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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.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT EQUIVOCAL ON GAS CONSORTIUM WITH RUSSIA. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said in Kyiv on February 2 that it is too early to talk about setting up any joint venture with Russia to manage Ukrainian gas-transit pipelines, Reuters and Interfax-Ukraine reported. Russian President Vladimir Putin disclosed the previous day that Ukraine had made an offer of a "revolutionary character" to unify both countries' gas-transportation systems in exchange for a share in Russia's gas-drilling sector (see "RFE/RL Newsline," February 2, 2007). "Everything that is related to modifying the [Ukrainian gas-transportation] model requires a very thorough and cautious approach," Yushchenko told a news conference. "It is difficult to speak about this because we need to debate the principles of organizing our relations and methods to implement initiatives. I would not mention any percentages or shares in any plants today because we are far away from this." The same day, Yuliya Tymoshenko, leader of the eponymous opposition bloc, announced that her bloc will prepare a bill to ban what she called "manipulations around our gas-transportation system in exchange for some sort of bait." "We are going to put forward a secure shield against attempts to appropriate our gas-transportation system or entire Naftohaz [Ukraine's gas and oil monopoly] by shrewd businessmen from the Russian Federation," she added. JM
UKRAINE, KAZAKHSTAN ENDORSE JOINT ACTION PLANT FOR 2007-08. President Yushchenko and visiting Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev signed a Ukraine-Kazakhstan Action Plan for 2007-08 in Kyiv on February 2, Ukrainian media reported. The document provides for holding a Year of Kazakhstan in Ukraine in 2007 -- an event that Nazarbaev officially inaugurated in Kyiv -- and a Year of Ukraine in Kazakhstan in 2008. It also stipulates intensifying bilateral cooperation in the fuel and energy sector, in particular, through the construction of power-engineering facilities, the expansion of oil-pipeline networks, and participation in oil-and-gas development. JM