Wednesday, July 29, 2009

President praises the results of the third round of consultations with the European Commission - Bohdan Sokolovsky

President Victor Yushchenko praises the results of the third (final) round of consultations with the European Commission the President's Representative on International Energy Security Bogdan Sokolovsky said at his briefing.

He stressed that the success achieved largely due to the fact that the Government and ‘Naftogaz of Ukraine' supported the President's suggestions on urgent steps on financial recovery of ‘Naftogaz of Ukraine', which had been prepared by the interdepartmental group headed by the First Deputy Chief of Staff Oleksandr Shlapak.

"We have seen another proof that the consolidated position of state authorities fruits in success", Bohdan Sokolovsky said.

He said that given the positive results of the consultations with the EC, the President calls on the Government and "Naftogaz of Ukraine" leadership to make practical steps for speedy implementation of the agreements with the European Commission and international financial institutions to obtain loans to purchase gas for storage in the underground storage on favorable terms and in a transparent way.

Unfortunately, said Bogdan Sokolovsky, the Government wasted a lot of time. Indeed, back in January this year the President requested the Government to formulate and adopt realistic financial plan for NJSC ‘Naftogaz of Ukraine' in the view of risks created by the new gas contracts signed by Ukraine and Russia on January 19, 2009.

"The negotiations with the European Commission and the Russian Federation on payments for gas intended for storage should have been started immediately so that they could be concluded before the season of pumping gas into the underground storages that starts in May.

The Government, he said, unfortunately ignored the President's request.

Instead, protracting in every way the negotiations with Europe, the Cabinet has started secret negotiations to obtain dubious foreign borrowings, including those from offshore companies such as Cyprus ‘Troika Dialogue', said Bogdan Sokolovsky.

In current difficult situation the Government initiates the increase in gas prices for all Ukrainian consumers without adequate provision of fair social protection.

"In this situation, the President of Ukraine requests the Government to urgently strengthen the social protection of poor parts of the population through enhancing the level and transparency of the targeted support aimed at compensation of gas prices growth", summed up Bohdan Sokolovsky.

This position of the President is fully supported by the European Commission and international financial institutions.

Also Victor Yushchenko considers unacceptable the causeless indebting of Ukraine, especially through shady schemes. In this view he has addressed the Attorney General with the request to take measures to avoid attracting economically unreasonable loans that harm national interests of Ukraine and violate the law.