©2002 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With the kind permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, InfoUkes Inc. has been given rights to electronically re-print these articles on our web site. Visit the RFE/RL Ukrainian Service page for more information. Also visit the RFE/RL home page for news stories on other Eastern European and FSU countries.

Return to Main RFE News Page
InfoUkes Home Page

ukraine-related news stories from RFE

...BUT SAYS BELARUS WILL HARBOR NO GRUDGE OVER LUKASHENKA SNUB. Martynau pledged at the EAPC session on 22 November that despite NATO's snub of President Lukashenka, Belarus will "continue and intensify its contribution to the common cause of the [antiterrorism] coalition," Belapan reported. "Given the potential of Belarusian military-industrial and scientific complex [and] the country's strategic location, we do not have the right to abandon the responsibility for participation in the coalition," Martynau added. He said Belarus could host a Partnership for Peace exercise in the Chornobyl-affected zone to train troops in combating radioactive contamination. He also said Belarus could contribute a rescue team to the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center "to provide urgent assistance in overcoming consequences of a possible nuclear, biological, or chemical attack." JM

NATO-UKRAINE COMMISSION SESSION IN PRAGUE RESULTS IN 'ACTION PLAN.' The NATO-Ukraine Commission at the NATO summit in Prague on 22 November endorsed an "action plan" to take the bilateral relationship to a "qualitatively new level," Reuters reported, quoting NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alessandro Minuto Rizzo. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko, who headed the Ukrainian delegation at the session, said the plan will put Kyiv on the road to membership of the alliance. Rizzo said allegations that Ukraine sold a Kolchuga radar to Iraq were also discussed at the session. "Ministers concluded that transparency and trust were indispensable features to continue to forge a solid community of values between the alliance and Ukraine," Rizzo told journalists. ITAR-TASS on 23 November quoted a source from Ukraine's National Defense and Security Council as saying the "action plan" spells out a long-term program of adopting European standards in Ukraine's defense sector, the economy, science, counterterrorism, and dealing with emergency situations. JM

U.S. AMBASSADOR DETAILS UKRAINE'S OBSTRUCTION TO KOLCHUGA PROBE. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Carlos Pascual has sent a letter to the media charging that Ukrainian officials stonewalled U.S. and British arms experts invited in October to verify whether Ukraine sold any Kolchuga radar systems to Iraq, AP reported on 22 November. Pascual's letter came as Ukrainian officials were denying the Kolchuga charges at the NATO summit. Pascual said inspectors were not allowed to see full reports of investigations by Ukraine's National Defense and Security Council, the Defense Ministry, or the prosecutor-general. "While Ukraine's export system is supposed to have checks and balances, such checks were either not exercised or they were not documented, precluding a reconstruction of the events that surrounded the authorization of the sale of the Kolchuga system in 2000," Pascual wrote. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SAYS 1932-33 FAMINE IN UKRAINE WAS AN ACT OF GENOCIDE. President Leonid Kuchma on 23 November addressed the nation on television with a speech devoted to the famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, which, according to various estimates, claimed 5-10 million lives, Ukrainian media reported. Kuchma said Ukraine should insist that the world recognize the 1932-33 famine as an act of Bolshevik genocide against the Ukrainian people. "The famine became a national catastrophe. In 1932-33 alone, one-fifth of Ukraine's rural population was killed," Kuchma said. "This [act of] terror through famine was a cynical response of the Bolshevik authorities to the resistance of the Ukrainian peasantry to total collectivization and to the policy of transforming free farmers into silent slaves." Kuchma said a "grand memorial to the victims of famine" should be built in Kyiv and smaller monuments in other parts of Ukraine. JM

POLISH PRESIDENT SAYS WEST MUST NOT ISOLATE UKRAINE. At a news conference following the NATO summit in Prague on 22 November, President Aleksander Kwasniewski said the West must not isolate Ukraine, Polish Radio reported. "Much depends upon President [Leonid] Kuchma himself, and on his circle, and whether he has drawn the conclusions from the fact that the world expects a Ukraine that is moving forward and not one that is marking time," Kwasniewski said. "The world wants a Ukraine that resolves problems and does not seek successive justifications." Commenting on the NATO ploy to arrange countries' representatives at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council session according to their names in French in order to move Kuchma farther away from Tony Blair and George W. Bush (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 November 2002), Kwasniewski said Kuchma was treated "like a partner, critically but openly." JM

...AS INCIDENT MARS SECRETARY-GENERAL'S PRESS CONFERENCE... NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson was interrupted at a press conference on 22 November by two men shouting in Russian "NATO is worse than Gestapo" and throwing tomatoes, CTK and international news agencies reported. One of the men took off his jacket to show off an armband with the hammer and sickle. The two hecklers were posing as journalists, and one said they are members of the extremist National Bolshevik Party of Russia. The two were escorted out by security guards, and a Prague police spokesman said they will be charged with disturbing the peace, noting that they were not detained. President Vaclav Havel, who earlier said security measures during the summit might have been unnecessarily high, apologized to Robertson for the incident. CTK said the two were from Belarus and from Ukraine and were posing as Russian journalists. MS

SLOVAK PROSECUTORS CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION. A Kosice regional investigator on 23 November charged three of the region's prosecutors and two other citizens with bribery, CTK reported, citing Slovak Television. A police spokesman said one of the prosecutors in January accepted a 100,000-crown ($2,330) bribe from a lawyer and another individual in order to free two Ukrainian nationals charged with cigarette smuggling. Accompanied by a colleague from the Kosice prosecutor's office, he allegedly then traveled to Humenne, eastern Slovakia, securing a promise from the local prosecutor to release the two men within a fortnight. If found guilty, the three prosecutors face up to eight years in jail, while the two who offered the bribe face three years behind bars. This is the first time prosecutors have been charged with accepting bribes in Slovakia. MS