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9 July 1998
For immediate release
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PRESIDENT KUCHMA CONGRATULATED NEWLY ELECTED PARLIAMENT SPEAKER
On July 7, President Leonid Kuchma in a telephone conversation with newly elected the Verkhovna Rada Chairperson Oleksandr Tkachenko warmly congratulated him on this occasion and expressed hope for the Ukrainian parliament's constructive and cooperative stance. The two officials discussed the Verkhovna Rada's priority tasks and ways to promote collaboration between the executive branch and the legislature. President Kuchma also sent a message to the Verkhovna Rada to express his expectation that the election of its speaker will put an end to the protracted parliamentary crisis and will signal the onset of the parliament's legislative work, as the lawmakers' inactivity has jeopardized both the economic reform and the government's anti-crisis programs. In President's opinion, the parliament should form a majority which would assume responsibility for urgent reformation of the taxation and budgetary systems, adoption of the new Civil, Custom, Penal and Land Codes, and the National Budget for 1999. Mr. Kuchma urged the parliamentarians to display a constructive approach and ability to take concerted legislative steps and thus respond to today's challenges. President Kuchma reiterated his readiness to assist this process in every way.
SPEAKER TKACHENKO EXPRESSES HOPE FOR POWER BRANCHES' CONCORD
On July 8, the Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Tkachenko held his maiden press conference in Kiev to express his hope for the power branches' eventual concord. According to the newly elected parliament speaker, the present Verkhovna Rada is expected to be more productive than its precursors as being better politically structured. Commenting on the economic recess, Mr. Tkachenko blamed both the previous parliament and the government for failure in finding proper approaches to formulating economic policies and priorities. Therefore, the current Verkhovna Rada will have to speed up its legislative efforts with as many as 400 bills and acts waiting to be considered and passed. This goal can be attained only after the parliament has completed its ruling body election process, that may be as painstaking and painful as the speaker election was, cautioned Mr. Tkachenko.
PRESIDENTS KUCHMA AND YELTSIN AGREED TO HOLD A UKRAINE-RUSSIA SUMMIT IN KHARKIV
On July 8, President Leonid Kuchma held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin. The warm and friendly telephone talk involved a substantial and comprehensive analysis of the current status of Ukrainian-Russian bilateral cooperation and focused on ways to enhance the efficacy of economic interactions between the two nations, including the implementation of major joint projects. They underscored the importance of continuing their regular meetings. The two leaders agreed to hold a Ukrainian-Russian summit in a broader format. Attending will be the heads of government, key ministers and prominent business figures. The summit is expected to convene in Kharkiv on September 18 and 19. The presidents also reach an accord to give relevant instructions for the preparation of the upcoming summit in Kharkiv. The two Presidents exchanged information about the domestic situation in their countries, and discussed other issues of mutual interest.
NSDC SECRETARY HORBULIN CHAIRS A SESSION OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMISSION ON NATO-UKRAINE COOPERATION
Volodymyr Horbulin, Secretary of the National Security & Defense Council, chaired a session of the National Interdepartmental Commission on NATO-Ukraine cooperation. The Commission very thoroughly discussed the draft of the National Program for Ukraine-NATO Cooperation, and practical ways to implement it. They also tackled major aspects of Ukraine's military-defense cooperation with NATO, from the angle of the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership that NATO and Ukraine signed a year ago. The session listed major accomplishments in strengthening cooperation between NATO and Ukraine, such as fruitful work performed by the Commission "Ukraine-NATO," and the joint task forces for implementing the military reform in Ukraine, as well as the regular dialogue between the Ukrainian Interdepartmental Commission and the NATO Political Committee. The members of the Commission also noted stepped up bilateral interactions in the military-technical area and civil planning for emergencies. At the same time they stressed that Ukraine's politically declared intention to intensively move toward integration with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions has not been adequately supported by concrete political steps that makes it incumbent on top-placed officers in relevant Ukrainian ministries and departments to take necessary steps to this effect.
UKRAINIAN DELEGATION TAKES PART IN CONFERENCE "UPDATE-98"
Mr. Victor Vashchylin, Chairman of the State Service for Control over Exports, is leading the Ukrainian delegation to the annual symposium and international conference "Update-98" which opened in Washington, DC on July 6. Expert delegations from Central European, Baltic, Central Asiatic nations, Russia and Belarus, the Group of Nuclear Suppliers, the Australian Group, the Missile Technologies Control Regime, and the Wassenaar Treaty's signatories take part in the symposium. The Ukrainian delegation will conduct meetings with its US counterparts in connection with the US Administration's further aid to Ukraine following the expiration of relevant bilateral agreements relating to control over sensitive exports.