Sunday, August 10, 2008
President Victor Yushchenko wrote letters to Heads of Vinnytsya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattya, Ternopil, Chernivtsi Regional Administrations and to Deputy-Head of Lviv Regional Administration with the request to work out solution of accommodation problems for those, who lost their homes in the storms and floods.
“… I ask you to conduct questioning among these people in next 10 days… and offer them resettlement in safer places as well as, in this term, to designate the land plots for building new houses”, - said Victor Yushchenko in his letter.
On the results the Heads of Administrations are to inform President in person.
President Victor Yushchenko wrote letters of gratitude to Heads of the States that rendered support to Ukraine in management of the consequences of July 23-27 storms in Ukraine.
Among the addressees were Presidents of Austria, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, the USA, Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Uzbekistan, Belarus; Prime Minister of Spain, Federal Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of Japan.
President Victor Yushchenko instructed Heads of Regional State Administrations in the regions, damaged by storms, to provide all families with school-aged children with all necessary support so that their children could begin learning normally on September 1.
“I ask Regional and District Administration Heads to help every family were there is a school pupil to find thousand hryvnyas before September 1 to be able to buy schoolbooks, a book case and a uniform”, - he said.
Within the framework of his working visit to Vinnytsya region President Victor Yushchenko came to Mohyliv-Podilskyi.
At his press conference in the city President Yushchenko announced that he has intention to gather a special meeting of NSDC dedicated to restoration works in six regions of Ukraine, damaged by the storms.
He also made positive remarks about actions of local and central authorities aimed at restoration of the damaged territories.
At the same time President pointed to insufficient financing of flood preventing measures.
“Neither of the past Governments did approach financing of flood preventing programs with care. It is evident that the consequences, we face today are resulting from insufficient financing of the state programs”, - he said.
With regard to that he informed that he is to instruct the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine to conduct an analysis of flood preventing programs financing in Ukraine since 2004 to determine causes for the situation.
Victor Yushchenko also repeated himself that the consequences of the disaster could have been less.
In Vinnytsya region President Victor Yushchenko came to Serebriyi village, damaged by the storms of July 23-27.
Speaking to the villagers President informed them that he is to forward to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law on increasing financing the “Tysa” anti-flood program as soon as next parliamentary session begins.
He also promised that he would insist on increasing financing of other anti-flood programms.
With his direction President Victor Yushchenko established a Commission on studying condition of forestry in Vinnytsya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattya, Lviv, Ternopil and Chernivtsi regions.
Deputy Prosecutor General Tetyana Kornyakova was appointed Head of the commission.
Until October 1, 2008 the commission will be investigating organization and use of forestry in the abovementioned regions and analyze effectiveness of measures aimed at forests preservation.
Having received the results, the commission would provide its suggestions on improvement of the situation, counteraction to violation of the legislation in that field and initiate proceedings against those guilty of illegal actions.
Within the framework of his visit to Ternopil region President Victor Yushchenko came to Koropets village, damaged by the storms.
In the village President came to the most damaged dwellings, looked at the kindergarten, took part in a cornerstone ceremony at the place, where new homes for those who lost theirs in the disaster would be built.
Speaking to the villagers President Yushchenko said that they should support each other in the tragedy and promised that the authorities would do everything to help them to return to normal life.
According to him already today military units will come to the village to help in restoration works and the new houses for families, who lost their old homes will be built in three months.
President Victor Yushchenko went with a working visit to Ternopil and Vinnytsya regions to inspect restoration of territories damaged by July 23-27 storms.
In his trip President is accompanied by Minister for Emergencies Volodymyr Shandra and Minister for Health Vasyl Knyazevych.
In Lviv President Victor Yushchenko held a consultative meeting on the situation in districts of Lviv region damaged by natural disaster of July 23-27.
The participants of the meeting discussed restoration of the territories damaged by floods and main targets before authorities with regard to that.
Separate attention they dedicated to implementation of program on strengthening riverbanks, improving drainage systems and other anti-flood measures.
Besides, in response to President’s request, Minister for Health Vasyl Knyazevych presented the report on epidemiological situation in Lviv region and in the remaining five regions that were damaged by the natural disaster.
At the meeting President Yushchenko requested the Government to resume financing state program «Tysa» which provides development of anti-flood infrastructure in the western regions of Ukraine.
He also addressed local authorities towatch the restoration works closely and visit the damaged areas as often as it is possible.
Speaking to journalists in Verkhne Synievydne, villages of Skoliv district President Victor Yushchenko said that Ukraine needs a single national early warning system to work in situations like that of July 23-27.
To achieve that, according to Victor Yushchenko, it would be reasonable to unite warning systems of firefighters, medical emergency rooms and those of Ministry for Emergencies.
“Warning system should be effective and the authorities ensuring its functioning should be provided with appropriate instruments. It is also evident that Ministry for Emergencies and other services to be working within the framework of a new model should have exclusive rights, including the right to evacuate people”, - he said, adding that such a system should be “of direct action”.
After visiting Yasinya village, President Victor Yushchenko came to Bohdan village, where he looked at restoration works.
In his interview to journalists President pointed to need of reconsidering state policy of reacting towards natural disasters and preventing them.
He also said that this subject should be discussed at one of the nearest NSDC meeting.
Making comments on local authorities and self-government’s activity in managing consequences of July 23-27 disaster, President said: “In general, local authorities and self-government have shown many good examples of their mobility and effectiveness; they do deserve appreciation … In my working visits I have been witness to great work done by local authorities”.
Within the framework of his visit to Zakarpattya region, President Victor Yushchenko came to Yasinya village, Rakhiv district to see restoration of the village after the storms and strengthening riverbanks of Chorna Tysa River.
There he also took part in laying the foundation of the new house for Yasynya many children family, which lost their home in the flood.
In his later interview to journalists President Yushchenko stressed that effective insurance system is needed in our state to provide proper protection against natural disasters risk.
According to him current restoration works are financed by the state with no other sources of funds available. Introduction of voluntary insurance of “at least a part of the property”, therefore, would prevent the state from taking all the burden of financing upon itself.
At the same time Victor Yushchenko stressed that “the state undoubtedly can not stay aside from such a disaster from moral point of view”.
President Victor Yushchenko went with working visits to Zakarpattya and Lviv regions to see restoration of the areas, damaged by July 23-27 storms.
In his trip President is accompanied by Minister for Emergencies Volodymyr Shandra and Minister for Health Vasyl Knyazevych.
Within the framework of his visit to Chernivtsi region President Victor Yushchenko held a meeting of coordinative staff on dealing with the consequences of July 23-27 disaster. The participants of the meeting were Prime Minister, Minister for Emergencies, Defense Minister, Heads of Regional Administrations.
At the meeting President Yushchenko put a task before Regional Administration Heads to form plans of providing support to the damaged regions with regard to his letter, requesting the regions of Ukraine to provide the damaged districts with necessities.
He also addressed Regional Heads suggesting that they send their representatives to the damaged districts and visit these districts in person once per 10 to 12 days.
Addressing the Government President Yushchenko asked it to prepare in one day term a final plan of reconstruction of roads and bridges, destroyed by the storm.
He also repeated that damage from the disaster would have been less severe, if forests were not damaged or hydrotechnic infrastructure was prepared better.
Yet, making comments on the pace of restoration President named it very effective.
President Victor Yushchenko wrote letters to Crimea Prime-Minister and to Heads of Regional Administrations with an instruction to provide districts of Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions damaged by floods and storms the most with support.
In his letters President also assigned to each region one or two districts they will be donating help to.
Within the framework of his visit to Chernivtsi region President Victor Yushchenko came to Putyla river to take a look at the works on clearing the river-bed off debris, conducted by soldiers of the 80th Airmobile regiment.
Also in Dykhtynets village President Yushchenko saw restoration works and clearing Putylka river.
In his trip President was accompanied by Minister for Emergencies Volodymyr Shandra, Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov and deputy Chief of Staff of Presidential Secretariat Roman Bezsmertny.
Speaking to journalists in Vyzhnytsya town, Chernivtsi region President Victor Yushchenko said that he is to address the Government with an assignment to elaborate regional program on preventing and fighting floods.
He expressed assurance that it had been possible to avoid many things that happened during the storms in the western part of Ukraine with proper measures taken beforehand.
According to President main causes for heavy damages in the region and in Vyzhnytsya in particular were uncontrolled and often illegal cutting down the forests, insufficient work on strengthening river banks, inadequate technical equipment of local units of Ministry for Emergencies, etc.
Answering to questions of journalists in Chernivtsi President Victor Yushchenko said that in ecological emergency areas prices for goods will not be rising and any abuse in that area will be strictly observed and stopped.
“We have agreed to arrange help lines in all Regional and District Administrations. Please report all the cases of abuse with prices. Each time they occure, every fact wel be immediately reacted on”, - said Victor Yushchenko.
He also expressed opinion that local authorities should address businessmen with the request to avoid speculation in the damaged areas.
Besides, President informed that he intends to address all the regions of Ukraine with a request to provide any support they can to the damaged areas.
In Chernivtsi region President Victor Yushchenko met with children who were about to leave for Artek summer camp in Crimea.
Overall around 600 children from Ivano-Frankivsk and 270 from Chernivtsi regions were provided with free tickets to Crimea.
In his short speech at the event President Yushchenko assured children and their parents that they are not alone in their troubles due to storms and floods.
He also said that currently there are enough funds for restoring the damaged territories. According to him in 10 days automobile connection with 78 settlement is to be restored. Electric and gas mains are to be rebuilt even sooner.
President also promised that families who suffered the most losing their relatives in the storms would not be forsaken and would receive appropriate support.
President Victor Yushchenko sent a condolence telegram to the President of Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, on the occasion of death of famous Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
“On behalf of Ukrainian nation and from me, please convey sincere condolences to Russian nation and to family and relatives of Aleksandr Isayevich on the occasion of this painful loss”, - said Victor Yushchenko in his telegram.
President Victor Yushchenko went today to Chernivtsi region. There he visited the most damaged areas of the region.
Among them was Chornohusy village where President talked to inhabitants of the village and inspected restoration of Kuty-Putyla automobile route, damaged by the storms.
Speaking to Chornohusy inhabitants President informed them that he had addressed Ukrainian businessmen with a petition to help those, who suffered from the disaster and especially to those who lost their homes.
He also expressed assurance that in two to three months those who don’t have roof above their head will get proper accommodation.
In the afternoon President Yushchenko was scheduled to take part in a meeting of executive staff coordinating restoration works in the region.
Talking to journalists in Verkhovyna village, Ivano-Frankivsk region, President Victor Yushchenko expressed assurance that paying damages to victims of storms in Western Ukraine would not cause increase in inflation rates.
“We should not be afraid of that. These money are real and will be given to the people”, - he stressed.
President Victor Yushchenko went with a working visit to Ivano-Frankivsk region. There he visited the villages damaged by disaster of July 23-27.
In Tlumach district President visited Petryliv and Zolota Lypa villages, in Snyatyn district – the village of Prutivka.
Also Victor Yushchenko came to Verkhovyna district, which had been damaged the most in the region.
Speaking to inhabitants of the damaged villages President repeated: “Whole Ukraine and all the Ukrainians are by your side in this tragedy”.
In his trip President Yushchenko was accompanied by Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov, Minister for Emergencies Volodymyr Shandra and Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Administration Head Mykola Paliychuk.
State Budget earnings in January-June 2008 made up UAH 104.8 billion (1 USD - 4.84 UAH) which is UAH 33.5 billion more against the relevant period last year, Ukrainian Economics Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn told a press-conference. These indexes exceed the planned ones by 11%.
The State Customs Service increased transfers to the budget 1.9fold, besides, earnings to budgets of all levels from taxes and duties (UAH 82.53 billion) made by the State Tax Administration went up by 36.2% against the last year index.
The Economics Minister noted that in 2008, tax earnings from large taxpayers grew due to establishment of partner relations between authorities and business.
In H1 2008, social expenses of the settled budget went up by UAH 55.5 billion.
The minister said that the government implemented real steps towards restoration of social justice and increase of living standards. In particular, minimum wages grew since January 1, 2008 up to UAH 515 and from April 1 - to UAH 525. As a result, average monthly salary in January-June 2008 increased by 39.45% up to UAH 1,708 versus the relevant period last year. In reality, taking into account inflation, the growth rate was 9.5%, the minister added.
Taking into consideration re-calculations, average pension rate went up by 32.1% and by late 2008 it will grow by 37%.
The National Electricity Regulatory Commission approved new retail prices for natural gas for population. The average gas price for the public grew by 13% and it directly depends on an amount of consumed gas.
With the consumption of no more than 2,500 cubic meters of gas per month, citizens should pay 35.82 kopecks per 1,000 cubic meters if they have gas counters and 39.36 kopecks per 1,000 cubic meters if they don't have them.
With the consumption of no more than 6,000 cubic meters of gas per month, citizens should pay 54.64 kopecks per 1,000 cubic meters with gas counters and 59.64 kopecks per 1,000 cubic meters without them.
With the consumption of no more than 12,000 cubic meters of gas per month, citizens should pay UAH 1.11 per 1,000 cubic meters with gas counters and UAH 1.22 per 1,000 cubic meters without them.
With the consumption of over 12,000 cubic meters of gas per month, citizens should pay UAH 1.326 per 1,000 cubic meters with gas counters and UAH 1.458 per 1,000 cubic meters without them.
As UKRINFORM reported, gas workers held rallies in Kyiv and in a number of other cities, demanding that "economically reasonable tariffs for services on the transportation and supply of natural gas" be set, i.e. gas prices should grow.
Slovakia rendered humanitarian aid worth around EUR 215,760 to the flood-hit regions of Ukraine, Slovakian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Ludmila Stanova said.
She said that humanitarian aid includes ten tents, five pumps, and 1,500 sleeping bags. Slovakia's Embassy in Ukraine is expected to deliver this humanitarian cargo to representatives of the Ternopil regional headquarters on tackling natural disasters.
Ludmila Stanova said that humanitarian assistance to those hit by the flood in Ukraine had been allocated at the request of the Monitoring and Information Centre in Brussels, which is operated by the European Commission and involved in quick response to emergency situations.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has extended the powers of the Agrarian Fund, and authorized it to sell grain for export, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told a press conference.
The Head of Government also informed that the Cabinet would speed up the payment of VAT refunds to the exporters buying grain directly from its producers.
Yet, this involves only the traders having contracts on the purchase of grain at prices not below the Government-set floor level.
The Ukrainian flag hoisting ceremony will take place in Beijing Thursday. The traditional event in the Olympic village will be held in the presence of Ukrainian athletes, coaches, officials and reporters, and will symbolize this country's preparedness for participation in the Olympic Games, the press service of the National Olympic Committee reported.
Upon completion of the ceremony, the Ukrainians will demonstrate their art talents. Ukrainian pop-stars will give a concert on the stage of the entertainment zone of the Olympic village.
A general plan of preparations for the Euro 2012 European Football Championship has been drafted in Donetsk. Donetsk City Mayor Oleksandr Mayor Oleksandr Lukianchenko said this at a press conference.
"A general plan of Euro 2012 preparations was considered during a Euro 2012 coordination council that was held yesterday. The plan will be presented to the leadership of the Union of European Football Association, and on August 18, UEFA experts will check the state of Ukraine's preparations for Euro 2012. They will consider the issues of the preparation of sporting bases, the state of infrastructure of cities, roads, transport and hotels. The questions of the preparation of stadiums and sporting bases that I reported on yesterday were accepted without remarks. Four out of six cities will be chosen after a visit of the experts on August 18," he said.
Employees of the Education and Science Ministry transferred their one-day earnings to the account of persons that suffered from the natural disaster in the Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Transcarpathia, Lviv, Ternopil and Chernivtsi regions, the Education and Science Ministry press service told.
In January - June 2008, the sum of the national and government-guaranteed debts of Ukraine reduced by UAH 2,832,231,470 (3.19%), the Finance Ministry press service reported.
The ratio of the state debt and the gross domestic product has a decline tendency. Its improvement owes both to economic growth and a balanced debt policy.
The ratio of the national and Government-guaranteed debt as of June 30, 2008 to the GDP forecast for 2008 is 9%, which is acceptable from the viewpoint of national finance security.
Staff of budget institutions, industrial enterprises of Kherson region donate funds to flood-hit residents
Staff of budget institutions and industrial enterprises of Kherson region transfer their daily wages to flood-hit residents in western Ukraine.
According to the State Regional Administration, budget institutions of Kherson region transferred over UAH 78 thousand to the assistance fund for flood-hit residents.
Industrial workers transfer funds as well. Besides, on August, 4 employees of the Kharkiv state works Palada donated UAH 15.5 thousand in order to assist flood-hit regions.
Russia's humanitarian aid arrived in Ivano-Frankivsk. According to the Russian Embassy in Ukraine, the convoy including 18 heavy trucks left near-Moscow Noginsk on August 1. Half of them reached Ivano-Frankivsk at night, another group drove to Moldavia. "Ukrainian" part of the convoy consists of three superMAZ trucks, four KAMAZ trucks and two jeeps. They delivered equipment, namely electric stations, saws, pumps, tents, assembled beds, disinfectants and metal crockery.
On August 5, the consignment will be registered at the customs and delivered to the Main Department of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry in Ivano-Frankivsk region.
As of 0900 on Tuesday, a total of 24,248 families were included in the lists of families that were hit by the recent devastating floods, First Deputy Labor Minister Pavlo Rozenko said at a briefing on Tuesday.
He said that over UAH 38 million had already been transferred to help these families. "We can say that the first stage of payments has practically ended in Vinnytsia, Zakarpattia, Lviv and Ternopil regions. The lists that annually include no more than 10-15 families are being specified there," Rozenko said.
He said that it is very difficult to compile lists and make payments in Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk regions that were worst hit by the flood.
Ukrainian transport workers are increasing the volume of restoration work in flood-hit regions, Transport and Communications Minister Yosyp Vinsky said at a press conference on Tuesday. He said that a total of 239.8 kilometers of roads had been destroyed, 1,248 kilometers damaged, 88 bridges fully destroyed, and over 200 bridges require reconstruction.
Three railway sections that were worst hit by the flood remain closed in Lviv, Ivanko-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions.
As of Tuesday morning, traffic has resumed on 1,048 kilometers of roads. Vinsky said that transport workers would resume road service with all population centers of the flood-stricken regions by August 25.
The minister estimated the damage done to the Ukrainian transport sector at UAH 2.65 billion (USD 1 / UAH 4.85).
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sees reason for aggravation of situation in South Ossetia in inefficiency of peace keeping mechanism acting there
The Foreign Ministry expresses concern over a number of armed incidents that occurred in South Ossetia (Georgia) recently and caused a loss of human lives, it was said in a commentary by Head of the Foreign Ministry Press Service Vasyl Kyrylych. Such development of events testifies to inefficiency of the peace keeping mechanism acting in the given region, the diplomat notes.
"The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urges the conflicting parties to restraint, realization of their responsibility for the future of the region and to renewal of direct negotiations without any preconditions as a necessary step to de-escalation of the situation", Kyrylych noted.
Ukraine consistently stands for the necessity of settlement of the conflict exclusively by a peaceful way, based on observation of the principle of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, the comment by the Foreign Ministry's official representative emphasizes.
During its extraordinary extended board meeting in Ternopil on Tuesday, with participation of Health Minister Vasyl Kniazevych, the State Sanitary and Epidemic Service of Ukraine will hear information about anti-epidemic measures on flood-hit areas, the Health Ministry press service told.
The meeting will be addressed by chief health officers of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Chernivtsi, Zakarpattia, Ternopil and Vinnytsia regions.
The meeting will also hear information about medical aid to the flood victims, and additional measures of sanitary and epidemic control.
According to Ukraine's Embassy in Ireland, that country's Minister of State for Overseas Development Peter Power responded to the address for humanitarian and technical aid towards flood cleanup efforts in West Ukraine, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported.
The Minister offered condolences with the bereaved families and other flood victims, as well as expressed the Irish Foreign Ministry's preparedness to provide financial aid of EUR 20,000 for the natural calamity aftermath elimination.
The sum will be transferred to the accounts of the International Red Cross Federation.
Children from the flooded areas of Bukovyna have come for rest to Sevastopol (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) on Monday, the press service of the city state administration reported.
The guests were accommodated in the city's best health camp, Laspi.
Sevastopol and Bukovyna signed a cooperation agreement a year ago, Mayor Serhiy Kunitsyn told the press.
In his words, the municipal administration is mulling a possible invitation of 60 children more.
Servicemen of all of Sevastopol's government establishments decided to transfer their one-day salary to the flood victim relief fund.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov says accusations leveled against Ukraine for allegedly unlawful delivery of weapons to Georgia hold no water.
He made a statement to this effect during his working visit to Chernivtsi region on Monday.
The minister noted that Ukraine has Ukrspetsexport, a government structure in charge of arms export in keeping with domestic and international laws.
"If someone buys Ukrainian weapons, it means they enjoy demand in the world market. We have a lot of excessive arms, and are trying to sell them, but only to the countries where there is no international embargo on arms trade," Yekhanurov says.
He emphasized that no international sanctions were imposed on Georgia concerning weapons sale or purchase.
Consequences of ecological catastrophe in Kerch Strait removed, sea water free from pollution by oil products
No pollution by oil products revealed on the Black Sea and Azov Sea shores, the Information and Analytical Department of the Kerch City Council told.
According to the Kerch authorities, the city sanitary-epidemiological station regularly carries out monitoring as to contents of oil products in the sea water. During a recent control of the sea water, seven samples have been taken on the beach in Altihen, on the city beach and Starokarantynnyi Beach and on the Arshyntseva Split.
Oil products' contents in the studied samples are within the allowable values from 0,018 mg/cu dcm (milligram per cubic decimeter), noted in the Kerch City Council.
They were afraid in East Crimea that the resort season will be hampered by consequences of the ecological catastrophe that occurred in the Kerch Strait in autumn 2007. At that time, during a storm about 2,000 tons of black oil got into water that poured out from the sunken Russian tanker Volgoneft-139, and about 2.4 thousand tons of sulfur got into the sea from other Russian ships that wrecked.
With the aim of preventing from epidemic complications among the population that can emerge due to an emergency situation in the Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Trancarpathia, Lviv, Vinnytsia and Ternopil regions, the Health Ministry allocated a certain amount to each region from allocations provided for measures to fight epidemics. In particular, UAH 800 thousand was earmarked for the Ivano-Frankivsk region, UAH 851 thousand - for the Chernivtsi region, UAH 250 thousand - for the Trancarpathia region, UAH 400 thousand - for the Vinnytsia region, the Health Ministry press service told UKRINFORM.
According to the Ministry's order, the allocated funds will be spent according to the "Instructions on spending budget allocations on measures to fight epidemics, labor remuneration and payment of business trips for medical and other workers sent to fight epidemics".
Sunday, August 3, 2008
President sent condolence letter to the President of the Republic of Turkey Abdullah Gül on the occasion of Turkish citizens loss in the Istanbul explosion.
“In the hour of grief and sorrow we share the bitterness of loss by friendly Turkish nation. On behalf of Ukrainian nation and from myself I offer condolences to the families that lost their relatives.”, - said Victor Yushchenko in his letter.
Crimean governmental delegation leaves for Ivano-Frankivsk region to provide assistance to flood-hit regions
A Crimean delegation left for Kosiv region of Ivano-Frankivsk region in order to provide assistance to flood-hit people. The delegation includes First Deputy Head of the Crimean Council of Ministers Aziz Abdulayev, Minister of Construction Policy and Architecture Volodymyr Nikolov, Deputy Agrarian Minister Oleksands Balabas.
A working group is formed within the Council of Ministers in order to provide help to Kosiv district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region.