22.03.07. Ukraine tabte til Rusland i Højesteret

21.03.07. Jusjtjenko: emnet NATO bør ikke politiseres 

21.03.07. Ukraine får ny udenrigsminister, den 32-årige Arsene Jatsenjuk

20.03.07. Ingen løsning i striden om udenrigsministeren

18.03.07. Nye oplysninger i sagen om Jusjtjenkos forgiftning

16.03.07. Danmark og Ukraine underskriver vigtige aftaler 

16.03.07. Ukraine tæt på WTO-medlemskab

15.03.07. Ukraine: Politisk strid på vej mod enden

10.03.07. EU vil fordoble hjælpen til Ukraine

10.03.07. EU vil fortsætte det energipolitiske samarbejde med Ukraine

08.03.07. Jusjtjenkos magt eroderer langsomt (eng.)

08.03.07. USA's kongres støtter Ukraines og Georgiens optagelse i NATO

08.03.07. Jusjtjenko hilser amerikansk missilskjold i Europa velkommen

23.02.07. More Than Grain of Truth (Nye dokumenter om 1932-33)

23.02.07. Will democracy survive in Ukraine? What the experts say

23.02.07. Ny Putin-doktrin presser Ukraine

21.02.07. Ukraine ved ikke, hvad det skal mene om missilskjold i Polen og Tjekkiet

19.02.07. Ukraine's integration into the global economy examined at GMF

19.02.07. Forfatningsdomstolen skal afgøre magtkamp mellem Jusjtjenko og Janukovytj 

19.02.07. Ekspert: Jusjtjenko lod sig true til ikke at opløse parlamentet (eng.)

15.02.07. Jusjtjenkos parti sætter bundrekord i ny meningsmåling

08.02.07. Genvalg til Nina Karpatjova som ombudsmand

06.02.07. Ukraine: Odesa-Brody pipeline potential still unused
06.02.07. Kennan Institute: Ukraine and NATO: Dynamics of the relationship

06.02.07. Ny udenrigsminister i Ukraine

06.02.07. Ny udenrigsminister i Ukraine

Koordinatoren for flertallet i det ukrainske parlament Raisa Bogatyrjova siger, at flertallet af koalitionens medlemmer er parate til at støtte Volodymyr Ohryzko som ny udenrigsminister. Det oplyser talskvinde for Regionernes Parti Ljudmyla Khariv med henvisning til Bogatyrjova, oplyser UNIAN.

"Men naturligvis er vi ikke færdige med at diskutere denne kandidat. Det er af principiel betydning, at præsidenten og premierministeren tager hinanden med på råd, og når til enighed på netop deres niveau", sagde Bogatyrjova. Hun understregede, at præsidenten har benyttet sig af sin forfatningssikrede ret til at foreslå sine kandidater til posten som udenrigsminister.

"Samtidig med det mener jeg, at parlaments-regeringskoalitionen bør være sikker på, at den kommende minister udenrigspolitiske virke ikke vil være i modstrid med koalitionens udenrigspolitiske verdenssyn", tilføjede han. Bogatyrjova betegnede Ohryzko som en af de bedste fagmænd indenfor udenrigspolitik.

"Og det er vigtigt, at princippet i den diplomatiske tolerance, afstanden til en politisering af dette ansvarlige og fintfølende redskab for statens politik bliver en traditionel pligt for kandidaten til at bestride denne post, som er yderst vigtig for sikringen af statens udenrigspolitiske prioriteringer", sagde hun.

"Ukraine er det vigtigste. Og selvfølgelig bør Ohryzko tage ved lære af sin forhenværende chef Tarasyuks skæbne", er Bogatyrjova overbevist om. 

Tidligere i går foreslog præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko Volodymyr Ohryzko som ny udenrigsminster.

Den tidligere udenrigsminister Borys Tarasyuk indgav sin afskedsbegæring mandag i sidste uge. UP.

06.02.07. Kennan Institute: Ukraine and NATO: Dynamics of the relationship

Kennan Institute
January 8, 2007
event summary

Speaking at a recent Kennan Institute lecture, Volodymyr Dubovyk, associate professor, Department of International Relations, director, Center for International Studies, Odesa National University, and Fulbright-Kennan Institute research scholar, described the evolution of Ukraine's relationship with NATO, and outlined the case for the country to join the alliance.

Since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, its relationship with NATO has steadily deepened, Dubovyk said. In the early years after independence, the country pursued a strategy of principled non-alignment. Dubovyk praised this strategy, as Ukraine then had nuclear weapons on its soil, and its non-aligned status alleviated fears of instability in both the West and in Russia. In 1994, Ukraine became the first country in the CIS to join the NATO Partnership for Peace program. Dubovyk emphasized that Ukraine has never objected to the expansion of NATO. This position, he said, has helped it to develop good relations with its neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Poland.

In 1997, Ukraine signed the Ukraine-NATO Charter, which expanded cooperation. During the presidency of Leonid Kuchma, relations with the alliance slowed down, but did not halt, according to Dubovyk. In 2002, an Action Plan was signed and relations continued. Ukraine indicated its intent to join NATO during Kuchma's presidency, but this statement was undermined by the president's mistakes in domestic policy, Dubovyk said. After the Orange Revolution, the relationship between Ukraine and NATO progressed somewhat, entering a phase of "intensified dialogue," he said. Much of this momentum has been lost, according to Dubovyk, as the change expected from the Orange Revolution has been slow in coming.

In Dubovyk's view, the prospects for Ukraine's membership have been hurt since the return of Viktor Yanukovych to the position of prime minister. This was illustrated by the prime minister's statement in Brussels on September 14 that Ukraine was not yet ready to join NATO. Dubovyk noted that the responsibility for lack of progress on membership lies entirely with Ukraine.

According to him, 80 percent of experts in Ukraine advocate membership in NATO. Common rationales include: escaping the Eurasian "grey zone" between established democracies and the stability of the Euro-Atlantic security system one the one hand, and autocratic and unstable space on the other; leaving the security vacuum in the CIS; putting Ukraine in a better position to face modern security challenges; improving transparency and civilian control as part of further democratization; and allowing the Ukrainian military a chance to survive and modernize.

While expert opinion in Ukraine may have reached a consensus on the question of Ukraine's membership in NATO, Dubovyk noted that support among the population of Ukraine remains quite low, consistently hovering around 20-30 percent. He attributed this to several factors, including the negative associations with NATO caused by stereotypes generated by Soviet propaganda, lack of educational outreach on the part of the Ukrainian government, and negative publicity associated with the NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia.

Ukrainian political elites view NATO through an opportunistic prism, according to Dubovyk, and do not see it as an issue of national interests. President Viktor Yushchenko has chosen to all but ignore the issue, while his Foreign and Defense Ministries have worked steadily to prepare Ukraine for membership, he said. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych intends to pursue a multi-vectoral foreign policy similar to that pursued by Ukraine under Kuchma, and has said different things to different audiences, according to Dubovyk. Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is nominally in favor of Ukraine's membership, he said, but has done little to advance Ukraine on the path toward membership or to articulate her position on this issue. Ukraine's Socialist and Communist parties are staunchly opposed to membership, although their electorates are substantially smaller than those of the three main leaders, he noted.

While political infighting may send mixed signals, Dubovyk emphasized that NATO is the only viable security organization in Eurasia and in the Euro-Atlantic space, and the only option for Ukraine.

06.02.07. Ukraine: Odesa-Brody pipeline potential still unused

RFE/RL Belarus Ukraine Report

By Roman Kupchinsky

January 12, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- EU ministers are asking the same questions they asked in January 2006 when Russia halted supplies of gas to Ukraine: Is Russia a reliable fuel supplier, or is it using energy as a weapon to reestablish hegemony over the former Soviet space?

But the question that is not being asked is why Russia's crude-oil customers within the EU find themselves so heavily reliant on the Druzhba pipeline. Have no alternative routes been considered in the past, and if there were, why were they rejected?

A case can be made that Russian skullduggery, combined with European miscalculations and inactivity, set the stage for recent events. This is best illustrated by the case of the Odesa-Brody pipeline in Ukraine.

Origins of a pipeline

Ukraine built the 674-kilometer Odesa-Brody pipeline in the hope of competing with other routes for the lucrative job of moving Caspian oil to the West. Azerbaijani and Kazakh crude oil, a high-quality blend, needed to avoid being transported by Russian pipelines where it could mix with the sour Urals blend.

Constructing the Odesa-Brody route, which runs from the Black Sea to the Polish border, was seen as the ideal solution. The pipeline's first phase was put into operation in May 2002. It boasted a throughput capacity of 9 million tons with the capability to reach 14.5 million tons yearly.

This pipeline was intended to transport Caspian oil from the newly built Pivdenny terminal to the existing Druzhba pipeline for transport to European refineries. From there it would be sold to distributors in Europe and elsewhere. Both projects came under the direct jurisdiction of the Ukrainian state-owned oil and gas monopoly, Naftohaz Ukrayiny, and its subsidiary company, UkrTransNafta, the manager of oil pipelines in Ukraine.

As these projects were under construction, "Alexander's Oil And Gas" on June 9, 2000, reported that U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said the U.S. government supported Ukraine's plans to build the new Pivdenny oil terminal and the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline. Richardson added that the new terminal would help Ukraine diversify its energy sources and thus make the country less dependant on Russia.

The Ukrainian side was encouraged by the European Union and the United States to build the Odesa-Brody pipeline. However, after it was completed, Ukraine did not have the money required to fill it with Caspian crude and none of the European states were willing to build the connecting pipelines needed to link Odesa-Brody to refineries. As "Stratfor Commentary" noted on September 8, 2003, "The end result was that Kiev found itself saddled with a white elephant rusting picturesquely in the Ukrainian countryside."

A new direction

But serious doubts were also expressed as to the direction oil in the Odesa-Brody would take. Matthew Sagers of Cambridge Energy Research Association was quoted by Interfax on August 15, 2003, as saying that there was no demand for Caspian oil in Northern Europe due to its high price and that there would be no problems if the pipeline were to transport oil south, to the Pivdenny terminal and then via the Bosporus. Sagers claimed that an additional 9 million tons of oil per year would not overburden the heavily trafficked straits.

At this time the Russian-British firm TNK-BP began a massive lobbying campaign in Kyiv to reverse the flow of the Odesa-Brody -- sending its oil south to the Black Sea.

Despite a decision by Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers to send oil in the northerly direction, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma suddenly began agreeing that Russian oil should be put into the pipeline and pumped south.

On April 29, 2003, the head of Kazakh state oil firm KazMunaiGas announced that Kazakhstan would start filling the Odesa-Brody pipeline in the second half of that year and that a deal had been made with other members of the Tengizchevroil consortium that included ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, BP, and LUKoil to supply 6 million tons per year to the pipeline. The only matter that needed clarification was the price the Ukrainians would charge.

The Astana headquarters of Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas (official site)"The Moscow Times" quoted the Kazakh official as saying that the interested Western companies were completing commercial negotiations with oil refineries in Southern Europe to receive their oil from Odesa-Brody and that initial agreements had been reached.

But despite a decision by Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers to send oil in the northerly direction, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma suddenly began agreeing with Russian oil majors that Russian oil should be put into the pipeline and pumped south.

Russia gets a boost

The TNK-BP lobbying effort was apparently making progress. On April 28, 2003, Interfax-Ukraine announced that Kuchma said at a press conference that "the shipment of Caspian oil via the Odesa-Brody pipeline is unlikely to take place because it would be a money-losing proposition, so Ukraine must reconsider the use of the pipeline for Russian oil shipments from Brody to Odesa." This view was rapidly seconded by Deputy Prime Minister for Fuel and Energy Andriy Klyuyev.

Interfax quoted the Ukrainian president as saying that "the fact is that, as of today, there is neither a Caspian oil seller nor a buyer. Visit Baku and speak to analysts and learn if there is Caspian oil. There is none and there will not be any. As for Russian oil, it exists, and we can earn $90 million in profits from the reversed use of the pipeline."

The following day, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Steven Pifer strongly contradicted Kuchma's statement and said that Ukraine had not done anything to insure Caspian supplies that could fill the Odesa-Brody pipeline. Pifer reminded the Ukrainian president that Germany and Slovenia both had refineries working with Caspian oil and that Ukraine was in an excellent position to utilize its pipeline to send Caspian oil to these refineries. Interfax-Ukraine, which reported Pifer's statement, also added that Pifer went on to say that if Ukraine wanted to integrate into Europe, "this is a wonderful way to unify its energy system with the European one."

A pressing issue over the years was where Kazakh oil would be routed. The United States and Europe were placing their money into the construction of the $3 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. This pipeline, when finished, would have a throughput capacity of 1 million barrels per day. But for it to be commercially viable, it would need Kazakhstan to send its oil through it.

Kazakhstan comes up short

A few weeks after the KazMunaiGas announcement, the Kazakh ambassador to Ukraine made an unexpected statement contradicting the head of his country's gas and oil monopoly. Speaking to reporters in Kyiv on May 19, 2003, Interfax-Ukraine quoted him as saying that Kazakhstan, in fact, did not have the required oil to fill Odesa-Brody. Why this rapid about-face took place was not explained.

It is inconceivable that the Kazakh ambassador would make such a statement without the approval of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and without the knowledge of KazMunaiGas. In effect, the revelation that there was no oil available for Odesa-Brody from Kazakhstan immensely strengthened TNK-BP's (and Kuchma's) hand and seemed to deal a serious blow to the effort to diversify Caspian oil-transit routes.

In mid-June 2003, Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko traveled to Kyiv, where he met with Serhiy Tulub, the Ukrainian minister for fuel and energy. A few days after this meeting, Khristenko sent a letter to Tulub explaining his government's position on the Odesa-Brody pipeline. According to Interfax on June 18, 2003, the Russian minister wrote that Russia was not interested in seeing Odesa-Brody flow in a northerly direction -- to Brody. Khristenko explained this by saying that there were no markets for Russian light oil in Northern Europe and that sending oil north to Brody would destabilize the markets in Southern Europe for Russian and Kazakh light oil.

Khristenko said Russia was still interested in seeing the Odesa-Brody pipeline used in reverse mode, but at lower volumes than originally planned. In effect, he was telling the West that Odesa-Brody was off-limits.

At the same time, Khrystenko noted that Russia was still interested in seeing the Odesa-Brody pipeline used in reverse mode, but at lower volumes than originally planned.

In effect, Khristenko was telling the West that Odesa-Brody was off-limits to them. The argument that Russian light crude did not have a market in Northern Europe was somewhat exaggerated since most Russian crude is Urals blend. Khristenko also chose to speak on behalf of the Kazakh oil industry, which had already agreed to supply oil to fill the Odesa-Brody pipeline.

The Yuzhny terminal of the Odesa-Brody pipeline (TASS file photo)Writing in "The Wall Street Journal Europe" on October 10, 2003, former Reagan-era national security adviser Robert McFarlane noted: "When Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was in Washington this week, certainly one issue for discussion was last week's decision by Ukraine's state pipeline company to move forward toward reversing the use of the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline in Russia's favor.... Russian oligarchic interests, however -- with Britain's BP unfortunately in tow -- wish to use that pipeline themselves, in the opposite direction.... This would cancel all the hopes that had been vested in the Ukrainian pipeline."

Return to sender

David O'Reilly, the head of ChevronTexaco, sent a letter to Kuchma on January 29, 2004, in which he wrote, "We are prepared to continue to work actively with UkrTransNafta and the other pipeline along the route to implement this project and make shipment through Odesa-Brody to Central Europe a reality." The letter has apparently gone unanswered.

It was only in August 2005, with oil prices skyrocketing and Russian behavior becoming more aggressive, that the EU realized the value of Odesa-Brody as an alternative route for Caspian oil to reach Europe. The European Commission agreed to award a contract to a consortium of European companies to finalize the technical, economic, and legal studies required for the construction of the pipeline to the Polish refinery in Plock, Poland.

The press release issued by the European Commission to Ukraine and Belarus on August 8, 2005, noted, "The construction of the Black Sea-Ukraine-Poland oil transportation corridor is a crucial infrastructure project in the context of EU and Ukrainian policies for security of oil supplies."

According to the latest reports, little if anything has been done by this consortium of European companies to further the project to completion.

08.02.07. Genvalg til Nina Karpatjova som ombudsmand

Medlem af Julia Tymoshenkos fraktion Mykola Tomenko er blev valgt til næstformand for det ukrainske parlament. 340 deputerede stemte for Tomenko.

Kort tid efter støttede et flertal på 255 deputerede Nina Karpatjova på posten som det ukrainske parlaments ombudsmand. Hermed blev hun genvalgt for anden gang til en post, hun har bestredet siden 2000.

152 deputerede afgav deres stemme på menneskerettighedsforkæmperen Jevhen Zakharov, som ligesom Karpatjova var opstillet til posten som det ukrainske parlaments ombudsmand.

Efterfølgende ankom premierministeren til parlamentet. Ifølge kilder hang det sammen med afstemningen om Viktor Slauta som vice-premierminister med ansvar for agrare anliggender. UP.

15.02.07. Jusjtjenkos parti sætter bundrekord i ny meningsmåling

Hvis der var valg til Ukraines parlament i morgen, ville kun fire partier være sikre på at komme over spærregrænsen på 3%; nemlig Regionernes parti, Julia Tymoshenkos blok, Blokken "Vores Ukraine" og Kommunistpartiet. Det viser en meningsmåling foretaget af Razumkov-centret i dagene mellem 2. og 9. februar 2007.

Regionernes parti står til at få 29,1% af stemmerne. Julia Tymoshenkos blok står til at opnå 22,6% af stemmerne, "Vores Ukraine" ville få 8,7% af stemmerne, mens Kommunistpartiets tilslutning er på 5,8%.

Ifølge meningsmålingen vil også Natalia Vitrenkos blok med 3,6% og Socialistpartiet med 3,2% komme over spærregrænsen, men samtidig er der en vis sandsynlighed for, at de to partier ikke klarer spærregrænsen.

"Borgerblokken PRP-PORA" og "Lytvyns Folkeblok" ligger på over 2% i meningsmålingerne og bevarer chancen for at komme over spærregrænsen.

"I løbet af de seneste måneder er der kun sket en markant ændring i vælgernes opbakning til Regionernes parti, som i forhold til september 2006 er faldet fra 38,6% til 29,1% i dag, påpeges det i meningsmålingen.

Meningsmålingen blev gennemført i 119 beboede områder (73 bymæssige bebyggelser og 46 landsbyer).  

Den tidligere leder af Razumkov-instituttet blev for to år siden af præsident Jusjtjenko udnævnt til forsvarsminister. UP.

19.02.07. Ekspert: Jusjtjenko lod sig true til ikke at opløse parlamentet 

By Taras Kuzio

The very fact that Ukraine now has a law on the Cabinet of Ministers is a positive development.

During the Leonid Kuchma era, the president routinely vetoed the passage of such a law, one of a number of key laws that are important to Ukraine's state and institution building process. But, the difference between the Kuchma era and today is that parliament under Kuchma never mustered the constitutional majority or the confidence to over-ride Kuchma's veto. Last month, a constitutional majority overrode the president's veto with the support of the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc (BYuT). Such a temporary convergence of the interests of both the authorities and the opposition was unlikely in the Kuchma era.

Following the 1998 elections, pro-Kuchma centrists and national democrats cooperated against the left's domination of parliament. This coalition only disintegrated following the parliamentary vote of no confidence in the Viktor Yushchenko government in April 2001.

This split set the stage for a political realignment following the 2002 elections. From the ouster of Yushchenko as prime minister the main contest ran between national democrats and pro-Kuchma centrists, as reflected in the struggle between two Viktors (Yushchenko and Yanukovych) in the 2004 presidential elections.

The wild card proved to be the left. The Communist and Progressive Socialist parties always had close ties to the Kuchma regime authorities. It is not therefore surprising that they aligned with the regime's candidate in the 2004 elections (Yanukovych) and following the 2006 elections with the Party of Regions.

The Socialist Party (SPU) backed the anti-Kuchma camp throughout the Kuchma era and even played a leading role in the "Ukraine without Kuchma" movement during the Kuchmagate crisis and then following this in the Arise Ukraine! protests. The SPU also played a strategically important role during the Orange Revolution, but only in the second round when they defected to Yushchenko. Moroz has come third or fourth during Ukraine's three presidential elections since 1994.

Following 14 years of opposition the SPU made the surprising defection in July 2006 to the former Kuchma camp. The defection of the SPU made it possible for the Party of Regions and its compliant ally, the CPU, to create the so-called Anti-Crisis coalition (ACC). On August 4, 2006, Yanukovych returned as prime minister of the ACC government.

Yushchenko's stark choices

In August, Yushchenko was faced with two stark choices, both of which were not palatable: dissolve parliament and call fresh elections or agree to the return of Yanukovych as prime minister. Yushchenko agreed to the latter after the holding of a round-table of parliamentary forces, four of whom signed the Universal Agreement on National Unity. Only BYuT refused to sign.

Throughout the summer crisis, sources inside the presidential secretariat told me that under no conditions would President Yushchenko ever agree to the return of Yanukovych to government. Why then did he eventually agree?

There can be only three explanations.

Firstly, Yushchenko believed that the four political forces that signed the Universal would go on to create a parliamentary coalition that would use the agreement as the basis of its government program. The National Unity coalition would, in effect, be the same as the grand coalition that Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov and the Party of Regions negotiated, on Yushchenko's instructions, following the March 2006 elections.

But, again Yushchenko misunderstood that the grand and national unity coalitions had two crucial differences that made the former a potential lost opportunity and the latter a work of fiction. In the grand coalition, the Party of Regions gave up the position of prime minister to Our Ukraine while in the national unity coalition the Party of Regions demanded the position for itself.

In the grand coalition there were also no Communists. The presence of Communists in the national unity coalition and Yanukovych as prime minister made it very likely that Our Ukraine would never join. After another two months of indecision, following six earlier indecisive months, Our Ukraine finally decided to go into 'opposition' as a badly damaged and split political force.

It remains unclear if President Yushchenko and Our Ukraine naively believed in the ability of the round-table negotiations to create a stable national unity coalition.

Secondly, President Yushchenko prepared a draft decree and television address to dissolve parliament. But, at the final moment he backed away from this step because of a mixture of indecisiveness and lack of political will.

This certainly sounds like the Yushchenko we know. If true, then he has only himself to blame for subsequent developments.

Thirdly, President Yushchenko was pressured into backing away from dissolving parliament. This explanation is widely known in the presidential secretariat, according to a second member of the secretariat who confided to this author in late November. On the evening of August 3, Yushchenko received two visitors from the Party of Regions, including First Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Kluyev who has responsibility for the energy sector.

According to my informant, the two visitors threatened to publicly expose Petro Yushchenko's murky dealings in the energy sector and the laundering of corrupt proceeds abroad. After this threat, Yushchenko backed down from dissolving parliament and agreed to Yanukovych's candidacy.

If the third explanation is correct, Ukraine's politics continues to remain little different from the Kuchma era. The explanation is particularly galling because Andriy Kluyev was head of the unofficial Yanukovych election campaign during the 2004 elections. These headquarters undertook the dirty tricks and other numerous violations (including possibly Yushchenko's poisoning and the attempt to blow up Yushchenko's election headquarters) that would have led to him being put on trial in any country with the rule of law. In Peru, senior officials are either in jail or in exile over its tape scandal. But, in Ukraine, similar officials are back in power, giving them the possibility to make threats against the president.

Traitors and Orange ideals

The vote on the cabinet of ministers law has led to accusations of betrayal of the Orange Revolution, this time against BYuT. In reality, the first to betray the orange camp was President Yushchenko himself in September 2005 when he dismissed the Tymoshenko government after describing it as the best government in Europe only two weeks earlier on Ukraine's independence day. This was followed by Yushchenko's first memorandum with the Party of Regions that included many surprising points, such as an 'amnesty' for election fraud.

The second betrayal came after the March 2006 elections when President Yushchenko instructed Yekhanurov to hold negotiations with the Party of Regions for a grand coalition. Simultaneously, Our Ukraine under Roman Besmertnyi held negotiations with BYuT and the SPU for an Orange coalition. Yushchenko did not want to see Tymoshenko back in government but instead got Yanukovych with whom he has even greater difficulties.

The SPU should be credited with backing negotiations for an Orange coalition until the beginning of July. Nevertheless, this should not entitle SPU leader Oleksandr Moroz to be named man of the year, as Korrespondent magazine named him this year. Moroz only defected after Our Ukraine put forward Petro Poroshenko for the position of parliamentary speaker and following three months of double dealing negotiations that resembled the well known Talking Heads song 'The Road to Nowhere'.

BYuT's vote with the Party of Regions on the law on the cabinet of ministers is the second such vote, and a strategic mistake that has led to widespread criticism from within the ranks of its own supporters. The first vote could be more readily explained as it took place in January 2006 when BYuT voted no confidence in the Yekhanurov government over the gas contract it had negotiated with Russia. BYuT could have abstained (rather than voted with the then opposition Party of Regions) to show their opposition to the hastily agreed gas contract and the inclusion of the non-transparent Rosukrenergo intermediary.

BYuT is not the only political force that is critical of what was a lack of any energy strategy. Oleksandr Chalyi, deputy head of the presidential secretariat, described the gas agreement as one of Ukraine's worst foreign policy decisions last year.

What do recent developments tell us about Ukrainian parties?

Developments since the Orange Revolution tell us that Ukraine does not possess real political parties that represent concrete ideologies. The US-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institutes take note. During the Kuchma era, it was traditionally understood that left and right-wing parties in Ukraine were ideologically driven while those in the center were ideologically amorphous.

The line of conflict from Yushchenko's dismissal as prime minister in April 2001 until his election in January 2005 therefore seemed to rest on a battle between an ideologically driven opposition and materially driven ('pragmatic') pro-regime forces. Following two years of Yushchenko's presidency, this framework for understanding Ukrainian politics is badly in need of an upgrade.

The CPU was always a party that was willing to work with the authorities, including with Kuchma and the oligarchs in the ACC. The CPU's popularity declined from 20 percent in 2002 to 3.5 in 2006. The evidence suggests that the 2011 parliament may be Ukraine's first without a Communist presence.

The SPU and its leader Moroz have damaged a positive reputation earned in particular during the Kuchmagate crisis. What was most surprising about the SPU was less its defection than the fact that only two of its 31 factions rebelled against the decision to align with the Party of Regions. The SPU will be severely challenged in its central Ukrainian heartland in the next elections by both BYuT and former speaker and now deputy president of the National Academy of Sciences, Volodymyr Lytvyn.

The Party of Regions never had any ideology and grew out of the 2002 For a United Ukraine bloc, a five party pro-Kuchma alliance. Of the five parties, the Party of Regions is one of two that has survived to the present day and it won the largest number of votes in the 2006 elections. The other survivor is the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs which has backed Yushchenko since the second round of the 2004 elections and in the 2006 elections was a member of the Our Ukraine bloc.

Since the Orange Revolution, and especially after returning to power in the ACC, the Party of Regions has had the opportunity to transform itself into a post-oligarch and post-Kuchma party that adheres to democratic norms.

Ukraine's wealthiest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, publicly acknowledges the need to increase Systems Capital Management legitimacy and thereby to improve the public and international standing of himself and the Party he funds.

Events since the Orange Revolution show that the Party of Regions has little interest in transforming along the lines it claims. There remains a wide gulf between its Potemkin-like clean image abroad, fostered by a Washington public relations firm, and the policies pursued by the Party of Regions back home.

Our Ukraine is perhaps the biggest disappointment as it obtained ten percent fewer votes under Yushchenko than it did under Kuchma in 2002, following strategic mistakes and a poorly conducted election campaign. Our Ukraine in 2002 was a broad alliance of national democratic parties united by Yushchenko that made it possible for them to receive 24 percent support when traditionally Rukh only obtained 10.

By the 2006 elections many of these political parties had deserted Our Ukraine to create separate blocs, leading to the rump Our Ukraine becoming dominated by business groups, rather than by national democrats as in 2002. These business groups, such as Kinakh's Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Poroshenko's Solidarity, had more in common with the Party of Regions than with BYuT. By the end of 2006, Our Ukraine had become a divided and ineffectual political force, thereby leaving a vacuum in the center-right political spectrum that has always played an important role in post-communist states in promoting reform and Euro-Atlantic integration.

BYuT emerged out of the Front for National Salvation (FNS), an umbrella group created during anti-Kuchma protests in 2000-2001. During the 2002 elections, BYuT was a leading member of the FNS, the radical wing of the anti-Kuchma protests, a feature that was also true of Tymoshenko during the Orange Revolution. In the 2006 elections, BYuT included the small Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (USDP), but the key political force in BYuT is Tymoshenko's Fatherland Party that also has a center-left ideological niche.

The USDP and the SPU are Ukraine's only two parties that have been admitted to the Socialist International (the Social Democratic united Party headed by Viktor Medvedchuk was refused membership as a party that has nothing to do with social democracy).

The Fatherland Party is debating whether to make an application to join the Socialist International which, if successful, would take away the SPU's voters. The move would also enhance BYuT's emergence as a center-left bloc that would eclipse the SPU.

Therefore, if the Ukrainian parliament continues to remain in place until 2011, it will do so with three of its five political forces in crisis: CPU, SPU and Our Ukraine. The two largest factions - Party of Regions and BYuT - who together control 70 percent of deputies will continue to determine the outcome of parliament's deliberations.

National democratic forces need to rebuild a new center-right political force, rather than attempt to revive Our Ukraine, that could regain some of its voters in the 2011 elections.

Yushchenko's continued dilemma

Ukraine's president desisted from dissolving parliament in August 2006 for one of three reasons outlined earlier. In BYuT's view, the decision has been merely postponed and it continues to call for early elections. Whether early elections will come remain to be seen and are dependent less on BYuT than on the president.

Following the vote on the law on cabinet of ministers, it is now plainly obvious that Yushchenko is faced with a two fold dilemma. He can either permit Yanukovych to remain in office until the next elections in 2011 or he can make steps to dissolve parliament and call early elections. As Yulia Mostova wrote last month in Zerkalo Tyzhnia, the ACC and Yanukovych might be well here to stay until 2011.

If Yushchenko permits Yanukovych and the ACC to remain in place until 2011 he will have two unpalatable outcomes. Firstly, his power will be non-existent as Ukraine could very well have become a parliamentary republic. Secondly, important democratic, economic and international gains from the Orange Revolution will have been reversed.

If the readers of this article believe that this prognosis is too pessimistic then they should take a look at what the Party of Regions has undertaken in only five months in office when they have another 50 months until March 2011.

19.02.07. Forfatningsdomstolen skal afgøre magtkamp mellem Jusjtjenko og Janukovytj (eng.)

By Pavel Korduban

Ukrainian President ViktorYushchenko and the ruling coalition in Kyiv have failed to find a compromise over the "Law on the Cabinet of Ministers." The law is meant to complement the constitution, more clearly defining the remits of the president, the cabinet, and parliament; at the same time, it cuts Yushchenko's authority. Yushchenko has vetoed the law. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and the coalition argued that he had violated the constitution by vetoing the same law twice. Yushchenko insisted that he had acted within his rights. The law came into effect despite Yushchenko's protests, as it was published in the official newspapers signed by parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz, an ally of Yanukovych. It is now up to the Constitutional Court to decide who is wrong.

Yushchenko argued that the law, originally passed last December, was out of tune with the constitution. He particularly objected to provisions stating that parliament appoints the prime minister and the ministers of foreign affairs and interior if the president fails to do so in a timely manner; that the president has no power to veto the Cabinet's action plans; that deputy ministers are be appointed by the Cabinet; that ministers may not appeal their dismissal in courts; and that the Security and Defense Council may not influence the Cabinet's decisions (see EDM, January 17).

Yushchenko vetoed the law for the first time on January 11, but on January 12 parliament overrode the veto by more than 300 votes out of the 450-seat chamber. Yushchenko promised that his legal advisors would find a way to outplay parliament, and he kept his word. On January 19, Yushchenko returned the law to parliament again. He said that this was not a second veto, which would have been a violation of the constitution, but a veto of a different law. It turned out that the texts he vetoed on January 11 and 19 differed on one point, where an original paragraph from the earlier version of the law was incorporated into the text of the previous paragraph in the newer version. This, according to Yushchenko, means that he vetoed a different law.

Moroz and Yanukovych flatly rejected Yushchenko's argument, saying that the difference was a mere printing error, and the law would come into force without Yushchenko's signature. Yanukovych, who is backed by the ruling coalition in parliament, suggested that parliament should later amend the law, taking account of some of Yushchenko's objections. Yushchenko rejected the offer and warned Yanukovych and Moroz against publishing the law in the official press, which, according to the Ukrainian constitution, would mean it is coming into force.

Yushchenko's warning was ignored. The text of the law was published in the newspaper of the cabinet, Uryadovy Kuryer, and of parliament, Holos Ukrainy, on February 2. This was the first case in Ukrainian history when a law was signed not by the president, but by Speaker Moroz. The latter argued that he was legally authorized to do that, as Yushchenko failed to sign the law within 10 days, as required by Ukrainian law. Yushchenko's Our Ukraine parliamentary caucus said that the publication of the law meant "complete usurpation of power by the Yanukovych cabinet and the ruling coalition."

Yushchenko met Moroz and Yanukovych in his office on February 5, probably in an effort to negotiate a way out of the situation. The talks failed. The same evening, Yushchenko referred the law to the Constitutional Court. "The Cabinet cannot work or live with a fake passport," he said. "I am absolutely confident that the constitution does not empower the Speaker to sign laws returned by the president to parliament for revision."

It is now up to the court to decide the fate of the law. It may take the court several months to deliver a verdict, and it is hard to predict the outcome. If Yushchenko takes the upper hand, and the law is returned to parliament, his veto may not be overridden again, depending on Yulia Tymoshenko's position. On January 12, parliament overrode Yushchenko's veto thanks to the votes of Tymoshenko's faction. This was reportedly part of a deal between her and the ruling coalition in exchange for the coalition's support for the laws on the opposition and on the binding mandate. The law on the binding mandate, allowing Tymoshenko to secure her grip over local councils, has since been passed, but the fate of the opposition law is still not clear.

On February 5, Tymoshenko and the leader of the Our Ukraine faction in parliament, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, signed a statement proclaiming a unified opposition. They declared that they aim to reverse constitutional reforms that decreased the president's powers in favor of the Cabinet and parliament, and to hold an early parliamentary election to get rid of the pro-Yanukovych majority in parliament. If Tymoshenko is serious about a union with Yushchenko's party, there is a slim chance that the coalition will secure her support for the Cabinet law for a second time.

19.02.07. Ukraine's global progress

Ukraine's integration into the global economy examined at GMF

On Wednesday, January 24, the German Marshall Fund's Economic and Foreign Policy programs jointly hosted a panel discussion on "Ukraine's Integration into the Global Economy: The impact of Freedom House rankings and Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Agreements." The panel included Monica Kladakis, Managing Director of the Threshold Program at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Christopher Walker, Director of Studies at Freedom House. The respondent was Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. John K. Glenn, Director of Foreign Policy at the GMF, moderated the discussion.

After Jonathan White, representing GMF's Economic Policy Program, made opening remarks, Christopher Walker began the discussion by noting that reform is best when driven by domestic actors and that international institutions can only encourage and provide incentives for reform. He continued with a brief explanation of the role Freedom House has played in Ukraine's qualification as a Threshold Program country, including their publications Freedom in the World and Countries at the Crossroads. Ukraine signed a two-year $45 million Threshold Agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to fight corruption on December 4, 2006. In November 2006 Ukraine qualified for Compact Program status, the result of increasingly positive scores in MCC focus areas: Ruling Justly, Investing in People and Encouraging Economic Freedom. The Threshold and Compact country scores are based on 16 indicators gathered from a wide variety of sources, including Freedom House.

According to Walker, Ukraine has demonstrated exemplary reforms, especially in contrast to the surrounding former Soviet Union nations. While qualifying for MCC Threshold Program status means that a "free" form of political governance has been established or is close to being established, it is the maintenance of those political and institutional reforms that proves to be the most challenging step for a transitioning nation. Freedom of press, political liberty and participation of the civil society are all areas in which Ukraine has demonstrated progress, especially in the recent elections. Slow progress was revealed in areas such as rule of law and accountability of public institutions. Walker emphasized the need for media freedom, while noting the significance of Freedom House reports being published domestically in Ukraine.

Kladakis followed with an explanation of the MCC program and the primary focus of the MCC's work in Ukraine; grants to civil society and organizations that fight corruption, transparency and reform in the judicial system, government ethics and administrative standards, enforcing and streamlining regulation in customs and transport, and corruption in higher education. She mentioned the many partnerships that enable the Threshold programs, like USAID and the Department of Justice (which perform the actual implementation of the Ukraine program), Freedom House (which as mentioned above provides feedback on prospective candidate readiness for programs and program effectiveness), and the Ukrainian government. She reiterated the point that Ukraine's Compact agreement was signed on December 4th of 2007, and therefore has not had much time to get off the ground yet.

Anders Aslund responded to these two informative presentations and emphasized the exciting stage that Ukraine has entered; a nation on the edge of becoming "free" economically and politically with a well-established set of checks and balances. He argued that Ukraine has seen a substantial decline in corruption, increasing integration into the global economy, and has made progress on WTO accession. The EU Action Plan with the prospects of an EU-Ukraine FTA and NATO membership also are positive developments. Given the provisions of the Rome Treaty, as a European nation Ukraine cannot be denied the opportunity to join the EU - to deny them that would require changing the law.

The latter advantages are extremely important, Aslund argued, as entrance into the international business arena requires a certain level of business transparency and accountability. If the Ukrainian government and the powerful industry oligarchs that control much of the economy want to be taken seriously by international business powers, their approach has to stem from a corruption-free domestic environment; which will in turn foster greater economic progress within Ukraine. Aslund's concerns regarding the Threshold program in Ukraine were related to the weak economic framework, namely property rights legislation, commercial law, and joint stock companies. On the positive side, he sees a relatively low threat from Russia as well as the oligarchs. Unlike Russian oligarchs, Aslund views these Ukrainian business leaders as competing with each other and comparable to the robber barons in the 19th century United States who overtime will take a stake in civil society.

This last point was discussed at length in the Q&A segment. Representatives from the international business sector, the Ukrainian Embassy, and the think tank community provided a lively discussion on the role of oligarchs, the challenges of the business climate and the details of Ukraine's progress. An interesting question was raised regarding the domestic perceptions of the Ukrainian MCC programs. Whether or not the program is liked, or even widely known, inside Ukraine is not clear at this point. John K. Glenn, moderator for the event, concluded that "clearly there is much more that can be done on the interesting intersection between development and democracy."

21.02.07. Ukraine ved ikke, hvad det skal mene om missilskjold i Polen og Tjekkiet

Ukraine vil snarest formulere sin officielle holdning til opstillingen af et amerikansk luftforsvarssystem i Tjekkiet og Polen. Det oplyste vicechef for præsidentens sekretariat Oleksandr Tjalyj på et pressemøde i dag.

"Præsidenten har pålagt regeringen og det nationale sikkerheds-og forsvarsråd at fortage en detaljeret undersøgelse af spørgsmålet. Og i den nærmeste fremtid vil det blive behandlet på et møde i det nationale sikkerheds-og forsvarsråd og der vil blive truffet en beslutning", sagde Tjalyj.

Han tilføjede, at spørgsmålet har en konstant bevågenhed hos Ukraines præsident og "er meget delikat". Tjalyj forklarede det med, at Ukraine er en part i aftalen om antimissilforsvar.

"Hovedstriden består mellem Washington og Moskva, og de er begge to garanter for vores sikkerhed og vores territoriale enhed, eftersom Ukraine har givet afkald på kernevåben", sagde Tjalyj. UP.

23.02.07. Ny Putin-doktrin presser Ukraine

The Washington Post

16 February 2007

Charles Krauthammer

Vladimir Putin -- Russia's president, although the more accurate title would be godfather -- made headlines last week with a speech in Munich that set a new standard in anti-Americanism. He not only charged the United States with the "hyper-use of force," "disdain for the basic principles of international law" and having "overstepped its national borders in . . . the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations." He even blamed the spread of weapons of mass destruction, which the United States has been combating with few allies and against constant Russian resistance, on American "dominance" that "inevitably encourages" other countries to acquire them.

There is something amusing about criticism of the use of force by the man who turned Chechnya into a smoldering ruin; about the invocation of international law by the man who will not allow Scotland Yard to interrogate the polonium-soaked thugs it suspects of murdering Alexander Litvinenko , yet another Putin opponent who met an untimely and unprosecuted death; about the bullying of other countries decried by a man who cuts off energy supplies to Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus in brazen acts of political and economic extortion.

Less amusing is the greater meaning of Putin's Munich speech. It marks Russia's coming out. Flush with oil and gas revenue, the consolidation of dictatorial authority at home and the capitulation of both domestic and Western companies to his seizure of their assets, Putin issued his boldest declaration yet that post-Soviet Russia is preparing to reassert itself on the world stage.

Perhaps the most important line in his speech was the least noted because it seemed so innocuous. "I very often hear appeals by our partners, including our European partners, to the effect that Russia should play an increasingly active role in world affairs," he said. "It is hardly necessary to incite us to do so."

Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko once boasted that no conflict anywhere on the globe could be settled without taking into account the attitude and interests of the Soviet Union. Gromyko's description of Soviet influence constitutes the best definition ever formulated of the term "superpower."

And we know how Putin, who has called the demise of the Soviet Union the greatest political catastrophe of the 20th century, yearns for those superpower days. At Munich, he could not even disguise his Cold War nostalgia, asserting that "global security" was ensured by the "strategic potential of two superpowers."

Putin's bitter complaint is that today there remains only one superpower, the behemoth that dominates a "unipolar world." He knows that Moscow lacks the economic, military and even demographic means to challenge America as it did in Soviet days. He speaks more modestly of coalitions of aggrieved have-not countries that Russia might lead in countering American power.

Hence his increasingly active foreign policy -- military partnerships with China, nuclear cooperation with Iran, weapon supplies to Syria and Venezuela, diplomatic support as well as arms for a genocidal Sudan, friendly outreach to other potential partners of an anti-hegemonic (read: anti-American) alliance.

Is this a return to the Cold War? It is true that the ex-KGB agent occasionally lets slip a classic Marxist anachronism such as "foreign capital" (referring to Western oil companies) or the otherwise weird adjective "vulgar" (describing the actions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which infuriated Putin by insisting upon a clean election in Ukraine). He even intimated that he might undo one of the unequivocal achievements of the late Cold War era, the so-called "zero option" agreement of 1987, and restore a Soviet-style, medium-range ballistic missile force.

Nonetheless, Putin's aggressiveness does not signal a return to the Cold War. He is too clever to be burdened by the absurdity of socialist economics or Marxist politics. He is blissfully free of ideology, political philosophy and economic theory. There is no existential dispute with the United States.

He is a more modest man: a mere mafia don, seizing the economic resources and political power of a country for himself and his (mostly KGB) cronies. And promoting his vision of the Russian national interest -- assertive and expansionist -- by engaging in diplomacy that challenges the dominant power in order to boost his own.

He wants Gromyko's influence -- or at least some international acknowledgment that Moscow must be reckoned with -- without the ideological baggage. He does not want to bury us; he only wants to diminish us. It is 19th-century power politics at its most crude and elemental. Putin does not want us as an enemy. But at Munich he told the world that, vis-a-vis America, his Russia has gone from partner to adversary.

23.02.07. Will democracy survive in Ukraine? What the experts say

ICPS Newsletter bulletin # 352, 12 February 2007

The adoption and publication of the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers has confronted Ukrainian society with a critical problem, say ICPS analysts Viktor Chumak, Ivan Presniakov and Oleh Myroshnichenko. The Verkhovna Rada is deliberately passing laws that contradict the Constitution. In the heat of political competition, politicians have been ignoring the principle of rule of law in an ever_more blatant manner. This means the preservation of democracy in Ukraine will now be guaranteed, not by laws, but by the goodwill of political leaders. As the coalition and the Government show little respect for the law, there is no guarantee that they will not curtail other political institutions whose responsibility is to oversee the Government and to criticize it, the opposition, the media and civil society

The balance of power is being disturbed

In H2-06, the cohabitation of a "strong" President and a "strong" Government, both of whom had significant Constitutional powers but came from different political camps, allowed a certain balance between the two government institutions. As in other countries, this kind of cohabitation blocked the implementation of systematic policy at the state level.

However, finding it impossible to implement policy on a unilateral basis, the various players had to seek compromise and make concessions to each other at least regarding such issues as Ukraine's accession to the WTO and the adoption of the State Budget. This balance contributed to a relatively democratic political situation.

But the Verkhovna Rada coalition and one of the opposition factions proved ready to override a Presidential veto on a Cabinet Law that redistributed powers from the President to the Cabinet of Ministers. Moreover, this was done in a manner whose compliance with the Ukrainian Constitution is in serious doubt, demonstrating how instable the political balance in Ukraine really is.

The Verkhovna Rada majority shows every intention of continuing along this course-adopting laws that expand its powers and those of the Government and curtail the powers of the President, regardless of any problems with the consistency of these laws and their compliance with existing legal norms. Similar initiatives include a Bill on the President and amendments to the Law on the National Security Council.

Recent decisions harm democracy

The Government and the Rada majority insist that the purpose of this process is to move towards a parliamentary republic. But the means used to achieve this goal raise serious doubts whether the result will be democratic.

Firstly, the rules that govern relations between the President and the Cabinet have become more contradictory, not less. Having a choice between ordinary laws and the Constitution, political players will begin even more to base their decisions on regulations whose legitimacy they uphold or regulations that benefit them. The Cabinet of Ministers will follow the Law just passed, while the President will be driven by his understanding of the Constitution, which is the highest direct Law of the land. In practice, decisions will be implemented in those instances where the decisionmaker has direct power over those who must carry out the decision. This situation will weaken the legitimacy of nearly all government decisions derived from newly adopted laws.

Secondly, there is no guarantee that the practice of ignoring the Constitution will not now be repeated. If the country does not adhere to the principle of rule of law, nobody can be sure that their powers are protected. There is no way to be certain, now, that the Rada opposition, independent media or the other institutions needed for democracy to function will not become the next victims whose wings are clipped after the President.

The judiciary cannot guarantee rule of law

The adoption of laws that are legally suspect can be corrected when an independent judiciary does its job properly. Balance of power can, for instance, be restored through the Constitutional Court, according to procedures specified in law.

But there are serious doubts whether Ukraine's Constitutional Court will be able to quickly decide whether new legislative norms comply with the Constitution. At the moment, as much as 4-5 months can pass from the time a law comes into force to the time when the Court cancels any illegitimate act. To give an idea of how long it takes to wait for a Constitutional Court ruling, the Court began hearing one appeal that was submitted on 20 September 2006 only on 18 January 2007--four months later. If the coalition makes new decisions that are questionable as to their Constitutionality during this time, the Constitutional Court will not be able to quickly evaluate these new decisions. This will leave relations among government institutions in legal limbo, if not outright chaos in the meantime.

At the level of courts of general jurisdiction, this situation can raise conflicts as a result of a wave of claims filed by ordinary citizens and civil servants based on legal acts at various levels--the Constitution and amended laws on the Cabinet of Ministers, local administrations, and so on.

Soon, Ukraine is likely to witness "raiding" of a new type. Having armed themselves with mutually contradictory court decisions on the legality of a particular appointment by the President or the Government, candidates for positions of deputy ministers or deputy governors of local administrations will assault executive buildings and take higher offices by force. The example of the Mukacheve court banning the publication of the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers is only the first sign.

What can be done?

The main condition for democracy in Ukraine to be stable is to immediately enforce the principle of rule of law. The main instruments of this must be a strong, impartial judicial system and an effective, independent Constitutional Court.

As with all strategic goals, this goal cannot be achieved easily or rapidly. It will require a lot of time, which means that the President, the opposition and the Government should begin to work on it right now.

The vigor with which the President and his Secretariat are fighting over the Law on the Cabinet would yield more results if they focused on lobbying for reform of the judiciary and of law enforcement bodies, especially as Concepts for these two sets of reform were developed long ago. In addition, with an instrument like the National Security Council, this issue can be raised at an NSC meeting and the necessary Decrees issued that are binding on the Government.

The Verkhovna Rada opposition could bring equally worthwhile benefits to Ukrainian society, if, at when debating the 2007 State Budget, it would ask aloud how much money the Budget has allocated to implement these reforms instead of vaguely reproaching the Cabinet for its "anti_social" Budget.

One effective measure would be a campaign among ordinary Ukrainians and thinktanks oriented on jurisprudence for a legal evaluation of the legality of government decision making, involving wide media coverage of the issue of the failure of government bodies to adhere to the rule of law.


23.02.07. More Than Grain of Truth

James Mace Memorial Panel. I am honoured to have been invited by Prof. Federigo Argentieri to speak on the James Mace Memorial Panel about my uncle, Gareth Jones’ three visits to Ukraine in 1930, 1931 and 1933 where he was witness to the devastating famine resulting in the death of 5 to 10 million persons the brought about by Stalin’s ruthless determination to carry out his Five-Year Plan of industrialisation and collectivisation.  The number who died of starvation will never be known.

Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones
1905- 1935

By Margaret Siriol Colley

 Gareth was fortunate have been appointed in 1930 to the staff of The Right Hon. David Lloyd George, former British Prime Minister in World War One as the world was in the throes of economic depression and it was difficult at that time to find employment..  In the summer of 1930 whilst in the employ of Lloyd George, Gareth was able to make his first visit and his pilgrimage to Ukraine.

  En route to Hughesovka, Gareth sent a postcard of Joseph Stalin to his mother.  While in the country, his letters to his family were guarded in their details of his exploits, merely describing how well received he had been by the Communists.

But on reaching Germany the tone of Gareth’s letter home was quite different:

Near the Station for Saxony,

12.30 p.m. Wednesday,

August. 26 , 1930.

Hurray! It is wonderful to be in Germany again, absolutely wonderful.  Russia is in a very bad state; rotten, no food, only bread; oppression, injustice, misery among the workers and 90% discontented.  I saw some very bad things, which made me mad to think that people like XXX [deleted[i]] go there and come back, after having been led round by the nose and had enough to eat, and say that Russia is a paradise.  In the South there is talk of a new revolution, but it will never come off, because the Army and the O.G.P.U. (Soviet Police) are too strong.  The winter is going to be one of great suffering there and there is starvation.  The government is the most brutal in the world.  The peasants hate the Communists.  This year thousands and thousands of the best men in Russia have been sent to Siberia and the prison island of Solovki.  People are now speaking openly against the Government.  In the Donetz Basin conditions are unbearable.  Thousands are leaving.  I shall never forget the night I spent in a railway station on the way to Hughesovka.  One reason why I left Hughesovka so quickly was that all I could get to eat was a roll of bread - and that is all I had up to seven o’clock.  Many Russians are too weak to work.  I am terribly sorry for them.  They cannot strike or they are shot or sent to Siberia.  There are heaps of enemies of the Communist within the country.


Never-the-less great strides have been made in many industries and there is a good chance that when the Five-Years Plan is over Russia may become prosperous.  But before that there will be great suffering, many riots and many deaths.


The Communists are doing excellent work in education, hygiene and against alcohol.  Butter is 16/- a pound in Moscow ; prices are terrific, boots etc. cannot be had.  There is nothing in the shops.  The Communists were remarkably kind to me and gave me an excellent time.


Last Sunday I flew from Rostov to Moscow  as their guest.  You will get this letter probably before my Sunday letter.  Germany is a fine place.  I am looking forward so much to seeing the Haferkorns and getting your letters there, because I have had very little news.  Thank goodness I am not a Consul in Russia - not even in Taganrog!


Just had a fine lunch.  When I come back I shall appreciate Auntie Winnie’s dinner more than ever.


 Following this letter Gareth wrote three articles entitled The Two Russia, published in the London Times and a further 5 articles later in the Cardiff Western Mail. [iv] The Times articles were illustrated and the caption on one was “We cannot get enough food and many are too weak to work.”

On his return from the Soviet Union Gareth was introduced to Ivy Lee, Publicity Adviser to the Rockefellers, Chryslers and other organisations, who appointed him to the firm, Ivy Lee and Associates based in Wall Street, New York.  Gareth joined the company in April, 1931.  In May, a month after his arrival in America he was invited to accompany Jack Heinz II, to the Soviet Union for a six weeks’ visit.  Heinz II was the grandson of the elder Jack Heinz, famous for his logo ‘57 varieties’ which included such products as baked beans and tomato ketchup.  

The two young men travelled the length and breadth of the Soviet Union and spent the last part of their visit in Ukraine.  On his return home Jack Heinz published anonymously, a small book taken from Gareth’s diaries entitled, Experiences in Russia-1931. A Diary.

Gareth wrote the foreword to this book:

With a knowledge of Russia and the Russian language, it was possible to get off the beaten path, to talk with grimy workers and rough peasants, as well as such leaders as Lenin’s widow and Karl Radek.  We visited vast engineering projects and factories, slept on the bug-infested floors of peasants’ huts, shared black bread and cabbage soup with the villagers - in short, got into direct touch with the Russian people in their struggle for existence and were thus able to test their reactions to the Soviet Government’s dramatic moves.


It was an experience of tremendous interest and value as a study of a land in the grip of a proletarian revolution.

 Following their visit to the Dnieperstroy Dam Gareth visited a German Kolkhoz, where one of the men, a Mennonite, told him:

 They sent the kulaks away from here and it was terrible.  We heard in a letter that ninety children died on the way - ninety children from this district.  We are all afraid of being sent away as kulaks for political reasons.  We had a letter from one, saying they were cutting wood in Siberia.  Life was hard and there was not enough to eat.  It was forced labour!  They sent all the grain away from our village and left only 1,000 pounds.  I heard that in a village thirty versts away they came to seize the grain, and the peasants killed three militiamen.  They wanted to have enough grain for themselves instead of starving.  The Communists then shot sixteen peasants.

 Gareth spoke in Russian to a doctor’s wife:

 The peasants have been sent away in thousands to starve.  Being exiled just because they worked hard throughout their lives.  Its terrible how they have treated them; they have not given them anything; no bread cards even.  They sent a lot to Tashkent, where I was, and just left them on the square.  The exiles did not know what to do.  Very many starved to death.

 Gareth wrote a further three articles which were published in the London Times entitled the ‘Real Russia.’  Gareth bought a number of Soviet propaganda posters one which he gave to David Lloyd George.  These we are still fortunate to possess.

 Gareth remained until the spring of 1932 with Ivy Lee, but the economic situation, the Depression in the USA, was so desperate that he returned to the employ of David Lloyd George where unbeknown to many he assisted him in writing his War Memoirs.

By the autumn 1932, academics and journalists who had been visitors to the Soviet Union during the summer were returning to Britain with news of the famine in Ukraine.

On September 13, 1932 he conveyed the news to Ivy Lee who was sympathetic to the Communist cause.

I had a long talk with Bruce Hopper [an American expert on the Soviet Union] The Soviet Government is facing the worst crisis since 1921.  There will be millions facing starvation this winter.  There is at the present moment a famine in the Ukraine.  Collective farms have been a complete failure, and there is now a migration from the farms.

October 5th Gareth discussed the situation with Prof. Jules Menken (London School of Economics), a well known economist. 

He [Menken] was appalled with the prospects: what he had seen was the complete failure of Marxism.  He dreaded this winter, when he thought millions would die of hunger.  What struck him was the unfairness and the inequality.  He had seen hungry people one moment, and the next moment he had lunched with Soviet Commissars in the Kremlin with the best caviar, fish, game, and the most luxurious wines.  The harvest is a failure; there is shelter lacking for 1,000,000 head of cattle; potato plans have broken down; in July only 40% of the grain-collecting plan was carried out.  The peasants are refusing to give up the grain.  Menken says there is already famine in the Ukraine.

 In November Gareth lunched with one of the summer visitors to the Soviet Union, Kingsley Martin, the editor of the left wing journal, New Statesman, with Dr Thomas Jones, a confidant and secretary of four prime ministers and with the Minister of Agriculture, Walter Eliot.  The British government were well aware of the famine and curious to have more information.

In January 1933, Gareth left the employ of David Lloyd George, but before he joined the staff of the Western Mail he visited Germany and the Soviet Union.  On January 30, 1933 he was present in Germany, the day Adolf Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg.  On February 23, 1933 Gareth was one of first of two foreign journalists to be privileged to fly with the Fuehrer.  On 28th of February Gareth made his classic statement in the Western Mail: ‘If this aeroplane should crash the whole history of Europe would be changed. For a few feet away sits Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany and leader of the most volcanic nationalist awakening which the world has seen.’

 By March 5, 1933 Gareth was in Moscow preparing for his journey to Ukraine. A ban had been implemented on February 23rd denying journalists permission to travel to Ukraine.  Despite this Gareth made plans to visit the country.  During his time in the USSR his letters home were non-committal in order avoid the censor.  On March 26, 1933 he was in the home of a friend in Danzig  from where he conveyed in a letter to his parent, the shocking news:

The Russian situation is absolutely terrible, famine almost everywhere, and millions are dying of starvation.  I tramped for several days through villages in the [sic] Ukraine , and there was no bread, many children had swollen stomachs, nearly all the horses and cows had died and the people themselves were dying.  The terror has increased tremendously and the G.P.U. has almost full control.  It was a disgrace to arrest the six engineers, two of whom I know. 


Before his foray into the Soviet countryside, Gareth had been warned by William Strang, the First Secretary at the Moscow  Embassy, against making an investigative visit into the villages of Ukraine  and the embassy staff told him, “The peasants are starving, and will steal anything they can get hold of”. Disregarding this warning he piled his rucksack with many loaves of white bread, with butter, cheese, meat and chocolate and boarded a train from the outskirts of Moscow.  Gareth alighted from the train near the border with Ukraine and he wrote in newspaper article:


 I get out of the train, which rattles on to Kharkov, leaving me alone in the snow.


My tramp through the villages was about to begin.  My feet crunched through the snow as I made my way to a group of huts.  A white expanse stretched for many miles.  My first encounter was ominous, for the words I heard in the countryside were the same as those I had heard from peasant-beggars.  A woman with bowed head walking along the railway track turned me, and said: ‘There is no bread.  We have not had bread for over two months, and many are dying here.’


I was to hear these same words in the same tone from hundreds peasants in that region, the Central Black Earth district, which was once one of the most fertile of all Russia.  There was another sentence which was repeated to me time and time again: ‘Vse pukhli.’  ‘All are swollen.


One old peasant stopped me and pointed sadly to the fields.  ‘In the old times’, he bewailed, ‘that was one pure mass of gold.  Now it is all weeds.  The old Ukrainian [repeating the diary entry] went on moaning, ‘In the old times we had horses and cows and pigs and chickens.  Now we are dying of hunger.  In the old days we fed the world.  Now they have taken all we had away from us and we have nothing.  In the old days I should have bade you welcome, and given you as my guest chickens and eggs and milk and fine, white bread.  Now we have no bread in the house.  They are killing us.’


In one of the peasant’s cottages in which I stayed we slept nine in the room.  It was pitiful to see that two out of the three children had swollen stomachs.  All there was to eat in the hut was a very dirty watery soup, with a slice or two of potato, which all the family and in the family I included myself ate from a common bowl with wooden spoons.


Fear of death loomed over the cottage, for they had not enough potatoes to last until the next crop.  When I shared my white bread and butter and cheese one of the peasant women said, ‘Now I have eaten such wonderful things I can die happy.’  I set forth again further towards the south, and heard the villagers say, ‘We are waiting for death.’


Many also said, ‘It is terrible here and many are dying, but further south it is much worse.  Go down to the Poltava region, and you will see hundreds of empty cottages.  In a village of three hundred huts, only about a hundred will have people living, in them, for the others will have died or have fled, but mainly died.’  Before long I set foot in the city of Kharkov, the capital of the Ukraine . 

Gareth returned to Germany intent on revealing to the world the news of the devastating famine brought upon by Stalin’s ruthless determination to carry out his Five-Year Plan.  He must have appreciated that he would be criticised for his shocking, but truthful articles, but it would appear that he did not realise that he would be humiliated and damned by journalist colleagues.

 In Berlin Gareth gave a press release which was published by H.R.Knickerbocker on March 29,1933 in the New York Evening Post:

 “Everywhere was the cry, “There is no bread; we are dying.”  This cry came to me from every part of Russia.  In a train a Communist denied to me that there was a famine.  I flung into the spittoon a crust of bread I had been eating from my own supply.  The peasant, my fellow-passenger, fished it out and ravenously ate it.  I threw orange peel into the spittoon.  The peasant again grabbed and devoured it.  The Communist subsided.”

 Two days later Walter Duranty on March 31, 1933 replied in New York Times though he had not seen the article itself:

             Since I talked with Mr. Jones I have made exhaustive inquiries about this alleged famine situation. . . . There is serious food shortage throughout the country with occasional cases of well-managed state or collective farms.  The big cities and the army are adequately supplied with food.  There is no actual starvation or death from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition. . . .

But - to put it brutally - you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs,”

Gareth responded to Walter Duranty and a reply from ‘Mr. Jones’ to Walter Duranty’s article of March 31st was published in the New York Times on May 13, 1933 in which Gareth, in a letter to the newspaper said he stood by his statement that the Soviet Union was suffering from a severe famine.  The censors had turned the journalists into masters of euphemism and understatement and hence they gave “famine” the polite name of “food shortage” and “starving to death” was softened to read as “widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition”.

Countering Walter Duranty’s rebuttal in the New York Times, Gareth congratulated the Soviet Foreign Office on its skill in concealing the truth in the USSR.

While in Moscow Gareth had interviewed Maxim Litvinov, the Foreign Affairs Commissar and details of the interview were sent to David Lloyd George. In a communication to the former Prime Minister from Litvinov, Gareth was accused of espionage.  He was also banned from re-entering Russia, and was a marked man in the black files of the O.G.P.U.

 In 1934, Malcolm Muggeridge published his book, Winter In Moscow.  In the chapter ‘’Ash blond Incorruptible’, Gareth is characterised by Muggeridge as Mr. Wilfred Pye.  He repeated the passage from Gareth’s press release about the peasant in the train diving for orange peel in the spittoon.

In 1937 Eugene Lyons published his book, Assignment in Utopia, and according to Lyons the coterie of Foreign Correspondents in Moscow were ordered, in so many words, by the Soviet Foreign press officer, Umanksky to call Gareth a liar.  Had they not complied, these journalists would have been prevented from reporting the Moscow Show trial in April 1933 of the British engineers, known as the Metrovik Affair.

            A further humiliation was the fact that Gareth was ostracised by his influential and so-called friends in London and he appears to have little contact again with David Lloyd George.  Gareth had written to Lloyd George from Berlin, on March 27, 1933: “The situation [in the Soviet Union] is so much worse than in 1921 that I am amazed at your admiration for Stalin.”

 On his return to Britain Gareth wrote over 20 articles published in The Western Mail, the Daily Express and the Financial News, but none were published about the famine in the London Times, despite the paper devoted many columns to the trial of the British engineers accused of espionage in Moscow.  After April 20th no articles were published by Gareth about the Soviet Union in Britain, his last being in The Western Mail.  Nor for a further year, did he write any on Germany apart for one when Germany left the League of Nations.  Gareth was a loose cannon and likely to be an embarrassment to the British Government.  Instead his so-called friends were queuing up to meet Hitler.

At the end of March1933 the British Ambassador Ovey was withdrawn from his position in Moscow, an antagonist to the Soviet Regime.  The British Government was clearly aware of the famine in the U.S.S.R.  William Strang, the First Secretary at the British Embassy continued to enlighten the British Foreign Office about the agricultural crisis in the dispatches sent in the diplomatic bag and in telegrams.  These were to fall on deaf ears in London and the British Government choose to keep silent about the tragic situation.  Sir Robert Vansittart, permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Sir Laurence Collier, Head of the Foreign Office, Northern Department advocated better relations with the Soviets to counteract the fear of the rise of militarism in Nazi Germany.  It must also be remembered that on March 27, 1933 Japan left the League of Nations a further area of concern.

 During the thirties there was a powerful and influential social group with the coined name of the Cliveden set.  They met for weekend visits at the home of the hostess, Lady Astor at Cliveden.  Her husband was Waldorf Astor who owned the Observer newspaper.  His brother, John Astor owned the Times.  Its editor was Geoffrey Dawson, renowned as an appeaser in the period of the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s Government.  Bernard Shaw, with whom Lady Astor had been with to the Soviet Union in 1931, was an inner member of the circle as were other well-known appeasers of the decade.  The wealthy Press Barons colluded with the government.

 George Orwell  wrote in his appendix, ‘The Freedom of the Press’ in Animal Farm.

 The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary.  The British press is extremely centralised, and wealthy men, who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics, own most of it.

 Though many of those, who knew Gareth, decried his exposure of the famine, he felt vindicated following a visit to his friends, the Haferkorns, in Danzig.  There, he met a diplomat who privately corroborated Gareth’s Soviet observations and he informed his parents on Sunday May 28, 1933:

The German Consul in Kharkoff and his wife thought that my Russian articles gave a wonderful picture, but that it was really much worse than I described it.  Since March it has got so much worse that it is horrible to be in Kharkoff.  So many die, ill and beggars.  They are dying off in the villages, he said, and the spring sowing campaign is catastrophic.  The peasants have been eating the seed.  To talk of a bumper crop, as Molotoff did, was a tragic farce, and he only said that to keep their spirits up, but nobody believed Molotoff.  Many villages are empty.  The fate of the German colonists is terrible, in some villages 25% have died off and there will be more dying off until August.  In August, he said there would be an epidemic of deaths because hungry peasants would suddenly eat so much as to kill themselves.

In 1935 Gareth unable to return to the Soviet Union wished to investigate the situation in the Far East and to explore the intentions of the Japanese in their desire to expand territorially in Inner Mongolia and Manchukuo. He was captured by bandits, held for ransom for £8,000 and after 16 days in captivity killed by them.  It was undoubtedly a politically motivated murder.

 His friend, Paul Scheffer Editor-in-Chief, Berliner Tageblatt in a Front Page Editorial on 16th August 1935 wrote his obituary with an indirect reference to the New York Times and to Walter Duranty who was an amputee:

 The number of journalists with his {Gareth Jones} initiative and style is nowadays, throughout the world, quickly falling, and for this reason the tragic death of this splendid man is a particularly big loss. The International Press is abandoning its colours - in some countries more quickly than in others - but it is a fact. Instead of independent minds inspired by genuine feeling, there appear more and more men of routine, crippled journalists of widely different stamp who shoot from behind safe cover, and thereby sacrifice their consciences.

 His ashes were brought back from China and buried in his beloved Wales.  The headstone was that of a Celtic cross with the inscription:



Here lie the ashes of Gareth Jones, the dear son of Edgar and Gwen Jones, linguist, traveller, lover of peace, killed in Mongolia August 12 1935, aged 30 years. 
He sought peace and pursued it.

08.03.07. Jusjtjenko hilser amerikansk missilskjold i Europa velkommen

Ukraine ser positivt på indledningen af konsultationer omkring opstillingen af elementer af det amerikanske missilskjold i Europa, sagde præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko onsdag på en fælles pressekonference i den polske by Plock med Polens præsident Lech Kaczinski.

"Ukraine ser positivt på alle de skridt, som i dag tages med henblik på at organisere fælles konsultationer (omkring opstillingen af elementer af missilskjoldet i de østeuropæiske lande). Det er konsultationer, som vil blive afholdt med en række lande, herunder Ukraine, omkring det pågældende spørgsmål" sagde Jusjtjenko.

Præsidenten mindede om Ukraines holdning om, at opstillingen af et forsvarskomponent i sikkerhedspolitikken er en retning, som er i overensstemmelse med den europæiske kollektive sikkerhedspolitiske interesse.

Ifølge Jusjtjenko vil indikatoren for det europæiske kontinents sikkerhed være større jo bedre det individuelle sikkerhedssystem vil være. "Jo flere projekter af forsvarsmæssig karakter, der vil blive udformet i vores relationer, jo mindre vil truslen om et strategisk angrebs udfordring blive", understregede Jusjtjenko.

Han mindede om, at Ukraines holdning er, at hvert eneste folk og stat har ret til selv at beslutte, hvordan man skal forholde sig til det pågældende spørgsmål: om der skal opstilles elementer af missilskjoldet på deres territorium eller ej. Interfaks-Ukrajina.

08.03.07. USA's kongres støtter Ukraines og Georgiens optagelse i NATO

Det amerikanske Senats udenrigsudvalg vedtog i tirsdags et lovforslag om at støtte Georgiens og Ukraines indtræden i NATO, samt at bevilge penge fra det amerikanske statsbudget til disse lande indenfor rammerne af programmet "hjælp indenfor sikkerhedssfæren" som gives med henblik på at støtte en kommende optagelse i NATO-alliancen.

Ifølge det russiske nyhedsbureau "RIA-Novosti" blev lovforslaget under navnet "Lov af 2007 om konsolideringen af viljen i NATO" godkendt på et møde i udenrigsudvalget under ledelse af dets formand, senator Joseph Biden.

De republikanske senatorer Richard Lugar og John McCain samt den demokratiske senator Christopher Dodd og andre optræder som medforfattere til dokumentet.

I lovforslaget nævnes, at den amerikanske kongres støtter "at lande som Albanien, Kroatien, Georgien, Makedonien og Ukraine rettidigt træder ind i NATO".

"Georgien og Ukraine har tilkendegivet deres ønske om at blive medlem af det euroatlantiske fællesskab, herunder at træde ind i NATO. Georgien og Ukraine arbejder tæt sammen med NATO og dens medlemmer med henblik på at leve op til kriterierne for et rettidigt medlemskab af NATO", hedder det i lovforslaget.

"USA's kongres opfordrer vore allierede i NATO at samarbejde med De forenede Stater med henblik på at virkeliggøre den rolle, som NATO spiller i styrkelsen af den globale sikkerhed, herunder en fortsat støtte til udvidelsen af og indlemmelsen af værdige stater, især via inddragelsen af Georgien i NATO-medlemskabs handlingsplanen, samt via en anerkendelse af fremskridtet i Albaniens, Kroatiens, Georgiens, Makedoniens og Ukraines bevægelse i retning af kravene og forpligtelserne for et NATO-medlemskab", fremhæves det i den vedtagne lovtekst.

Det afspejler endvidere beslutningen om at inddrage disse lande i det amerikanske program for "hjælp indenfor sikkerhedssfæren" indenfor rammerne af forberedelsen til en indtræden i NATO, hvortil der i det føderale budget for 2008 opereres med en bevilling af penge "som vil være nødvendige for at hjælpe Albanien, Kroatien, Georgien, Makedonien og Ukraine".

I midten af februar blev et tilsvarende lovforslag godkendt af udenrigsudvalget i det amerikanske andetkammer - Repræsentanternes hus. UP.

09.03.07. Jusjtjenkos magt eroderer langsomt (eng.)

By Taras Kuzio

Viktor Yushchenko was elected on December 26, 2004 and came to power nearly a month later with a popular mandate that politicians dream of, but rarely receive. Immediately after coming to power his ratings were higher than the 52 percent who voted for him. This can only be explained by assuming that a significant portion of those who voted for Viktor Yanukovych also sought change.

Yanukovych's hard-core anti-Yushchenko support consisted of ex-communists, die-hard Homo Sovieticuses and Russophile eastern Ukrainians who had bought into the propaganda attacking Yushchenko as too close to the United States and to right-wing western Ukrainian politicians. Another portion of Yanukovych's supporters agreed with the orange camp that Ukraine needed change and a fundamental break with the Leonid Kuchma era.

In an October 2004 poll by the Razumkov Center, 37.4 percent of Ukrainians believed that if elected President, Yanukovych would continue Kuchma's policies while another 39.8 percent believed he would introduce new policies. Change was in the air but there was nobody to introduce it.

Yushchenko has proved unable to deliver such change or to be a revolutionary with a new vision for Ukraine. His supporters have deserted him in droves while floating voters in the Yanukovych camp stuck with him, rather than defect to Yushchenko as well they could have if 2005 had not been a year of lost opportunities.

Viktor Yushchenko: Faithful regime servant

Yushchenko was a loyal government servant during seven of Kuchma's ten years in office, first as chairman of the National Bank, then as prime minister and finally as head of the loyal opposition Our Ukraine. Yushchenko's path was no different to many other senior Our Ukraine leaders whose businesses grew under Kuchma or who had held senior government positions. Yushchenko's background and career path made him an unlikely ally of opposition hardliners and an even more unusual revolutionary. Revolutionaries are not usually attracted to banking careers.

In February 2001, Yushchenko joined parliamentary speaker Pliushch and President Kuchma in issuing a defamatory statement against the opposition that used traditional Soviet language about dissidents. The disgraceful statement depicted the anti-Kuchma protestors as "politically destructive", "extremist" and "anti-state forces", who are a threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity and security that fan the flames of "cynical political speculation". The statement claimed that, "before us stands a Ukrainian version of national socialism" with the express purpose of heightening civil conflict, chaos and violence.

If Yushchenko had not been removed by the April 2001 parliamentary vote of no confidence initiated by President Kuchma, he would have continued to faithfully serve President Kuchma until the end of his second term in 2004. Even after Yushchenko's removal as prime minister, he and Our Ukraine continued to have a naive faith in Kuchma holding free elections in 2004 and the president anointing him as his chosen successor. After Kuchma initiated the parliamentary no confidence vote in Yushchenko's government, Yushchenko remained a "frequent visitor to Kuchma", Askold Krushelnycky writes in his newly published book, An Orange Revolution.

This naive faith in the "good Tsar" became more difficult to argue after the appointment of Donetsk governor Yanukovych as prime minister in November 2002. Nevertheless, Yushchenko's faith in the "good Tsar" (Kuchma) was not dented by growing pressure in 2003-2004 to introduce constitutional reforms transforming Ukraine from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary-presidential system that was understood as the regime seeking to take executive powers away from a future President Yushchenko. The violence that rocked the April 2004 Mukachevo mayoral elections and two months of dirty election campaign tactics in summer 2004 also failed to dent Yushchenko's faith in the president.

Unfortunately, it took the poisoning of Yushchenko in September 2004 to finally force him to understand that the authorities would never allow him to win. The faithful, loyal Yushchenko was pushed in fall, 2004 against his character into entering the revolutionary terrain occupied by the Tymoshenko bloc and the Socialist Party and becoming a temporary revolutionary.

A September 2002 article in Time magazine had correctly described Yushchenko, "His is a bloodless form of politics, the rationale approach of a former central banker not given to blazing rhetoric," who prefers dialogue to protest.

Revolutionary street tactics were not Yushchenko's style. Yushchenko and Our Ukraine had never backed anti-Kuchma protests in 2000-2003; instead they had adopted multi-vector tactics that failed then and in 2006. Our Ukraine flirted between occasionally joining the "Arise Ukraine!" protests and working with the authorities through seeking to establish a centrist parliamentary coalition.

In 2002-2003, after Our Ukraine had come first in the proportional half of the 2002 elections, Yushchenko's strategy was to create a coalition of Our Ukraine and pro-Kuchma centrists, but excluding their antagonistic foe, the Social Democratic united Party (SDPUo). Yushchenko would then return as prime minister and Volodymyr Lytvyn would become parliamentary speaker. Another of Yushchenko's tactics was to call for dialogue with the authorities. Our Ukraine's tactics failed in 2002-2003 and in 2005-2006. Kuchma rejected any round-table dialogue and allied himself with SDPUo leader Viktor Medvedchuk, rather than with Yushchenko. Without the support of Our Ukraine, anti-regime protests only attracted crowds of up to 50,000 and failed to become the mass movement that it potentially could have been. With the support of Yushchenko and Our Ukraine, Kuchma could have been removed from power in 2000-2001, as his nemesis president Alberto Fujimori was in Peru.

Revolution or dialogue?

The unwillingness of the authorities to permit Yushchenko to win the 2004 elections, the brutal nature of the dirty tactics used against the Yushchenko campaign and Yushchenko's poisoning laid the groundwork for the Orange Revolution. The Orange Revolution was won by the huge number of usually apolitical Ukrainians who flooded to Kyiv and by revolutionaries, such as Tymoshenko. Yushchenko was the symbol of the Orange Revolution - but he was always the unwilling, temporary revolutionary.

Rukh deputy leader Vyacheslav Koval described Our Ukraine as a "constructive opposition" that therefore only supported revolution as a last resort. This had always been Yushchenko's position. Revolution, Rukh leaders feared, could destabilize the Ukrainian state and lead it to lose independence. They distrusted the whistleblower Mykola Melnychenko because they were convinced that his tapes were part of a Russian conspiracy against Ukraine. The Kuchma camp, in turn, viewed the tapes as a US-backed conspiracy to replace Kuchma by Yushchenko. Both had a like-minded view of the Gongadze affair as a foreign-backed conspiracy and both distrusted Melnychenko.

Roman Besmertnyi, then Kuchma's representative in parliament, ardently defended Kuchma in parliament from attacks by the opposition during the Kuchmagate crisis earning him the nickname of "Little Medvedchuk". Besmertnyi, Andrew Wilson wrote in his new book Ukraine's Orange Revolution, "competed to be Kuchma's most ardent public defender" on television during the early period of the Kuchmagate crisis. Besmertnyi threatened that Kuchma would disband parliament and rule by emergency decree if it voted to impeach him. Besmertnyi warned that, "You will simply not be allowed to destabilize the situation in Ukraine; keep that in mind". Besmertnyi resigned his position in parliament and moved to Our Ukraine in 2002 where he has since always held a high position.

Our Ukraine's commitment to revolution in, and outside, power was dependent on the circumstances at the time. "Our Ukraine is ready to take up a more radical niche if the situation demands it," Yushchenko warned in September 2002. Yushchenko offered two proposals to the authorities: dialogue or street protests. Our Ukraine's multi-vector strategy of dialogue and street protests merely reflected the divisions within the group that had always existed between one wing that favored cooperation with opposition hardliners and another that favored striking a deal with the authorities. This division reappeared after the 2006 elections when one wing of Our Ukraine led by Besmertnyi negotiated an orange coalition and another led by Yuriy Yekhanurov negotiated a grand coalition.

The radical opposition turned down dialogue with the Kuchma regime in 2000-2003 and during the Orange Revolution. As soon as the offer of round-table dialogue was made to Yushchenko he took the bait, turning his back on the street protests. At the round-table negotiations, Yushchenko agreed to introduce constitutional reforms in 2006 and to give Kuchma immunity. In return, Yushchenko was guaranteed election on December 26; that is, Kuchma made Yushchenko his official successor after he had obtained personal insurance.

This dialogue laid the basis for Yushchenko's demise after coming to power: the lack of criminal charges against senior Kuchma officials disillusioned orange voters while the main beneficiary from constitutional reform became Yanukovych. Of the 1,297 cases brought to court for election fraud, all were against forced executors such as school teachers. Of these, only 265 were found guilty and were given light, often suspended, sentences. Although the Supreme Court ruled on December 1, 2004 that there had been massive election fraud, including by the Central Election Commission (CEC), none of the organizers were ever charged. The then head of the CEC, Sergei Kivalov, is currently head of parliament's committee on law and the courts.

Volodymyr Filenko, one of the key Orange Revolution organizers, wrote in Zerkalo Nedeli, "Falsifications took place but there were no falsifiers?" Making everyone equal before the law was a major demand of the Orange Revolution that Yushchenko failed to grasp. A video tape scandal in Peru at the same time as Ukraine's tape scandal led to the flight of the president from the country and imprisonment of many officials. The videotapes were ordered shown on Peruvian television. Melnychenko's tapes still remain a taboo subject for Yushchenko and Our Ukraine.

"Good Tsar" and "Bad Boyars"

Yushchenko refused to bring Tymoshenko with him to round-table negotiations during the Orange Revolution, knowing full well that she had always refused to hold dialogue with the authorities. Divisions that had always existed since the Kuchmagate crisis opened up within the orange camp between the radical opposition who argued for the takeover of power by occupying the presidential administration and opposition accomodationists who agreed to conduct dialogue.

This division between revolutionaries and non-revolutionaries had existed during the entire 2000-2004 period but had been temporarily set aside during the 2004 elections and Orange Revolution. Tymoshenko and Yushchenko had always put forward different strategies and worldviews during the Kuchmagate crisis and the "Ukraine Without Kuchma" and "Arise Ukraine!" protests.

Tymoshenko believed the only place for Kuchma was to be placed on trial and that there could not be dialogue with a "criminal regime". Yushchenko placed all the blame for the regimes faults at the floor of the "Boyars" (Medvedchuk) while seeking dialogue with the "good Tsar" (Kuchma). It is little wonder that the Yushchenko-Tymoshenko alliance only lasted nine months in 2005.

Yushchenko, the non-revolutionary

After coming to power, Yushchenko never became the "messiah" that he had been elevated to after his government was removed and his election as president. Orange and some blue Ukrainians expected radical change that he, as a non-revolutionary, could never bring. Knowing that pending constitutional reforms would take away his control over the government, Yushchenko had a one-year window in 2005 during which he had the popularity and the executive power, while facing only demoralized former regime supporters, when he could have introduced any manner of radical reform.

As Our Ukraine deputies Volodymyr Stretovych and Serhiy Bychkov recently wrote, "But at that moment it seemed that we had nothing to give them." They lamented that, "we were given the greatest peoples trust and the greatest of peoples hopes was placed upon us." In February 2005, 54 percent of Ukrainians believed that Ukraine was moving in the right direction. Two years later, a Razumkov Center poll found that 63.2 percent believed Ukraine was moving in the wrong direction. By summer 2005, there were clear signals that Ukrainians were becoming uneasy about developments in their country. By June of that year, 43 percent still believed that Ukraine was moving in the right direction, but 31 percent already disagreed.

A year ago, the balance switched: 18 percent of Ukrainians believed Ukraine was moving in the right and 62 in the wrong direction. This proportion has remained to this day. The Razumkov Center pointed out that this correlation of right/wrong direction is worse than in the last year of Kuchma's rule when 20 percent believed Ukraine was moving in the right and 56 percent in the wrong direction.

Between 2006-2007 Yushchenko's support had plummeted to 19 percent after a year in office and to 11 percent today. Yanukovych's ratings are twice as high. Such a catastrophic collapse in popularity in a president's first two years in office would have led to a political crisis in a western democracy; in the United States, presidents with ratings less than 30 percent are considered lame ducks. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin is only a year from finishing his second term in office and he continues to command 50-60 percent support.

The president and Our Ukraine ignored the changing mood of Ukrainians from fall 2005, both towards them and towards the direction that Ukraine was taking. As the Razumkov Center pointed out, "If the authorities do not hear the communicators, in a democratic country they are destined for failure." This was clearly seen in the 2006 elections when Our Ukraine obtained ten percent fewer votes when its honorary chairman, Yushchenko, was president than when Kuchma was in power four years earlier. Today, Our Ukraine's ratings are less than ten percent, a figure similar to the one Rukh obtained when it stood alone in the 1998 elections.

Where is Ukraine going?

This preceding analysis points to two possible scenarios in the two years ahead to the next presidential elections.

First, the Anti-Crisis coalition will successfully change the constitution to complete the transformation of Ukraine into a parliamentary republic. The president would be elected by parliament, as in neighboring Moldova, and no longer by popular vote. Within the Anti-Crisis coalition, which has 240 deputies, the two left-wing parties have always supported the abolition of the presidential institution. A wing of the Party of Regions also shares this view.

Our Ukraine could arrive at the altogether logical conclusion that Yushchenko cannot win a second term (this, of course, assumes he is in good enough health to stand). A constitutional change would require an additional 60 votes to that possessed by the Anti Crisis coalition that could be provided by Our Ukraine. Their rationale for providing the votes would be that they rather nobody had the presidency than give it in 2009 to Yanukovych or Tymoshenko.

The holding of early parliamentary elections might remove the need for Our Ukraine to provide the additional votes to effect constitutional change. The Party of Regions would be likely to increase its faction's representation by early elections.

Second, if the constitution is not changed and the presidential institution continues to exist, the second round contest would be between Yanukovych and Tymoshenko. This would become a repeat of the 2004 elections when Yanukovych was also prime minister with the orange candidates merely changed from Yushchenko to Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko would have an uphill struggle to win the elections as her revolutionary profile may be popular with the average person in the street but is distrusted by Ukraine's business elites.

Who would Yushchenko support in a second round in 2009 if the choice were between Tymoshenko and Yanukovych?

Taras Kuzio, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University and president of the Kuzio Associates consultancy.

10.03.07. EU vil fortsætte det energipolitiske samarbejde med Ukraine

EU's ministerråd taler nu om nødvendigheden af en fortsat udvikling af relationerne indenfor energisfæren med Ukraine via implementeringen af Energiaftalen.

Det fremgår af ministerrådets slutdokument, som blev vedtaget på EU-topmødet, i den del, som vedrører Handlingsplanen for årene 2007-2009 indenfor Europas energipolitik.

I dette dokuments tredje afsnit som bærer navnet "Den internationale energipolitik" hedder det blandt andet, at en af energipolitikkens hovedelementer er "at sikre implementeringen af Energiaftalen med Norge, Tyrkiet, Ukraine og Moldova med henblik på en fortsat udvikling og mulig udvidelse". Interfaks-Ukraine.

10.03.07. EU vil fordoble hjælpen til Ukraine

Den europæiske union planlægger at fordoble den økonomiske hjælp til Ukraine. EU-kommissionen oplyste i onsdags, at hjælpen vil være rettet mod en støtte til reformprocessen og effektueringen af Handlingsplanen "Ukraine-EU".

Dette indebærer, at Kiev i løbet af den kommende fireårige periode vil modtage 494 millioner euro fra Bruxelles, oplyser radiostationen Deutsche Welle.

Pengene skal efter planen først og fremmest bruges til at integrere Ukraine i det europæiske energimarked. Desuden drejer støtten sig om udviklingen af olie- og gastransportsystemer samt styrkelsen af energieffektiviseringen. En del af pengene skal bruges til en forbedring af grænsekontrollen.

EU-kommissionen anses for at være Ukraines største finansielle bidragyder. Siden 1991 har den ukrainske regering modtaget næsten to milliarder euro fra EU. UP.

15.03.07. Ukraine: Politisk strid på vej mod enden

14. mar. 2007 20.02 Udland

Lang tids opslidende strid mellem Ukraines præsident og landets regeringschef vil nu blive forsøgt bilagt.

De to er blevet enige om at nedsætte en kommission, som skal bistå med at fordele magtbeføjelserne i den tidligere sovjetrepublik.

Uenigheden mellem præsident Jusjtjenko og regeringschefen Janukovich har blandt andet skabt usikkerhed om Ukraines udenrigspolitik.

Viktor Jusjtjenko er på officielt besøg i Danmark de kommende to dage.

16.03.07. Ukraine tæt på WTO-medlemskab

Den danske regering opfordrer Ukraine til at fortsætte tilnærmelserne til Vesten. Landet er tæt på medlemskab af WTO og handelsaftale med EU, mener Fogh.

Ukraine nærmer sig et medlemskab af Verdenshandelsorganisationen WTO i 2007 og har chancen for at opnå en bilateral handelsaftale med EU allerede næste år.

Desuden holder EU døren på klem for den tidligere sovjetrepublik, der ønsker et fuldt medlemskab.

Det var konklusionen efter statsminister Anders Fogh Rasmussens (V) møde fredag med Ukraines præsident, Viktor Jusjtjenko.

»Døren til EU er ikke lukket for Ukraine. Jeg håber, at Ukraine bliver medlem af WTO i år, og at man kan nå en frihandelsaftale med EU næste år«, sagde den danske statsminister ved et pressemøde på Christiansborg.

16.03.07. Danmark og Ukraine underskriver vigtige aftaler 

I forbindelse med præsident Viktor Jusjtjenkos todages besøg i Danmark underskrev de to lande en række aftaler. 

Således er Danmark og Ukraine blevet enige om fremover at udstede gratis visa til studerende, politikere og journalister. En anden, set med den danske regerings øjne meget vigtig aftale, drejer sig om tilbagetagelse (readmission) af transitflygtninge. Da Ukraine er et såkaldt sikkert land i FNs flygtningekonventionens forstand, kan Danmark nu sende afviste asylansøgere direkte tilbage til Ukraine uden forudgående ukrainsk accept. Det samme gælder, såfremt en flygtning, der kommer fra Danmark, af den ene eller den anden grund har valgt at søge asyl i Ukraine, men er blevet afvist. 

Indenfor energi og energieffektivisering, som er blevet anerkendt som et hovedområde i samarbejdet mellem Danmark og Ukraine, underskrev den danske energiminister Flemming Hansen og hans ukrainske kollega Vasyl Chuprun et memorandum om forståelse omkring samarbejde med henblik på at effektivisere energiforbruget i Ukraine og omstille den størst mulige del af den ukrainske industriproduktion og energiforbrug til vedvarende energi eller biobrændsel. Ukrainerne var tydeligvis imponerede over, at Danmark siden 1975 har øget sit BNP med 70% uden i samme tidsrum at øge energiforbruget.  

Det er dog tydeligt, at Ukraine, hvor vedvarende energikilder kun sørger for 0,7% af energiforbruget (mod 10% på verdensplan), fortsat er meget afhængig af sin enormeindustrielle sektor, hvis strømforbrug for 90% vedkommende sker i form af afbrænding af gas, olie, kul via strøm fra atomkraftværker. Landet kan også have en strategisk interesse i at tiltrække vestlige investeringer i en udvikling af nye olie-og gasfelter ved Sortehavets kontinentalsokkel med henblik på at mindske afhængigheden af Rusland, der stadig er hovedleverandør af traditionelle energikilder til Ukraine.

Indenfor landbrugsområdet underskrev de to lande en aftale om øgede økonomisk samarbejde, eksportkreditter og kreditgivning fra dansk side i forbindelse med fortsatte investeringer i ukrainsk landbrug. 

Danske investeringsprojekter i den ukrainske landbrugs- og forædlingssektor leverer allerede i dag landbrugsprodukter til det ukrainske marked. 

En ny aftale mellem den danske og ukrainske regering fredag skal sikre endnu flere investeringer i Ukraine. Baggrunden for investeringerne er Ukraines behov for moderne, effektiv og miljøvenlig teknologi til at genrejse landets svineproduktion efter kollapsen i kølvandet på det kommunistiske styres sammenbrud.

Danmark er i dag den næststørste udenlandske investor i ukrainsk landbrug. Der er i øjeblikket danske investeringer på omkring 80 - 120 mio. euro i den ukrainske landbrugssektor. Prins Joachim deltog i september sidste år i et landbrugsfremstød i Ukraine og er blevet en slags protektor for dansk landbrugs voksende engagement i landet.

Udover møder med statsminister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, udenrigsminister Per Stig Møller og Folketingets formand Christian Mejdahl havde præsident Jusjtjenko møder med Dronningen, repræsentanter for det danske erhvervsliv og dansk landbrug. Viktor Jusjtjenko benyttede lejligheden til at invitere Dronning Margrethe til Ukraine. 

På et møde i Udenrigspolitisk Selskab om torsdagen besvarede Jusjtjenko blandt andet et spørgsmål stillet af Dansk-Ukrainsk Selskab om, hvorvidt Ukraine i lyset af det ukrainske parlaments vedtagelse i november sidste år af en lov om Hungersnøden i 1932-33, der betegner denne tragedie som et folkedrab mod det ukrainske folk, nu vil forlange erstatning fra Ruslands side, der jo er arvtager til den stat - nemlig Sovjetunionen - som stod bag hungersnøden eller Holodomor (død ved udsultning). Jusjtjenko understregede, at Ukraine ikke vil gøre noget erstatningskrav gældende overfor Rusland med udgangspunkt i det, der af Ukraine opfattes som et folkedrab mod det ukrainske folk i årene 1932-33, hvor mellem 7 og 10 millioner bønder menes omkommet. Præsidenten begrundede det med, at den stat som begiv forbrydelsen ikke længere findes, og at det parti, som var ved magten dengang; nemlig det kommunistiske parti, de facto ikke eksisterer mere eller er marginaliseret. Jusjtjenko benyttede lejligheden til at sige, at han på det næste møde med Ruslands præsident Vladimir Putin vil foreslå, at Ukraine og Rusland i fællesskab indfører/afholder en mindedag for ofrene for  1930'erne hungersnød, hvoraf et par millioner bønder menes at være omkommet i de overvejende etnisk ukrainske grænseområder i den sydvestlige del af den daværende Russiske Føderale socialistiske sovjetrepublik og den nuværende Russiske Føderation. 

18.03.07. Nye oplysninger i sagen om Jusjtjenkos forgiftning

Valerij Heletey, som i dag er leder af en afdeling under præsidentens sekretariat, som holder øje med politi, anklagemyndighed og domstole, vil ikke udelukke, at Ukraines præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko blev forgiftet af en person fra den daværende leder af Ukraines sikkerhedstjeneste, Volodymyr Satsyuks inderkreds.

I et indslag i "Kanal 5" meddelte Heletej, at det under Satsyuks og Jusjtjenkos middag på Satsyuks datja, ikke var en almindelig tjener, der kom med suppen, men en person fra Satsyuks inderkreds. Han fremhæver, at efterforskningen i lang tid ikke har haft øje for denne nuance, som ikke desto mindre er væsentlig, oplyser Tv-stationen.

Heletej vil ikke udelukke, at suppen blev forgiftet netop på det tidspunkt, da gryden med maden kom i hænderne på en tidligere livvagt for Satsyuk - det var netop ham der serverede retten til hver enkelt af deltagerne.

"Denne person er en tidligere officer i en specialafdeling. Han har endda to gange været straffet. Den første gang blev han tiltalt for afpresning. Sagen blev imidlertid lukket takket være hr. Satsyuks indgreb. Anden gang han blev tiltalt for en overtrædelse af straffeloven, en sag som blev efterforsket i 11 måneder, men ligeledes lukket på Satsyuks foranledning", hævder Heletey.

Som tidligere meddelt, sagde Ukraines øverste anklager Oleksandr Medvedjko den 30. januar, at der i sagen om forgiftningen af Ukraines præsident, Viktor Jusjtjenko, er to nye figuranter, hvor af den ene "arbejder som massagør". Medvedjko ville dengang ikke komme nærmere ind på, hvem denne massagør ер og kunne heller ikke sige noget som helst om den anden figurant.

Jusjtjenkos helbredsproblemer startede i begyndelsen af september 2004, da han endnu var præsidentkandidat. Den 5. september 2004 Mødtes Jusjtjenko med SBU's ledelse til en middag på den tidligere næstkommanderende i sikkerhedspolitiet SBU Volodymyr Satsyukс datja udenfor Kiev. Efter middagen fik Jusjtjenko det dårligt og den 10. september blev han indlagt på klinikken "Rudolfinerhaus" i Wien. Lægerne på klinikken sagde, at Jusjtjenkno var blevet forgiftet med dioxin, som var kommet ind i patientens organisme ca. 5 dage før indlæggelsen.

Efterfølgende blev der gennemført en række ekspertiser. En ny ekspertise i slutningen af maj 2006 bekræftede tilstedeværelsen af dioxin i Jusjtjenkos organisme. Ekspertisen blev gennemført af en komмission med deltagelse af ukrainske, amerikanske, tyske og japanske specialister. Eksperterne bekræftede de tidligere konklusioner fra laboratorierne i Holland, Tyskland, Storbritannien og Belgien om, at der var dioxin i Jusjtjenkos organisme.

Den 27. februar 2007 sagde Medvedjko, at Ukraines øverste anklagemyndighed agter at gennemføre en undersøgelse for at identificere dioxinen. Han fremhævede, at der er indgået aftaler med to lande med henblik på at sammenligne dioxin. Podrobnosti 

20.03.07. Ingen løsning i striden om udenrigsministeren

Præsidenten kan foreslå Volodymyr Ohryzko som udenrigsminister i en uendelighed, siger medlem af Regionernes parti i parlamentet Taras Tjornovil.

Han fremhæver, at Ohryzko blev nedstemt i tirsdags, og herefter har præsidenten 15 dage til foreslå en ny kandidat til posten, oplyser Liga.

"Hvis han igen foreslår Ohryzko, vil der være tale om en absurditet og en børnehave. Ohryzko vil igen blive nedstemt", understreger Tjornovyl og tilføjer, at præsidenten godt kan foreslå Ohryzko nok en gang, og at dette for den sags skyld kan "vare evigt". 

I den forbindelse fremhæver Tjornovil, at koalitionen ikke kan gøre noget i den situation: "Hvis præsidenten gerne vil opføre sig som i en børnehave, så er det det han vil". "Han har ret til at foreslå den samme person i en uendelighed. Men han bør forstå, at ansvaret for udenrigspolitikken i virkeligheden ligger på hans skuldre", tilføjer han. Desuden mener Tjornovil, at denne uløste konflikt kan have en negativ indflydelse på præsidenten selv.

"På den ene side vil der ikke være nogen fuldt legitim udenrigsminister, og på den anden side bliver det Ohryzko der skal udfylde denne post, og ganske vist er han en god diplomat, en acceptabel vice-udenrigsminister, men som minister duer han ikke. Han har bare ikke evnerne til denne stilling. Og det vil falde tilbage på præsidenten", understreger parlamentsmedlemmet. 

På spørgsmålet om, hvad der kan få koalitionen og parlamentet til alligevel at støtte Ohryzko, svarer Tjornovil, at Ohryzko er uønsket for Regionernes Parti, men er ikke fuldstændig uacceptabel.

"Vi kan jo godt stemme om ham, hvis præsidenten kan garantere, at hans sekretariat vil hjælpe denne minister", siger Tjornovil og tilføjer, at der er én fraktion i koalitionen, nemlig KPU, for hvem Ohryzko er fuldstændig uacceptabel.

"Hvis præsidenten kan overbevise Symonenko og KPU, så vil spørgsmål igen være åbent", siger Tjornovil.

Парламент підтримав кандидатуру на посаду міністра закордонних справ Арсенія Яценюка.

За проголосували 426 депутатів.

Під час цього виступу Яценюк пообіцяв керуватися на посаді виключно національними інтересами України.

21.03.07. Ukraine får ny udenrigsminister, den 32-årige Arsene Jatsenjuk

Ukraines parlament valgte i dag at støtte den af præsidenten foreslåede udenrigsminister Arsenij Jatsenjuk, da et flertal på 426 ud af 450 mulige valgte at stemme for. I sin tiltrædelsestale lovede Jatsenjuk, at han i sin embedsførelse udelukkende vil lade sig styre af Ukraines nationale interesser.

"Hovedprincippet i mit arbejde er de nationale interesser. Vi elsker alle vore naboer, men vi elsker Ukraine allermest", sagde Jatsenjuk.

På spørgsmålet om hans syn på Ukraines relationer til NATO, svarede Jatsenjuk:

"I 2003 vedtog et forfatningsmæssigt flertal en lov om NATO-medlemskab, og derfor vil dette spørgsmål blive anskuet gennem det relevante lovgivningsmæssige prisme", påpegede han og tilføjede, at udenrigsministeriet ikke kan have nogen selvstændig holdning i dette spørgsmål.

Ifølge ham bør holdningen [til NATO] udarbejdes af "præsidenten i et konstruktivt samarbejde med det ukrainske parlament og regering". UP

21.03.07. Jusjtjenko: emnet NATO bør ikke politiseres 

¨Ukraines præsident Viktor Jusjtjenko mener, at den ukrainske stat i sit forhold til NATO trinvis bør gå fra den særlige partnerskabspolitik til et medlemskabsperspektiv.

"I relationerne med NATO går vi ud fra en politik, som opererer med en overgang fra den særlige partnerskabspolitik til et medlemskabsperspektiv", sagde han onsdag i Kiev under præsentationen af den nye udenrigsminister Arsenij Jatsnjuk i det ukrainske udenrigsministerium.

Præsidenten mener, at Ukraine bør sikre sig et ligeså højt dialogniveau med den nordatlantiske forsvarsalliance som alle landets naboer har det.

Jusjtjenko understregede, at Ukraines forhold til NATO bør basere sig på loven om den nationale sikkerheds og det nationale forsvars grundlag, hvor alle magtens brancher får anvisninger om, hvordan de bør handle i den udenrigspolitiske sfære.

Ukraines præsident så gerne, at emnet NATO ikke blev politiseret i Ukraine. "Jeg så meget gerne, at vi undgik en politisering af dette tema i Ukraine. Vi bør rationelt tilbagelægge dette stykke vej, og når tiden er inde, og når alle omstændighederne gør det muligt, stille spørgsmålet, om Ukraine har brug for et direkte medlemskab, spørge nationen herom og dermed få sat et punktum", mener Jusjtjenko.

I det han præsenterede den nye minister, fremhævede præsidenten, at Jatsenjuk har demonstreret et højt niveau og en intellektuel tilgang til løsningen af problemerne.

"Jeg kan sige gode ord om denne unge mand, han er utvivlsomt en talentfuld fagmand, som repræsenterer en ret ung generation af ukrainske politikere", sagde Jusjtjenko.

Jusjtjenko mindede om, at Jatsenjuk i løbet af kort tid har beklædt mange vigtige embeder, hvilket tyder på, at der var brug for ham.

Præsidenten understregede, at Jatsenjuk er patriot og forstår essensen af de nationale interesser. Han udtrykte håb om, at den ånd, som er grundlagt i udenrigsministeriet i årenes løb og den grundlæggende udenrigspolitiske kurs vil blive fortsat af den nye udenrigsminister. UP, Interfaks-Ukrajina.

22.03.07. Ukraine tabte til Rusland i Højesteret

22. mar. 2007 14.40 Indland Opdat.: 22. mar. 2007 14.47

Ukraine har tabt til Rusland i den danske højesteret.

De to tidligere Sovjetstater har været uenige om den opløste stormagts faste ejendom til en værdi på over 100 millioner kroner i København.

Da Sovjetunionen blev opløst overtog Rusland det hele. Og det har de danske myndigheder accepteret, idet Danmark har anerkendt Rusland som Sovjets efterfølgerstat.

Utilfreds med afgørelse
Men Ukraine har været utilfreds. Som en del af Sovjetunionen ville landet med den orange revolution have del i den københavnske ejendomsfest.

Så selv om Østre Landsret i august 2005 sagde god for, at to tinglysningsdommere tilbage i 2000 lod ejendommene falde i russernes hænder, tog ukrainerne sagen helt til Højesteret. Men altså uden held

Ud over ambassaden, som alene er vurderet til 90 millioner kroner, drejede sagen sig blandt andet om et palæ i Hellerup, en villa i Charlottenlund og en række lejligheder i Valby.