Archive for May, 2010


The Politics of Eurovision

May 31, 2010

Well dear readers, I am no fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and never have been…..however, she that must be obeyed is far less difficult to please.

Congratulations to Ukraine’s entry by Alyosha for finishing 10th…..even though for me she sounds like a poor mans Pink.

Anyway, I think I have now ruined Eurovision for my good woman.


As each and every country came to vote, I predicted their votes with 90% accuracy based on current and historical political issues before they stated them…… well as stating only Germany could win this year (without hearing any of the songs) as they are the only nation who could afford to put on next years show.

She now realises that the voting is political and nothing to do with the songs being sung.

Next year we are not watching I am told……..which is a fantastic result!


Beware of possible fraudulent employment offers from the UK

May 30, 2010

Just a quickie for the Ukrainian and Russian readers of my daily ramblings but worthy of further broadcast, here is a direct cut and paste from the UK Embassy website…….

The Visa Section of the British Embassy in Ukraine has recently received a number of enquiries from individuals who report receiving unsolicited employment offers from the United Kingdom.

Unsolicited employment offers purporting to be from Petrуleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) have been reported as suspicious.

Any communications received from individuals purporting to be employed by Customer Contact Centre, UK Border Agency, acting on behalf of an employer, particularly if these involve requests for funds to be sent to the United Kingdom by money transfer should be considered fraudulent.

UK Border Agency is currently investigating these cases.

The British Embassy in Ukraine would like to draw your attention to the following:

  • UK Border Agency does not contact prospective job applicants outside the United Kingdom to collect application fees.
  • UK Border Agency does not work collaboratively with prospective employers to facilitate “work permit” or visa applications by job candidates.
  • UK Border Agency will never request payment of application fees to be sent by money transfer to the United Kingdom to a named UKBA employee.
  • The UK Border Agency advises all recipients of unsolicited employment offers to treat them with extreme caution.

We advise all interested in travelling to the UK, studying or working, to receive more information on the official website of the UK Border Agency



Centres for Migrant Advice

If you consider going abroad for travel, study or work, we recommend you to visit or call your local Centre for Migrant Advice which provide the following free of charge services:

  • internet access to search for migration-related information
  • information on workers’ rights overseas
  • help in understanding terms of agreement suggested by your foreign employer and/or company assisting you find employment abroad
  • information on legal opportunities for migration, including labour migration and temporary labour agreements
  • information on dangers of illegal and irregular migration to countries abroad
  • information about visa requirements of your destination country.

 Centres for Migrant Advice (CMA) are an important part of the Capacity Building in Migration Management Program (CBMMP) administered by the IOM Mission in Ukraine since 2005.

For the readers to which this does not apply, sorry there is nothing meaningful yesterday or today……but the Rugby 7s are being played in Odessa and I am watching rather than posting here!


Ukraine, Catholicism…….and no sex scandals

May 29, 2010

It seems not a week goes by without some devastating revelation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church being reported in the international media.

But there’s one nation where the Catholic Church has so far avoided scandal.

It’s in Ukraine, where millions follow the Greek Catholic Church, a unique branch of Catholicism, which is loyal to Rome and the Pope but with one major difference.

Its priests are allowed to marry and have families and its followers say that makes all the difference.

Well, there you go dear readers, it just goes to show, depriving yourself of the things you enjoy can have a damaging phsychological effect……however endulging yourself makes you an all round good egg!


Ms Tymoshenko……My memory is not that short!

May 28, 2010

Well dear readers, what do you make of this little poplist stunt?

Interfax-Ukraine The opposition government of Ukraine will announce at its meeting on Thursday, May 26, the formation of a business council made up of representatives of small and medium business and non-governmental organizations.

“Tomorrow, on Thursday, we will hold a meeting of the opposition government, where we will form the opposition government and a business council, which will include representatives of associations of small and medium businesses, and non-governmental organizations. Tomorrow, the opposition government will take this decision,” BYT leader and former Premier Yulia Tymoshenko said at a press conference in Kherson on Wednesday, her official Web site reported.

She also said that the opposition would attempt to protect small and medium-sized companies.

In addition, according to Tymoshenko, the opposition government will consider on Thursday a package of bills, including some prepared by her government but that were not adopted by parliament.

The package includes a bill on a simplified procedure for licensing, a bill on the abolition of certain inspection bodies, a bill on the abolition of a large number of licenses, and other measures.

What can I say a someone who has had a SME in Ukraine throughout the entire time she was in power……during which she had the opportunity up until only a few months ago to do exactly what she is now proposing to do?

Is it the pot calling the kettle black to say that “the opposition would attempt to protect small and medium-sized companies.”………considering when in power she did nothing to protect small and medium-sized companies from her cronies and herself?

Note to Ms Tymoshenko, you have only been out of office a few months…….the situation we all face is a situation you either created or had the ability to change over the past 5 years and didn’t.

My memory is not that short to absolve you from the mess you made!


Excellent News – I am happy for Ukraine

May 27, 2010

 Interfax-Ukraine Ukrainian Vice-Premier Sergiy Tigipko has said he expects a free trade area to be created between Ukraine and Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Iceland in a month.

He said this at a visiting session of the Council of Regions in Lviv on Thursday. “I think that in a month we’ll sign free trade area [agreements] with the EFTA [European Free Trade Association] countries – Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Iceland,” Tigipko said.

He also noted that work on the creation of a free trade area between Ukraine and Turkey would start during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s planned visit to Ukraine.


The return of Soviet Crimea!

May 27, 2010

Interfax-Ukraine Simferopol, May 26 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Crimean parliament has introduced amendments to the Constitution of the autonomy, according to which the name of the Crimean parliament when used in text in the Russian language, is changed from the Verkhovna Rada (the Supreme Council as spelled in Ukrainian) of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to the Verkhovny Soviet (the Supreme Council as spelled in Russian) of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

This decision was supported by 76 out of 94 members of the Crimean council registered for voting on Wednesday, May 26. Four members voted against.


Yeh, OK dear readers, not as dramatic as it sounds…….RADA and Soviet mean the same thing just one is a Ukrainian word and the other Russian.

I didn’t mean to infer that the communists had taken over Crimea in a coup……well OK may be I did mean to infer it just so you would read this and think it was a world turning event.


NATO statement – Ukraine “Unprecedented”?

May 27, 2010

NATO is calling Ukrainian interaction with it “unprecidented”……

Interfax-Ukraine NATO has said there is no precedent to the behavior of Ukraine, which has been working with the Alliance in the frame of the Annual National Program, and yet at the same time announced that it has no plans to join the alliance.

“It is an unprecedented experience for a country, which has been working in the frames of the Annual National Program, not to want to become NATO member,” NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Jiri Sedivy said at a meeting with Ukrainian reporters.

At the same time, the NATO representative has said that this issue is not a matter of discussion within the alliance. NATO respects Ukraine’s decisions, Sedivy said.

How are you supposed to read that statement? 

Ukraine is doing everything that NATO could possibly hope for……but why doesn’t it want to join us?

Well, apart from it being unconstitutional to put a new foreign base or troops on Ukrainian soil, (although there is a clause for extending existing leases as employed to allow the RBSF to stay longer), the vast majority of the Ukrainian public are still anti NATO.

Firstly, Ukraine cannot afford to upgrade its military to meet NATO standards and there are numerous NATO members who seem to be in a much worse economic situation than Ukraine and therefore cannot afford to assist in this upgrade.

Secondly, as I have already said, the Ukrainian Constitution specifically forbids new foreign bases or troops on Ukrainian soil.

Thirdly, the current government is seeking non-aliegned status and even possibly internationally recognised neutral status and plays similar war games with the CIS members as well.

Lastly it would be a diplomatic and political nightmare for Ukraine to enter NATO and be the immediate border with Russia who still view NATO with some suspicion……and not just a nightmare for Ukraine but NATO itself in the current climate.

Why is it unprecidented for a neighbour to want to engage in mutually beneficial enterprises but not want to join the club? 

Why is it so hard to believe Ukraine does not want to join NATO……..or any other military block?

When NATO had the chance to allow Ukraine in the club in GW Bush’s swan song era, France, Germany, Italy and Spain were all against it with a pro NATO President sat in power in Ukraine.  Now there is a president who is not interested in joining, NATO wants to know why when cooperation is still high?

Why do such organsiations see everything as “all or nothing”?

My personal view, as well documented here historically, is that Ukraine should seek internationally recognised neutrality eventually and in the mean time, I would be pleased to see a continued path of non-aliegnment militarily…….and keeping good relations and bilateral interests served with both NATO and the CIS nations.

Be happy in NATO, you are getting cooperation without the financial or geopolitical fallout!


EU and Ukraine…….and the UK

May 26, 2010

Well dear readers, it seems on the back of Russia, Ukraine is moving slowly towards the easing of EU Visas and eventual visa-free travel in the Shengen zone.

He added that a visa-free promise for Russia should be accompanied by a similar offer to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The EU could extend the visa perspective to the group-of-six during informal remarks in the post-Rostov press conference or in the conclusions of the EU foreign ministers’ gathering in June, he said.

There is a political coup in the waiting for the current government……a visa-free promise by the EU in relation to Ukraine in June this year.  Of course the promise will be tied to the conditions Ukraine is now actively trying to achieve…….and they are trying to achieve it…….but the political key word is promise.

No matter how that is spun, it is a serious diplomatic word with serious diplomatic intentions.

Then, add to this the following from our man Mr Hague in the UK and abley assited by Mr Turner in Kyiv……..

British Ambassadors to Ukraine, Russia and Poland, Leigh Turner, Anne Pringle and Rick Todd, handed in to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Kostiantyn Hryshchenko a message from the newly appointed Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, confirming the intention of Britain to cooperate with Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry press service told Ukrinform.

The letter contains assurances that Britain is prepared to facilitate the process of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. Hague is convinced that, as a European nation, Ukraine has the right for EU accession after attaining eligibility for membership, and London is ready to provide full support to the process, says the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. During the meeting the parties discussed the current state of Ukraine’s relations with Russia and the EU, as well as vital issues of bilateral cooperation.

Does that mean that not only the Shengen barriers to Ukrainians will be coming down and the UK will become more easily accessible as well?

Whatever, it is good to see Blighty’s diplomats and FCO actually taking some interest in Ukraine that is overt rather than covert.

If only there was something I could do to assist Ukraine with its relations with the UK……..sometimes I can feel like a spare part as far as helping Ukraine and UK relations goes, despite knowing more influential Ukrainians than most Ukrainians do!

Anyway, positive signals with very positive diplomatic wording so crack on team and if I can help I will…….. other than any incidental expenses of course…… both nations are not exactly cash rich right now.

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