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18 May 1998
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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES ITS PERMANENT COMMITTEES
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On May 14, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the establishment of the following permanent committees:
Legal Reform; State-building, Local Self-governance, and Local Rada Activities; Social Policy and Labor Affairs; Health Care, Motherhood and Childhood Issues; Youth Policy, Physical Culture and Sports; Science and Education; Culture and Spirituality; Economic Policy, Economy Management, Property and Investment affairs; Finance and Banking Activities; Industrial Policy; Energy sector, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety; Construction, Transportation and Telecommunications; Policy in Agriculture, and Land Relations; Foreign Relations and CIS; Environmental Policy and Use of Natural Resources; Legal Basis for Law-enforcement Activities, and Fight against Organized Crime and Corruption; National Security and Defense ; Rules, Deputies’ Ethics and Organization of the Verkhovna Rada; Freedom of Speech and Information issues; Human rights, National Minorities, and Interethnical Relations; Pensioners’, Veterans’ and Disabled People Issues.
PARLIAMENTARY FACTIONS REGISTERED
The Verkhovna Rada Secretariat registered on May 14, eight parliamentary factions and their delegates. So far, 389 parliamentarians out of 430 deputies who were sworn in, joined the factions. The Communist faction numbers 119 deputies. Their delegates are: P.Symonenko, A.Martyniuk, V.Matveyev. 84 deputies joined the faction of the People’s Democratic Party (delegates: A.Matviyenko, V.Filenko, T.Stetskiv, O.Karpov). Rukh united 47 deputies (delegates: V.Chornovil, Yu.Kostenko, V.Koval, I.Zayets, V.Cherniak). The Hromada faction consists of 39 deputies (delegates: P.Lazarenko, V.Omelych, O.Turchynov). 35 deputies are members of the Left Wing faction (Socialist/Peasants’ parties). Their delegates are: O.Moroz, S.Dovgan, I.Chyzh, S.Sas, S.Nikolayenko, V.Semeniuk. 24 deputies made up the Green Party faction (delegates: V.Kononov, V.Khmelnytsky, O.Shevchuk, S.Kurykin, Yu.Samoilenko, S.Rys). 24 deputies formed the faction of the Social-Democratic Party (United). Ye.Marchuk, V.Medvedchuk and V.Onopenko were named its delegates. The Progressive Socialist Party faction includes 17 parliamentarians. Their delegates are: N.Vitrenko, V.Marchenko, O.Charodeyev, N.Lymar and V.Stozhenko. The Parliament also approved the formation of a special Reconciliation Committee which will consist of factions delegates or their leaders.
CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTS LEONID GRACH AS ITS SPEAKER
On May 14, 1998 the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Soviet) of the Crimean Autonomous Republic elected Leonid Grach, first secretary of the Communist Party Republican Committee, as its new speaker. Mr. L.Grach, born in 1948, Doctor of History, since 1967 has worked in the fish-processing industry in Kerch, Crimea. In 1991, he was elected the first secretary of the Crimea’s Communist Party Committee. In his inauguration speech, Mr.Grach claimed that the new Crimean parliament would act within the Constitution of Ukraine, "in strict accordance with the letter, word and spirit of the Law."
PRESIDENT KUCHMA CONGRATULATES CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT'S SPEAKER
President Leonid Kuchma has sent a message of congratulations to Leonid Grach on the occasion of Mr. Grach's election the new Crimean Supreme Soviet's Chairperson. On May 15, Mr. Kuchma held a telephone conversation with the newly elected Crimean speaker, who reassured the Ukrainian Head of State that the Crimean Parliament will be guided by Ukraine's current legislation remaining within the nation's constitutional framework.
EUROCOMISSION SPOKESPERSON ON EU'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS UKRAINE
As reported by DINAU's correspondent in Brussels, Belgium, commenting Ukrainian Foreign Minister B.Tarasyuk’s words (quoted by The Financial Times) as to the European Union's "rather cool" attitude to Ukraine which is likely to divert the nation from democratic Europe to the other sphere of influence, EuroCommission spokeswoman Louisvice van der Laan said she could not share such an opinion. In her words, the European Union has been promoting ever closer relations with Ukraine, which trend has manifested itself in EU's political and financial support of Ukraine's democratic reforms. Via TACIS alone, multimillion dollar infusions have been made into Ukrainian economy, Ms.Laan said adding that the EU tops the list of Ukraine's foreign investment donors. She also cited many other instances of EU's favorable attitude to Ukraine noting that Ukraine was the only post-USSR nation which was specifically addressed by the latest US-EU Summit. EBRD's recent annual meeting in Kiev could also attest this fact, she said.
"DONETSK" AND "AZOV" SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES IN DONETSK REGION HOPED TO FOSTER START-UPS TO BOOST REGIONAL ECONOMY
A 880 acre area in the city's southern suburb has been chosen for setting up the "Donetsk" special economic zone. The area once was reserved for construction of industrial facilities. Another special economic zone within the Donetsk Region's administrative boundaries will be located in the city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov coast. It will be confined to the seaport and its warehouses. Selidovo, Yenakievo and some others, will also enjoy the special economic zone status with its lucrative franchises expected to draw capital investors. The Ukrainian Government obviously tends to view such special economic zones as ideal environments to set up ventures which will act as start-ups to boost regional economies. The "Donetsk" and "Azov"? special economic zones are expected to enjoy their franchises for as long as 30 years ("Azov") and 60 years "Donetsk"). These will range from abrogation of importation duties to franchises making unnecessary deductions to a number of funds. The "Donetsk" special economic zone is supposed to concentrate on hi-tech branches in which some 30,000 workers will be employed. The "Azov" will be oriented to handle foreign trade operations, agent services and similar carrier-related activities. As some fairly optimistic forecasts predict, if all goes as has been planned, about $1.5 billion will be invested in the Donetsk Region's special economic zones within three years.