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23 July 1998
For immediate release
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US VICE-PRESIDENT ALBERT GORE IN KIEV
On July 22-23, US Vice-President Albert Gore paid a working visit to Ukraine with a view of attending the 2nd plenary session of the Kuchma-Gore Binational Commission. Both, Mr. Gore's meeting with Ukrainian Head of State Leonid Kuchma and the Binational Commission's plenary session were to deal with ways toward deepening strategic partnership between the USA and Ukraine, and the US Administration's continued support of Ukraine's economic reformation along market lines. The session, co-chaired by President Kuchma and Vice-President Gore, made a comprehensive and thorough analysis of what had been done to materialize the Commission's decisions contained in the maiden session's Joint Statement of May, 1997. As a result of the second plenary session, a number of bilateral documents were signed, in particular, a joint statement, an agreement on mutual legal assistance, a five year extension of nuclear safety assistance agreement, and documents on establishing an international radio ecology laboratory in the Chornobyl's exclusion zone, and on trade in textile. Vice-President Gore's schedule provided for a trip to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant on July 23.
PRESIDENT KUCHMA AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE OPEN 2ND PLENARY SESSION OF UKRAINE-US BINATIONAL COMMISSION
Whereas at the initial stage of relationship between Ukraine and the USA an emphasis was chiefly placed on declaring general principles, approaches and intentions, “now we are moving towards real doings,” Ukrainian President Leonid D. Kuchma said, opening the second plenary session of the Ukraine-US Binational Commission. The Ukrainian leader referred to the regular top level dialogue between Ukraine and the USA as a major accomplishment in the parties' cooperation over 1997-1998. The two nations' leaders have attained a very high level of mutual understanding and support with the consultation mechanism working smoothly and continuously virtually in every area of bilateral cooperation, the President said. In his words, the strategic axis "Washington-Kiev" has become a significant factor of global peace and stability. Mr. Kuchma also praised the NATO-Ukraine Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, noting that Ukraine views the USA as a key player in promoting this partnership. President Kuchma underscored the significance of making Ukrainian-US military and political partnership more concrete saying that much of this vast cooperation potential remains untapped. In his opinion, the economic component of US-Ukrainian partnership has attained sizable progress with creation of favorable conditions for American businesses in Ukraine. Regrettably, there have been problems, too, which the Ukrainian President hoped to overcome by joint efforts. President Leonid Kuchma expressed his concern over the current trend toward foreign trade turnover between Ukraine and the US shrinking, notwithstanding Ukraine's MFN status in trade with America. As President Kuchma tactfully reminded, the MFN status has not been granted to Ukraine on a permanent and unconditional basis, contrary to what was agreed upon during the Binational Commission's maiden session. President Kuchma linked this downfall in trade turnover primarily to numerous anti dumping investigations in the USA against Ukrainian exporters, which have drastically limited access for Ukrainian commodities to US markets. President Kuchma expressed hope that the Commission's committees on sustainable economic cooperation, trade and investments would take up this matter for thorough consideration with a view of working out relevant recommendations.
In turn, US Vice-President Albert Gore underscored the significance of the US-Ukrainian top level dialogue for pushing “each of our governments to favor stronger collaboration between our countries.” Mr. Gore stressed that the US-Ukraine strategic partnership “is alive and well.” The US and Ukraine worked together to address some of Ukraine's most urgent needs, such as raising funds for the reconstruction of the shelter at the Chornobyl NPP, steps that could reduce the danger of organized crime, US support for improvement of Ukrainian agriculture, he said. Vice-President Gore also dwelt on a global financial crisis that is challenging countries on all sides of the globe. “At this time, no country can pretend that it lives apart from its neighbors. We are all part of a single global marketplace,” Mr. Gore said. “I look forward to talking with you in depth about how this crisis is affecting Ukraine and what Ukraine and the US can do to respond.” He praised Ukraine for its “true global leadership” in prevention of spread of weapons of mass destruction. “By removing Ukraine from the list of nuclear armed countries and by stopping the flow of technologies that can be used by those who wish to develop weapon systems, you have shown true leadership, ” the Vice President stressed.
PRESIDENT KUCHMA SUGGESTS THAT BINATIONAL COMMISSION TAKE UP STRATEGIC ISSUE OF CASPIAN OIL TRANSPORTATION
In his opening remarks at the Ukraine-US Binational Commission Plenary Session in Kiev on July 22, President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine proposed that Commission consider a "strategic issue beyond the framework of US-Ukrainian relations," i.e. Ukraine's full participation in transportation of big Caspian oil to European markets. As President Kuchma said, the US Administration's support for a Ukrainian project is decisive. In his words, Ukraine would like to see leading American companies among the participants in the emerging transnational consortium to transport and refine Caspian oil. Vice President Al Gore said the United States long has supported several exports routes for Azerbaijan's Caspian oil, and welcomed the Ukrainian proposal.
PRESIDENT KUCHMA SAYS UKRAINE WILL NOT FORGET THOSE WHO ASSISTED IN RESOLVING CHORNOBYL PROBLEM
Ukraine is thankful to the United States, which for several years has been the world leader in mobilizing efforts aimed at eliminating the aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear accident, President Leonid Kuchma said on July 23, when alongside US Vice President Al Gore he visited National Chornobyl Museum in Kiev. The aftermath of the nuclear accident knows no borders, adding problems arising from world scale accidents like Chornobyl can be resolved only by joint efforts, Ukrainian leader said. In his words, "the pain of Chornobyl calls for unity of humankind." He appreciated Mr. Gore's immense personal contribution to the success of last year's pledging conference in New York that was attended by representatives of over 51 countries, the European Union, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. During the conference, the Group of Seven nations officially announced their donations for reconstructing the shelter built over the Chornobyl power plant's destroyed nuclear reactor. Pledged donations by the G-7 and the EU totaled $ 300 million, with the US pledging the largest sum - $ 78 million. According to Mr. Kuchma, this sum is sufficient for beginning the Shelter Implementation Plan but not adequate to finance the entire project. The Ukrainian leader disclosed that the possibility of holding a second pledging conference was discussed during his talks with Al Gore and deliberations of the Commission. The second conference is intended to attract private capital.
PRIME MINISTER PUSTOVOITENKO MEETS WITH US UNDERSECRETARY OF TREASURY
On July 22, Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko met with Mr. David Lipton, US Undersecretary of Treasury for International Affairs, who was taking part in the second session of the Kuchma-Gore Binational Commission. Mr. Pustovoitenko briefed him on the Ukrainian president and government's efforts aimed at speeding up economic reforms in Ukraine. In particular, he dwelt on the president's recent decrees relating to pressing economic problems. In turn, Mr. Lipton noted that the US Administration has been closely following the process of market reforms in Ukraine. In Mr. Lipton's opinion, the second plenary session of the Ukraine-US Binational Commission would contribute to the progress in economic relations between the two nations.
US AND UKRAINIAN NATIONAL GUARD PARATROOPERS TO CLASH IN MOCK ACTION "GUARD PARTNERSHIP-98" AT CHUGUIV TRAINING GROUND
On August 4-12, the Chuguiv Training Ground (Kharkiv Region) which is run by a National Guards of Ukraine division stationed in Chuguiv will become the venue of a Ukrainian-American war game. Dubbed "Guard Partnership-98," the joint exercise will involve a US National Guard unit of paratroopers from California, who will engage in mock action alongside or against a mixed Ukrainian unit of the Chuguiv division's paratrooper platoon a "special purpose" company and a team of Kharkiv NGU college cadets. The week long war game will be carried out within the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, and will involve mock anti terrorist and SAR operations with live ammunition firings and helicopter landing assaults.
CONSULTATIONS ON UKRAINIAN-US COOPERATION IN AEROSPACE AREA
Director-General of the National Space Agency of Ukraine Oleksandr Negoda has paid a working visit to Washington within the framework of preparations for the second session of the Ukraine-US Binational Commission. The visit's program included consultations at the National Security Council, the State Department, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as the NSAU head's meetings with representatives of the US Defense Department, the Agency for Control over Armament and Disarmament Issues, the Vice-President's Office, the Office for Scientific and Technical Policy under President Clinton, the US Trade Representative. The sides have discussed a wide range of issues involving the extension of bilateral cooperation in aeronautics and space exploration, as well as the need to improve the legislative field as a result of rapid development of the international space cooperation as a whole, and the cooperation between Ukraine and the US in particular. In this context, the sides have considered issues connected with the state regulation required for the implementation of the "Sea Launch", "Global Star" projects, and other aspects of Ukraine's cooperation with a number of US firms. They exchanged opinions on assistance to Ukraine's access to new US technologies. During Oleksandr Negoda's meeting with NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin, the ways of furthering bilateral scientific cooperation were addressed.
BOEING'S VICE PRESIDENT VISITS YUZHMASH ENGINEERING FACTORY
Boeing's Vice President Jim Albo visited the Dnipropetrovsk based Yuzhmash engineering factory on July 23. Mr. Albo inspected the factory's Zenit rocket launchers, which will be used in the Sea Launch project involving Yuzhnyi, Boeing, Russia's Energiya, Norway's Kwaerner Maritime, and Ukraine's Yuzhmash and KBU. Mr. Albo told journalists that twenty orders have been received for satellite launches under the Sea Lunch project. He further disclosed that during his talks with Yuzhnyi officials issues involving cooperation under the Sea Launch project as well as the possibility of using the Zenit rockets to launch satellites from the Baykonur aerospace complex were addressed. Boeing commercial space company holds a 40% stake in the Sea Launch project. According to Mr. Albo, 1,700-2,000 space equipment will be launched under the program, out of which the Zenit rocket launchers will be used to launch 600-700 into geostationary orbit.
UKRAINE'S FOREIGN MINISTRY CONDEMNS KILLING OF UN OBSERVERS IN TAJIKISTAN
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement condemning the recent killing of four United Nations observers in Tajikistan. On behalf of the Ukrainian government, the MFA expressed deep condolences to the nations whose citizens were killed while on a peacekeeping mission as well as to the families and relatives of the victims. Ukraine considers the tragic event in Tajikistan to be a special source of concern, since Ukrainian representatives have been participating in United Nations missions with the goal of achieving peace in Tajikistan, the statement said. The lives of Ukrainian participants in the peacekeeping mission have been endangered several times, and they have twice been held hostage by military groups. Ukraine condemns the killing of the Polish, Tajik, Uruguayan, and Japanese observers and calls upon Tajik government representatives and opposition leaders to find and punish those responsible for the crime, the MFA said in its statement. The use of violence and terror against international personnel is absolutely unacceptable and grossly violates the generally accepted norms and principles of international law. The tragedy in Tajikistan once again emphasized the need to significantly strengthen efforts aimed at accelerating introduction of the Convention of the Safety of United Nations Personnel. Ukraine calls upon nations that have yet to sign or ratify the convention to do so as soon as possible.