OSCE Chairperson discusses with Ukraine leadership shared priorities, deepening co-operation

March 31. OSCE. KYIV

OSCE Chairperson discusses with Ukraine leadership shared priorities, deepening co-operationThe OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev discussed in Kyiv today key aspects of the dialogue on European security between participating States of the Organization, and how the OSCE could support the domestic priorities of the new leadership.

“This is the first high level meeting between the OSCE and the new leadership of Ukraine,” he said. “Ukraine plays an important role in the region, and we intend to work together to achieve our common goal of strengthening mutual understanding and trust in the sphere of responsibility of our Organization within the framework of the Corfu Process.”

Saudabayev met with Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn, Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryschenko and representatives of political parties. He will meet Prime Minister Mykola Azarov later today.

“The recent Presidential Election in the country, which met most OSCE and international commitments according to the international observation mission’s interim report, is a victory of democracy in Ukraine, and the OSCE stands ready to provide further assistance as requested,” Saudabayev said at the news conference following the meetings.

The Chairperson-in-Office highlighted the fruitful co-operation between Ukraine’s authorities and the OSCE’s Project Co-ordinator acting in accordance with its mandate in such areas as promoting democratization and good governance, as well as combating corruption and human trafficking.

He stressed the importance of joint activities, including a continuing large-scale project to dispose of thousands of tonnes of melange, a highly toxic obsolete rocket fuel component. More than 1,500 tonnes of melange have already been removed from Ukraine’s territory. “The OSCE-Ukraine initiative is an excellent example of tangible and effective co-operation that contributes to the security of people living in the OSCE area,” said Saudabayev.

During the meetings in Kyiv, Saudabayev expressed gratitude to Ukraine’s leadership for its support for Kazakhstan’s initiative to hold an OSCE summit in 2010 and extended an invitation to the country’s Foreign Minister to the informal ministerial meeting to take place in July 2010 in Almaty.

On his part, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister positively assessed the performance of Kazakhstan as the OSCE Chairmanship.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office will travel to Moldova for meetings with the Moldovan government and Transdniestrian leadership on Thursday. 


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Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Construction of joint Ukrainian-Kazakh oil refinery remains important

March 31. Interfax-Ukraine 

The creation of a joint Ukrainian-Kazakh oil refinery remains important, but the issue requires detailed consideration, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko said at a briefing on Wednesday.

Asked whether Ukraine still plans to create a joint oil refinery with Kazakhstan, he said: “We’re, of course, interested in that, but it requires serious consideration at a very serious, including political, level.”

He said the current government was formed just a month ago. A stocktaking of all projects in the pipeline since 2002 will take place soon, he said.

He said the project will be assessed from the viewpoint of pragmatism, and with due regard to economic efficiency.

The joint oil refinery issue will be on the agenda of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s visit to Kazakhstan, he said.