Archive for February 4th, 2010


Tymoshenko calls for urgent meeting of G8 Ambassadors

February 4, 2010

Yesterday at 19:41 | Reuters Ukrainian presidential contender Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Wednesday accused her rival, Viktor Yanukovich, of preparing to rig Sunday’s runoff election through last-minute changes to election rules.

Yanukovich’s Regions Party earlier pushed through parliament an amendment to electoral rules that will scrap the requirement for a quorum of representatives of both contenders to approve the count at individual polling stations.

“Parliament has passed changes to the law … which wreck an honest presidential election, make it false, dishonest, unregulated,” Tymoshenko said in a televised statement.

“This has been done because Yanukovich does not believe in his victory and he wants to get a result only through falsification,” she said.

She urged President Viktor Yushchenko not to sign the electoral rule changes into law and said she had invited ambassadors from the Group of Eight countries to an urgent meeting later on Wednesday.

Tymoshenko and Yanukovich are set for a runoff vote for president on Sunday after a bitter campaign in which she has openly insulted him and he has accused her of systematic lying. She trailed him by 10 percent in the first round of voting on Jan. 17, but most observers say the outcome of Sunday’s election is too close to call.

[The Group of Eight (G8, and formerly the G6 or Group of Six and also the G7 or Group of Seven) is a forum, created by France in 1975, for governments of six countries in the world: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.]

Oh dear, why would the G8 Ambassadors be able to do anything?

It is not normally the policy of Ambassadors to interfere internally in Ukrainian domestic affairs… least openly…….as Amsassadors are there to represent the interests of their particular nation with Ukraine bilaterally.

To be quite honest, given the choice between either candidate, neither are worthy of backing above the other……particularly after the dismal failure the last time a Ukrainian President was backed 5 years ago.

The problem with backing “candidate A” who maybe see from afar as more “democratic” normally has a limited success story if you meddle in another nations political system……as without a thorough understanding of both “candidate A”, the nation and the politicians “candidate A” will work with or against, often makes the backing of “candidate A” an addition to th legacy of previous bad decisions to back a “candidate” elsewhere who could not muster the support, drive, enthusiasm and loyalty from the nation and fellow politicians to bring about the change which appeared to be so easily achieve from your position from afar.

So far this week, Ms Tymoshenko, even before this amendment to the law which is still yet to be signed into law, has said she it “tired of politics” and simply gone into a tyraid of sleaze politics against Yanukovych. 

Her actions and statement that she is “tired of politics” this week make me think that she is anticipating defeat and is looking for something to blame other than herself.

Ah well, whatever!


Environmental incompetence……turn to the international community of course!

February 4, 2010

Interfax-Ukraine Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has said he will ask international institutions to assist Ukraine in preventing a possible man-made disaster in Kalush due to subsidence caused by mining.

“I’m going to ask international institutions to render humanitarian and technical assistance to combat these challenges,” he said at a meeting dedicated to environmental protection and human activities in Kalush on Tuesday.

Yushchenko added that the text of the address had already been prepared and he proposed that the government draw up a plan to minimize the negative consequences of mine working in Kalush.

“We must prevent the ecological situation from worsening, and for this reason the government must draw up an urgent plan within the next 10-20 days,” Yushchenko said.

He noted this plan must foresee the financing of works to minimize the consequences of a possible man-made disaster.

“We are on the verge of an ecological disaster… The situation is extremely serious,” he said.

On Tuesday the president visited OJSC Oriana Potassium Plant in Kalush, Dombrovsky quarry and facilities for storing radioactive, toxic and other waste in Ivano-Frankivsk region. The main ecological danger from these facilities stems from serious subsidence in a location where about 1,300 houses are located in Kalush, the villages of Khotyn, Kropyvnyk, Sivka-Kaluska, Holyn, as well as 23 industrial buildings.

Well dear readers, WTF?

I cannot and will not place the blame of this environmental disaster on Mr Yushenko completely. 

Why?…..Well for a start there can be little doubt that the mining at Kalush and the storing of ecological nightmares there started well before Mr Yushenko became President and probably even before Kuchma was President. 

It is also not the President who is responsible for the environment of Ukraine……at least day to day.  That is what the Environment Minister is for, together with the Department of the Environment.  In short the environment is a governmental responsibility and not that of the President……at least as far as written responsibilities go.

Morally of course, the President is the figurehead of Ukraine and has managed to keep his mouth shut about this for the entirety of his 5 year presidency…….less the last 4 days of it.

Any mention of holding the Environment Minister to account?…..Errrm no, of course not.

Any thoughts of holding the owners and operators of the mine responsible?……Again, of course not….they will have strong political allies if are not RADA members themselves.

Have the works been suspended?…….Stupid question.

Does Ukraine internally have good quality civil and environmental engineers?  It certainly does, so Ukraine can definitely sort this out themselves as far as expertise is concerned, so which international institutions is he talking about going too…….other than asking for more EU money which is still being shelled out by the barrow load for Chernobyl…….another toxic Ukrainian man made disaster…….which has so far cost the G7 about $2,000,000,000 (that’s billions) with a new sarcophagus awarded to a French contractor but yet to acutally start…….8 years after it was agreed to do the project.

I can’t even blame the French for not starting yet, despite it being an inherited rite of being born an Englishman.  See for yourself.

Telling the government now, 4 days before a new President is elected is not a strong position to speak from and in 10 – 20 days, the time frame he has called for the governmental response…….he will be an ex-President, unless the result is disputed and goes through the courts accompanied by civil unrest when he can declare a State of Emergency and retain power for a while longer…..but of course if that is the case, he will probably have other things on his mind than Kalush.

I will be honest and say I know one of the current Deputy Environmental Ministers of Ukraine…..and he is not the sharpest tool in the toolbox.  I also know the next Environmental Minister of Ukraine should Victor Yanukovych win and there be a diffrent parliament in May……at least that is when the next Environmental Minister expects to take office.  (Nothing like confidence that Yanukovych will win…….but I suppose he has to be as they are blood relations). 

Neither the current Environmental Minister or the potential next one are particularly clued up on the environment…..I know because I am working on something for the next (if Yanukovych wins) Environmental Minister already……and it is quite clear nobody has a clue about the mechanisms of how they will achieve what they want to achieve with regards to the project I have been unofficially given……hence I was unofficially given it to sort out.

Yet again this is a case of Ukraine saying to the world……Oops, look what we have done and the problems we have made through willful neglect and/or turning a blind eye……What are you going to do about sorting it out for us?

Once again, Ukaine’s biggest enemy is Ukraine……or rather it’s (very lacking) leadership and management.

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