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25 June 1998
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Ukraine's Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk has attended the 7th meeting at the foreign ministers level of the Baltic Sea Nations Council in the Danish capital. In his intervention, Mr. Tarasiuk stated the specific areas of cooperation between Ukraine and members of the Baltic Sea Council, which he described as an influential regional organization. In his words, cooperation with the organization opens up new prospects for wide ranging cooperation on trade, economics, environmental protection, law enforcement, combating organized crime, creation of transport corridors, inter-regional cooperation, culture, and education.

Mr. Tarasiuk also had meetings with his counterparts from Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Lithuania to discuss prospects for cooperation between Ukraine and the Baltic Sea Countries Council as well as specific mechanisms for Ukraine's cooperation with Northern European and Baltic countries on the international arena, particularly regarding Ukraine's bid for integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Mr. Tarasiuk and his counterparts reviewed prospects for developing inter-regional cooperation between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea regions. Particular emphasis was placed on preparations for the international conference Yalta '99, which was proposed by the president of Ukraine at a Vilnius summit in September 1997.

The Baltic Sea Nations Council comprises Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Finland, and Sweden as well as the European Commission. Representatives of Ukraine, the United States, and France attended the meeting as observers.


Top officials of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Councilís nations, the US and Canada attended this year's annual NATO seminar in Vienna, Austria. In his address to the seminar, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Borys Tarasiuk provided detailed information about Ukraine's present and potential contributions to efforts to meet the challenges of Euro-Atlantic security. In particular, he noted Ukraine's efforts to establish broad-based and wide ranging cooperation with Central European countries and inter-regional cooperation between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea regions. Mr. Tarasiuk also mentioned President Leonid Kuchma's initiatives to host a summit of Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Baltic regional leaders, and his proposals on confidence - building and reduction of military forces in the Black Sea region. The seminarís participants who highly appraised Ukraine's peacekeeping efforts were briefed on Ukraine's strong military and scientific potentials, specifically in the aerospace and armament sectors. In Mr. Tarasiuk words, these potentials could be brought to the service of peace and preventive diplomacy for the sake of all Europeans. Another example of Ukraine's soaring international stature is the decision to invite Ukraine to participate in an intensive dialogue aimed at finding ways of preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons, following the recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan. Mr. Tarasiuk drew attention to President Kuchma's measures to stabilize the political situation in the Crimea. He added that the success of these steps contributed to stability in the region and in Europe as a whole. Participants in the seminar welcomed Mr. Tarasiuk's confirmation of Ukraine's commitment to integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures and in their interventions expressed support for Ukraine.


On June 23, the first round of multilateral negotiations involving confidence and naval security building measures in the Back Sea Region opened in the Ukrainian capital attended by delegations from Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine. The Ukrainian delegation is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Volodymyr Khandogy. The delegations include Navies' commanders from these nations. The talks should be viewed as an early step toward implementing Ukraine's initiative "To Economic Cooperation Through Confidence Building Steps" which has been endorsed by every Pontic nation. The talks in Kiev were preceded by intensive political consultations. The current negotiations are to formulate relevant confidence building steps through tightened control over naval activities in line with the 1996 OSCE Lisbon Summit's decisions.

According to DINAU, in his message to the participants, Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma stressed the need to support the Ukrainian initiative. He also made an emphasis on a symbolic importance of the fact that the negotiations are taking place shortly after the Black Sea Economic Cooperation's Yalta summit. The Ukrainian leader expressed his hope that the talks will become an important part of joint efforts to transform the Black Sea and the whole of Europe into a zone of peace and stability. He expressed confidence that the representatives of the countries bordering the Black Sea will do their utmost to prevent conflicts in the region and eliminate anything that may cause suspicion and undermine trust. According to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry officials, the main goal of the negotiations is to draft and agree measures aimed at regulating naval operations and ensuring stability and security in the Black Sea region. To date, there are no international agreements regulating naval operations in the region.


Mykola Maymeskul, Ukraine's Permanent Representative at the UN Geneva Office and other Geneva-based international organizations, for the next two months will Chair the session of the International Conference on Disarmament. Mr. Maymeskul's chairmanship of the conference's session is a good opportunity for confirming Ukraine's active position on the issue of disarmament and arms control as well as an opportunity to draw attention to the problem that Ukraine has had to face because of its non-nuclear status. Apart from nuclear disarmament issues, the work of the conference's special committee on provision of security assurances by nuclear nations to non-nuclear nations is to be reviewed. Decision is also expected to be reached on the mechanisms for implementing the ban on export and transfer of antipersonnel mines and prevention of arms race in space.

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