Monday, August 30, 2010

President Yanukovych says Ukraine must find its place in NATO concept

August 30, 2010 (UKRINFORM). Ukraine hopes to find its place in the new concept of NATO's cooperation with non-aligned states, President Viktor Yanukovych told reporters in Berlin on Monday following a meeting with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to UKRINFORM correspondent.
"The North Atlantic alliance is planning to adopt a new concept at the end of this year, "and here Ukraine must find its place," Yanukovych stressed. The German chancellor, in turn, emphasized that Berlin recognizes the path of cooperation with NATO, which Ukraine has chosen as a neutral state. At the same time, Merkel noted that the issue of Ukraine's joining NATO is not on the agenda yet. Asked by reporters whether relations of Kyiv with Moscow do not contradict with relations with the EU and NATO, Merkel said that she sees no problem here. "We in Europe are interested in normal relations between Ukraine and Russia, because it is of great importance for energy security in Europe," she said. At the same time, the head of the German government noted that good relations of Kyiv with Moscow do not contradict Ukraine's approximation to the EU, including the preparation of the Association Agreement. The Ukrainian president also stressed the importance of introducing visa-free regime between Ukraine and the European Union. According to him, "this is a question of the near future". This, Yanukovych added, will be prompted by an agreement on cooperation between Ukraine and Germany in the field of combating organized crime and international terrorism signed by the Ukrainian and the German foreign ministries.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ukraine supplies weapons to 14 states, actively to Azerbaijan

Ukraine sold weapons and military technology and equipment to 14 countries in 2009. This fact was reflected in the report delivered by Ukrainian authorized bodies for the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. According to the report, in 2009, Ukraine sold to Azerbaijan the weapons as following: twenty nine armored troop-carriers “70”, twenty nine 122-millimeter automotive howitzers 2C1 “Carnation”, six 152-millimeter automotive howitzers 2C3 Acacia, one training and military fighter MiG-29UB, and eleven helicopters Mi-24. And besides, the scope of trade with Georgia declined: reportedly, only 5 Ukrainian-made armored troop-carriers “70” were sold to Georgia in 2009. Among other buyers were: Chad, Belarus, Myanmar, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Latvia, Pakistan, Algeria, the United Kingdom, USA, etc. In 2008, Ukraine sold to Azerbaijan 32 pieces of armored troop-carriers “70”, eighteen millimeter automotive howitzers 2C1 “Carnation”, 21 aviation rockets R-27, three rocket launchers 9P129-1M for the Point-U complex, and ten rocket launchers PZRK “Boom-3.”

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Antonov ASTC president: First An-178 may take off in 2012

August 28, 2010 (UKRINFORM). According to Dmytro Kiva, the president and chief designer of the Antonov Aeronautical Scientific/Technical Complex (Antonov ASTC), the first medium-range transport aircraft An-178 will be built by the end of 2012.
"We believe that the first model of An-178 will take off in 2012, naturally, with adequate funding and settlement of some other issues," Kiva said.
According to him, the structure of the An-178 plane will be largely similar to the design of An-158. In particular, it concerns on-board equipment, including 57 digital systems. An-178 will differ from its predecessor by engines with increased thrust and the rear fuselage with folding ramp for loading and unloading. The designed aircraft can carry both civil self-propelled and military equipment, cargo in containers, evacuate the sick and wounded, and deliver troops to the destination, as well as landing paratroopers. An-178 payload will be up to 15 tons. In June Kiva announced about the designing of a medium-range transport aircraft An-178, which is to occupy a niche of the An-12 and Lockheed C-130 Hercules (USA) aircrafts. He also predicted a low price for the An-178 airlifters compared with analogues and expressed interest in this aircraft by airlines of different countries, including Russia.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Unknown persons open fire at office of chief editor of local newspaper in Poltava region

August 27, 2010 (Poltava Interfax-Ukraine). In Novi Sanzhary, Poltava region, unknown persons have fired several shots at the window of the office of chief editor of the Svitlytsia newspaper Oleksandr Zinchenko. Zinchenko told reporters on Thursday, August 27, that two shots from an automatic pistol were fired on Wednesday, August 25, at about 0930."At that moment I was not in the editorial office. The shots left bullet holes. The bullets were fired towards the head, and I would have been killed if I had been in that place at that moment," he said. Zinchenko believes this incident is connected with his professional activities, in particular, with a range of articles he published that are critical of local government officials. The press service of the regional police department told reporters the bullets were taken from the site of event and sent for examination. An investigation is being conducted.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ukraina stryper veteexporten

April 24, 2010 Kiev (TT-AFP). Ukraina kommer att begränsa sin spannmålsexport till följd av torkan. Ett exporttak på 3,5 miljoner ton fram till nyår ska träda i kraft första september, enligt vad landets jordbruksdepartement föreslår. Det motsvarar hälften av vad Ukraina exporterade under samma period förra året. De föreslagna exportbegränsningarna ska diskuteras av landets regering under onsdagen. Ukraina är världens sjätte största veteexportör och störst av alla på korn. I Ryssland har ett exportstopp på vete redan trätt i kraft till följd av torka och bränder. Ryssland har gott om vete i lager men vill försäkra sig om att inte en bristsituation eller drastiska prishöjningar ska uppstå på hemmamarknaden.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25, 2010 (Reuters). Georgia accused Russia on Wednesday of deploying high-precision S-300 air defence missiles in breakaway South Ossetia in an effort to fence off the strategic South Caucasus. Russia said this month it had deployed the mobile missile system in Georgia's rebel Black Sea region of Abkhazia and other air defence systems in South Ossetia, epicentre of a five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. It dismissed a statement by Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze on Wednesday that the S-300 had also been deployed in South Ossetia. Vashadze said Russia had "packed" its Gyumri military base in Armenia -- bordering Georgia -- with long-range S-300 missiles, capable of detecting, tracking and destroying cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and high- and low-flying aircraft.
"And be sure that they have brought the S-300 to the Tskhinvali region as well, although they have not announced it yet," Vashadze told reporters. Tskhinvali is South Ossetia's self-proclaimed capital, 116 km (72 miles) from Georgia's own capital Tbilisi. "So the Russians created a triangle in the Caucasus region, which they think they would need for possible confrontation with NATO," he added. The South Caucasus stretches from the Black Sea to the Caspian, bordering Russia, NATO-member Turkey and Iran. A spokesman at Russia's defence ministry would not comment on Vashadze's statement, but an air force official denied the system had been deployed in South Ossetia. "There are no S-300s in South Ossetia," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Deployment in Abkhazia of the missile system, code-named "Favourite" in Russia, sent a defiant signal to the West two years after Russia crushed an assault by Georgia's U.S.-trained military on South Ossetia. Russia said the systems would protect the rebel regions, which it recognised as independent states after the war, and the Russian bases it is building up. Analysts said the deployment was about control of the South Caucasus air corridor, a region criss-crossed by oil and gas pipelines bordering Iran. Russia has frozen delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran after backing new U.N. sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme. Washington and Israel had feared the missiles could allow Tehran to repel possible air strikes on its nuclear sites.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ukrainian government approves army development strategy

August 20, 2010 (UKRINFORM). The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the army development strategy for 2011-2015 and submitted it to the president, Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel has said. The minister noted that the document suggested a number of quantitative and structural changes in the composition of the Armed Forces. In particular, it is planned to reduce and optimize the operational command, corps and other military bodies, he added. Before 2015 it is planned to reduce the army's strength by 20% and use the existing weapons without the introduction of the newest models, Yezhel said. The minister said that the strategy envisaged a gradual transition to a professional army. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council held in July, criticized the work of the defense minister, but did not raise the question of his dismissal. Instead, the National Security and Defense Council issued a number of instructions to Yezhel in order to improve the situation. It was decided to consider the activities of the Defense Ministry at a meeting on August 20, but it was postponed on August 19.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Austria ready to support Ukraine in its effort to abolish visas with European Union

August 22, 2010 (Ukrainian News). Austria is ready to support Ukraine in its effort to abolish visas between it and the European Union. The press service of the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced this in a statement.Foreign Affairs Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko met with Austria's Minister for European & International Affairs Michael Spindelegger during his visit to Austria on Saturday to discuss the progress of the talks between Ukraine and the European Union on signing an association agreement.Hryschenko told Spindelegger that Ukraine intended to sign an association agreement with the European Union in the near future.Spindelegger assured Hryschenko of Austria's readiness to support Ukraine's initiatives on abolition of visas between it and the European Union.As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Ukraine expects the European Union to step up its efforts to abolish visas.The European Council on Foreign Relations is considering the possibility of signing a road map on abolition of visas between the European Union and Ukraine.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Prolific Russian hacker detained in France

12 August, 2010 (RT News agency). One of the world’s most successful stolen credit card data sellers has been arrested in France at the request of the US Justice Department, the American body’s website states. A resident of Moscow, Vladislav Khorokhorin, aged 27, was detained in Nice while boarding a plane to the Russian capital on August 7, 2010. American authorities claim he is also a citizen of Ukraine and Israel. Being charged with credit card fraud, the hacker is facing a penalty of up to 12 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine. He was arrested by French law enforcement bodies. The issue of his extradition to the United States is being currently considered. According to the information published on US Department of Justice website, a federal grand jury accused Khorokhorin of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft in November 2009. The young man dealt in the stealing and trafficking of credit card information. Nicknamed “BadB”, he used Internet forums to find stolen data buyers. Under the guise of a client willing to buy some credit card information, US Secret Service agents managed to urge the hacker to sell him the required data. This constituted the grounds for the cyber-criminal’s arrest.
American authorities consider Khorokhorin to be among the founders of an international cyber-criminal network called CarderPlanet – “one of the most sophisticated organizations of online financial criminals in the world”, according to the US Secret Service Assistant Director for Investigations, Michael Merritt. The officer claims the network has been “repeatedly linked to nearly every major intrusion of financial information reported to the international law enforcement community.”
The criminal network employed about 7,000 people, based mostly in Eastern Europe and CIS countries. The members of the organization specialized on stealing clients’ data from Western banks and other organizations related to credit card numbers. American secret services shut down the network in 2004. Since that time they have been tracking criminals at large.
“Nowadays, the annual financial damage caused by cyber criminals around the world runs into hundreds of billion of dollars. This business employs thousands of people in many countries. As the world becomes linked closer by computers and Internet, the number of such criminals increases,” an investment trust analyst, Tatyana Menkova, informed Russian website “”.
The Russian analyst doesn’t seem to be as concerned about cyber criminals as American authorities are. In Tatyana Menkova’s opinion, most so-called carders are inexperienced amateurs and cannot seriously endanger banks. Basically, cardholders themselves and their banks’ computer security departments are responsible for the protection of their funds, the analyst concludes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yanukovych praises international potential of Sorochyntsi Fair

August 18, 2010 (Interfax-Ukraine ). Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said he believes that the Sorochyntsi Fair provides an opportunity not only to assess the achievements of the Ukrainian economy, but also demonstrate the domestic potential to foreign partners. "The Sorochyntsi Fair today again gives us an excellent opportunity to assess our own achievements and show our foreign guests the potential of the industrial, agricultural, trade and tourism sectors of the economy in Poltava region and in the whole of Ukraine... It was here, in Velyki Sorochyntsi, where profitable deals were made, contracts signed, and international cooperation expanded for many years," he said at the opening of the National Sorochyntsi Fair, which is taking place in the village of Velyki Sorochyntsi, Myrhorod district, Poltava region, on Wednesday.The head of state noted that "there are many things Ukraine can be proud of," in particular, the growth of the real economy and the stabilization of the situation in the financial and social spheres."Inflation is not kept at the level initially planned (13%), but at 3.3% in the first half of the year. These positive changes inspire hope without which we cannot live, hope for a better life of our people, and the welfare of Ukrainian citizens in the near future," he said.An Interfax-Ukraine reporter said that at the fair, the head of state bought a round loaf of bread for a hundred hryvnias, and two Ukrainian embroidered shirts, one presented as a gift to him. The Ukrainian president also bought a wooden barrel for pickling cucumbers, a handmade doll dressed in Ukrainian national clothes, and other souvenirs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ukraine harvests 28.7 million tonnes of grain

August 16, 2010 (INTERFAX-UKRAINE). Ukraine harvested 28.7 million tonnes of grain and leguminous crops in Ukraine from 11.59 million hectares as of August 16, 2010, which was 97% of the forecast, the Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry has reported. The average yield of grain and leguminous crops per hectare is 24.8 centners.As of August 12, 2009, Ukraine harvested 35 million tonnes from slightly more than 90% of the areas under crops, the ministry said.Farmers as of August 16, 2010, harvested 17.79 million tonnes of wheat from 6.25 million hectares, with the average yield being 28.4 centners per hectare, and 9.21 million tonnes of barley from 4.31 million hectares, with the average yield being 21.4 centners per hectare, the ministry said.They also harvested 503,000 tonnes of rye from 277,000 hectares, with the average yield being 18.1 centners per hectare, 485,000 of peas from 277,000 hectares, with the average yield being 17.5 centners per hectare, and 31,000 tonnes of buckwheat from 38,000 hectares, with the average yield being eight centners per hectare.The ministry reported that 44,000 tonnes of millet were harvested from 28,000 hectares, with the average yield being 15.6 centners per hectare, and 1.4 million tonnes of rapeseeds from 832,000 hectares, with the average yield being 16.9 centners per hectare.As reported, Ukraine's government forecasts the grain harvest in 2010 at 40-42 million tonnes against 46 million tonnes harvested in 2009. Grain exports in the current marketing year are estimated at 15-17 million tonnes.The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week downgraded its grain harvest forecast for Ukraine in 2010 by 6.2 million tonnes, to 38.75 million tonnes. Export forecasts were cut by 4.2 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bloomberg: Ukraine to raise retirement age in exchange for loan

August 9, 2010 (KIEV - Bloomberg). Ukraine’s government plans to raise the retirement age for women to 60 over the next decade as it seeks to qualify for future payments from a new $15.2 billion loan program with the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg reported Monday. A law increasing by five years the age at which women qualify for state pensions will be submitted to Parliament by the end of September, according to an agreement with the IMF published Friday on the Washington-based lender’s website. The pension age for women will be raised by six months every year for the next 10 years. “We intend to reform the pension system with the objective of putting it on sound financial footing,” the government said in the agreement. Ukraine aims to “equalize the pension age for all workers,” the government said. The IMF approved a two-and-a-half year long loan program for Ukraine on July 28, disbursing $1.9 billion immediately. The government needs to pass laws and implement administrative changes to qualify for future installments. The government also promised to raise natural gas prices for households by 50 percent in April 2011 and increase them every six months until domestic prices equal import prices, according to the agreement. Ukraine raised the gas price for households by 50 percent to 725 Ukrainian hryvnia ($91.88) per 1,000 cubic meters beginning Aug. 1, compared with the $248 the country pays for imported Russian gas.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Over 500 policemen to maintain public order during Sorochyntsi Fair

August 13, 2010 (Interfax-Ukraine). Over 500 police officers will maintain public order during the National Sorochyntsi Fair, the press service of Poltava regional police department told reporters on Thursday, August 12. "Reinforced police units will patrol the territory of Sorochyntsi field around the clock. The coordination of mobile groups will be carried out from the central server of the police control room, which will receive information from four video surveillance cameras," the press service said.At least 500,000 visitors are expected to at the fair. Foreign guests will be able to obtain consultations from four representatives of the passport service. The National Sorochyntsi Fair will take place in the village of Velyki Sorochyntsi, Myrhorod district, August 17 through August 22, 2010. The official opening of the fair will take place at 11:00 on August 18. This year Sorochyntsi Fair has a Japanese theme: the program includes the tasting of Japanese tea and sweets. In addition, master classes in ikebana, origami, calligraphy, and Japanese packaging design will be held for visitors.

Ukraine expects USD 1.2 b turnover from arms trade with China by 2013

August 12, 2010 (UKRINFORM). Ukraine's trade in military equipment with China will amount to USD 1.2 billion by 2013, according to the forecast made by the Ukrainian Industrial Policy Ministry. The ministry's press service reported that the sixth meeting of the Chinese-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission on military and technical cooperation had recently been held and that the sides had reached a number of agreements, outlined new promising areas of cooperation and signed a respective protocol. The parties agreed that military and technical cooperation between Ukraine and China was an important component of bilateral relations. It is expected that Ukrainian-Chinese military and technical cooperation will be one of the main topics to be discussed at the talks between the leaders of the two countries during Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's upcoming visit to China.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NATO offers assistance to Ukraine in extinguishing fires

August 12, 2010 (UKRINFORM). NATO is ready, if necessary, to render assistance to Ukraine in putting out forest fires, the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has reported.
Head of Ukraine's Mission to NATO and Ukrainian Ambassador to Belgium Ihor Dolhov held a meeting with Head of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC) Gunther Bretschneider on August 11.
The participants in the meeting discussed the possible assistance by the coordination center to Ukraine in extinguishing fires. Bretschneider said that NATO was ready, if requested, to provide the necessary assistance to Ukraine, and expressed hope that the measures being taken by Ukraine would help prevent emergency situations. Dolhov said that the Ukrainian authorities had tightened controls over flammable objects and were taking measures to reduce the threat of outbreaks of forest fires due to high air temperatures.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crimea ready to provide holidays for children from Russia

August 10, 2010 (Interfax-Ukraine). Crimea is ready to provide holidays for children from Russian regions affected by peat and forest fires. The Crimean Council of Minister took such a decision at a meeting on Tuesday at the suggestion of Crimean Prime Minister Vasyl Dzharty."Crimea is ready to provide holidays at our children's recreation facilities for children from Russian regions affected by fires. We have arranged this issue with the Crimean Health Ministry, and we are ready to receive up to 300 children a month. I think we can do this at the expense of Crimea's budget," he said."We cannot remain indifferent when such a situation is seen in Russia," Dzharty added.