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11 May 1998
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PRIME MINISTER PUSTOVOITENKO: COOPERATION WITH EBRD PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY TO ACCELERATE UKRAINE'S ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
Additional headlines and news follow below
Ukraine's Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's acting President Charles Frank participated in the official opening of the bank's annual meeting in Kiev. Mr. Pustovoitenko stressed that Ukraine highly values the EBRD's support for Ukraine's efforts to reform its economy. According to him, Ukraine's cooperation with the EBRD is one of the most important aspects of development of relations between Ukraine and the European Union. He said Ukraine would find it very difficult to single-handedly overcome the problems connected with deep economic transformations. He added that assistance from such leading financial organizations as the EBRD provide Ukraine with an opportunity to transform its economy faster and less painfully. According to Mr. Pustovoitenko, the decision to hold this year's annual meeting of governors of the EBRD in Kiev can be viewed asthe international financial community's support for Ukrainian reforms. In his words, the world has yet to fully discover Ukraine's economic potentials and the capabilities of its domestic market and geostrategic location. The volume of EBRD's operations in Ukraine fall short of the potentials of bilateral cooperation between the Bank and Ukraine. Mr. Pustovoitenko stressed the EBRD' s constructive approach to Ukraine's problems. 26 projects have been drafted with the EBRD, nine new projects requiring state guaranty are currently being drafted, 10 are being drafted for the private sector. The Ukrainian prime minister said foreign investment in Ukraine has shown a growth trend of recent, and stressed that creation of favorable environment for investors is a strategic task for the government. He added that the existing legislation provides equal opportunities and state guaranty for investors. However, a new package of laws in this regard has been drafted and will soon be submitted to the Parliament for consideration. Prime Minister Pustovoitenko assured participants in the EBRD's annual meeting that Ukraine's economic reform policy will remain unchanged and that measures are being taken to accelerate implementation of the policy. He called on leaders of international financial organizations and companies to broaden mutually advantageous cooperation with Ukraine. "Through our joint efforts, we can achieve Ukraine's goal of economic development, guarantee political security, and ensure the prosperity of the Ukrainian people, "Mr. Pustovoitenko said.
EBRD TO PROVIDE 80 MILLION ECU FOR DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has opened the second credit line for development of medium and small businesses in Ukraine. The agreement on opening the credit line was signed in Kiev on May 8. A total of 80 million ECU is to be provided via the credit line. The money will be provided to the National Bank of Ukraine under Ukrainian government guaranty.
NEW EBRD OFFICE OPENS IN KIEV
On May 8, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development opened its new representative office in Kiev. EBRD acting President Charles Frank said the opening of the new office signified the strengthening of the bank's presence in Ukraine. He expressed satisfaction with the bank's successes in Ukraine. Mr. Yaroslav Kinakh, head of the EBRD office, said the Bank believes in Ukraine and its great potentials. He compared Ukraine to a sleeping beauty waiting to be awakened, and expressed hope that delegates to this year's EBRD meeting will see the country's great potentials and join forces in assisting its development. Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tyhypko said the EBRD's operations in Ukraine have already yielded significant results. He thanked the EBRD leadership for its trust in Ukraine, adding that he considered the opening of the new office as a revelation of the bank's intention to work in Ukraine for a long time.
UKRAINE TO IMPLEMENT EBRD-FINANCED ENERGY SAVING PROJECT
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has granted Ukraine a loan of $30 million for establishment of an investment and service company named UkrEsco. The loan agreement was signed in Kiev on May 9, by Ukraine's Finance Minister Ihor Mitiukov and EBRD acting President Charles Frank. The company, which will implement energy saving projects, will initially operate as a state-owned company but will be privatized later. Through the company's operations, $15 million is expected to be saved annually. It was disclosed during the agreement's signing ceremony that the European Union and TACIS have each allocated three million dollars for commencement of the company's operations. This will be the first energy saving project in the CIS.
EBRD ACTING PRESIDENT CONFIDENT THAT EBRD ANNUAL MEETING WILL BOOST INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE
The Acting president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Charles Frank, has expressed confidence that the bank's annual meeting, underway in Kiev, will stimulate investment in Ukraine. He was speaking on Saturday, May 9, during a the opening of the EBRD annual gathering. He said the bank will continue to work with both state and private sectors to stimulate the Ukrainian economy. According to him, the EBRD meeting and the Ukrainian investment exhibition "Ukraine: A View into the XXI Century" will attract investment into Ukraine. He pledged the bank's support for efforts aimed at attracting investment. The meeting is attended by over 2,000 businessmen and women and about 1,000 representatives of various international financial organizations and official government delegations. It is covered by over 800 journalists. The acting EBRD president estimates that the meeting will attract a total of about 5,000 people. According to him, this indicates the international financial community's interest in investment opportunities in Ukraine and the strengthening of ties between the EBRD and Ukraine. The EBRD acting president described the bank's Kiev meeting as an important event to the CIS and the European community. In his words, the bank has invested about $600 million in the Ukrainian economy, half of which was spent on business development. He added that the bank will work to improve the investment climate in Ukraine.
EBRD INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE WILL INCREASE PROPORTIONALLY WITH PRIVATIZATION PROGRESST
The EBRD’s representative in Ukraine Yaroslav Kinakh has said that the bank's investment in Ukraine will increase in line with the progress of privatization. He made the statement a news briefing held at the Ukrainian House, the venue of this EBRD's meeting. According to him, the ongoing privatization of large enterprises will attract major investors. Mr. Kinakh disclosed that $600 million invested in Ukraine by the EBRD last year was the largest thus far in a single year. However, in his words, such a volume of investment was still too small. The director of the EBRD's Ukrainian Department J. Tanaka said at the news briefing that the EBRD intends to strengthen its presence in Ukraine. According to him, the bank's strategy for operation in Ukraine envisions cooperation with new private companies as well as with existing large enterprises and joint ventures, and participation in energy, communications, transport, and other projects. He added that the bank's operations in Ukraine will be in line with the Ukrainian government's plans.
PRESIDENT KUCHMA APPOINTS YURI SOLOVKOV CHAIRMAN OF NATIONAL CUSTOM-HOUSE
On May 8, President Leonid Kuchma signed a decree to appoint Yuri Solovkov Chairman of the State Custom Service. Yuri Solovkov was born in the Lviv Region in 1958, and graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk Railroad Engineer College. His career as a custom officer began in 1992. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the State Custom Service.
UKRAINE'S FIRST DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS SHAPE
On May 8, Col.Gen. Oleksandr Zatynaiko, First Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, visited the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe. In he was interview to the Ukrainian Information Agency he disclosed some plans for military cooperation between NATO and Ukraine in 1998. According him, Ukrainian military units are supposed to participate in as many as 15 large-scale NATO military exercises, two of which Ukraine will play host to: the Peace Shield - 98 field exercise will be carried out at Yavorivsky training ground in the Lviv Region, and the Sea Breeze - 98 multinational naval exercise will be carried out in the Black Sea not far from Ukraine's coastline. According to general Zatynaiko, the Defense Ministry is contemplating a novel defense consultative body for Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova with a view of setting up joint multinational peacekeeping contingents. During general Zatynaiko's stay in Brussels he held talks with his Romanian counterpart Gen. Konstantin Degeratu on forming a mixed Ukrainian - Romanian peacekeeping battalion.
CIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY BORIS BEREZOVSKY VISITS KIEV
On May 7, President Leonid Kuchma met with Boris Berezovsky, the newly elected CIS Executive Secretary, who made a brief working visit to Kiev. Following their meeting, Mr. Berezovsky and Deputy Premier Serhiy Tyhypko told the reporters that the meeting dealt with a broad range of CIS - related issues with the host party stating its opinion about intra - CIS cooperation and integration processes as ones which should be directed toward improving the member-nations' economic performance and living standards.
ALL-UKRAINIAN WOMEN'S CONGRESS TO BE HELD MAY 21-23
A nationwide women's congress will be held in Kiev on May 21- 23. A decision to this effect has been approved by the government. The congress will aim at drawing attention to the problems of family and children, draft strategies for creating equal economic, political, and social opportunities for men and women, and involve women in decision-making at all levels. The congress will be held in line with government-approved 1997-2000 national action plan for improving the situation of women, and increasing their role in the society.