Events from December 16 to December 20, 2003
Speaker of Ukrainian parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn visited France (Dec. 17). In Paris they discusses an issue of a possible participation of Ukrainian parliament in the Western-European Interparliamentary Assembly.
According to the annual report of the Freedom House "Freedom in the World" among the former republic of the USSR the Baltic countries were referred to as "free", and "partially free" - 5 more countries, Ukraine including.
The IMF is ready to sign with the Ukraine the program of "advanced stand-by"
Director of the IMF European Department Michael Deppler at the meeting with President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma said that IMF mission head Emanuel van der Mensbrugge has been authorized for signing an agreement to approve the Fund's "advanced stand-by" program.
М.Deppler said that he personally did not see any obstacles for signing this agreement in the nearest future.
L.Kuchma thanked the IMF for a positive assessment of Ukraine's macroeconomic prospects, which prompted the World Bank to approve on December 9, 2003 the second Program System Loan to Ukraine in the amount of USD 250 million.
On December 11 Director of the World Bank in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Luca Barbone at a press conference confirmed that the first part of the second tranche of the Program System Loan would arrive in Ukraine early in 2004.
Thus, resumption of Ukraine's crediting by the World Bank and the IMF effectively entered a practical stage. It, no doubt, is a serious factor for maintaining a stable financial situation. In the presidential election year it is extremely important for Ukraine.
President of Ukraine sent a letter to the U.S. President
On December 17 Leonid Kuchma sent a letter to George Bush in which he touched a question of the renewal by the U.S. side of financing ecologically safe destruction of solid missile fuel at the Pavlograd Chemical Plant.
Leonid Kuchma reminded that the financing of the project was the obligation taken by the U.S. side under the Agreement between Ukraine and the U.S. on assistance to Ukraine in destroying strategic nuclear weapons of October 25, 1993.
At present some 5,000 tons of solid missile fuel is kept in the warehouses of Pavlograd, which creates a high hazard of an ecological catastrophe in one of the most densely populated regions of Ukraine.
The unilateral refusal of the U.S. to meeting its obligations put Ukraine in a dire predicament. This is not only an economical issue since such actions of the U.S. are accepted by Ukraine's population quite negatively and tune anti-American sentiments.