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 OUTBIDS RUSSIA TO SUPPLY ELECTRICITY TO BELARUS. Ukraine has bested Russian suppliers in bidding to supply Belarus with electricity this year, proposing a price of 1.60 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour versus a Russian bid of 2.15 U.S. cents, Belapan reported on 5 February. Belenerha, the government agency that controls Belarus's power grid, did not sign an electricity-supply contract for February with Russia's Unified Energy Systems (EES) after the latter raised its price by about 30 percent (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine Report," 3 February 2004). "We lost that Belarusian deal," Oleg Saraev, general director of Russian state-run Rosenergoatom, which controls all nuclear-power plants in the country, told journalists in Moscow on 4 February. JM
UKRAINIAN INDUSTRIALIST CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT'S DECISION ON ODESA-BRODY. Former Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh, head of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, said on 5 February that the government's decision to use the Odesa-Brody pipeline to pump Caspian oil to Europe (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 February 2004) and reject a temporary reversal of the flow, as suggested by Russia, was not based on any feasibility study, Interfax reported. Kinakh also claimed the government made its decision on Odesa-Brody without the relevant contracts with oil providers or oil consumers. Oleksandr Horodetskyy, the president of the TNK-Ukraine oil company, meanwhile called Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP's proposal to ship 9 million tons of crude annually in the pipeline's "reverse mode" -- from Brody to Odesa -- the only realistic offer on the immediate use of the pipeline, which has been idle since 2002. JM
UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION CLAIMS PARLIAMENTARY VOTE COUNT WAS BOGUS. The leaders of Our Ukraine, the Socialist Party, and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc filed a complaint against parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn with a Kyiv district court on 5 February, charging that Lytvyn approved an illegitimate vote on a constitutional-reform bill in the Verkhovna Rada on 24 December (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 20 January 2004), Interfax reported. Yuliya Tymoshenko told journalists that videotape of the 24 December session shows that the bill was supported by just 154 deputies, not the 276 deputies written in the official records. Moreover, Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have petitioned the same court to bring another case against Lytvyn for calling what they believe to be an illegal "extraordinary" parliamentary session on 3 February to vote on amendments to the same bill (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 February 2004), the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www2.pravda.com.ua) reported. Related petitions regarding the 24 December and 3 February votes have also been filed by Tymoshenko and Yushchenko with the Ukrainian Constitutional Court. JM
POLISH PREMIER OPTS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS IF AUSTERITY PLAN COLLAPSES. Prime Minister Leszek Miller said on 5 February that his ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) will support a motion to dissolve the lower house and call for early parliamentary elections if the Sejm fails to approve the fiscal austerity package known as the Hausner plan (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 27 January 2004), PAP reported. The SLD, which leads a minority coalition government, is seeking to ensure support for the Hausner plan from the Civic Platform, the largest opposition party in the Sejm. The "Gazeta Wyborcza" website (http://serwisy.gazeta.pl/wyborcza) reported on 6 February that Miller was scheduled to discuss the Hausner plan with Civic Platform leader Jan Maria Rokita later the same day. The Civic Platform reportedly wants the SLD to support the introduction of a 15 percent flat tax in exchange for the Civic Platform's backing. "Gazeta Wyborcza" predicted that the Civic Platform will not oppose the Hausner plan even if the SLD rejects the flat-tax idea. JM