©2005 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

RUSSIANS, UKRAINIANS, BELARUSIANS SENTENCED FOR ANTIPRESIDENTIAL RALLY IN MINSK. Belarusian courts on 27 April punished five Ukrainians, 14 Russians, and eight Belarusians who were arrested the previous day for their participation in an unauthorized rally near the presidential-administration building in Minsk (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 27 April 2005), ITAR-TASS reported. According to the agency, the Russians were jailed for terms varying from five to 15 days. Belapan reported that they include a reporter of the Russian edition of "Newsweek" (10 days) and a correspondent of "Moskovskii komsomolets" (eight days). Meanwhile, the Ukrainians were jailed for terms varying from nine to 15 days, Ukrainian and Belarusian news agencies reported. RFE/RL's Belarus Service reported that two Belarusians, Zmitser Dashkevich and Syarhey Lisichonak, were jailed for 15 days and 10 days, respectively, while Maryna Bahdanovich, head of the Minsk branch of the opposition United Civic Party, was fined some $2,000. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying that the Belarusian authorities violated the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by denying opportunities for proper legal defense to the Ukrainian detainees. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT URGES SPEEDIER REVIEW OF PRIVATIZATIONS... President Viktor Yushchenko on 27 April ordered that the cabinet of Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko compile within the next 10 days a list of privatizations that have been conducted under questionable circumstances, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( reported. According to Yushchenko, the compilation of such a list has "dragged" since he announced in February that his government would review the privatizations of 30 to 40 enterprises (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 February 2005). "Business is paying heightened attention. We have 10 days to close this question and lay the list on the table," Yushchenko said at a cabinet meeting. Economy Minister Serhiy Teryokhin told journalists the same day that some companies that were privatized under objectionable circumstances will be asked to pay the difference between the sale price and the real value of their assets. JM

...AND WANTS TO DECREE 17 GOVERNMENT GOALS FOR 2005. President Yushchenko also said at the cabinet meeting on 27 April that he will draft 17 decrees within the next two weeks to implement 17 programs for reforming Ukrainian society, Interfax and UNIAN reported. "We are speaking about 17 steps, 17 key goals for 2005, which will be reflected in decrees [drafted] within the next two weeks after their mutual finalization," Interfax quoted Yushchenko as saying. UNIAN reported that the postulated goals will include increasing people's incomes, rendering support to children from their birth to the end of schooling, reducing the shadow-economy sector, attracting foreign investment, furthering Ukraine's integration with Europe, and developing oil- and gas-transport routes. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SAYS HRYVNYA REVALUATION NOT LINKED TO CUT IN FUEL PRICES. Prime Minister Tymoshenko told journalists in Kyiv on 27 April that the Cabinet of Ministers was not behind last week's decision by the National Bank of Ukraine to strengthen the national currency against the U.S. dollar (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 27 April 2005), Interfax reported. "This [establishing the hryvnya's exchange rate] is a prerogative of the National Bank of Ukraine and no talks of the government [with oil traders] influence such decisions," Tymoshenko said. Some Ukrainian experts have suggested that the hryvnya revaluation, which reportedly caused significant losses for depositors of U.S. dollars in Ukrainian banks, was connected with a recent reduction in the price of oil products in Ukraine and followed an agreement between the government and oil traders (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 April 2005). JM

OSCE REPRESENTATIVE WELCOMES UKRAINE'S PEACE PROPOSAL FOR TRANSDNIESTER... William Hill, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Mission in Moldova, lauded a proposal from Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to resolve the conflict in Transdniester, Flux reported on 27 April. "The OSCE welcomes the proposal of the Ukrainian president" to expand negotiations to include the United States and the European Union, Hill said. "In the near future, the OSCE will examine possibilities to modify the current format of negotiations," he added. Yushchenko presented a blueprint for his plan at the GUUAM summit in Chisinau (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 April 2005). Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, meanwhile, decried what he called more than a decade of fruitless talks, and called for a fresh approach. "The experience of the 12-year-long useless talks on [the Transdniester] conflict settlement has demonstrated the inefficiency of the current negotiations format," he said. BW

...AND CALLS FOR CLEAR DIVISION OF AUTHORITY BETWEEN CHISINAU AND TRANSDNIESTER. The OSCE's Hill also said a clear-cut separation of powers is necessary to resolve the conflict in the breakaway Transdniester region, Infotag reported on 27 April. Speaking at a conference in Chisinau titled "Moldova and Europe: Consolidation of Relations," Hill also proposed tighter monitoring of the Transdniester section of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, demilitarization of the region, and a withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons. Additionally, he called for the reform of Transdniester's security services, a reduction of the military presence on both sides, and a new type of peacekeeping mission. BW