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4 September 1998
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French President Jacques Chirac On A State Visit To Ukraine

On September 2, French President Jacques Chirac arrived in Kiev on a three-day state visit to Ukraine at an invitation from his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma. He was met at the Boryspil Airport by Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs Borys Tarasyuk, Ukrainian Ambassador to France Anatoliy Zlenko, and French Ambassador to Ukraine Paskal Fieski. The French President came for intensive talks with President Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko and Verkhovna Rada Chairperson Oleksandr Tkachenko.

An official welcoming ceremony was held for visiting French President Jacques Chirac at the Mariyinsky Palace followed by the tête-à-tête meeting of the two leaders held simultaneously with negotiations between various Ukrainian and French government ministers and officials.

France's President began the second day of his state visit by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The schedule of Mr. Chirac's second day of visit include a meeting with Ukraine's president Leonid Kuchma which resulted in the signing of important intergovernmental and inter-departmental agreements, namely: on cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy, cooperation on nuclear safety, and cooperation in the power sector. An agreement was also signed between the two nations' law enforcement bodies. The two presidents addressed journalists at a joint press conference. They met with representatives of the Ukrainian business community. According to DINAU correspondent, Mr. Chirac views development of trade and economic cooperation as one of the goals of his visit. The 60-strong French delegation includes many business executives. Currently, French direct investment in Ukraine accounts only for about $30 million. President Chirac also met with Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko, and delivered an address at the Taras Shevchenko National University on September 3.

French President Chirac: France Trusts And Will Assist Ukraine

France unconditionally trusts Ukraine and will support it, France's President Jacques Chirac said in Kiev on September 3. Addressing a joint press conference with Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma, Mr. Chirac said France want to see Ukraine as an independent and territorially integral nation confidently implementing democratic and market reforms. In his words, such a development is one of the most important factors of European and world security. France's trust in Ukraine manifested in its support for the loan of $2.2 billion, which Ukraine seeks from the International Monetary Fund, President Chirac said. He stressed that the IMF is to decide on the loan within days, since this would counterbalance the adverse effects of the Russian financial turmoil on the Ukrainian economy, and will help Ukraine to weather the pressure on its currency.

In turn, Ukraine's President Kuchma said that the Russian financial crisis would have a substantial economic effect on the Ukrainian economy, since Russia accounts for 32% of Ukrainian exports. However, he added that the decisive factor will be psychological pressure. He told journalists that several measures were being taken to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, and minimize the effect of the Russian crisis. Among other things, he said Ukraine would reduce its budget deficit. Mr. Kuchma described Mr. Chirac's visit to Ukraine as an event of great significance. The two leaders discussed a broad range of bilateral issues, and agreed on the need to significantly expand trade and economic contacts. According to President L. Kuchma, achievement of this goal should be facilitated by the activities of the Ukrainian-French Intergovernmental Cooperation Commission.

Mr. Chirac said Ukraine had done a lot to improve its investment climate, adding that French private capital is prepared to flow into Ukraine. The two men disclosed at the press conference that they paid particular attention to cooperation in use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, cooperation in the energy sector, and cooperation on nuclear safety. They disclosed that bilateral agreements on these issues and an agreement on cooperation between Ukrainian and French law enforcement bodies will be signed during Mr. Chirac's visit. It was noted at the press conference that France has made the largest contribution ($40 million) to the Shelter Implementation Plan for the Chornobyl nuclear power plant's destroyed reactor. Ukraine and France have strengthened their efforts for ensuring the funding of building power generating stations at Khmelnytsk and Rivne to replace the Chornobyl NPP upon its decommissioning, the presidents noted. Mr. Chirac disclosed that Ukraine and France have appealed to Great Britain, which presently holds the presidency of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations to convene a meeting soon to raise funds for financing completion of the Khmelnytsk and Rivne NPPs. France also provided medical assistance to 10,000 children suffering from Chornobyl-related diseases. Mr. Chirac expressed French understanding for Ukraine’s bid for attaining associate membership of the European Union. According to Mr. Chirac, France and the EU will support the efforts by President Kuchma and the Ukrainian government to modernize the Ukrainian economy. He stressed the need to create a system that would enable Ukraine to integrate into Europe? and told journalists that the EU itself will undergo restructuring within the next two years. The two leaders pledged to prevent the drawing of new division lines in Europe.

Presidents Kuchma And Chirac Express Confidence That Ukraine Will Receive IMF Loan

Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma and visiting French President Jacques Chirac have both expressed confidence that the International Monetary Fund will soon approve a loan of $2.2 billion for Ukraine. Mr. Chirac, who was on a state visit to Ukraine, said on September 4, that the IMF would make a decision about the loan within days but added that the impact of Russia's economic crisis will be taken into account when making the decision. ``The difficulties in Russia have of course an influence on the situation in Ukraine and they must be taken into account in the negotiations with the IMF,'' Chirac told a press conference he jointly addressed with President Kuchma. ``These negotiations should advance very rapidly, and the IMF should be able to agree on this program in a very short time,'' Mr. Chirac said. ``It's a question of days.'' The French President informed about his contacts with Germany, the European Union and the United States on the possible loan. Mr. Kuchma stressed the absence of economic reasons for a Russian-style crisis in Ukraine, adding that he was certain the country would obtain the IMF loan. ``This program is certain to be agreed,'' Mr. Kuchma told the joint press conference.

Ukrainian And French Foreign Ministers Hold Negotiations

On September 3, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk held talks with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine as part of French President Jacques Chirac's two-day state visit to Ukraine. The two men reviewed the current state and prospects for developing French-Ukrainian relations, and highly appraised the progress achieved in the past 18 months of bilateral cooperation on political and other issues. They stressed the need to continue permanent high-level political dialogue and broaden the agreement base for bilateral relations and cooperation. In this context, the two men decided to meet at least twice a year. Both Mr. Tarasyuk and Mr. Vedrine expressed support for the idea of creating a Ukrainian-French forum as a permanent mechanism for active dialogue between the peoples of the two countries. The two foreign ministers paid particular attention to development of cooperation on issues involving closer European integration and Ukraine's full participation in the process. Mr. Tarasyuk informed his French counterpart about preparations for the second Ukrainian-European Union summit, which is scheduled for Vienna on October 16, 1998. The two men, in their words, both hold the view that the future expansion of the European Union should not result in the drawing of a new division line on the continent. In the context, the two men called for a clear European Union strategy in relation to Ukraine.

President Kuchma Discusses Anti-Narcotics Measures In Letter To UN Secretary-General Annan

Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma has replied a letter from United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, in which the issue of combating narcotics abuse and distribution was raised. Along with the letter, Mr. Annan had sent Mr. Kuchma two documents, namely, "The Youth Charter on a Narcotics-Free 21st Century" and "A View From Banff." The documents were written by participants in meetings in Paris and the Canadian town of Banff, which were dedicated to combating the abuse of narcotics. The authors of the documents called on world leaders to "adopt joint measures to prevent abuse of narcotics among the youth." In his reply, the Ukrainian leader underlined that "the drugs issue is one of the most serious challenges to the modern society," noting that the international community's resolve to combat this evil was reconfirmed at the recent special session of the United Nations General Assembly held on June 8-10, in New York. Mr. Kuchma said he was pleased that the young generation is not only interested in eliminating this social evil but are playing a more active role and taking initiatives. Mr. Kuchma praised the efforts of the participants in the Paris and Banff meetings. He informed the UN secretary-general about the measures being taken in Ukraine to combat narcotics abuse and distribution. He also confirmed Ukraine's intention to continue its cooperation with the international community, and voluntarily implement the decisions of the UN General Assembly's 20th special session that proposed a new strategy for combating drug trafficking.

VADM D. Murphy, US 6th Fleet Commander, And Ukrainian Navy Commander VADM M. Yezhel Hold Press Conference In Sevastopol

On September 1, US 6th Fleet Commander VADM Daniel Murphy and Ukrainian Navy Commander VADM Mykhailo Yezhel held a joint press conference in the South Crimean city of Sevastopol, to sum up the first-ever visit by the 6th Fleet's flagship La Salle to the Ukrainian Navy's main base. The American admiral praised Ukrainian naval personnel's skills and active participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. According to the US Sixth Fleet Commander, this fall will witness the most complex naval exercise in Ukraine's waters which will be supervised by the Ukrainian Navy Commander, VADM Yezhel. As the American admiral disclosed, his two-day stay in Sevastopol involved "constructive meetings" with the Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander that largely focused on military cooperation issues rather than political problems. The press conference in Sevastopol was attended by the US Ambassador to Ukraine Stephen Pifer.

President Roosevelt's Lab-Study Museum Opens In South Crimea

A lab-study museum of the US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt opened at the National Livadia Palace Sanctuary in Yalta, South Crimea's major health resort and recreational center. Its inauguration was timed for the onset of an international conference in Yalta on "human right for human development," and dedicated to the Big Troika's conference in Yalta back in 1944. At that time, the Livadia Palace was President F.D.Roosevelt's residence. According to Natalia Losben, the Livadia Museum's curator, the laboratory-study is designed to give its visitors a better insight of what Franklin D. Roosevelt was as a person and statesman.

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