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5 June 1998
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PRESIDENT KUCHMA: BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION SUMMIT IN YALTA IS AN EVENT OF HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

On June 5, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma made a speech at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organizationís Summit in Yalta, South Crimea, and stated the forum as an event of historical significance marking the Black Sea Economic Cooperation's emergence as yet another international organization. The Ukrainian President summed up major results of Pontic Rim nations' joint projects in power industry, transport, communication, natural environment protection and conservation. The list has been complemented by such vital aspects of transnational cooperation, as overcoming effects of technigenic and natural disasters and coordinated effort to combat transnational organized crime. The now customary scheme for intergovernmental cooperation among BSEC member - nations is quite harmoniously supplemented by collaboration within the framework of the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly with the two mechanisms becoming increasingly infiltrated by subjects of economic and business activity.

As Mr. Kuchma noted, the BSEC is growingly becoming a key component of Europe's emerging new security system based precisely on the economic foundation. In his words, the development and expansion of trade and economic relations among BSEC members has been organically combined with confidence - building steps, such as reducing naval activity in the Black Sea and increasing safety of navigation. Ukraine's initiatives to this effect have been supported by all the BSEC member-nations, President Kuchma went on. According to him, the risk of BSEC becoming an elite club of a few chosen countries has been averted, and the organization is open and attractive now. It can be attested by the Summit being attended by delegates from nations seeking BSEC membership or observer status and from a number of influential multilateral and regional organizations. Mr. Kuchma referred to the signing of the BSEC Statute in Yalta as a new page in the history of BSEC which should be maximally capitalized upon to step up BSEC member -nations' economic transformation toward sustainable development and growth.

Mr. Kuchma named trade and investment as key elements of this process and pledged Ukraine's support for the concept of creating a free economic zone within the BSEC boundaries. The Ukrainian President defined two priority tasks which envisage transport infrastructures within the vast Euroasian Transport Corridor, TRACEKA and the Crete Corridors. However ambitious and formidable such multinational megaprojects may appear, they are quite feasible and realistic, and, if materialized, would greatly improve transportation of cargoes and passengers within the area stretching from China to Western and Northern Europe.

Mr. Kuchma also reminded about Ukraine's initiative to create a circular ferry-line in the Black Sea. Touching on oil transportation problems, President Kuchma offered Ukraine's scheme for transportation of "big Caspian oil' across the Black Sea via Ukraine to Europe. As he said, this scheme does not rule out Ukraine's further effort to survey, develop and exploit natural gas and oil fields in the Black Sea's shelf zone. President Kuchma aired Ukraine's initiative to set up a joint coordinating council for environmental safety and a mechanism to monitor the Pontic ecosystem's pollution. He spoke in favor of stepping up intra -BSEC cooperation to fight organized crime, terrorism, illegal migration, drug trafficking and smuggling of weapons and radioactive materials. The President also underscored the role of business structures in boosting cooperation within BSEC calling them "the Black Sea Initiative's locomotive."

The Yalta BSEC Summit was attended by Presidents Redjeb Meidani of Albania, Robert Kocharyan of Armenia, Geidar Aliev of Azerbaijan, Petr Stoyanov of Bulgaria, Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia, Petru Luchinski of Moldova, Emil Konstantinesku of Romania, Suleiman Demirel of Turkey, Prime Ministers Konstantinos Simitis of Greece and Sergei Kirienko of Russia.

BSEC SUMMIT IN YALTA INSTITUTES BSECO

The BSEC Summit hosted in Yalta, South Crimea, on June 5, resulted in the institution of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization with its Statute signed by leaders of the member-nations. The BSECO Statute transforms the existent intergovernmental mechanism for regional cooperation into a full - fledged regional economic organization. The Yalta Summit's participants adopted a Declaration which states progress made in multipartite economic cooperation that contributed to promotion of regional peace, security and stability. The document states BSECO member-nations' intention to accede to the World Trade Organization and promote cooperation with the European Commission, OSCE, UN and other international organizations. The Declaration also expresses the signatories' hope for UN granting the BSECO the status of UN General Assembly observer. It states the member-nations' vision of the BSECO as a springboard for their integration into a unified Europe of the 21st century. Summing up the BSEC Summit in Yalta, President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine noted its highly constructive and friendly spirit and voiced hope that the instituted BSECO will be true to the letter, word and spirit of the Yalta Declaration and the BSECO Statute in keeping with the Black Sea Initiative's foreordination.

BSECO'S FLAG HOISTED IN YALTA FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONíS INSTITUTION

Ceremonies involving the signing of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organizationís Statute and its flag's hoisting on Yalta's square facing the namesake hotel, consummated the BSEC Summit in the South Ukrainian health resort center on June 5. According to the Azeri President Geidar Aliev's remarks, the Yalta BSEC Summit's agenda did not provide for discussing the issue of Caspian oil transportation, but it was raised in the course of bipartite talks. In his words, Ukraine's chances to become an actor in the Caspian oil transportation project are high, very much the same as other BSECO member-nations'.

PARLIAMENT STILL UNABLE TO ELECT SPEAKER

According to reports by DINAU, on June 5, the Verkhovna Rada was unable to elect its speaker. The election was postponed till Tuesday, June 9.


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