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Press Release

Visit of Foreign Minister of Ukraine A. Zlenko to Canada (Summary and Photos)

28 March, 2001       # 22

Click here to see Photos of Visit

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko paid an official visit to Ottawa on March 25-26 at the invitation of Canada's Foreign Minister John Manley.

During the visit Minister Zlenko held a series of meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and senior Canadian officials. Mr. Zlenko conveyed a personal message to the Prime Minister from the President of Ukraine.

The two foreign ministers also signed an intergovernmental framework agreement on destruction of antipersonnel mines. During the visit Canada announced it would provide Ukraine with 40.000 Canadian dollars in humanitarian aid to help victims of the recent flood.

The message from the President of Ukraine offered an assessment of the current state of Ukrainian-Canadian relations and outlined the prospects for broadening economic cooperation between the two countries.

In turn, the Prime Minister noted that he understood the current events in Ukraine and realized the complications of the political processes. Mr. Chretien confirmed that the Canadian government is ready to lobby for Ukraine's interests within the framework of G-7.

The parties also discussed the necessity of the G-7 countries to fulfill all their obligations with regard to the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.

During a meeting with Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Canada's Foreign Minister John Manley said that Canada welcomed the latest efforts of Ukraine to implement comprehensive economic reform and the positive effects that the reform has had on the improvement in the lives of the people of Ukraine. Minister Manley confirmed that Canada will continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to build a democratic society.

The two foreign ministers discussed a broad range of issues involving Ukrainian-Canadian cooperation. They appraised the current level of economic cooperation between the two countries and considered the possibility of boosting cooperation in the area of investment in the agro-industrial and energy sectors.

The Canadian foreign minister confirmed Canada's commitment to assist in accelerating Ukraine's admission into the World Trade Organization.

Also, given that Ukraine currently holds the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, the two foreign ministers discussed the activities of the Security Council.

The two also paid particular attention to Ukrainian Canadian cooperation in consolidating the international community's efforts to resolve issues connected with the closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.

There was an exchange of views on the current political situation in Ukraine. Mr. Zlenko reaffirmed the efforts of Ukraine's leadership to facilitate transparent and objective investigation of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of journalist Heorhii Gongadze. He restated the Ukrainian government's intention to strictly abide by the Ukrainian constitution and laws when resolving conflicts.

Both parties agreed to draft proposals for concrete initiatives to implement the special partnership between Ukraine and Canada. They agreed to set up a working group on this matter.

The two foreign ministers signed an intergovernmental framework agreement on destruction of antipersonnel mines in Ukraine, which marks the start of implementation of a joint Ukrainian-Canadian project for destruction of Ukraine's stockpiles of antipersonnel mines that have been banned under international conventions.

The framework agreement defines the mechanism for implementation of the project and opens the way for "practical work" with donor countries on financing the project.

This project will soon be presented in Brussels with the goal of finding donor-nations willing to finance the destruction of antipersonnel mines in Ukraine in partnership with Canada.

Mr.Zlenko also met with Canadas Minister for International Cooperation, Maria Minna. During the meeting Canada announced its decision to provide humanitarian aid of 40,000 Canadian dollars to flood victims in the Transcarpathian region in Western Ukraine. The two ministers shared their views on ways of broadening Canadian-Ukrainian cooperation in the field of technological assistance to develop infrastructure of the land market, support farms, modernize the fuel and energy complex.

Then, Ukraines Foreign Minister met with Canadas Minister for International Trade, Pierre Pettigrew. They discussed the state and prospects for bilateral trade between Ukraine and Canada as well as investment cooperation in the priority industries. The ministers hailed positive tendencies in trade relations between the two countries. The turnover of goods between Ukraine and Canada in 2000 increased almost two fold if compared to the previous year and is the biggest in the history of bilateral relations. Canada voiced its support of Ukraines admission into the WTO and also confirmed its readiness to further help Ukraine in this issue, that will facilitate trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko held a meeting with heads of the major Ukrainian organizations in Canada - the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the World Congress of Ukrainians and the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations.

Addressing the participants, the minister emphasized the essential role that Ukrainians outside Ukraine, in particular the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, have played in the Ukrainian people's struggle for independence and in supporting Ukraine during the first few years of its emergence on the world scene. He noted that Canada, which is a highly respected country with a 1-million-strong Ukrainian community, occupies a special place in Ukraine's foreign policy.

In turn, the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Eugene Czoliy, stressed that Ukrainian Canadians are proud of the fact that Canada was the first western country to recognize Ukraine's independence. According to Czoliy, Ukrainians Canadians will continue in their efforts to ensure that Canada remains Ukraine's reliable partner. On behalf of the World Congress of Ukrainians, the umbrella organization that unites more than 20 million Ukrainians outside Ukraine, Secretary General Viktor Pedenko noted that Ukraine must use its diaspora's great potential to its maximum. He assured that Ukrainian organizations around the globe are ready to assist the Ukrainian nation and lobby its interests abroad.

During the meeting the parties discussed ways to deepen the ties of Ukrainians outside Ukraine - ties with their historical motherland and involvement of the Ukrainian diaspora of Canada in the development of Ukrainian-Canadian bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic sphere. Anatoly Zlenko also informed the participants about the arrangements for the Third World Forum of Ukrainians that will be held during the celebration of the tenth anniversary of Ukraine's independence.

During his visit to Canada, Ukraines Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko also met with the Canadas Deputy Premier Herb Gray and the Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken.

All meetings between the two sides were held in a spirit of warmth, friendship and cooperation.

During the visit Ukrainian Minister gave an interview to the "Ottawa Citizen" and CBC-Radio, and delivered a speech at the National Press Club.

For more information, please contact:
Taras Malyshevskyi, Press Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400,

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