Friday, April 18, 2008

President cuts ribbon at Odessa Refinery

Within the framework of his working visit to Odesa region President
Victor Yushchenko took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony at LUKOIL
Odessa Refinery and took a tour of the reconstructed facility.

In his speech during the ceremony President Yushchenko noted that the
facility is very important for Ukraine, for as Odesa Regional
Administration head Mykola Serdyuk mentioned, the refinery is capable
of bringing around 147 million hryvnyas to the Ukrainian budget
annually with 12 million coming directly to Odesa regional budget.

Addressing LUKOIL's President Vagit Alekperov, Victor Yushchenko said
that the Ukrainian side highly appreciates company's activity in our
country. From his part Mr. Alekperov assured those present that the
refinery shall be producing oil products of the best European quality.
"I am sure the refinery will be working for welfare of Ukraine", - he

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ukrainian citizen on board French yacht Le Ponant captured by Somali pirates - Foreign Ministry

Representatives of the French Foreign Ministry Crisis Center confirmed presence of one Ukrainian woman with other hostages on board the French yacht Le Ponant captured by Somali pirates on April 5. The Consular Service of the Ukraine's Foreign Ministry approached directly the Crisis Center in order to specify the number of Ukrainian citizens on board the yacht due to contradictory information saying there are "from 10 to 20 Ukrainian citizens" on board the French yacht, press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported.

According to the Ukrainian Embassy in France, last night the yacht was staying near the Somali province of Puntland. The first contact with pirates was established April 6, however no conditions set so far from them.

World Bank worsens inflation forecast in Ukraine

The World Bank has worsened Ukrainian inflations forecast from 13.8% to 17.2% in 2008.

The GDP forecast for 2008 is uncharged - 5.5%.

Under the forecast, the 2009 inflation will be 13%, and 9.9% in 2010.

In late January, the World Bank preserved GDP rise forecast for Ukraine at the level of 5.5%, and worsened inflation forecast from 9.6% to 13.8% in 2008.

In March, inflation was 3.8%, and in January - March 9.7%.

The 2008 budget was based on inflation forecast of 9.6%, with a real GDP rise of 6.8%.

The 2007 inflation totaled 16.6%.

BSEC emergency situation group approves assistance action plan

During its three-day meeting in Odesa, the ad hoc group of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) for emergency situations has discussed a wide circle of cooperation issues.

The meeting participants talked over implementation of the agreement provisions, activity projects for BSEC communications officers, further cooperation between the BSEC and Black Sea Commission.

The sides particularly discussed effectiveness of the 2007-2009 program and approved the BSEC group's action plan for cooperation in provision of assistance and liquidation of emergency situation aftermath.

Representatives of all the BSEC member states took part in the event. This international organization was set up in line with the agreement of April 15, 1998, by the governments of Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Ukraine to provide assistance and liquidate consequences of emergency situations caused by natural and industrial disasters. The agreement establishes principles and frameworks of coordinated assistance in case of natural and industrial disasters that cannot be overcome by the BSEC governments alone.

Ukraine starts introducing 109 ecology standards

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Ministry of Ukraine launched implementation of 109 standards in the field of land, water and forest resources, Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk told a press conference.

In his words, this year the Ministry is planning, particularly, to extend the area of natural reserves to 7%. Now this area makes 4.94%, with a European standard of minimum 15%.

Apart from this, Filipchuk says, by the end of the year it is planned to outline reserve zone borders, or extension of areas will produce no effect.

Ukraine has 5% of world's mineral resources

Ukraine possesses 5% of the world's mineral resources, Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk told a press conference.

In his words, Ukraine extracts above 90 kinds of different minerals, including precious metals.

Meanwhile, the minister said, a lot of abuses involving extraction and processing of those resources are observed. For example, for one ton of alumina, a tax of UAH 25 is paid to the national budget (UAH 5.05 / USD 1), when in Europe it is USD 85. The bulk of alumina, according to Filipchuk, is not processed in Ukraine but exported as raw material.

Ukraine exports about 0.9 million tons of grain from quota of 1.2 million tons

By the end of March, Ukraine had exported around 900,000 tons of grain, with the government's quota set at 1.2 million tons, says Volodymyr Klymenko, Ukrainian Grain Association president.

In November 2007, the Government permitted export of 1.2 million tons of grain from January 1 to March 31, 2008. Starting on April 1, Ukraine abolished quotas on the export of corn, simultaneously having prolonged quotas on the export of wheat, barley and rye to April 30 without changing the size of the quotas worth 200,000 tons, 400,000 tons and 3,000 tons, respectively.

In 2007, Ukraine gathered almost 29.3 million tons of grain, which is 14.5% less than in 2006.

Rescue efforts continue at Naftogaz-67 wreck site

Search and rescue efforts are continuing at the wreck site of Ukraine's Naftogaz-67 tugboat, which sank off Hong Kong on March 22.

According to the operations headquarters of state joint stock company Chornomornaftogaz, which deployed in Crimea's Chornomorske settlement, after a five-hour break caused by bad weather, divers are continuing to examine compartments of the sunken vessel.

"Deck superstructure and interior sectors will be searched in the first place, and the ship is being prepared for salvaging," the headquarters says.

The Naftogaz-67 sank in the South China Sea near Hong Kong on March 22 after collision with Chinese cargo ship Yao Hai. Seven out of 25 crewmen were rescued, including one citizen of China. Rescuers also found three dead sailors from the sunken ship. Another 15 Ukrainian sailors are missing. The majority of the crew were residents of Crimea.

A ten-men-strong delegation of Chornomornaftogaz, to which the vessel belongs, including six crewmembers who survived, are taking an active part in the effort.

20 Ukrainians may stay aboard hijacked yacht, France says

France is continuing to follow its cruise sailer Ponnant hijacked by pirates, aboard which there may be up to 20 Ukrainians.

According to French Defense Minister Herve Morin, the pirates do not contact or set forth any demands.

As Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported, there is a Ukrainian citizen among the crew of the Ponnant yacht, which was captured.

The French side says there may be up to 20 Ukrainian citizens aboard.

International conference on democratic standards opens in Lviv

Over 200 experts from Ukraine, Poland, Germany and the Russian Federation are taking part in the international scientific conference on democratic standards of management and public administration, which opened in Lviv (West Ukraine) on Friday.

According to Volodymyr Zahorskyi, director of Lviv's regional institute of state management to the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, the meeting will work out standards for implementation of democratic processes in the training of civil servants. Future experts must work on the principles of democratic values, being guided by up-to-date technologies in achievement of European standards.

Particularly, it is said that a civil servant and a local executive officer are representatives of the state, working for the sake of providing services. Ukraine lacks an effective procedure of providing high-quality management services, and actually an official does a favor to a citizen when settles his problems, Zahorskyi noted. He emphasized that a civil servant must in the first place meet citizens' demands through granting high-quality services to them.

Ukrainian-Canadian Business Forum to be held in Edmondon (Canada)

An agreement on holding a Ukrainian-Canadian Business Forum in Edmonton (Alberta province, Canada) was reached at a meeting of Anatoliy Kinakh, President of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (UUIE), with representatives of Edmonton, the UUIE official website informs. Participating in the meeting was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Ukraine Abina Dann.

According to Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, the Canadian business is looking for countries with high tech and science intensive production bases for their investments. The Edmonton Mayor also noted that Ukraine and the Alberta province are similar by trends of their economic development. "We ensure oil and gas transit, we produce energy carriers and we concentrate our efforts on the power-producing engineering industry", he said, having stressed that it is a good basis for long-term cooperation.

Ukrainian entrepreneurs hope that the business forum will become one more stage to efficient cooperation of the two countries' private sectors, Anatoliy Kinakh noted.

According to him, presently Ukraine needs assistance in modernization of gas- and oil-transport corridors, as well as in development of perspective gas deposits of the Azov and Black Sea shelves.

Govt instructs State Statistics Committee to prepare population census in 2011

The Cabinet instructed the State Statistics Committee to elaborate the draft document on preparation and conducting the All-Ukrainian Population Census in 2011, provided by a plan of measures aimed at realization of priorities in activities of central executive authorities in 2008, endorsed by the Government's order of April 2.

In particular, the State Statistics Committee was instructed to prepare and conduct a pilot population census.

Among other priorities of the Committee's activities, elaboration of a program on pilot selective studies of the population on the issues of labor migration, elaboration of the draft strategy of state statistics development till 2012, preparation of the All-Ukrainian Agricultural Census, comparison of data on bilateral trade of Ukraine and the European Union countries using a "mirror statistics" method.

Previous All-Ukrainian Census was conducted in 2001.

Ukrainian citizen on French yacht captured by pirates near Somalia - Foreign Ministry

One Ukrainian citizen is among about 30 crew members of the French three-masted de-luxe yacht "Ponant", which was captured by pirates on April 4 near Somalia, the Foreign Ministry sources told.

Presently, the French party studies the variants of the ships' release.

The case is under control at the Ukrainian Embassy in France and at the Consular Service Department, the Foreign Ministry statement reads.

Young scientists and students discuss innovation processes of economic and social development of Ukraine and foreign countries in Ternopil

Young scientists and students of the Ternopil National Economic University discussed problems of innovation processes of economic and social development of Ukraine and foreign countries.

University Rector Serhiy Yuriy told UKINFORM correspondent that participating in the international conference were representatives of almost all the Ukrainian regions, scientists from Canada and the Netherlands.

According to participants in the conference, research of the regional innovation processes as a component part of the economic growth is caused by the fact that further economic development of Ukraine is only possible on the innovation basis, taking into consideration modern achievements of the scientific and technical progress and enhancement of the scientific and technological level of the country.

During the events like this, young scientists may put forward proposals on the ways of solving the innovation development problems at different levels.

Kosice region of Slovakia and Transcarpathian region approve cooperation plan for 2008-2009

A plan of cooperation between the Kosice Region (Slovakia) and the Transcarpathian region (West Ukraine), as well as a Protocol on measures for its fulfillment in 2008-2009 were approved at a meeting of leaders of the Kosice self-government region and a delegation of the Transcarpathian Regional State Administration.

Participating in the meeting was Consul General of Ukraine to Presov Yevhen Perebyinis.

The documents will be officially signed during the holiday "Good-Neighborly Day" to be held on May 24.

Expenses for Ukrainian films production planned to increase from UAH 51 to UAH 200 million in 2008 - First Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister

Expenses for Ukrainian films production are planned to be increased from UAH 51 to UAH 200 million in 2008, First Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Vladyslav Korniyenko told a briefing.

The high official informed that "there is a support of such amendments to the Budget on the part of the President and the Government".

According to Vladyslav Korniyenko, this year the film production program under the auspices of the state includes films by such directors as K. Muratova, Y. and M. Illiyenko, K. Zanussi, M. Mashchenko, V. Hres and others. Production of full-length film-debuts by Ukrainian producers, winners and laureates of international competitions started. For the first time a program of animation films was launched, with "My Country - Ukraine" serial.

The draft agreement on cooperation between the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Defense Ministry of Ukraine is being elaborated.

First Deputy Minister informed that expenses for development of cultural programs were increased 2.6- fold in 2008, in particular the matter concerns modernization of the cultural establishments' material base, enlargement of library funds, repair and restoration works.

Foreign investment on rise in Ukraine

The dynamics of foreign investment in Ukraine has a growing tendency, and there is every ground to say that it will remain stable and further increasing, Economy Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn told a forum on Zhytomyr region investments in Kyiv Friday.

In the Minister's words, the total volume of direct investments in Ukraine grew from USD 94 to USD 630 per capita in the past seven years. Investment flows increase at the cost of economic potential of the regions that did not enjoy until recently any particular attention of broad business circles.

Thus, the volume of direct foreign investments in the economy of Zhytomyr region as of January this year reached USD 173.6 million. Last year's capital rise totaled USD 50.7 million or 41.3%. Over the period under review, investments came from 43 countries of the world.

USD 50 million will be channeled for outer space development in 2008

This year Ukraine will continue launches of outer space vehicles functioning in the systems of communications and remote probing of land for the study of global changes in the nature. UAH 250 million (UAH 5.05 / USD 1) is envisaged for these purposes in the 2008 national budget.

The government decision, the Cabinet of Ministers' communications department commentary says, will guarantee uninterrupted effective use of this country's outer space potential, introduction of new technologies, and implementation of international commitments. The point at issue is that last year marked completion of Ukraine's national outer space program for 2003 - 2007, and a new one, for 2008 - 2012, has not yet been adopted by parliament.

Particularly, there will be formed an interagency information system for the use of aerospace data as part of the European and international systems. Russia - Ukraine experiments will be staged at the Russian segment of the International space system. The Ukraine - Brazil cooperation in the use of the Cyclone-4 carrier rocket will continue at the Alcantara launching site.

A government resolution also stipulates financing of the program for reform of the flagship of Ukraine's outer space industry, production association Southern Machine-Building Plant. Thanks to this, its production volumes must triple on 2007, and power intensity will fall by 20%. Implementation of innovation projects will take almost UAH 0.5 billion of extra-budgetary investments.

Ukraine's space industry includes over 30 companies, design bureau and scientific research institutes taking part in implementation of over 50 business projects.

A total of 103 launches of Ukrainian carrier rockers have been made since 1991, and above 200 satellites from different countries of the world have been taken to the orbit.

Foreign Ministry representatives discuss strengthening of trade-economic cooperation between Ukraine and Armenia in Yerevan

Ukrainian-Armenian political consultations took place in Yerevan at the level of deputy foreign ministries. Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister K.Yeliseyev headed the Ukrainian delegation, the Armenian delegation was led by G. Garibdjanian, the Foreign Ministry website reports.

The parties discussed urgent issues of a political dialogue, as well as the way of strengthening trade and economic cooperation. In this context, the parties reached an agreement on holding a current meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Armenian Commission on Economic Cooperation in 2008, as well as a joint business forum. The parties agreed that strengthening of trade and economic relations will be promoted through further enhancement of interregional cooperation between the two countries.

In the context of the discussion on the cooperation prospects in the sphere of science, culture and education it was agreed to hold Days of Armenian Culture in Ukraine in early summer. The parties exchange opinions on consolidation of interaction between Kyiv and Yerevan on their way toward European integration, as well as within the frames of international organizations. Among urgent issues discussed at the meeting were those of regional cooperation, ways for settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the situation in Kosovo, as well as the situation around introduction of the Moratorium on Fulfillment of the Agreement on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe by Russia.

During his stay in Yerevan Kostyantyn Yeliseyev participated in the opening ceremony of an exhibition dedicated to the 90th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Armenia.

President flies to Libya

President Victor Yushchenko went with a two day official visit to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Within the framework of the visit President Yushchenko is scheduled to hold a number of meetings including that with Leader and Guide of the Libyan Revolution Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Official visit to Libya

On April 7 President Victor Yushchenko is scheduled to go with a two day official visit to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

President Yushchenko meets with President Adamkus

Within the framework of his stay at Bucharest NATO Summit President Victor Yushchenko met today with the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus.

During the meeting President Adamkus assured Victor Yushchenko that Lithuania has always been a supporter of Ukraine’s NATO membership aspirations. From his part President Yushchenko thanked the Lithuanians for their firm position on the matter.

President takes part in Ukraine-Nato Commission meeting

President Victor Yushchenko took part in Ukraine-Nato Commission meeting in Bucharest today.

In his speech President expressed assurance that in December 2008 Ukraine shall be granted MAP during the North Atlantic Council Fooreign Ministers meeting.

Victor Yushchenko stressed that with its yesterday’s decision the North Atlantic Council gave a clear signal to Ukraine regarding further development of the state’s relations with the Alliance. “We are grateful to the Alliance and its member-states for their support of Euro-Atlantic aspirations of our state”, - he said, pointing also to the fact that Bucharest Summit became the first time, when it was clearly stated: Ukraine will join NATO.

From his part NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who was opening the Ukraine-Nato Commission meeting, stressed that today the new stage of NATO-Ukraine relations development has started. He also noted that obviously on a political level Ukraine has to ensure that it fulfills all the requirements of joining MAP. “We appreciate greatly our cooperation with you and willing to push it forward”, - he said. According to him Ukraine has already made substantial progress in bringing its security and defense sectors in conformity with NATO standards.

Before the meeting of Ukraine-Nato Commission President Victor Yushchenko and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer had bilateral talks. In the talks President Yushchenko reaffirmed to Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer that Ukraine's course toward Euro-Atlantic integration stays firm. Also Foreign Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko and Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer signed additional protocols to Memorandum on NATO Information and Documentation Centre establishment (signed May 7, 1997) and to Memorandum of Understanding on the appointment of NATO Liaison Officers in Kyiv (December 9, 1998). According to the protocols the staff of the Centre, the Liaison Officers and their families will be provided with diplomatic immunities those of other diplomats accredited to Ukraine.

President Yushchenko meets with President Sarkozy

President Victor Yushchenko met today in Bucharest with the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy.

At his press availability following the talks with the French President, President Yushchenko said: “I am assured that France remains a firm partner for Ukraine in a question of Euro-Atlantic integration”.

Answering a question of journalists whether convincing France to alter its position on Ukraine was a success, President said: “I want to put this strait and unambiguously: France is our friend and partner when we are speaking about Ukraine gaining MAP and Ukraine’s future membership in NATO”. He also reminded that this is not the first time the subject of Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine has been raised during his meeting with President Sarkozy. “We gave many arguments, including those political and security which are crucial not only for Ukraine, but for Europe too”.

“It was very important today to demonstrate existence of a fundamental principle of opened doors in the Alliance”, - he said.

President thankful to NATO members

At his press conference in Romania President Victor Yushchenko stressed that he highly appreciates the decision of North Atlantic Council and called it historic for Ukrainian state and nation. He also added that the results of Bucharest Summit as to Ukraine event to some extent surpassed the Ukrainian side’s expectations as the communique agreed by 26 NATO leaders indeed “does foresee Ukraine’s membership in NATO in historical perspective”.

President Yushchenko described as very important the fact that with no exception all NATO member-countries have approved Ukraine’s application for MAP.

He also informed that according to today’s decision NATO member-states’ Foreign Ministers were instructed to hold additional consultations so that by December 2008 the question of offering Ukraine and Georgia Membership Action Plan could be re-discussed.

President expressed gratitude to all those, who has been rendering partner support to Ukraine. According to him for Ukraine today’s NATO leaders’ decision was hard to achieve. “But this decision is historic and that is why we have reasons to thank all our partners for demonstrating their devoted efforts regarding Ukraine’s interests”, - he said.

President takes part in EAPC lunch

President Victor Yushchenko took part in an official lunch of Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council member states leaders.

In his speech at the lunch President stressed that Ukraine considers the Council a unique mechanism of cooperation between NATO and partner countries aimed at elaboration of common response toward challenges and threats before international security and stability.

According to him among the challenges requiring common effective response are regional crises, wars and conflicts including those “frozen”, international terrorism, weapons trafficking, illegal migration, human trafficking, energy security, and many more.

“Ukraine is ready to cooperate closely on reacting on critical challenges in all dimensions of security”, - said Victor Yushchenko.

President grants interview for TVR-1 TV channel

President Victor Yushchenko gave an interview to Romanian television TVR-1.

Among the discussed subjects were Euro-Atlantic integration prospects before Ukraine, Ukrainian energy policy, the issue between Romania and Ukraine with Zmiyinyy island status and results of President George W. Bush’s visit to Ukraine.

The interview will be on the air of TVR-1 today in the afternoon.

President writes letter to PM

President Victor Yushchenko wrote a letter to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko today.

In his letter President noted that at his meeting with OU-PSD deputies, they expressed concerns to him about the Government’s staffing policy. According to them there are some people occupying governmental positions despite their reputation and personal qualities contradict with the principles, on which the Democratic coalition is based.

For example current first deputy Minister for Regional Development Oleksiy Ishchenko has been a deputy of Victor Medvedchuk at Presidential Administration during Leonid Kuchma’s presidency and is said to have been involved in falsification of 2004 presidential elections results in favor of Viktor Yanukovych. There were also other officials named by President in his letter, whose positions in offices according to him are worth to be re-discussed.

Victor Yushchenko expressed expectancies to Yulia Tymoshenko that the coalition as a whole and Mrs. Tymoshenko personally would reconsider achievements of those, mentioned in the letter and initiate Cabinet of Minister’s appropriate decisions on them.

“I also expect that further staffing incentives of the Government would correspond with a spirit of the Democratic coalition agreement”, - wrote President in his letter.

President gives interview to Evenimentul Zilei

President Victor Yushchenko gave an interview today for Romanian newspaper Evenimentul Zilei.

The subject for the interview was possibility of Ukraine gaining NATO MAP.

Speaking about the country’s chances President Yushchenko stressed that Ukraine fully complies with criteria necessary for it to be given the membership candidate status.

“Political stability and democratic development of the society are the a priori conditions. But Ukraine not only does comply with these requirements and criteria, but, could I say, surpasses the schedule”, - said President Yushchenko in response to a question about the reforms, which MAP requires. He also stressed that wide range of internal reforms provided by MAP is essential for Ukraine as implementing it stimulates adoption of modern European standards in multiple fields.

“Of no less importance is achieving sustainable economic development in the state. It indeed guarantees Ukraine’s adequate contribution within the framework of cooperation with NATO and the EU. That is why we are positive to work on reaching all the provided criteria”, - said Victor Yushchenko.

Speaking about possible consequences of deepening cooperation between Ukraine and NATO the President expressed assurance that it would be beneficial for both sides. “In its essence a process of Ukraine’s integration into NATO will become the process of shaping a new security formula for Europe. On the other hand, for Ukraine it will become the final stage of liberating ourselves from negative experience of past European failures” – he said.

The interview with President Yushchenko of Ukraine will be published today at Evenimentul Zilei’s website ( The printed version shall be available tomorrow.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Victor Yushchenko meets Shari Arison

President Victor Yushchenko met today with Arison Business Group chairperson Shari Arison. Chairman of the Board of Bank Hapoalim Dan Dankner and Arison Business Group CEO Efrat Peled were also invited at the meeting.

At the meeting sides discussed investment activity of Arison Business Group in Ukraine.

President Yushchenko welcomed company’s coming to Ukrainian market. Among the promising investment directions, he named projects within preparation to EURO 2012, agricultural sector, etc.

President signs Decree on 2008 Ukraine-NATO Target Plan implementation

President Victor Yushchenko signed a Decree on April 1st on implementation of 2008 Ukraine - NATO Target Plan.

As put in the Decree with the aim of realization of Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, priority tasks within the framework of NATO-Ukraine Intensified Dialogue, and Ukraine’s obligations resulting from its membership in NATO PfP program the Cabinet of Ministers and all responsible bodies are to provide implementation of 2008 Ukraine - NATO Target Plan.

The Decree also obliges Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Centre of Euro-Atlantic Integration, State Committee on television and radio broadcast and other executive authorities to inform public regularly on implementation of the measures provided by the Target Plan.

President Bush departs from Ukraine

President George W. Bush finished his official visit to Ukraine. At Boryspil airport he was seen off by Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, Presidential Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha and the Ambassador of the US to Ukraine William B. Taylor.

The US presidential couple visits Shool 57

Within the framework of his visit to Ukraine President Bush together with Mrs. Laura Bush paid a visit to Kyiv School 57. There the presidential couple saw a performance prepared by children from western Ukrainian town Perechyn. The performance was dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS and promotion of healthy living.

In his short speech after the performance President Bush stressed that he and his wife are thrilled to be in the country, which came through very harsh times and now stands firmly on a path towards liberty.

President Bush: we support MAP for Ukraine

Joint press conference of the President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko and the President of the USA George W. Bush took place after Ukrainian-American talks.

At the press conference President Bush reaffirmed American support towards Ukraine’s ambition to join NATO Membership Action Plan. “In Bucharest this week I will continue to make America’s position clear: we support MAP for Ukraine and Georgia”, - he said.

President Bush characterized Ukraine – NATO relations as a strong partnership reminding that “Ukraine is the only non-NATO nation supporting every NATO mission”. He also drew attention to the fact that Ukraine and NATO share common democratic values. “We also share more than security interest, we share democratic values. Ukraine has demonstrated its commitment to democracy and free markets.” Therefore according to President Bush’s words “helping Ukraine move toward its NATO membership is in the interest of every member in the Alliance. And we’ll help advance security and freedom in this region and around the world”.

Answering the question of a journalist if he thinks that Russia is applying undue pressure and threats to accomplish stopping NATO MAP’s for Ukraine and Georgia, Mr. George Bush said: ”This is an interesting debate that’s taking place and every nation has told me Russia will not have a veto over what happens at Bucharest and I take their word for it; and that’s the right policy to have”. President Yushchenko from his part stressed that when it comes to Ukraine’s course on joining MAC and NATO membership, this policy is not aimed against anybody. “I am assured that we’ve chosen the right strategic path and we act within the limits of national sovereignty”, - he said.

Speaking about Ukraine’s MAP and NATO aspirations President Yushchenko stressed that in his opinion there are no alternatives to the idea of collective security. “We proceed from the position that collective responsibility for security policy is the best response to the challenges existing in society and system of international coordinates”.

He expressed gratitude to the American side for supporting Ukraine in its craving for joining MAP. “I am assured that we will receive positive signal in Bucharest and that we will find proper reasons for those states, which are currently elaborating their position on the subject”, - he added.

Presidential couples visit St. Sophia Cathedral

The President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko with his wife, Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko and The President of the USA George W. Bush with Mrs. Laura Bush had a tour of Kyiv St. Sophia Cathedral.

Presidential couples were shown the Cathedral, its wall paintings and the tomb of Yaroslav the Wise. Mr. and Mrs. Bush also signed the Book of Honorable Guests of the preserve.

President Yushechenko and President Bush meet tete-a-tete

President Yushchenko and President Bush went for tete-a-tete meeting in Horodetsky House.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The USA President arrives in Ukraine

The President of the USA George W. Bush with his wife Mrs. Laura Bush arrived today at Boryspil airport.

At the airport the presidential couple was met by Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, Presidential Secretariat Chief of Staff Victor Baloha, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA Oleh Shamshur and The Ambassador of the USA to Ukraine William B. Taylor with his wife Deborah Taylor.

The American delegation to Ukraine includes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, their deputies, other officials.

President gives interview for ABC News

President Victor Yushchenko granted an interview today to the American ABC News today.

Among the discussed subjects were the visit of the President of the USA George W. Bush to Ukraine and prospects of Ukraine’s accession to NATO Membership Action Plan.

The interview was conducted by ABC journalist David Kerley who joined the network in 2004 and is an owner of two Emmy awards.