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16 October 1998
For immediate release
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Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s Statement On Crisis In Kosovo

On October 15, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a statement where it welcomed efforts directed at finding political solution to the conflict in Kosovo, and supported the active mediation activities of the NATO’s special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke. Although stressing its understanding of the motivation behind the NATO decision of September 13, 1998 regarding the possibility of use of military force in Yugoslavia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine nevertheless expressed hope that the most recent measures undertaken by the FRY leadership as to the implementation of Resolution 1199 of the United Nations Security Council, in particular withdrawal of the regular armed forces and units of special police from Kosovo, as well as creation of conditions for the return of Albanian refugees to the places of their permanent residence, would make it possible to avoid the actual use of force. It is stated that the reached agreement on stationing in Kosovo of the mission of international verifiers under the auspices of the OSCE to monitor the implementation of the UN Security Council decisions, readiness of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to cooperate in this field, and announcement of the general amnesty are the praiseworthy achievements. In view of that, the statement maintains that in the future the process of peaceful settlement should continue to be based on the principles of preservation of territorial integrity of FRY and granting of wide autonomy to Kosovo. While welcoming such developments, reads the statement, Ukraine reiterates its readiness to send its representatives to the mission of international civil verifiers in Kosovo and to assume a leading role in the activities of the mission.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Holds Telephone Conversation With His Bulgarian Counterpart

Likely patterns of Ukraine's and Bulgaria's responses to the worsening situation in Kosovo were focal points in a telephone conversation Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Borys Tarasyuk held with his Bulgarian counterpart, Nadezhda Mikhailova, on October 9. The two top diplomats discussed Central and South-East European nations' political actions toward resolving the current Balkan crisis. Ms. Mikhailova has informed the Ukrainian Foreign Minister about preparations underway for holding a session of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in the Bulgarian capital. In turn, Mr. Tarasyuk reaffirmed an earlier invitation to his Bulgarian opposite number to pay an official visit to Ukraine in November, 1998.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister V. Khandogiy Briefs On Ukraine's Diplomatic Effort Toward Peaceful Settlement In Kosovo

On October 13, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Volodymyr Khandogiy held a briefing for journalists at the Foreign Ministry to state Ukraine's current diplomatic effort toward a peaceful resolution of the Kosovo crisis. According to Mr. Khandogiy, Ukrainian diplomats are actively engaged in consultations involving interested parties in Kiev, Brussels and New York. The Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister reiterated Ukraine's insistence on resolving the crisis through negotiations, since, as he said, the arsenal of peaceful means has not yet been exhausted.

Parliament Issues Statement On Crisis In Kosovo

The Ukrainian parliament on October 6 adopted a statement on the current crisis in Kosovo. The statement expressed opposition to possible NATO intervention in Kosovo and called for peaceful resolution of the crisis. According to the statement, NATO intervention in the crisis will involve the bombing of not only Kosovo but also the entire Serbia. The Ukrainian parliamentarans stressed that certain militaristic forces insist on using force in the Balkans despite the peace-loving international community's efforts to resolve the Kosovo crisis through political means as well as on the principles of international legal norms on the territorial integrity of sovereign nations. The statement said that Serbia has been selected as the sole guilty party in the crisis despite the fact that the Kosovo liberation fighters kill not only law enforcement agents but also loyal Albanians, who are forced out of their homes. According to the statement, information is withheld about the uncovered places of burial of peaceful Serbians, who were tortured to death by the terrorists. The Verkhovna Rada, being aware of the danger of further escalation of the crisis, calls upon the Serbian authorities and loyal members of the Albanian community in Kosovo to resolve the issue of autonomy in a peaceful and civilized manner while preserving the country's territorial integrity.

Ukraine Favors Peaceful Resolution Of Kosovo Crisis, But Will Support Any Security Council Resolution

The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's Department of Political Analysis and Planning, Andriy Veselovsky, said at an October 6 news briefing that Ukraine's position on the Kosovo crisis remains unchanged. According to him, Ukraine favors early resolution of the Kosovo crisis through political and peaceful dialogue. He, however, added that if the United Nations Security Council decides to use force in Kosovo, Ukraine will support the decision as the will of the international community. Any UN Security Council resolution on the use of force in Kosovo can be adopted only if a comprehensive study on the situation in the region shows that all other means of resolving the crisis have been exhausted. He underlined that any action taken must have legal substantiation. The situation in Kosovo has calmed in recent days, showing that the conflict can be resolved peacefully, Mr. Veselovsky said. According to him, if the situation cannot be resolved peacefully, the population of Kosovo and possibly Yugoslavia will face threat of humanitarian catastrophe.

Foreign Minister Tarasyuk Meets With Nigerian State Minister Of Foreign Affairs Alkhaji Bakhari Bala

Nigeria is interested in developing cooperation with Ukraine in aircraft construction, shipbuilding, power engineering, road construction, metallurgy and oil industries. This fact was disclosed by Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk after his meeting with visiting State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria Alkhaji Bakhari Bala on October 12. According to Mr. Tarasyuk, the present state of the trade and economic relations between the two countries is characterised as being at a rather high level. An increase in trade turnover, which amounts now to 130 million US dollars a year, is hindered by the current economic situation in both Ukraine and Nigeria, noted the foreign minister. With a view to further extend economic cooperation, the Nigerian party suggested establishing an intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation. During the meeting, the parties also touched upon the issue involving the release of Ukrainin sailors, crew members of the Dubai Valor ship detained in Nigeria. According to Borys Tarasyuk, Ukrainian Ambassador to Egypt Ivan Kuleba is staying in Nigeria now, and trying to do everything in his powers to speed up the proceedings, which would allow the Ukrainian sailors to return home at the earliest possible date.

Two-Day Conference Opens In Kyiv On WEU-Ukrainian Relations

On October 9, a two-day conference on WEU-Ukrainian relations opened in Kiev with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk making the inaugural speech to reaffirm his nation's intention to comprehensively integrate with European and EuroAtlantic institutions. The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs also stated Ukraine's strategic objective as full-fledged participation in evolving Europe's future collective security architecture. Mr. Tarasyuk urged Ukraine's admission to the West European Union, which, as he complained, is the only European collective body keeping its doors closed to Ukraine.

NSDC Secretary Horbulin Meets With WEU Undersecretary-General

Ukraine's relations with the Western European Union should develop in such a way as to prevent the dividing line between the East and the West running along the Ukrainian border. This idea was stated by WEU Under-Secretary-General Roland Wegener during his meeting with Secretary of the National Security & Defense Council of Ukraine Volodymyr Horbulin in Kiev on October 8. Commenting on the meeting's results, Volodymyr Horbulin said the WEU Under-Secretary-General had agreed that Ukraine plays a great role in the development of the Western European and European Unions. It was noted that Ukraine's relations with WEU and EU are not that intensive as with NATO. In this context, the parties discussed possibilities of extending Ukraine's relations with WEU in the military sphere. As Mr. Horbulin also disclosed, during the meeting, the parties touched upon an issue of searching for mechanisms which would allow such a military-political union to participate in settling conflicts in Europe's hot spots due to open on October 9.

Non-Ratification Of Convention On Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons Is Parliament's Yet Another Blunder, States NSDC Secretary Horbulin

National Security & Defense Council Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin referred to the Verkhovna Rada's renunciation to ratify the Convention on Prohibition of the Development, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons as the parliament's yet another blunder. All our neighbors cannot understand why we do not ratify this Convention, he said. According to him, VR deputies failed to give a comprehensive answer to this question.

Igor Kharchenko Appointed Ukraine's Ambassador To Romania

President Leonid Kuchma has signed a decree appointing a carrier diplomat Igor Kharchenko Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to Romania.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Need Reshuffling Top Personnel, Defense Minister Kuzmuk Argues

Defense Minister General of the Army Oleksandr Kuzmuk argued that replacements within the Armed Forces' leadership were essential and needed. According to him, the Defense Ministry's most recent collegium session summed up progress made in carrying out the long-term National Program for the Armed Forces' development up to the year 2005. So far, the National Program's first stage has been successfully carried out largely through the General Staff's effort. The National Program's second stage, which may be viewed as its crucial segment, will focus on restructuring military units. In view of the Southern Operational Command's size and role, President Kuchma decided to appoint Col. Gen. Oleksandr Zatynaiko its Commander. Col. Gen. Oleksandr Zatynaiko's previous position was the post of First Deputy Chief of General Staff. Col. Gen. Zatynaiko's predecessor, Col. Gen. Volodymyr Shkydchenko, has been appointed First Deputy Defense Minister/Chief of General Staff. Col. Gen. Vasyl Sobkov, the Ukrainian Army Commander, has been appointed Ukrainian Armed Forces Inspector-General. Col. Gen. Petro Shulyak, who was Commander of the Western Operational Command, has been appointed Deputy Defense Minister/Commander of the Army. Lt. Gen. Serhiy Chernilevsky, formerly First Deputy Commander of the Southern Operational Command, has been appointed Commander of the Western Operational Command. Commenting on these appointments, the Defense Minister stressed that they should not be interpreted as implying Gen. Zatynaiko's and Gen. Sobkov's possible errors or mismanagement. As Minister Kuzmuk predicted, the above appointments will most likely trigger further reshuffles within the Armed Forces' commanding personnel.

105-Strong Company Leaves Yavoriv Training Ground On Rotation Mission To Ukrainian-Polish Battalion In Slovenia

A 105-strong company left the Ukrainian Army's Yavorivsky Training Groung near Lviv on a scheduled rotation mission to the mixed Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion in Slovenia.

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