Events from April 1 to 8, 2004
A constitutional reform voting took place in parliament on April 8. The bill collected 294 votes and did not pass (300 votes were needed).
The right-wing opposition, that is, the Our Ukraine faction (leader Viktor Yushchenko) and the BYuT (leader Yuliya Tymoshenko) not without grounds consider this voting as their great success. At the same time the parliamentary majority plans to come back to the bill in a two-week time.
After a dramatic exacerbation of the situation in Iraq and the death of Ukrainian peacekeeper Ruslan Androshchuk the left-wing opposition, first of all the Communists, demanded to bring their motion about the withdrawal of the Ukrainian peacekeepers from Iraq to voting in parliament. This motion, however, received only 163 votes and was defeated. The Communists, the Socialists, the BYuT faction and half of the Our Ukraine faction voted affirmative.
The U.S. canceled the intensive monitoring over financial operations with Ukraine
The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fin CEN) on April withdrew a notice, which has been in force over the last two years, about the application of the regime of intensive monitoring over the operations involving Ukrainian financial institutions.
According to the information of the Ukrainian embassy to the U.S. Fin CEN canceled the substantial reforming of the Ukrainian system of combating money laundering and does not consider it necessary to apply the regime of close monitoring over financial transactions with Ukraine.
At present Ukraine has such a national system of combating money laundering, which on the whole is in compliance with the international standards, which was reflected in the FATF decision on February 27, 2004 on crossing out Ukraine from the list of countries, which do not cooperated in fight against money laundering, Fin CEN says in its statement.
In March 2003 the close monitoring of financial transactions with Ukraine was also terminated by Great Britain and Canada.
Since close financial monitoring substantially complicated foreign economic links, its cancellation is perceived in Ukraine as a rather important economic event.
Repaying Ukraine's state debt
In 2004 Ukraine's government has to pay the state debt amount equivalent to approximately USD 2.428 billion. Out of it, USD 1.533 billion as a foreign debt and USD 0.895 billion as a domestic debt (the data of the Ministry of Finances of Ukraine).
In addition to the above amount, in 2004 the National Bank of Ukraine should transfer USD 313 million for repaying and servicing debts on IMF loans.
Only several years ago the repayment of similar amounts could present a serious problem for the country. However, today by the unanimous opinion of the Ukrainian experts the financial situation of Ukraine is such that there will be no difficulties in repaying the state debt in the current year.