©2007 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.

ukraine-related news stories from RFE

OSCE CALLS ON BELARUS TO MOVE CLOSER TO EUROPE. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly on July 9 adopted a resolution calling on the Belarusian government to take advantage of the EU's Neighborhood Initiative, Belapan reported. The document, adopted at the Parliamentary Assembly's meeting in Kyiv, also urges Belarus to abide by its international commitments, bring its Electoral Code into line with OSCE standards, respect the right to freedom of expression and access to independent media, and "respect the rights of nongovernmental organizations as a vital part of a healthy democracy by no longer hindering their legal existence, harassing and prosecuting members of NGOs, and allowing them to receive international assistance." The resolution calls on the Belarusian authorities to release all political prisoners and investigate the disappearances of four opponents of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Belarusian delegates to the OSCE described the resolution as wrong and unfair, claiming that all participating states have "problems" with abiding by their OSCE commitments, and that democratization is an "evolutionary process." AM

UKRAINE CONFIRMS COMMITMENT TO JOINING NATO. The Ukraine-NATO Commission on July 9 issued an ambassador-level statement confirming Ukraine's desire for accession to NATO, Interfax reported. "Ukraine is to join NATO and this decision has no alternative, this is an unavoidable process," Kostyantyn Morozov, the head of Ukraine's mission to NATO, told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service. In the statement, NATO ambassadors praised "Ukraine's contribution in the maintenance of international security, including its active support to all current operations and missions of NATO, and its efforts in the consolidation of regional cooperation." But the ambassadors also stipulated that the speed of the development of Ukraine-NATO relations should depend on decisions by Ukrainian authorities and political forces, and not NATO's support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. AM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS 'PATRIOT' IN POST OF FUTURE PREMIER. President Viktor Yushchenko on July 8 said he will nominate Viktor Yanukovych as prime minister if Yanukovych's Party of Regions forms a coalition after the early parliamentary elections scheduled for September 30, Interfax reported on July 9. Yushchenko also said he would like to see in the prime minister's post "a person who understands national priorities, who is not afraid to say that he is a patriot and not afraid to speak the Ukrainian language, and whose key goal is to protect national interests, and that is why Ukraine's policy is formed in Kyiv, not other capitals." Yushchenko said he would also welcome the coalition created by Yulia Tymoshenko -- Yushchenko's ally in Ukraine's Orange Revolution -- in a new parliament, but added, "if she fails, another coalition will be formed." AM