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Press Release

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Tarasyuk Addresses 8th CBSS Ministerial Session

Palanga, Lithuania, June 14, 1999

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On June 14, 1999 Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk made remarks at the 8th Ministerial Session of the Council of the Baltic Sea States which was held in Palanga, Lithuania. Ukraine took part in the meeting as an observer. Mr. Tarasyuk noted his pleasure to address the meeting since he had been closely engaged back in 1995 in the process of establishing institutional relationship with the Council of the Baltic Sea States, and attended the previous meeting in Nyborg.

In his speech Mr. Tarasyuk stressed that with skillful guidance of Lithuanian Foreign Minister Algidras Saudargas as Chairman of the CBSS the European integration has notably become an «omnipresent feature of the Baltic Sea region». This Chairmanship has as well become yet another proof of Minister Saudargas’ words in Nyborg that ‘Good relations with neighbors, political stability, democratic, economic and social development of the Baltic Sea region have always been and are among the top priorities of Lithuanian foreign policy.’ Ukraine not only subscribes under these principles, but has demonstrated that its own foreign policy vis-a-vis its neighbors and region is based on the same principles, Mr. Tarasyuk said.

In his words, "the role of CBSS in uniting Europe is important and obvious, and Ukraine, which adheres to the CBSS principles as they are referred to in the CBSS founding documents, is willing and capable to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the CBSS. Such contribution and our involvement in the CBSS activities deemed very important for us for a number of reasons.

  • First, the CBSS unites 11 European member nations who share common European values and are engaged in many joint projects.

  • Second, participation of observers from other regions and even continent pulls together different views and creates a continuum of cooperation of a much wider scope.

One of the roles of Ukraine in the Council I see as a strategic link between the Baltic and Black Sea regions, as an indispensable chain in cooperation along the North-South axis. We are glad to acknowledge that the Vilnius Process will find its further development in September in Yalta at the International summit conference of «Baltic - Black Sea Cooperation: to integrated Europe of 21st century without dividing lines» with participation of over 20 heads of state and international organizations.

  • Third, the CBSS opens ample opportunities for many other regional initiatives involving its neighbors. At the same time those opportunities are valuable for Ukraine’s co-operation among other things in triangulars: Ukraine-Poland-Lithuania, Ukraine-Poland-Germany, Ukraine-Poland-USA. CBSS can be involved, where appropriate, into a Standing conference on European integration established by Ukraine and Poland. As I was informed Finland is interested as the EU Presidency to take part in the Standing conference, which we welcome very much.

  • Fourth, the peculiarity of the CBSS is that it includes EU, NATO, WEU full and aspiring members, current «neutrals», OSCE as well as the Russian Federation and USA. Such a rich composition makes it possible to conduct a very useful exchange of views on security issues in Euro-Atlantic area. It can become a forum for a birth of many fresh ideas, which while generated within CBSS can be then developed with the help and means of other institutions for the common benefit.

CBSS can without doubts play an important role in implementation of the EU Northern Dimension. We share the idea of high political relevance for the Baltic Sea Region, stressed in the draft Communiqué, of three interrelated political processes of the European Union – EU enlargement, the Common Strategy towards Russia and the Northern Dimension. Implementation of these processes should have a positive effect beyond the Baltic Sea region, and Ukraine among others will benefit from it. Ukraine, which is determined in its European choice with a long-term goal of a full EU membership, very much supports similarity of aims and close links between EU and CBSS countries, including our largest neighbor the Russian Federation. We agree that this similarity offer a unique opportunity for the Council to bring added value in key sectors of economic and social life.

One of the venues for further development of people-to-people contacts on a geographically wider basis we see launching cooperation between the Union of Baltic Cities (UBC) and the Association of Cities of Ukraine.

The Association of the Cities of Ukraine has two programs with Germany and Sweden. German `Transform` program foresees common approach to Government management as a factor for location of production facilities and investments. Swedes offer, within SIDA possibilities, their experience in local management. Also in this respect, we view with special interest the experience of the recently launched Baltic Sea Regional Program of the OECD. Association of the Cities of Ukraine has 226 members who are cities of different size and possibilities. Association is ready to initiate contacts with the UBC for joint implementation of short and long-term programs.

Certainly, economic co-operation, trade and investments are among the major priorities for Ukraine. Therefore we are interested in the widest possible involvement in the CBSS activities in this field. Ukrainian experts are interested in attending upcoming CBSS/OECD conference in St.Petersburg on investment conditions, as well as meeting in Bergen in February next year of Ministers for Trade and Industry.

We are also interested in developing tourism industry, including studying and applying CBSS experience including reflected in the Tourism Development and Cooperation Program prepared by the Baltic Tourism Commission.

I can not by refer to such important areas and projects within CBSS which are of particular interest for us as establishing an effective and integrated [regional] energy system as well as development of transport system and corridors.

In closing, Borys Tarasyuk stressed that Ukraine seeks further development of potential of practical co-operation and as the Foreign Ministry encourage the widest possible number of bodies and organizations in Ukraine to use pragmatically ample opportunities of the CBSS. We believe that our new status provides us more venues of cooperation; and we are looking forward to make best use of it, - he said.

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