Europe helps Ukraine to close Chernobyl...
The second conference of donor countries, composed of those states that will help Kyiv to close the reactor blocks at Chernobyl, took place in Berlin on 5 and 6 July 2000.
These included the G-7 countries, European Union [EU] member states and certain other participants. They discussed possible ways of giving help, consultation and support to the government in Kyiv.
On the Ukrainian side, the question of financial support was the most important one. According to international calculations, the country will need USD 768 million to close down the nuclear power plant successfully.
In this respect, the conference in Berlin exceeded expectations: EUR 335,5 million has been collected from the donor countries so far. This figure, together with the sum collected during the first conference in London in 1998, comes to the total amount of USD 715 million. Some 90 percent of the money needed.
...but does not invite the country to join the European Union
The EU is not ready to start negotiations about the accession of any new post-Communist countries. A spokesman for the EU Enlargement Committee stated this week.
In the meantime, the western media published information suggesting that France and Germany would not accept the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus as new members of the EU.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the existence of such a document, which recommends that the EU not include these countries in its structures.
However, this document is only an evaluation given by a group of German and French experts, and does not reflect the official position of other countries, added the Ministry spokesperson.
The document which attracted all this attention is the joint conclusion of the planning experts from the French and German ministries of foreign affairs.
According to this material, the accession of Russia could result in the collapse of the European Union. The reasons given for non-acceptance of Ukraine and Belarus stem from their geopolitical location: admission of these countries might raise further questions about Russian isolation.
In order to avoid such a situation the EU is recommended to continue special partnership relations with these countries, whilst avoiding negotiations about enlargement.
Although this document does
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Bad weather brings disaster
The western region of Ukraine suffered from heavy thunderstorms and hurricane-force gales early on Wednesday morning. These natural cataclysms have caused a huge amount of damage to the industrial and agricultural sector of the region.
Nearly 800 towns and villages remained without electricity supply, roofs were blown off of nearly 13,000 residential and administrative buildings and over 180 hectares of agricultural areas sustained damage. The President has ordered that he be informed about the progress of restoration work every 10 days.
However, the active atmosphere fronts which provoked this disaster have not yet left the country. More heavy storms and hurricanes are expected during the weekend.
Natalya Krasnoboka, 8 July 2000
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Den', daily national newspaper
Kyiv Post, weekly national newspaper
Facty, daily national newspaper
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
UA Today, on-line information agency
Ukrainska Pravda, on-line independent