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17 December 1998
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Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko Begins Working Visit To Italy
Ukraine's Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko began a working visit to Italy on December 15. Mr.Pustovoitenko's visit will focus on prospects for development of Ukrainian-Italian relations in the spheres of economics, trade, and culture. Mr.Pustovoitenko is scheduled to hold talks with Italy's President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, Italian parliamentary leaders, and representatives of the Italian Confederation of Entrepreneurs. He also expected to meet with Pope John Paul II and the Vatican's Secretary of State Angelo Sodano.
Prime Minister Pustovoitenko To Promote Practical Development Of Ukrainian-Italian Relations
Ukraine's Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko arrived in Italy on December 15 to begin a two-day official visit, the main goal of which is to broaden and concretize Ukrainian-Italian trade and economic relations. Italy is among Ukraine's five largest trading partners. However, Ukraine's exports to Italy are mainly raw materials while its imports from Italy include equipment, plastics, clothes, shoes, and foodstuffs. There are great prospects for cooperation in the creation and use of satellite systems. Italy is one of the initiators of the regional satellite project named Caesar. Ukraine and Italy also have good prospects for cooperation in the power, agro-industrial, and military sectors, particularly in the creation of a new European military transport plane on the basis of Ukraine's An-70 aircraft. According to experts, the most important issue in Ukrainian-Italian economic cooperation at present is implementation of the intergovernmental credit agreement under which Italy is to open a credit line for Ukraine. Money from the credit line is intended for financing production of aluminum foil at the Zaporizhia aluminum factory. To date, Ukraine and Italy have signed 17 bilateral documents, including an Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation. Ten new documents are presently being drafted. According to data from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, trade turnover between Ukraine and Italy amounted to 721.7 million dollars in the first ten months of this year. Trade turnover between the two countries has grown 21-24% recently. There are a total of 233 enterprises in Ukraine with Italian capital. Direct Italian investment in Ukraine had reached $ 54.4 million as of July 1, 1998, a 5% increase in the first half of the year. All aspects of Ukrainian-Italian economic cooperation will be discussed during Prime Minister Pustovoitenko's talks with Italy's Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and representatives of the Italian Confederation of Entrepreneurs.
Mr. Pustovoitenko and his hosts are also expected to discuss Ukraine's integration into the European Union and hold consultations on the signing of a free trade agreement, creation of a European military transport plane on the basis of Ukraine's An-70, production of aviation engines, wind generators, and satellite communications systems.
Italy Pledges Continuing Support For Ukraine's Bid For Integration Into European And Euro-Atlantic Organizations
On December 17, 1998 Ukraine's Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko met with Italy's Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini. The two men showed particular interest in Italy's active support for Ukraine's bid for integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures and closer cooperation between Ukraine and international financial organizations. Particular attention was also paid to repayment of Lisichansk oil refinery's debts to West Deutsche Landesbank. Mr. Dini said Italy would continue to support Ukraine on the international arena to facilitate its integration into European and international organizations. Mr. Pustovoitenko met with representatives of the Ukrainian community in Italy. The Ukrainian prime minister held talks with representatives of the Fiat concern. Mr. Pustovoitenko was invited to attend events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Italian soccer.