. This would, in turn, directly influence Ukraine's integration either with the Commonwealth of Independent States (as a corrupt, oligarchic, authoritarian state) or with "Europe" (as a democratizing state).
During Kuchma's second term in office Regions of Ukraine (RU) replaced the Communists (KPU) as the leading pro-Russian party. Although both the KPU and RU are pro-Russian, they differ in that only Regions of Ukraine favors Ukrainian statehood. Thus the party shift was a positive development for Ukrainian stability.
Russia strongly backed then prime minister Viktor Yanukovych to succeed Kuchma in 2004. Yanukovych, however, denied that Russian President Vladimir Putin "came to visit me personally, it was not a strategy of my election campaign" (Washington Post, December 17, 2004). After Yanukovych's defeat, the Unified Russia party signed a cooperation agreement with Regions of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Communists have rapidly declined since the 1999 elections. Eastern Ukrainian voters have since shifted from the Communist Party, which now has only 11% support in this region, to Regions, which has 51.7% (Kyiv International Institute Sociology, September 2005).
Russian political commentators earnestly ? but wrongly ? believe that the current government crisis will re-orient Ukraine eastwards. The selection of Yuriy Yekhanurov as prime minister and Anatoly Kinakh as secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NRBO) are cited as "evidence" for this argument.
A political expert with the Moscow INDEM think tank believes that Ukraine's foreign "re-orientation" was inevitable. "Russia is the country from which money, and lots of it, comes to Ukraine. There is no way around this. Ukraine's economy depends heavily on Russia. All the talk about ?turning West' was euphoric. The fact is Russia and Ukraine have long and close ties that neither can do without" (Agence France Presse, September 27).
Russian political commentators have reached the wrong conclusions about Ukraine's crisis for three reasons.
First, their reliance upon Regions of Ukraine as their domestic ally gives them a regional, rather than national, view of domestic developments inside Ukraine. The Donetsk region, where RU has its main base of support, is different from the remainder of eastern Ukraine, let alone other regions of Ukraine.
Second, neither Kinakh nor Yekhanurov will re-orientate Ukraine's foreign policy towards Russia and the CIS. Nevertheless, Russian media claimed that Yekhanurov's September 30 visit to Moscow was tantamount to a "surrender" to Russia (Agence France Presse, September 30).
The Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya gazeta (September 30) wrongly concluded that Yushchenko was doing an about-face and returning to Russia. "This means de facto that the leaders of the ?orange revolution' have abandoned their earlier ideals. The Yushchenko team has turned back to the principles and methods for conducting foreign policy that characterized the Kuchma regime." Another Russian newspaper, Kommersant (September 30), believes that the Yekhanurov government will be "pro-Russian" because it "is closely linked to Russian capital."
Yekhanurov's ascent does not indicate a policy shift. He has been an ally of Yushchenko's since the latter was prime minister in 1999-2001. Moreover, the president, not the prime minister, formulates foreign policy. Two-thirds of the ministers in the Yekhanurov government are holdovers from the Tymoshenko government, including pro-Western foreign and defense ministers.
Interviewed on ICTV (October 2), NRBO secretary Kinakh continued to outline Ukraine's interest in only taking part in step one of the CIS Single Economic Space; that is, a free-trade zone. Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk reiterated this view during his September visit to the United States. While Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan support steps two (customs union) and three (monetary union), Ukraine continues to oppose both.
Third, Russia continues to get it wrong about Ukraine because it still sees the region as "Little Russia." According to new a poll by the Moscow-based Levada Center, 71% of Russians favor a unified state with Ukraine. Only 24% are against (UPI, September 28).
At the same time, the Russian population is more realistic than the ruling elites. Only 18% believe a union with Ukraine is realistic, with another 35% thinking it could take place in the distant future. Whereas 48% believed that a union was likely with Belarus, only 15% thought this was the case with Ukraine.
Many analysts suggest that Moscow might apply pressure to Kyiv using the threat of higher energy imports. But energy-supply discussions ahead of winter are a perennial problem that even pro-Russian states, such as Belarus, find difficult when dealing with Moscow. The same is true of Ukraine.
The September political crisis in Ukraine and change in government will not alter Ukraine's declared foreign policy goals of Euro-Atlantic integration. The success of this goal will be decided by the outcome of the March 2006 parliamentary elections. If pro-reform forces are able to overcome their personal divisions and create a parliamentary majority for Yushchenko, the country will support Euro-Atlantic integration. For now, the U.S. administration supports Ukraine's movement from Intensified Dialogue on Membership to a Membership Action Plan for NATO. What parliament does from 2006 to 2011 remains to be seen.
Lederen af Ukraines Folkeparti Volodymyr Lytvyn, formanden for Det ukrainske demokratiske bondeparti Valerij Vasjtjevskyj og formanden for den alukrainske venstrealliance "Retfærdighed" Ivan Tjyzh har indgået en aftale om dannelsen af valgforbundet "Lytvyns Folkeblok".
Ifølge aftalen skal blokken stille op til valget i 2006 på alle myndighedsniveauer. Folkepartiets kongres besluttede, at partiets næstformand Ihor Jeremejev skal repræsentere partiet i blokkens ledelse, oplyser UNIAN.
I resolutionen fra Folkepartiets kongres, som finder sted i Kiev i dag, fremhæves det, at partiorganisationerne skal være aktive i forberedelserne op til valget, og at de blandt andet bør styrke det informationsmæssige og agitatoriske arbejde med henblik på at forklare Folkepartiets politiske linje og afholde massemøder, hvor partiets holdning bliver præsenteret.
Partiets politiske eksekutivkomite skal udarbejde Folkepartiets valgmanifest, mens de regionale partiorganisationer skal udarbejde deres egne regionale valgprogrammer.
Beslutningen om at danne et valgforbund under navnet "Lytvyns Folkeblok" med et eget valgprogram skal vedtages på en flerpartikongres, som planlægges afholdt i den nærmeste fremtid. Forum
No bad deed, it seems, goes unrewarded. Ukraine President Viktor
Yushchenko recently received the Philadelphia Medal of Liberty and a
prize from Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs, both
honors bestowed for his efforts to advance democracy.
Ukrainians can be forgiven their puzzlement. Not long ago, they were ecstatic. Their Orange Revolution in the winter of 2004-2005 quashed an attempt by apparatchiks and oligarchs to preserve the corrupt status quo by rigging the presidential election. The revolution forced a new, closely monitored election, won by Yushchenko with his promises of democracy, economic reform and an end to cronyism and corruption.
But today, despite Yushchenko's continuing accolades outside Ukraine, hopes inside the country have been dashed. To survive a burgeoning corruption scandal and a major political fight between two of his top appointees, Yushchenko made a Faustian bargain. He joined in an alliance with Viktor Yanukovich, the Russian-backed candidate whose rigged victory in 2004 had touched off the revolution.
On one level, the disarray in Ukraine is not terribly surprising. Leaders of the Orange Revolution had little in common except their determination to scuttle the odious system erected by then-President Leonid Kuchma, who had chosen Yanukovich to succeed him.
But few supporters expected that less than a year after Yushchenko's election, his inner circle would be accused by his own chief of staff, Oleksandr Zinchenko, of massive corruption. Zinchenko resigned, but his charges triggered a barrage of mutual accusations and recriminations.
Yushchenko tried to contain the damage last month with a housecleaning that included the removal of his two most powerful lieutenants. He fired the telegenic and popular prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, and accepted the resignation of Petro Poroshenko, secretary of the Security and Defense Council. The two had been locked in a struggle to advance their political power and their own economic interests.
Tymoshenko's camp retaliated, accusing Yushchenko of accepting millions of dollars to finance his presidential campaign from the exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. The president's acolytes accused Tymoshenko of incompetence and corruption, even though Yushchenko had consistently praised her and the Cabinet's performance. The accusations sullied the reputations of both the president and the ex-premier.
Yushchenko ordered the state prosecutor's office to look into the corruption allegations, but he quickly undermined the investigation by insisting that members of his administration —though not his Cabinet — were above reproach. When the prosecutor agreed, finding no wrongdoing by administration officials, the public reacted with broad skepticism, just at a time when the government needed public trust above all.
In an effort to salvage the situation, Yushchenko appointed Yuri Yekhanurov as prime minister. Honest, pragmatic and nonpartisan, Yekhanurov had previously headed the Ministry of Economics and was widely seen as perfect man for the job. However, with Tymoshenko's bloc voting against him, he failed by three votes to win parliamentary approval.
Yushchenko then turned to his nemesis in the 2004 election, Yanukovich. The two men cut a deal. On a second parliamentary vote, Yanukovich's Party of Regions, which had abstained in the first vote, cast 50 votes to approve the new prime minister.
Yushchenko supporters were incensed. They had demonstrated for countless hours in the dead of winter to overturn Yanukovich's victory. Now their leader had not only bargained with him but agreed to halt any punishment of officials who rigged the first presidential election. Yushchenko gave an across-the-board amnesty to officials involved in falsifying the results of that election or who had since been accused of criminal misconduct.
This is tantamount to legitimizing criminal activity of the Kuchma-Yanukovich clan, and it further erodes Yushchenko's popularity and effectiveness.
We won't know what this means for Ukraine until the March 2006 parliamentary elections. Most likely, no party will win a majority. Yanukovich may then be courted by both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko. Should this happen, Yanukovich will rise from the ashes, imperiling Ukraine's reform, spooking foreign investors and increasing Russia's influence.
Ukrainians did not demonstrate in freezing weather to see this happen.
So many public opinion poll results have been released in recent days with such great variations that it is hard to know which may be closer to reality. However, if there is a single impression to be drawn from all the polls, it is that Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine coalition has a very difficult time ahead and little chance of forging a clear and decisive victory in the March 2006 parliamentary elections.
KYIV, Oct. 12 (FirsTnews) - Poll results released on Wednesday by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) show that most respondents would give the nod to Viktor Yanukovych's Regions of Ukraine party, if the elections were to have been held at the end of September.
The KIIS poll sampled 2015 respondents in 110 cities and towns of Ukraine from September 13-25.
In the party preference results, the top three groups were closely bunched with Regions getting the nod from 14.6 percent, Our Ukraine - 14.1 percent and Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc -13.7 percent. The only other parties with significant showings were the Communists - 6.6 percent and Socialists - 4.6 percent.
In comparison with a similar poll in June, Our Ukraine's rating dropped by 12.6 percent while the Tymoshenko Bloc increased by 3.1 percent.
Of those polled, 70 percent said they would have cast a ballot if the parliamentary elections had been held at the end of September.
Among the 70 percent that said they would vote, seven parties would have gathered enough votes to get past the 3 percent barrier for proportional representation in the parliament.
Among probable voters, 20.9 percent indicated their ballot would go to Regions, 20.1 percent to Our Ukraine, and 19.5 percent to Tymoshenko's Bloc.
These were followed by 9.5 percent who would vote for the Communists, 6.6 percent for the Socialists, 4.6 percent for Volodymyr Lytvyn's People's Party and Natalia Vitrenko's Progressive Socialist Party - 3.5 percent.
In a separate category that was based on poll questions relating to the relative trust-distrust rating of top leaders, Lytvyn's rating dropped by 15 percent, Yushchenko's by 28 percent and Tymoshenko's by 36 percent.
In a second poll, as reported by Interfax, Yanukovych's Regions party would receive 20.8 percent of the votes if the parliamentary elections were held today. The second poll's results were presented by Borys Sahalakov, research director of the All-Ukraine Sociological Service (AUSS) at a news conference on Wednesday.
The AUSS poll showed the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc would win 16.9 percent, the Socialist Party 10.3 percent, and the Communists 7.5 percent of votes.
Yushchenko's Our Ukraine coalition would muster only 6.8 percent of votes, with the People's Party drumming up almost exactly the same number.
The Progressive Socialist Party would win 4 percent and the Reforms and Order party 3 percent of votes, AUSS said.
Sahalakov explained the deterioration in the Our Ukraine standing with the statement, "The Party of Regions has an increasing number of supporters in the central part of Ukraine, which supported the incumbent president at the last presidential election."
Some Kyiv political observers chalk up the declining Our Ukraine ratings to a tendency of many Ukrainians to become disillusioned with those in power when discord continues for too long.
On Friday, October 14, The Washington Group (TWG), in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), hosted an "After the Orange Revolution: the U.S. and Ukraine" presentation. The speakers included David Kramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Taras Kuzio, visiting professor at The George Washington University. The event was held at 7:00 p.m. at SAIS in Washington, DC.
Moderated by Orest Deychakiwsky, Staff Advisor at the U.S. Helsinki Commission, the panelists assessed the contemporary situation in Ukraine, analyzed the effects of the Orange Revolution, and commented on the direction of U.S.-Ukraine relations for the near future.
As the evening's first panelist, Kramer highlighted the importance of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine's continued democratization, and its integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. Kramer explained that "The Orange Revolution has radically transformed the political dynamics in Ukraine. And it also had and still has significant ramifications for the whole region. All of us, not least the Ukrainian people, have a stake in Ukraine's continuing democratization and success, the development a market economy and rule of law and integration into global economic institutions and the Euro-Atlantic community."
Kramer remarked on his most recent trip to Ukraine with Anthony Wayne, the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. During the visit, the U.S. delegation met with Ukraine's government officials, including the Prime-Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, Presidential Secretary Oleh Rybachuk, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Secretary of National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Anatoliy Kinakh, and the Finance and Deputy Economic ministers. Meetings were also held with former Prime Ministers Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, former State Secretary Zinchenko and Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) deputies from a number of different factions.
According to Kramer, during their meetings with Ukraine's officials, the U.S. delegation delivered a consistent message that the United States continues to support Ukraine's reform efforts and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
"For our part, the United States' part, we stay ready to help support development of democracy, to help in anticorruption efforts and forward economic reforms. We'll cooperate closely with the Ukrainian government across a wide spectrum of issues. The joint statement that the two presidents, President Bush and President Yushchenko, signed in April focuses on concrete areas of our cooperation such as promoting democracy and freedom, fighting terrorism, supporting Ukraine's NATO aspirations and combating weapons proliferation and promoting economic reform. We also pledge to cooperate in fighting organized crime, trafficking in persons and other issues such as HIV/AIDS. We certainly have a full agenda with the Ukrainians," announced Kramer.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary pointed out that it is also necessary to remember that Ukraine has made significant progress since this past January. "The media operate more freely, respect for civil rights has improved and the court has become more independent", stated Kramer.
Commenting on the recent Ukrainian political turbulence, Kramer said that "no country has made the transition from communism to democracy and market economy without ups and downs. So, we need to have realistic expectations and to keep helping to steer Ukraine in the right direction. We [the U.S.] also said that there is a very urgent need to regain the momentum on vital economic reforms and to redouble efforts to combat corruption." During meetings with Ukraine's officials, the U.S. side also stressed the need to set side personal animosities, and to cooperate on issues that are vital for Ukraine's future.
Following Kramer's presentation, Kuzio analyzed the recent events in Ukraine, the public reaction to them, as well as the overall trends in contemporary Ukrainian politics.
According to Kuzio, it is incorrect to assess the recent crisis in Ukraine from two maximalist viewpoints - to either ignore it, or to emotionally exaggerate that the Orange Revolution has been betrayed. Ukraine's politics is also too complicated to blame only one side (usually Tymoshenko) for creating the crisis. Blame is to be shared between Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko.
Eight positive developments are currently taking place in Ukraine since the Orange revolution, explained Kuzio. Firstly, although the new government is a mismatch of various political factions, the new guard, unlike its Kuchma-era predecessor, is not pursuing violent means against those who oppose it.
Secondly, the Orange Revolution has empowered young people and reinforced civil society. Thirdly, there has been a great increase in media freedom. Fourthly, law enforcement is being brought under democratic control and corruption attacked.
Fifthly, according to Kuzio, there is a positive trend in that Ukraine is moving away from Eurasia's and the CIS's super-presidential system to a European, Central-European system. "Of the 27 post-communist states which have undergone democratic transition since 1991, the most successful have been those with parliamentary systems in Central Europe, not a presidential system. Ukraine is moving in its reforms towards the Central-European, Baltic model. And that's a good thing," said Kuzio.
Sixthly, Kuzio continued to point out that the political spectrum of Ukraine is radically changing, with the Centrist camp in an even worse mess than that of the Orange coalition. The Communists are on the decline. Seventh, corruption is beig dealt with, but not as much as one would have hoped. Finally, Russia and Ukraine's paths are diverging.
But, there are also areas to criticize. Overall, Kuzio believes that President Yuschenko has traveled abroad too much, and the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States should not have encouraged his most recent trip to America. Instead, Yushchenko should have focused more on Ukraine's domestic political crisis and getting his candidate for prime minister through parliament in the first attempt. Also, signing the recent memorandum with former Prime Minister Yanukovych was a strategic mistake.
Both Kramer and Kuzio agreed that the upcoming March 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary elections are crucial for Ukraine's future. Because of Constitutional reforms, the next parliament will be extended by one year, until 2011. "During that time basically Ukraine's fate is decided in terms of NATO, WTO and the EU. That's why Yushchenko has to work hard for the next few months," said Kuzio.
A question and answer period with the audience followed the discussion. Questions were asked about corruption in Ukraine, Ukraine's perspective membership in the WTO and the EU, Ukraine's treatment of the country's Jewish community, the problem of Ukraine's graduation from the Jackson-Vanik amendment, and the media situation in Ukraine were of special interest.
With regard to the Jackson-Vanik amendment, both speakers confirmed that the Ukrainian government has made significant progress in this area throughout the years, and that the U.S. Government supports the graduation of Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik.
Taking into account the positive achievements of the Orange Revolution, the speakers were generally positive about the medium-term prospects and possibilities for Ukraine's future. However, they expressed that the future will depend on the success of Ukraine's government policy and economic reforms which have been slowed recently and request the attention of President Yushchenko.
With almost every seat in the SAIS Rome Auditorium occupied, the event was very well attended. Among the attendees were Steven Pifer, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marcus Micheli, Senior Ukraine Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of State, and Eugene Fishel, Acting Division Chief at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department. A reception followed the event.
I oktober 2005 iagttages et fortsat fald i ukrainernes tillid til deres statsoverhoved. Det viser en meningsmåling, som "Social monitorering" har gennemført sammen med Det ukrainske meningsmålingsinstitut (UISD), oplyser LIGABiznesInform.
Sammenlignet med august-september 2005 er tilliden til Ukraines præsident i befolkningen faldet fra 51% til 44%. I oktober har man for første gang set, at andelen af borgere, der ikke har tillid til Viktor Jusjtjenko som præsident, overstiger andelen af dem, som har tillid til ham.
Samtidig har kun 8% af de adspurgte fuld tillid til Ukraines nuværende premierminister. 31% har snarere mistillid end tillid til ham, mens 15% ingen tillid har til premierministeren.
Valgforskerne fremhæver, at tilliden til Julia Tymoshenko inden hendes afskedigelse fra premierministerposten, lå på 50%, mens udgangspunktet for Jurij Jekhanurov, da han tiltrådte som premierminister, var på 39%.
Befolkningens tillid til parlamentsformand Volodymyr Lytvyn er faldet langsommere end hos de øvrige politikere, og i dag har således 46% af de adspurgte tillid til ham.
Meningsmålingen blev gennemført fra den 7. til den 15. oktober over hele Ukraine. 2117 respondenter over 18 år deltog i undersøgelsen.
I perioden januar-august 2005 nåede de manglende lønudbetalinger på det ukrainske arbejdsmarked op på 326,5 mill. UAH. Sidste år var tallet for den tilsvarende periode kun 261 mill. UAH. Det er de økonomisk aktive virksomheder, der er hovedskyldnerne. Det oplyste arbejds- og socialminister Ivan Sakhan i dag på et møde om overholdelsen af minimumslønnen, oplyser Liga.
Samtidig understregede den ukrainske arbejds- og socialminister, at de lokale myndigheder bør øge deres indsats for at legalisere lønudbetalingerne og hæve levestandarden for befolkningen i regionerne.
Ifølge Sakhan skal lederne af distrikterne og regionerne føre en dialog med de myndigheder, som enten udbetaler deres ansattes løn i kontanter eller giver et vederlag, som er under mindstelønnen. Hvis en sådan dialog ikke fører til resultater, så bør man se på disse virksomheder som lovovertrædere og tage de relevante forholdsregler i anvendelse. Liga
Wall Street Journal Europe
October 26, 2005
By ADRIAN KARATNYCKY
The Ukrainian government on Monday achieved its most important breakthrough since the Orange Revolution by selling off the massive Kryvorizhstal steel works in a live auction watched by millions on television.
The world's largest steel company, Mittal Steel Germany GMBH, acquired the Ukrainian mill for $4.8 billion -- $4 billion more than a consortium including former President Leonid Kuchma's son-in-law paid only 16 months ago in a rigged privatization. This week's sale reverses that injustice, and fills state coffers high enough to cover a fifth of the state's annual budget. In one move, Mittal increased total foreign investment in Ukraine since independence in 1991 by 50%.
All this couldn't come at a better time for President Viktor Yushchenko. In the aftermath of his dismissal last month of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other allies who stood beside him in the Kyiv cold against the Kuchma regime, critics have accused the president of abandoning -- if not outright betraying -- the Orange Revolution.
Mr. Yushchenko's actions in recent weeks answer his doubters. His new government includes many stalwarts of the Orange Revolution, including Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, and Justice Minister Serhiy Holovaty, who fought corruption and crime in the Kuchma era.
As part of the government shake up, President Yushchenko also sacked Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun, who is accused by the mother of murdered journalist Heorhiy Gongadze of protecting high-ranking former officials implicated in the killing. Gone, too, are several key Yushchenko aides, including former National Security Advisor Petro Poroshenko, whom critics charge with conflict of interest and efforts to promote the business interests of friends and allies, if not outright corruption.
Most importantly, President Yushchenko has used the government reshuffle to signal that the populist policies of Ms. Tymoshenko will be replaced by more business-friendly ones. He turned down Western advice to turn the page on rigged and corrupted privatizations and pressed forward with a new auction for Kryvorizhstal works. At the same time, he rejected suggestions that thousands of past privatizations be reopened. His pragmatic approach aims to redress the most egregious excesses from the past, but not in a way that hurts investment. He has also pushed deregulation to spur enterprise and, in a clear break with the Soviet past, unilaterally lifted visa requirements for European Union and North American visitors.
These policy corrections have piqued investor interest. In August, Austria's Raiffeisen Bank purchased Ukraine's Aval Bank for over $1 billion. Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who reaped hundreds of millions in profits from an investment in internet phone service Skype, has created a new $80 million fund, DFJ Nexus, to invest in Ukraine's high-tech sector.
Ending the disputes over who owns what is good for local business, too. Oligarchs like Rinat Akhmetov, whose System Capital Management lost its profitable stake in Kryvorizhstal, can now be more certain they will hold on to their other major enterprises. Mr. Akhmetov already benefits from this new transparency. According to published reports, he is readying to sell shares in his conglomerate on the London Stock Exchange, raising billions of dollars for new investments at home and abroad.
Taken together, these developments may give impetus to an economy that had slowed from 12% growth in 2004 to a projected 4% this year.
Over the past year, Mr. Yushchenko has made some crucial mistakes. He signed a political stabilization pact with bitter rival Viktor Yanukovych that hinted at broader cooperation with representatives of the discredited old regime. He signed a law that impedes the prosecution of virtually all elected officials down to the smallest town council member (even as he pledged to challenge the constitutionality of that very law in the Supreme Court). He waited too long while incompetent officials delayed the prosecution of high-ranking officials linked to the murder and harassment of journalists, to the rigging of last year's presidential elections, and to the plotting of his own murder. And he removed his former government team without adequate preparation, lurching from praise of its actions to sharp criticism and dismissal in a matter of days.
These missteps have eroded the broad public support that Mr. Yushchenko enjoyed after taking office. But as the March 2006 parliamentary elections loom, the president remains the country's most popular political leader. According to early polls, his parliamentary allies are likely to end up with 20-25% of the seats in the next Rada, which will see its powers strengthen next year when constitutional amendments come into force. Candidates loyal to Ms. Tymoshenko are likely to make up a further 20-25% of the next legislature, enough -- with smaller parties -- to give the old Orange Revolutionaries an opportunity to build the next government.
Angered at her dismissal, Ms. Tymoshenko vowed political revenge but kept a low profile. On Monday, she reemerged to watch the dramatic auction in person. Afterwards, she declared her intention to work with Mr. Yushchenko's Our Ukraine movement in a post-election ruling majority.
The odds of cooperation -- if not outright reconciliation -- between the estranged allies are high. In her seven months as prime minister, Ms. Tymoshenko supported hefty and unsustainable outlays for pensions and state employees. She tried to control meat, gasoline and other commodity prices. By late summer, with the economy slowing down, she began to adopt a more pragmatic, market-oriented approach, shelving her plans for far-reaching reprivatizations and lifting a cloud over Ukrainian business.
If the events of recent days are a sign of things to come, President Yushchenko will have weathered his first political crisis. For this country of 48 million so unused to pragmatic and effective rule, a re-energized presidency must count as good news.
And Mr. Yushchenko's fortunes matter beyond Ukraine's borders. In recent weeks, Russia's state-dominated media -- all too aware of the potential democratic contagion from the Orange Revolution -- played up the alleged chaos in the ranks of Ukraine's government. Other nations, from Belarus to Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan, are also watching this experiment closely. With the democratic transition in Ukraine back on track, this country's reformers need outside support. Europe can move quickly to declare Ukraine a market economy. The U.S. can remove decades-old and hopelessly outdated Jackson-Vanik sanctions that impede trade. The West as a whole can press for Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organization.
Mr. Karatnycky is counselor and senior scholar at Freedom House and a founder of the Orange Circle, a non-governmental initiative.
October 26, 2005
This week's auction of Kryvorizhstal steel mill was a resounding triumph for Ukraine's fledgling market economy and much-needed good news for Victor Yushchenko's government. The $4.8bn paid by Mittal Steel exceeded expectations and was achieved through a fair and open process. It will reassure investors unsettled this year by divisive government debates; it will also reassure Mr Yushchenko's restive supporters that he has the will to redress the wrongs of Leonid Kuchma's corrupt government.
The sale of Kryvorizhstal last year was one of the worst of some questionable post-Soviet privatisations. Foreigners were excluded from the auction, and the mill was sold for only $800m (Pounds 448m) to a group of local businessmen, among them Mr Kuchma's own son-in-law. It was therefore the most obvious candidate for reprivatisation. The more challenging question is what should be done next.
On a visit to London, and the Financial Times, last week, Mr Yushchenko was passionate in his insistence that the millions of people who came out on the streets in the Orange Revolution demanded and deserved a clean-up of Ukraine's corrupt shift of assets from the state to private hands. He is right, but this process must be strictly controlled, lest the remedy prove worse than the illness.
Ukraine's review of past privatisations must be limited in scope, governed by transparent rules and completed within a clearly stated, and very brief, time. Otherwise, the process risks being distorted by political vendettas, as with Yukos in Russia.
In an ideal world, each privatisation would be evaluated and addressed by an open, institutional process, possibly culminating in a windfall tax. But given the weakness and corruptability of state institutions in Ukraine, as in the rest of the former Soviet Union, it is unlikely the courts or any bespoke commission would be able to oversee such a process.
A less desirable - but more feasible - alternative is reprivatisation, a la Kryvorizhstal. Mr Yushchenko is wise to hold this possibility in reserve, while seeking to negotiate a settlement that takes account of the discrepancy between the price paid and the true market value of a few prize assets. Where companies are reprivatised, it is essential that the government compensate the original owners.
A few well-managed reprivatisations could raise much needed funds for the state and, by shifting ownership from a small clique of oligarchs, re-orient the economy into one that is more outward looking and internally competitive.
Achieving all this, and avoiding the mistakes that Russia made, will be challenging. But Mittal Steel's successful bid is the best possible start -tribute both to the global clout of Asia's diaspora entrepreneurs, and the real opportunities for credible international investors in post-Soviet states.
By Taras Kuzio
Eurasia Daily Monitor , Jamestown Foundation
Monday, October 24, 2005 -- Volume 2, Issue 197
Last week President Viktor Yushchenko took steps to re-affirm Ukraine's desire for Euro-Atlantic integration. "Ukraine is a European country. I will never accept the idea that it is not," he told London's Royal Institute for International Affairs on October 17 (UPI, October 17).
Western governments and international organizations heard these claims many times under former president Leonid Kuchma. But by his second term, they were seen as little more than empty rhetoric.
Ironically, some West European governments now fear that Yushchenko is actually serious in his endeavor to bring Ukraine into Euro-Atlantic structures. This fear is especially acute within "old Europe," where EU enlargement fatigue set in after last year's expansion.
The failure of referenda on a new EU constitution in France and the Netherlands, coupled with stalling over accession talks with Turkey, are products of this fatigue, and Ukraine's Orange Revolution did not ease this pre-existing condition.
The United States and Poland continue to be Ukraine's strongest supporters. The recent rightward shift in Poland's elections will only increase Warsaw's support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration (see EDM, September 30). Ukraine is set to create a joint battalion with Poland and Lithuania (UkrPolLitBat) based on the Ukrainian-Polish battalion (UkrPolBat) performing peacekeeping operations in Kosovo.
In London at the Royal Institute and in Kyiv at a joint Ukraine-NATO commission, Yushchenko outlined three phases for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic program.
First, Yushchenko hopes that the EU would grant Ukraine market economic status while Britain holds the rotating presidency. According to British Ambassador to Ukraine Robert Brinkley, London hopes that the EU will grant this status before the December EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv (Interfax-Ukraine, October 13).
Securing WTO membership should facilitate relations with the EU. Yushchenko predicted that market-economy status and WTO membership would lead to the signing of a Ukraine-EU free-trade agreement in 2006 (Ukrayinska pravda, October 20). Such a free-trade agreement would reinforce the limited nature of Ukraine's involvement in the CIS Single Economic Space.
Nevertheless, WTO Director-General Pascual Lami is pessimistic about Ukraine achieving WTO membership in December (Ukrayinska pravda, October 17). If Ukraine fails in its WTO drive this year, it will be because Yushchenko and his government did not sufficiently ensure that parliament adopted all WTO-required legislation before the summer recess on July 8 (see EDM, June 15, July 13).
Clouding the issue further is National Security and Defense Council Secretary Anatoly Kinakh's statement supporting a synchronized Russian-Ukrainian WTO membership drive (Ukrayinska pravda, October 10).
Second, Yushchenko plans to move from a NATO Intensified Dialogue on Membership Issues to a Membership Action Plan (MAP) in May 2006. Speaking at the Ukraine-NATO commission, Yushchenko was equivocal, "Arising from the fact that NATO is an active guarantor of stability in Europe, Ukraine is preparing for full membership in this organization" (Ukrayinska pravda, October 19).
NATO has reiterated its open door policy, which has always distinguished that institution from the EU. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer outlined Ukraine's membership in NATO as a stepping-stone to EU membership, as it traditionally has been for past aspirants. "NATO is ready to assist in providing all manner of assistance and support to this state [Ukraine] in this area," de Hoop Scheffer declared (Ukrayinska Pravda, October 19).
Scheffer and the chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Pierre Lellouche, both said that Ukraine had every chance of joining NATO in the future. But receiving a MAP in 2006 does not provide a membership date. Such a date is more realistically situated in Yushchenko's second term (2009-14), rather than the over-optimistic 2008 or 2009 put forward by Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and the Ukrainian media.
NATO has emphasized that it wants concrete action, not empty rhetoric. NATO specified three areas for Kyiv to target in addition to holding free and fair elections in 2006. Ukraine should also take more resolute action against corruption, improve the rule of law, and raise public support for NATO membership (Reuters, October 7). According to surveys by the Democratic Initiatives foundation, only one in ten Ukrainians know what NATO is and why Ukraine should join it (Ukrayinska pravda, October 19). One-third of Ukrainians support membership, one-third are opposed, while and the final third are unsure.
Third, EU membership remains the most difficult component of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration process. After a firm closed-door policy under Kuchma, the EU has slightly warmed toward Kyiv. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told visiting Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, "Our door remains open" (Financial Times, October 9).
In the same manner as NATO, Barroso reiterated the importance of "action" to back up membership goals. Specifically, Ukraine should "show its commitments to European values and standards," Barroso advised (AP, October 6).
Yushchenko is also hoping that the EU takes three steps: market economic status in 2005, a free trade regime in 2006, and an association agreement in 2008.
The September cabinet crisis has not altered Yushchenko's support for closing the gap between Ukraine's domestic policies and its foreign policy goals (see EDM, October 5). This determination makes Yushchenko different from Kuchma, who allowed a gulf to form between his pro-Eurasian domestic policies and his rhetoric in support of Euro-Atlantic integration.
Three concrete steps that might satisfy both the EU Commission President and the NATO Secretary-General would be for Kyiv to move urgently to appoint Ambassadors to the United States, Britain, and France, three key Euro-Atlantic countries.
Ukraines parlament Verkhovna Rada har godkendt udnævnelsen af Oleksandr Medvedjko til landets øverste anklager. 303 deputerede stemte for godkendelsen.
Fraktionerne "Et samlet Ukraine" og SPU undlod at stemme, mens Julia Tymoshenkos fraktion kun leverede tre stemmer. SPU begrundede sin holdning med, at Medvedjko angiveligt har været indblandet i forfalskningen af sagen om mordet på journalisten Ihor Aleksandrov.
Den 50-årige Oleksandr Medvedjko har siden juli 2002 arbejdet som vice-rigsadvokat. Indtil da havde han været 1. viceanklager for Luhansk-regionen. Fra 1980 til 2001 havde han arbejdet i statsadvokaturen i Donetsk-regionen.
Han er født i landsbyen Iskrivka i Akymivskyj-distriktet i Zaporizja-regionen. Han blev uddannet ved Kharkivs juridiske fakultet.
Medvedjko indgik i den kommission, som undersøgte og afsluttede sagen mod den tidligere sekretær for det nationale sikkerheds-og forsvarsråd Petro Poroshenko pga. mangel på beviser. Han har også stået i spidsen for efterforskningen af sagen mod korrupte politifolk og lejemordene på Vadym Hetman og Jevhen Sjtjerban.
I den senere tid har Medvedjko stået i spidsen for efterforskningen af sagen om mordet på Georgij Gongadze. UP.
Ukraines befolkning mener, at den tidligere sekretær for det nationale sikkerheds-og forsvarsråd Petro Poroshenko er den mest korrupte politiker. Det viser en meningsmåling fra instituttet "Ukrainian Sociology Service".
41,2% af de adspurgte anser Poroshenko for at være den mest korrupte politiker. På anden pladsen kommer den tidligere præsident Leonid Kutjma med 34,4%, lederen af partiet "Batkivsjtjyna" og tidligere premierminister Julia Tymoshenko med 28,1%, lederen af det socialdemokratiske parti og tidligere stabschef for Kutjma Viktor Medvedtjuk med 16,7% og lederen af "Regionernes Parti" og tidligere premierminister Viktor Janukovytj med 14,2%. Den siddende præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko indtager pladsen som den 6. mest korrupte politiker, idet han udpeges af 9,8% af de adspurgte.
Meningsmålingen blev gennemført i dagene 13-24 oktober. 1816 personer, der udgjorde et repræsentativt udsnit af befolkningen, deltog. "Novyj Region".
Den europæiske menneskerettighedsdomstol har i sagen "Gondadze mod Ukraine" afsagt kendelse til fordel for enken efter grundlæggeren af internetavisen Ukrajinska Pravda (forkortet UP), Georgij Gongadze.
I henhold til rettens beslutning skal staten Ukraine udbetale Myroslava Gondadze 100.000 euro i erstatning for økonomiske tab samt tort, hedder det i Europadomstolens pressemeddelelse. Europadomstolen fandt to eksempler på en overtrædelse af Den europæiske menneskeretskonventions § 2 "retten til liv" - nemlig de ukrainske myndigheders manglende evne til at beskytte Georgij Gongadzes liv samt fraværet af en behørig efterforskning af hans død.
Domstolen fandt også, at Den europæiske menneskeretskonventions § 3 - nedværdigende behandling - også er blevet overtrådt for så vidt angår Myroslava Gongadze.
Desuden har Den europæiske menneskerettighedsdomstol fundet, at konventionens § 13 om en effektiv retsbeskyttelse også er blevet overtrådt.
I Gongadzes begæring, som blev forelagt Den europæiske domstol den 16. september 2002, hævdede enken, at hendes mand Georgij Gongadze, var blevet bortført og myrdet, mens staten ikke havde ydet ham den fornødne beskyttelse på trods af de retshåndhævende myndigheders henvendelse.
Desuden hævdede Gongadze, at staten ikke havde gennemført en nødvendig efterforskning af denne sag. Ifølge hende blev hun på grund af den atmosfære af frygt og usikkerhed, samt den ufyldestgørende og modstridende information, som indgik i løbet af efterforskningen nødt til at forlade Ukraine. UP, Interfaks-Ukrajina.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
By Jan Maksymiuk
Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington on 1 November, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov reiterated Kyiv's official hope that Ukraine will become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) by the end of this year. Ukraine's potential access to the WTO could be approved by the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong on 13-18 December. However, it does not seem very likely that prior to this forum Kyiv will manage to receive endorsement for its bid from all interested WTO members.
One of these interested members is the United States, which has so far not signed a protocol with Ukraine on mutual access to commodity and service markets in both countries. The signing of the protocol is tantamount to Washington's approval of Ukraine's WTO entry. Ukraine has already signed similar bilateral protocols with 38 countries represented in the WTO Working Party that deals with its membership application. Australia is another important country that has so far been reluctant to sign such a document with Ukraine.
Both bilateral and multilateral negotiations regarding WTO accession are confidential and all documents involved in the negotiation process are restricted until its completion. What prevents Washington from giving a go-ahead to Ukraine's WTO membership can be inferred from what Yekhanurov said in Washington. In general, Yekhanurov said that Ukraine "has considerably advanced" in WTO talks with the United States. But he signaled some substantial problems as well.
First, Yekhanurov admitted on 1 November that Ukraine has not yet brought all of its customs duties in line with WTO standards and requirements. According to him, this task has been fulfilled up to 80 percent by now. Speaking the same day in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko estimated that Ukraine's legislation is just 65 percent in line with WTO requirements.
The same day, in an apparent effort to strengthen Yekhanurov's position during the Washington talks, the Verkhovna Rada passed two bills required for WTO entry pertaining to imports and protection of domestic producers. However, the process of adjusting Ukraine's legislation to WTO standards is not easy, and it is not clear when it is likely to be completed. In July, Communist Party deputies blared sirens and provoked scuffles in the Verkhovna Rada in order to prevent the adoption of a package of WTO-oriented bills. The Communist Party and other Ukrainian leftist groups see Ukraine's WTO membership as a catastrophe for the Ukrainian economy, which in their opinion cannot compete with more developed production capacities in the West.
Second, Yekhanurov said in Washington that Ukraine hopes "to find mutual understanding" with the United States on Ukraine's tariffs on exports of scrap steel and ban on exports of nonferrous metals. Earlier this year U.S. steel manufacturers called for trade sanctions against Ukraine (as well as Russia) in response to the barrier taxes and tariffs imposed by these two countries on export of scraps. According to U.S. steel mills, these moves by Ukraine and Russia, which reportedly resulted in doubling the composite-steel price in 2003-2004, were trade-distorting practices. Scrap metal is the raw material for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. steel industry. It seems that Washington has made its backing for Ukraine's WTO bid conditional on resolving this scrap-metal controversy.
Race for first place
Yekhanurov made a very grim prediction as to what would happen if Ukraine failed to join the WTO ahead of Russia, which is slated to do so in 2006. "If Russia joins [the WTO] earlier than we do, it will be practically impossible for Ukraine to become a WTO member," Yekhanurov told journalists in Washington on 2 November. He did not elaborate. But it is telling that Russian media have already signaled similar apprehensions from the Russian side. Russian political commentators and analysts fear that if Kyiv joins the WTO ahead of Moscow, Ukraine will surely enter bilateral negotiations with Russia on the latter's WTO-accession conditions and will try to make these conditions very hard for the Russians.
There are both economic and political reasons for expecting a potential Russian-Ukrainian dispute over WTO membership. Russia and Ukraine currently have serious disagreements over trade -- Kyiv, for example, is very displeased with Russian restrictions imposed on Ukrainian exports of steel pipes and sugar. Therefore, Moscow fears that Kyiv could make these restrictions a bargaining chip in bilateral WTO talks. Moreover, Moscow is concerned that Kyiv's accession to the WTO this year could complicate bilateral trade regarding those commodities on which both countries do not impose any customs duties. Some politicians in Moscow have suggested that Ukraine could start reexporting some of the Western commodities that are taxed by Russia in its trade with the West but not with Ukraine.
On the other hand, Kyiv is apparently afraid that if Russia joins the WTO first, the Kremlin will try to tie Ukraine more closely to Russia not only economically but also politically. Russia has not abandoned its plan for creating a Single Economic Space along with Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Ukraine has subscribed to the idea of establishing a free economic zone within such a space, but spoken resolutely against forming a customs union of the four countries or supranational executive bodies. It is possible that Russia could use its WTO membership as leverage to make Ukraine more compliant in accepting the Single Economic Space as a more rigid political and economic formation.
By Oleg Varfolomeyev
Ukrainian Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn has decided on the format of his participation in the March 2006 parliamentary polls. The much-advertised mega-bloc between Lytvyn, President Viktor Yushchenko's People's Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU), and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland party has failed to materialize. Instead, Lytvyn has set up a small, separate bloc and boldly gave it his own name. Lytvyn's People's Party served as a safe harbor for many lieutenants of former president Leonid Kuchma immediately after the Orange Revolution. They are now using Lytvyn's popularity and position to get into parliament, supplying resources for the campaign in exchange.
At his People's Party (NP) convention on October 22, Lytvyn announced that the NP would go to the polls in a newly established People's Bloc of Lytvyn. The NP's junior partners in the bloc are the tiny left-wing Justice party of State TV and Radio Committee Chairman Ivan Chyzh and the obscure Ukrainian Democratic Party of Peasants. It had been widely expected that Lytvyn's bloc would also be joined by the Republican Party of Yuriy Boyko, who managed the Naftohaz national oil and gas monopoly under Kuchma, and the Forward, Ukraine party of centrist MP Viktor Musiaka, but this did not happen. The two parties apparently were not happy with the positions offered to them on Lytvyn's party-list ballot.
This is the very reason that Lytvyn refused to form a bloc with either the NSNU or Tymoshenko. Lytvyn told the NP convention that negotiations with the two parties stalled because he was slated to be a junior partner. Speaking earlier in an interview with Korrespondent, Lytvyn revealed that his talks with the NSNU never went beyond the stage of private conversations. And Tymoshenko only feigned a willingness to set up a bloc with Lytvyn in order to make Yushchenko happy when she was his subordinate as prime minister, MP Ihor Sharov, a key ally of Lytvyn, told Den.
Several public opinion polls conducted in September showed that 3-5% of Ukrainians are ready to vote for Lytvyn's bloc. While this is a low figure, it should be enough to clear the existing 3% threshold to parliament, and even a 5% threshold, if Yushchenko and Tymoshenko succeed in raising the threshold to that level, as they plan. The only parties ahead of Lytvyn's bloc are the undisputable leaders of the race -- the parties of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, the Regions of Ukraine of presidential election loser Viktor Yanukovych, and the traditionally strong Communists and Socialists.
With five months remaining until the polls, Lytvyn has time to boost the popularity of his bloc. He has the resources for this, as his allies include many rich Ukrainians, such as parliamentarians Ihor Yeremeyev and Ihor Sharov, who are linked to the oil and gas industry, and "oligarchs" Oleksandr Yaroslavsky the (Kharkiv-based Ukrsibbank group) and Kuchma's son-in-law, Viktor Pinchuk (the Dnipropetrovsk-based Interpipe group). The former governors of Odessa and Mykolaiv are also in the People's Party. With such people on board, Lytvyn has had enough resources to launch an expensive media campaign for his bloc. The bloc's simple, non-ideological slogan, "We," is now on billboards and TV screens across Ukraine.
Lytvyn, who sat on the fence during the Orange Revolution, positions himself as a potential partner for all -- the authorities, the opposition, and even the Communists and other left-wing populists. In newspaper interviews and during public appearances, he stresses his "readiness for compromise" and "constructive dialogue" with all parties. Lytvyn professes no specific ideology and seeks to position his bloc as a "third force," neither orange nor blue-and-white; his potential voters are Ukrainians who are either disappointed with the Yushchenko government or tired of the political turmoil of the last year.
Lytvyn's past is his liability, just as is the case with most of his allies. He was just too close to Kuchma for his rivals to forgive. Lytvyn and Kuchma were together for a decade, beginning when Kuchma became president for the first time in 1994. Lytvyn was one of his aides, then his speechwriter, and then his chief of staff. In the 2002 parliamentary polls he headed Kuchma's For a United Ukraine bloc, and became speaker the same year because Kuchma wanted him there.
Lytvyn's weakest point is that he is suspected by many of involvement in the murder of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze in 2000. He easily loses his composure when journalists or political opponents remind him of the recording allegedly made in Kuchma's office by fugitive security officer Mykola Melnychenko, in which a voice resembling his own advises Kuchma to get rid of Gongadze. Lytvyn insists that this was a dirty fabrication. But until the murder of Gongadze is solved, this allegation will remain Lytvyn's Achilles heel. Gongadze's widow Myroslava recently accused Lytvyn of using his position to hamper the investigation, which he vehemently denied.
1. Associated Press
European Court November 8, 2005
STRASBOURG - The European Court of Human Rights Tuesday ruled that Ukrainian authorities failed to protect the life of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze and mishandled the politically charged investigation into his kidnapping and killing five years ago.
The court ordered Ukraine to pay Gongadze's wife Myroslava EUR100,000 in damages, saying that for three years after Gongadze's disappearance the authorities kept her in the dark over his fate and refused to grant her full access to relevant materials in the case file.
For more than four years after Gongadze's death, no criminal investigation had been conducted, preventing Gongadze's wife from getting compensation from domestic courts, the human rights court ruled.
Gongadze was a political journalist and editor-in-chief of the "Ukrainskaya Pravda" Internet journal. He tried to raise awareness about the lack of freedom of speech in Ukraine under former President Leonid Kuchma and reported on issues such as corruption among high-level State officials.
Gongadze was kidnapped and killed in September, 2000. His decapitated body was found in a forest outside Kyiv. For months prior to his disappearance, Gongadze had complained about receiving threats and being under surveillance. He asked the Prosecutor General to protect him and to find and punish those involved, but received no response.
"The court found that the complaints from Gongadze and subsequent events, revealing the possible involvement of state officials in his disappearance and death, were neglected or simply denied without proper investigation for a considerable period of time," the human rights court said in a statement.
In September, a Ukrainian parliamentary commission concluded that Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytyvn, Kuchma's chief-of-staff at the time, instigated the killing. Lytvyn has repeatedly denied all allegations.
Ukrainian prosecutors have opened a criminal case against unidentified officials in Kuchma's administration, accusing them of hampering the investigation into Gongadze's killing.
A month after the inauguration of President Viktor Yushchenko in January, prosecutors indicted three former policemen for Gongadze's death. A fourth suspect is at large and being sought on an international warrant.
2. BBC NEWS
November 8, 2005
Court Decision: Payout over Kyiv reporter's death
Most important thing was to have set a precedent for Ukrainian citizens. "From today, anyone who wants to defend their rights can use this experience to struggle better for themselves," Ms. Gongadze said.
The widow of a murdered Ukrainian journalist has been awarded 100,000 euros in damages by the European Court of Human Rights. The headless body of the journalist, Georgiy Gongadze, was found in woods near Kyiv in November 2000.
The court ruled that the Ukrainian authorities had not done enough to protect Gongadze's life, or to investigate his death. It also concluded that police officers were probably involved in his murder.
Events revealing the possible involvement of state officials in Gongadze's disappearance and death were neglected or simply denied without proper investigation for a considerable period of time
"The court noted that recent developments in the applicant's case demonstrated with a high degree of probability that police officers were involved in the disappearance and murder of Mr Gongadze," the judgement said.
It also said his widow, Myroslava, had been subjected to degrading treatment by being deprived of information for years - including confirmation that the body was her husband's, and access to his file.
It said her right to effective remedy had been violated, because "for more than four years, no effective criminal investigation could be considered to have been conducted".
Ms Gongadze told the BBC Ukrainian Service that for her, the most important thing was to have set a precedent for Ukrainian citizens.
"From today, anyone who wants to defend their rights can use this experience to struggle better for themselves," she said.
In their account of the case, the seven judges pointed out:
The voice of the then Interior Minister Yuri Kravchenko is heard
in recordings allegedly made in 2000 in the office of the then
President, Leonid Kuchma, saying that he knows certain people
capable of threatening Gongadze.
A newspaper in January 2001 made public the names of four police
officers allegedly involved in the surveillance of Gongadze.
A lieutenant-general of the interior ministry was arrested on
suspicion of involvement in Gongadze's disappearance in October
2003, only to be released two weeks later
Three police officers were arrested shortly after President Viktor
Yushchenko came to power, in early 2005
Yuri Kravchenko's "death by purported suicide" was announced in March 2005 on the day prosecutors were due to question him
The judges ruled that events "revealing the possible involvement of state officials" in Gongadze's disappearance and death were "neglected or simplydenied without proper investigation for a considerable period of time".
They added: "The fact that the alleged offenders, two of them active police officers, were identified and charged with the kidnap and murder of the journalist just a few days after the change in the country's leadership, raised serious doubts as to the genuine wish of the authorities under the previous government to investigate the case thoroughly."
However, prosecutors have been widely criticised for allegedly failing to make progress with the case since the arrest of the suspects in March.
In October, President Yushchenko sacked the prosecutor general, Svyatoslav Piskun. On Tuesday, he accused Mr Piskun of working badly, and said he had failed to deliver results in the Gongadze case and other high-profile cases.
The men arrested in March have not yet been handed over to the courts for trial.
Befolkningens opbakning til Ukraines præsident, parlament og regering fortsætter med at falde og er nu den laveste siden præsidentvalget for et år siden.
Det viser resultatet af en meningsmåling gennemført af det ansete Razumkov-center i dagene 3-13. november 2005.
Præsidenten bliver i dag bakket helhjertet op af kun 14,3% af befolkningen, mens 39,4% er direkte imod ham. 39,5% af de adspurgte støtter enkelte tiltag fra præsidentens side. Til sammenligning blev præsidenten i januar i år bakket op af hele 46,7% af befolkningen.
59,1% af de adspurgte mener, at begivenhederne i Ukraine udvikler sig i på en forkert måde, mens 18,3% mener, at det går den helt rigtige vej.
Efter 37,5% af de adspurgtes mening omsætter styret ikke slagordene fra den orange revolution i praksis. 20,6% af de adspurgte mener, at styret agerer direkte i modstrid med disse slagord. Kun en tredjedel af de adspurgte; nemlig 30,7% mener, at styret til en vis grad realiserer slagordene, mens kun 1,3% mener, at slagordene bliver omsat til fulde.
USA's Senat har enstemmigt vedtaget en resolution vedrørende en permanent ikke-diskrimation af ukrainske varer. Senatets resolution indeholder en anmodning til præsidenten om at ophæve Jackson-Vennick tilføjelsen for så vidt angår Ukraine.
Efter Senatets resolution skal Repræsentanternes Hus ligeledes stemme for en ophævelse af tilføjelsen (som blev indført i 1974, red.) Såfremt Hvis det sker, vil dokumentet blive forelagt præsidenten til underskrift.
Jackson-Vennick tilføjelsen blev i sin tid vedtaget som et pressionsmiddel overfor USSR, der begrænsede jødernes mulighed for at emigrere til Israel. Først blev handelsrestriktionerne indført overfor USSR, men senere blev de videreført i forhold til de post-sovjetiske uafhængige lande. "5.kanal". UP.
Eurasia Daily Monitor
Monday, November 14, 2005 -- Volume 2, Issue 212
By Taras Kuzio
Despite Ukraine's September political crisis and the subsequent fall of the Yulia Tymoshenko government, the Tymoshenko bloc in parliament is still a fairly reliable ally of President Viktor Yushchenko's People's Union-Our Ukraine (NSNU). Other allies from the Orange Revolution, including the Socialist Party (SPU) and Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (PPPU), may still be inside the government headed by Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, but they frequently vote against the NSNU on strategic issues.
The Tymoshenko bloc and NSNU will contest the March 2006 elections separately, a strategy that, ironically, is likely to bring them more votes than if they enter the elections in one bloc. Two recent votes reflect the re-emergence of de facto Orange Revolutionary unity.
On November 2 the Ukrainian parliament refused to ratify a Memorandum of Understanding with NATO regarding NATO use of Ukrainian airlift capacity. The Memorandum had been ratified with centrist support in the Leonid Kuchma, era because it brings tangible economic benefits to Ukraine. This time the vote failed because the SPU and PPPU, supposedly Yushchenko's allies, failed to deliver 30 of their 39 votes.
The failure of the Socialists and Industrialists and Entrepreneurs to support ratification of the Memorandum is a clear indication that their loyalty to the strategic domestic and foreign policy objectives of the Yushchenko administration is low.
The weekly Zerkalo Tyzhnia/Nedeli (November 5-11) complained that such a voting fiasco placed the Yushchenko administration in a poor light, as Kyiv could not follow through on its foreign policy commitments.
The Tymoshenko bloc also supported the NSNU over parliamentary opposition to the re-privatization of the Kryvorizhstal steel mill. Prior to the successful re-sale for $4.8 billion, parliament had twice voted to block the re-privatization. The Tymoshenko bloc, Reforms and Order, and NSNU opposed parliamentary votes for a moratorium on Kryvorizhstal's re-privatization, a vote supported by all 39 SPU and PPPU deputies. In a separate vote, both the SPU and the PPPU backed a resolution calling for Kryvorizhstal to remain in state hands ( rada.Kyiv.ua).
Regarding both the NATO Memorandum and Kryvorizhstal, the greatest cynicism came from the once hardline supporters of Kuchma, Regions of Ukraine (RU) and the Social Democratic Party-United (SDPUo). Both parties supported the ratification of the NATO Memorandum under Kuchma and privatized Kryvorizhstal in 2004 to two oligarchs for one-sixth of the price obtained last month.
The Social-Democrats' call for a referendum on NATO accession has been ridiculed by the Ukrainian media. SDPUo leader Viktor Medvedchuk did not protest when NATO and EU membership were included in the new 2004 military doctrine. And as prime minister in 2002-2004, Regions of Ukraine head Viktor Yanukovych led a government that had declared its intention to seek NATO membership in May 2002.
These votes on two crucial issues show that the September crisis did not irrevocably split the Orange revolutionary camp. The best chance for a pro-reform parliamentary majority is if NSNU and the Tymoshenko bloc come together after the 2006 elections.
This view is strongly backed by two factors. First, public opinion has not been willing to accept the permanence of the split. Second, neither NSNU nor the Tymoshenko bloc will have sufficient votes to independently create a parliamentary majority.
Calls for re-unification of the Orange Revolutionary camp have increasingly been heard from both the NSNU and the Tymoshenko bloc. Tymoshenko has initiated meetings on this subject with state secretary Oleh Rybachuk, but she has put forward two conditions.
First, the business entourage that surrounded Yushchenko must not be included in the NSNU election line-up. This demand is easy to accommodate, as Rybachuk has already moved to block Petro Poroshenko, the most criticized of this business group, from easy access to President Yushchenko.
Second, Tymoshenko wants to be prime minister again. This demand is unlikely to be met and could prove a major stumbling block (Ukrayinska pravda, November 3). Yushchenko would want to keep Yekhanurov in this position. Too many senior NSNU officials are uncomfortable with Tymoshenko, whose abrasive style is seen in a negative light by NSNU senior officials, such as parliamentary faction leader Mykola Martynenko (Ukrayina moloda, October 27).
Parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, another potential NSNU ally, has called for "professionals" in government, and "not those who can shout at meetings," a clear jab at Tymoshenko (Ukrayinska pravda, November 6). Lytvyn has depicted his eponymous election bloc as one that stands for "compromise" and Ukrainian unity, not divisiveness, a jab at both Tymoshenko and Regions of Ukraine (Ukrayinska pravda, November 7).
The head of the NSNU political council, Roman Bezsmertny, is as distrustful of Tymoshenko's populism and personal ambitions as is Martynenko and Lytvyn. Nevertheless, he has accepted the need for unity negotiations after the 2006 elections to create a parliamentary majority (Ukrayinska pravda, October 27, November 1).
Constitutional reforms set to go into effect after January 2006 will transform Ukraine from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary-presidential system. This will be a major step towards democratization, as the presidential systems seen throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States have been plagued by authoritarianism and abuse of executive office.
At the same time, constitutional reforms will lengthen parliament's term from four to five years, prevent defections from factions, and force parties to compromise over creating a parliamentary majority that, together with the executive, chooses the government.
Of the six parties and blocs set to enter parliament, Yushchenko's NSNU can only create a parliamentary majority with one of the two other large forces: the Tymoshenko bloc and Regions of Ukraine. The cooperation and goodwill between the NSNU and the Tymoshenko bloc created in the runup to the election will facilitate a choice for Tymoshenko. In any case, they will celebrate the first anniversary of the Orange Revolution together on November 22.
З НАГОДИ ВІДЗНАЧЕННЯ ПЕРШОЇ РІЧНИЦІ
разом з усім
Вас із цим
інших міст і
своїх прав і
вибору та за
свої права і
Ми завжди із
і приїхали в
ми й тих, хто
сказати, що у
режимом є й
слова – над
народу - над
відтак – в
Європі та й в
Весь 2005 рік в
свої права і
сил добра і
за те, що ми –
Den lokale Tv-station "Kiev" afbrød sendingen fra Uafhængighedspladsen under Julia Tymoshenkos tale i forbindelse med fejringen i går af etårsdagen for Den orange revolution. Hen over de Tv-skærme, som var opstillet på Uafhængighedspladsen, løb der en meddelelse om, at udsendelsen var blevet afbrudt pga. tekniske problemer. Ifølge nyhedsbureauerne var op mod 200.000 mennesker samlet på pladsen.
Ifølge korrespondenten for det oppositionelle nyhedsbureau Ura-Inform
fortalte en af arrangørerne af gårsdagens markering af årsdagen for Den
orange revolution, der er medarbejder ved Kievs polytekniske institut, at
han personligt har tilbudt folk følgende beløb for at møde op på
Uafhængighedspladsen på vegne af de forskellige partier:
Julia Tymoshenkos blok – 10 hryvna i timen eller 120 hryvna for en hel dag
Erhvervs-og industriledernes parti – 30 hryvna i timen
Folkeunionen "Vores Ukraine" – 50 hryvna "for en vagt" eller 5 hryvna i timen.
Julia Tymoshenkos blok betaler mest, men Folkeunionen "Vores Ukraine" er de mest karrige.
Vores kilde har fået tilbudt studerende fra de videregående læreanstalter i Kiev, herunder ønskede repræsentanter for SPU og BJuT at se mellem 500 og 1000 personer.
Julia Tymoshenkos blok forsynede sine tilhængere med varm te og lovede dem pindemader og øl om aftenen. Infocentre.
USA's præsident George Bush har sendt en lykønskning til Ukraine i anledning af årsdagen for den orange revolution.
"Revolutionen var et solidt eksempel på frihed og demokrati i praksis, samt en inspiration for dem, som ønsker frihed i deres eget land", hedder det i Bush's lykønskning, som Det hvide Hus i Washington har udsendt som et officielt "præsidentielt budskab".
"Ukraines ledelse står nu foran en historisk mulighed og har et historisk ansvar for at virkeliggøre den orange revolutions løfter og fortsætte med at transformere Ukraine til en helt igennem demokratisk stat", - siger USA's præsident.
Ifølge Bush vil USA fortsætte med at støtte præsident Viktor Jusjtjenkos bestræbelser "på at opnå et demokratisk og blomstrende Ukraine, der befinder sig i sikkerhed".
"USA er stolt af, at det kalder Ukraine for sin ven", hedder det i Bush's lykønskning, hvor han på egne og sin hustru Lauras vegne sender "de bedste hilser og ønsker til alle dem, som fejrer årsdagen for den orange revolution.
"For et år siden rejste hundreder tusinde af ukrainske borgere sig til forsvar for demokratiet i deres land. Med deres enorme mod og beslutsomhed viste de verden, at kærligheden til friheden er stærkere end tyranniets vilje", - understreges det i den amerikanske præsidents budskab. UP. Novosti Ukrajina.
Næstformand i Regionernes Parti, den tidligere guvernør i Kharkiv Jevhen Kushnarjov, siger, at han ikke vil udelukke, at han igen kan blive anholdt. Bemærkningen faldt lørdag under en rundbordskonference i Kiev om den nuværende politiske situation i Ukraine.
"Jeg vil ikke blive overrasket, hvis jeg i morgen på ny vil blive indkaldt til rigsadvokaturen, og jeg ender med at blive derinde", bemærkede Kushnarjov. Ifølge ham udviser det nuværende ukrainske styre "en tiltagende aggressivitet i forbindelse med frygten for at tabe det forestående parlamentsvalg til Regionernes Parti.
I en kommentar til de taler, som i går blev holdt af lederne af den orange revolution på Uafhængighedspladsen i Kiev, sagde politikeren: "I går har styret erklæret oppositionen krig, og styret vil gøre hvad som helst".
Ifølge Kushnarjov forsøger præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko og ex-premierminister Julia Tymoshenko at fastholde resterne af deres vælgerkorps, og at dette presser dem til at demonstrere enhed udadtil.
Kushnarjov vurderer, at præsidenten under sin tale om tirsdagen havde udvist en slet skjult irritation over og vrede mod Tymoshenko. Samtidig anser Kushanrjov det at være nødvendigt at konsolidere alle de gode politiske kræfter, som ikke er blevet "bedøvet af det orange opium". "Konfrontationen har udmarvet Ukraines politiske elite", fastslog politikeren.
Som bekendt blev Kushanrjov anholdt den 17. august, da han i følge med sin advokat indfandt sig hos rigsadvokaten i Kiev for at få forelagt materialerne i sagen om separatisme, der var blevet rejst mod ham den 23. juni 2005.
Under anholdelsen fik Kusharjov forelagt en anklage for magtmisbrug i henhold til afsnit 3 § 365 i Ukraines straffelov (magt- eller embedsmisbrug med alvorlige følger - hvor staten lider et tab til et beløb af over 8 millioner hryvna (9 millioner kroner, red.) UNIAN. UP.
Forretningsmanden Rinat Akhmetov har taget imod invitationen fra lederen af Regionernes Parti Viktor Janukovytj til at stille op til parlamentet for hans parti. Det oplyste Akhmetovs pressetjeneste i tirsdags.
"Jeg har besluttet, at nu er tiden inde , hvor man bør tage del i det politiske liv, og jeg er nået til den konklusion, at jeg vil gøre mest muligt gavn for Ukraine, hvis jeg bliver parlamentsmedlem, idet jeg vil kunne bruge min energi på at forbedre livsvilkårene for alle mine medborgere", sagde Akhmetov.
"For mig har det været en ære at blive budt indenfor af Regionernes parti, og jeg har informeret partiets leder om, at jeg agter at tage imod hans forslag om at opstille mig til som en af partiets kandidater ved parlamentsvalget", fremhævede han.
Han sagde også, at han "vil være glad for at få lov til at arbejde sammen med partiets ledere med henblik på at finde nogle principielt nye og banebrydende løsninger på de opgaver, som står foran Ukraine". UP.
TO COMMEMORATE THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF
ACCESSION OF UKRAINE TO THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Ukraine, 30 November 2005
by Mrs Hanne Severinsen
President of the Parliamentary Assembly
is an honour to address this conference to mark the 10th
anniversary of Ukraine’s accession to the Council of Europe and a
pleasure for me once again to visit your country.
turbulent years: from the moment of signing, when you said “yes” to
being part of Europe and to respecting our common values of democracy,
human rights and the rule of law; to the present situation. You have
accomplished a lot, but further effort is needed to fulfil your
obligations and commitments.
traditional gift for a 10th wedding anniversary is made of tin
or aluminium, not very glamorous, but useful and durable. Pots and pans,
for example: you don’t show them off, but it would be difficult to feed
your family without them. Others prefer to give a diamond - much more
glamorous, and very pleasant to receive, but of far less practical value.
this in mind, my speech is intended as a traditional gift to Ukraine, to
honour the 10th anniversary of its marriage to the Council of
Europe. It is intended to make a contribution to the process of
democratisation in Ukraine, a process that is fundamental to our
has indeed made progress in the past ten years, through discussions and
dialogues with the Council of Europe, and with our continuing
encouragement. During our session last month, the Parliamentary Assembly
adopted a resolution which should be seen – and was intended – as a
road map, to guide you towards fulfilment of outstanding obligations and
that resolution, we applauded the “positive evolution in Ukraine and the
first achievements of the new authorities.” I am happy to repeat those
sentiments today. On reflection, therefore, perhaps there is a little
diamond in my speech. Ukraine has made great progress.
was standing on Independence Square one year ago: freezing, but full of
warm feelings for those brave Ukrainians who came to join the struggle for
democracy – and they won. The Orange Revolution presented Ukraine with a
new government enjoyed overwhelming public support. Enormous political
capital was available to invest in democratisation.
international community was equally excited. In January, the newly-elected
President Yushchenko came to Strasbourg, where he addressed the
Parliamentary Assembly and held a joint press conference with President
Saakashvili of Georgia.
was a mood of great enthusiasm and expectation in the Parliamentary
Assembly, but as always, we were not supporting individual politicians; we
were supporting their commitment to our values of democracy, human rights
and the rule of law.
then, things have become more difficult. In a spirit of true friendship
for Ukraine, I urge the authorities not to lose sight of the ideals of the
Orange Revolution, but to persevere along the difficult road of
remains subject to the Parliamentary Assembly’s monitoring procedure. As
our President said in his recent statement to the International Forum on
Democratic Transition in Georgia – held to mark that country’s own
Rose Revolution – this is an inclusive, constructive process whereby we
offer assistance and friendly – although always firm – advice to each
one of the Assembly’s co-rapporteurs for monitoring of Ukraine, I turn
now to the practical part of my speech – the tin and aluminium, if you
sound constitution is the foundation of democracy. According to the
constitutional experts of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, the
foundations of democracy in Ukraine are unreliable and need reform. It is
crucial that the Venice Commission’s recommendations are put into effect.
constitution is upheld and protected by a constitutional court. It is
therefore not acceptable that the Ukrainian constitutional court remains
unable to operate. At a time when important constitutional changes are
being introduced, the Ukrainian parliament is under a grave responsibility
to fulfil its role in appointing the new Constitutional Court. I
understand that parliament recently decided to postpone a decision for
another two weeks. I deeply regret this unhelpful move.
also depends on a credible electoral process. The massive electoral fraud
that occurred during last years’ presidential elections must be
investigated and all offenders punished. It was popular outrage at this
fraud that fuelled the Orange Revolution.
punishment of electoral fraud will be vital to next years’ parliamentary
and local elections. The preparation and conduct of these elections will
be a litmus test of the state of democracy in Ukraine. The Parliamentary
Assembly hopes that Ukraine will pass this test, but much remains to be
elections also require free and independent media. I am happy to say about
the media situation that you in the past year have gaine the most
important pre-requisite for democracy – a pluralistic media. It is
imperative that state-owned television channels are transformed into
independent public service broadcasting stations before campaigning for
the 2006 elections begins. The electorate needs fair and impartial
information to make an informed and truly democratic choice.
goes hand-in-hand with the rule of law. There can be no rule of law
without a fully independent judiciary. Ukraine must ensure, therefore,
that the executive has no say in judicial salaries and that local
authorities cannot influence courts through control over budgets.
for the rule of law means prosecuting and punishing offenders whatever
their position of status. The Parliamentary Assembly has an ongoing report
concerning the still unresolved murder of Georgiy Gongadze. Earlier this
month, the European Court of Human Rights held Ukraine responsible for
serious human rights violations arising from this case, including failure
to protect his life and failure to conduct an adequate investigation into
Ukrainian authorities has still an obligation to get to the bottom of this
matter, by identifying and punishing those who ordered the murder. The
leaders of the Orange Revolution promised to do this: I hope they fulfil
this promise before next year’s election campaigns really begin, in
order to restore a climate in which political journalists can feel safe to
report freely and openly.
important judgment of the Strasbourg Court – in the Melnychenko case –
has also yet to be implemented. This
judgment, which is related to the Gongadze case, has important
ramifications concerning respect for civil and political rights. In any
case, Ukraine is obliged to implement all of the Court’s
judgments. It is likewise not acceptable that the authorities refuse to
respect the two Supreme Court judgments, holding that Mr Melnychenko
should be permitted to register as a candidate. This too is an issue of
rule of law.
of corruption is another clear sign of lack of respect for the rule of law.
Corruption causes both economic loss to the country and a loss of popular
trust in public authorities. Punishing corruption and high level election
fraud was another promise that must be kept if Ukraine is to continue to
the near future, the Verkhovna Rada will be responsible for important
decisions relevant to fulfilment of the promises made in 1995. You still
need a new Criminal Procedure Code. I urge you, however, not to
adopt the draft that is shortly to come before parliament, as it has
shortcomings and it has not been debated by civil society or subjected to
a published expert assessment. Civil society is an indispensable partner
for transparent, democratic government and an essential actor in any
reform process, whose views should never be ignored.
the other hand, I would encourage you to adopt the draft laws on advocates
and on execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, when
they come onto your agenda.
of the Council of Europe means that States should seek to adopt the common
European legal standards set out in our conventions. Ukraine,
unfortunately, is one of the countries that are party to the least number
of Council of Europe conventions. On the issue of corruption, Ukraine has
still not ratified the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption or its
Additional Protocol, despite having long ago signed both. Neither is
Ukraine a party to Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights,
which prohibits all forms of discrimination; to Protocol 14, which
introduces the badly-needed reforms intended to make the Court more
effective; or to the three important conventions – on the prevention of
terrorism, on trafficking in human beings, and on money laundering and
terrorist financing – that were opened for signature at the Warsaw
said that next years’ elections would be a litmus test of Ukrainian
democracy. But I have also said much more. Free and fair elections alone,
therefore, will not be enough to satisfy the Assembly that Ukraine’s
acceptance of the basic principles of the Statute of the Council of Europe
is entrenched and irrevocable. We need to see you implementing all of our
Council of Europe is a value community based on democracy, human rights
and the rule of law. We firmly believe that respect for these basic
principles is an essential precondition for peace, stability and
prosperity. So although the obligations and commitments of membership may
seem burdensome, their sole purpose is to ensure a better future for
Ukraine, as a country, and for its people.
am sure that during these 10 years of careful urging and watching, some of
my parliamentarian colleagues have at times found our attention excessive.
Some have even accused us of double standards, there having been so many
Assembly resolutions. But please remember that this is because we have
taken Ukraine seriously – when you say you share our European values, we
expect to be able to believe you.
with the obligation and commitments, however, membership of the Council of
Europe also means that Ukraine, as a country that respects our principles,
will always have a friend. I urge you to take full advantage of our
support, in building on the achievements of the past ten years and
maintaining the past twelve months’ wishes to reform.
then, is my gift to Ukraine on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly. It is
a gift to be used in your efforts to ensure a better future for your
country. It is given in a spirit of friendship, from a true friend who
never conceals the truth but is always there to help. I hope that in
another ten years, it will have proved its worth.
also want to take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues in the
Verkhovna Rada. Thank you for firm discussions and friendly talks during
all these years. I look forward to the day when I will be able to tell the
Parliamentary Assembly: Mission accomplished; and when I will be able to
return to your wonderful country only as a tourist.