3350 M Street, NW · Washington DC 20007 · 202/333-0606 · 202/333-0817 (fax)
18 June 1998
For immediate release
[Press Releases Home]
PARLIAMENT AMENDS ITS REGULATIONS TO SPEED UP ELECTION OF SPEAKER
The Ukrainian parliament amended its regulations as to the speaker’s election procedure. The amendments will reduce the time allocated for discussing candidates for the post of parliamentary speaker. According to reports by DINAU, the amendments were proposed by the Coordinating Council after consultations with various parliamentary factions. The amendments lifted the existing restrictions on the number of times candidates may be nominated for the post of parliamentary speaker, deputy speaker, and committee chairpersons may be nominated. Thus, the candidates that were earlier nominated but failed to win the required number of votes may now re-enter the race.
As of June 17, 405 Ukrainian parliamentarians out of 440 registered deputies form following factions of the Verkhovna Rada: the Communist Party faction – 121; People’s Democratic Party’s faction – 90; People’s Rukh – 47; Hromada – 44; Left Wing – 35; Social-Democratic Party (United) – 27; the Green Party – 25; and Progressive Socialist Party - 16 deputies.
UKRAINIAN DELEGATION TO ATTEND NATO SEMINAR IN VIENNA
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk will lead Ukraine's delegation to NATO's 15th international seminar to be held in Vienna on June 20-24. The seminar will discuss the new security challenges facing a reformed NATO, and will be attended by official representatives of NATO member-nations and partner-nations. Mr. Tarasiuk is expected to present a report.
UKRAINE, POLAND, AND CANADA TO HOLD TRILATERAL CONSULTATIONS
Ukraine, Canada, and Poland will hold the second round of consultations in Kiev on June 18. The consultations will focus on the European security architecture and prospects for Ukraine-Canada-Poland regional and economic cooperation. The first round of consultations was held in Warsaw in May 1997. The Ukrainian delegation to the consultations will include senior officials of several departments of the Foreign Ministry and representatives of other departments.
IMPLEMENTATION OF "KHARKIV INITIATIVE" BEGINS
On June 16, a Ukrainian-US research mission which includes delegation of US officials in charge of economic cooperation with foreign countries as well as senior officials of the Kharkiv regional administration, industrial enterprises, regional scientific centers, and representatives of small and medium businesses, began implementing the US government program entitled "Kharkiv Initiative" when it arrived in Kharkiv. The US delegation is headed by Ambassador Richard Morningstar, the US President’s adviser on cooperation with NIS countries. The mission's morning session focused on its main aim: attracting investment into Ukrainian enterprises, developing small and medium businesses, and promoting scientific, technical and economic cooperation. The American delegation is scheduled to visit local enterprises and scientific organizations.
THE IMO SEMINAR ON PREVENTING TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN
An international seminar on measures for preventing trafficking in women opened in Kiev on June 16. It was organized by the International Migration Organization as part of a joint initiative by the United States and the European Union. This event is attended by representatives of several Ukrainian ministries and departments, international organizations involved in combating trafficking in women, and activists from several non-governmental organizations. The primary purpose of the seminar is to familiarize government officials with illegal migration of women and to discuss joint efforts to solve the problem. Participants in the seminar will review the current situation involving international trafficking in women and discuss the measures that the Ukrainian government needs to undertake in order to prevent this phenomenon. Particular attention will be paid to legislation aimed at protecting the victims’ human rights and international cooperation among law enforcement agencies. The seminar is part of the International Migration Organization's project entitled "Preventing Trading in Ukrainian Women: the Ukrainian Information Campaign," according to the project's coordinator Serhiy Ratushny. A similar seminar will be held in the Crimea. The conclusions and recommendations of the seminars and other activities of the International Migration Organization will be discussed at an international conference in Lviv that will focus on Ukraine's further steps to prevent illegal trafficking in women.
CHERNOBYL REACTOR SHUT FOR EXAMINATION
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant's only functioning reactor was shut down on June 16, so the cooling system could be examined for a possible small leak, according to the plant's director Vitaliy Tovstonohov. According to Mr.Tovstonohov, the reactor was shut down because officials suspected a leak in the cooling pipeline system under the reactor. However, in his words, levels of radioactivity around power plant were normal. The reactor could be restarted on June 22. Extremely high temperatures in the reactor prompted its shutdown to examine its cooling system. The reactor was restarted last May after repairs. Ukraine promised to close the stricken plant by 2000 under the condition that the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations live up to their promise to provide aid in constructing two nuclear reactors in western Ukraine to compensate for lost capacity. According to Ukrainian officials, the Chernobyl NPP cannot be shut down until the West fulfills its promise to provide $1.2 billion to fund the closure and building of the new stations.
PRESIDENT KUCHMA DECREES TO SUSPEND CONSCRIPTION
On June 16, President Leonid Kuchma signed a decree to temporarily suspend conscription involving short-term servicemen for the Armed Forces, the National Guard of Ukraine and Security Service signal troops. The presidential decision to this effect was reported to have been prompted by the ongoing process of reducing Ukraine's military personnel to the level of reasonable defense sufficiency.
TERNOPIL MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF WEST-UKRAINIAN PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
Celebrations were held across the Ternopil Region to mark the 80th anniversary of the West-Ukrainian People's Republic.
COSSACK HOLIDAY HELD IN BATURIN, CHERNIHIV REGION
The city of Baturin (Chernihiv Region), once the seat of Ukrainian Cossack Hetmans, was the center of traditional celebrations on June 14, marking Cossack Holiday with folklore performers and ensembles converging onto the city's stadium near the Hetman Kochubei's memorial house.