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December 26, 2012

Ukraine Aims to Become Efficient OSCE Chairman – Ukraine Foreign Minister

The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara reassured he was prepared to furnish efficient chairmanship of his country in the OSCE. In his conversation with the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, Kozhara confirmed Ukraine’s 2013 OSCE chairmanship agenda, which was announced earlier this year.

December 18, 2012

52% Ukrainians Want to Join the EU

Deutsche Welle presented the results of an opinion poll among Ukrainians between 18 and 65 years old. More than half of the 1,000 interviewees – 52 percent – want Ukraine to become an EU member. Notably, 35 percent of Ukrainians aged 18-29 support rapid integration (within the next five years).

December 18, 2012

Barosso, Yanukovych Agree on EU-Ukraine Summit Date

The next Summit between the European Union and Ukraine will take place on February 25, 2013, in Brussels, reported the press service of the Ukrainian President. Such agreement was reached during the telephone conversation between the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, who initiated the dialogue.

December 18, 2012

Ukraine to Tackle Long-Standing Issues in Europe as 2013 OSCE Chair

Ukraine sees its upcoming chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe as a powerful tool for solving long-lasting and frozen conflicts in the region. This was stated by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych at the meeting with heads of diplomatic missions of foreign countries and international organizations accredited in Ukraine. The country will spearhead the OSCE starting January 1, 2013.

December 12, 2012

EU-Ukraine Summit Will Take Place in 2013 – Catherine Ashton

EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton communicated the willingness of Brussels to hold EU-Ukraine summit in early 2013. This was stated in the telephone conversation between Catherine Ashton and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, reported the press service of the Ukrainian government.

December 6, 2012

German MP: Germany Wants to Conclude Association With Ukraine Next Year

“The European way is wide open for Ukraine and Germany supports it”, stated the spokesman on foreign policy for Germany’s ruling Free Democratic Party (FDP) Rainer Stinner. German government wants to sign Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2013, however, there are some issues, noted the MP.

November 30, 2012

Kyiv Introduces Biometric ID

Ukraine approved the introduction of electronic IDs and creation of the state demographic register in the country. The relevant law, signed by President Yanukovych, will take effect on January 1st, 2013. It stipulates the introduction of the documents for traveling abroad that have a built-in proximity chip with registry information on the holder. The IDs will comply with the standards recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

November 30, 2012

EU Commissioner: EU, Ukraine May Sign Association Agreement Next Year

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule believes that the European Union is likely to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine in November 2013. This was stated at the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Stockholm, Sweden.

November 26, 2012

Four EU Member States Want Association With Ukraine in 2013 – EUobserver

Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia want to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine at the autumn 2013 Eastern Partnership Summit, to be held in Vilnus. The document will open perspectives for Ukrainian citizens and “impose European agenda on the Ukrainian leadership”, report diplomatic sources per EUobserver.

November 23, 2012

EU May Drop Visas for Ukraine Before Association – Polish Deputy Foreign Minister

The European Union may introduce visa-free regime with Ukraine before signing the Association Agreement. Such statement was made by the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, reports Polskie Radio.

November 20, 2012

Poland and Lithuania Support EU Association With Ukraine

The EU has to sign the Association Agreement (AA) with Ukraine, since it would speed up the European integration of Ukrainians, said Jerzy Pomianowski, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. At the same time, the office of the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU released a statement that the EU “must show will for deeper relations [with Ukraine]”. They suggested the signing of the AA as the best incentive.

November 16, 2012

Ukraine Prepares for Smoke-Free Restaurants

A month from now, starting December 16, premises of Ukrainian restaurants, cafés, and bars will become smoke-free due to the enactment of the respective law. Smoking will be prohibited inside all public premises, including night clubs, specified one of the authors of the law Taras Shevchenko yesterday, on the international non-smoking day.

November 15, 2012

Polish President: Pro-European Choice Triumphs in Ukrainian Elections

The results of the October 28 parliamentary elections in Ukraine show the success of pro-European spirit in the country, according to the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski. The state official noted that all political parties that made it to the Ukrainian parliament, but the communists, declared European integration of the country as one of their goals.

November 15, 2012

Ukraine Introduces Free Legal Aid for All

Starting January 1st, 2013, any person facing criminal legal charges in Ukraine will be entitled for free legal aid. A network of centers taking up pro bono cases has been set up in all regions of the country and in the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol. Immediately upon detention, law enforcement agency must inform the respective legal aid center about the case. The center has one hour to assign a lawyer.

November 14, 2012

Global Integrity: Ukraine Boasts Strong Anti-Corruption Legislation

Global Integrity international NGO assessed Ukrainian anti-corruption law as strong, hitting 100 on the 0-100 scorecard. Improvements in Ukrainian legal base were recognized in the organization’s 2011 annual report on anti-corruption institutions and mechanisms around the world. According to the 2011 country reports Ukrainian legal base landed among such top-scoring European countries as Germany, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

November 13, 2012

Ukraine Announces Composition of Newly Elected Parliament

As a result of the recent elections in Ukraine, five political parties made it to the parliament. The final results were published today by the parliament’s official daily. The currently ruling Party of Regions will have 185 representatives in the parliament. Oppositionist party Batkivshchyna (leader – Yulia Tymoshenko) received 101 seats. The newcomer UDAR, headed by the world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, got 40 seats, far right Svoboda – 37, the Communist Party of Ukraine – 32. Another 43 MPs do not represent any political party, while seven deputies will advocate for minor parties.

November 8, 2012

Ukrainian Election Campaign Was of Democratic Nature – British MP

Though Ukrainian parliamentary elections on October 28 weren’t perfect, their results indicated that the election campaign turned out to be of democratic nature, said the Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the official observer from the UK John Whittingdale. He highlighted the fact that two new political parties made it to the parliament.

November 7, 2012

European Parliament: Ukraine’s Elections - the Best in Post-Soviet Bloc

The parliamentary elections in Ukraine of October 28, 2012, were better than the ones in other post-Soviet countries the European Parliament (EP) has observed. This was stated by the head of the European Parliament Observer Mission in Ukraine MEP Pawel Kowal at the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs meeting. This year’s elections in Ukraine, however, were worse than the 2010 presidential vote, pointed out Kowal.

October 30, 2012

Observers: Ukraine Elections – Step Back in Democratic Development

U.S. Department of State highlighted positive and negative trends of the parliamentary elections in Ukraine on October 28th, including peaceful voting procedure and problems with the use of administrative resource. The statement was released by the institution on October 29th.

October 29, 2012

International Observers: Elections in Ukraine Were Fair and Transparent

International observers recognized Ukraine’s parliamentary elections of October 28, 2012, as fair, transparent and democratic. The head of the European Parliament Observer Mission in Ukraine MEP Pavel Kowal believes that the elections can stimulate the signing of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, reported Unian.

October 29, 2012

Ukraine Holds Parliamentary Elections

On October 28th, 2012, Ukrainian citizens elected their representatives to the parliament of the country. As soon as the voting ended at 8 p.m. the results of five exit polls were made public. The deputy head of the Central Election Committee of Ukraine Andriy Mahera stated that official results will be available by November 12th or earlier.

October 26, 2012

CIS-EMO Explains Mathematical Model Behind Election Evaluation in Ukraine

CIS-EMO, one of the international non-governmental organizations observing the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, announced it will be using an advanced mathematical model to detect any violations of the standards of fair and free voting procedure in the country. The model allows for effective fraud detection and will provide scientifically valid conclusions regarding the legitimacy of the elections.

October 23, 2012

Canada’s Ex-Prime Minister: Ukraine Should Be in EU

Canada’s 19th Prime Minister Kim Campbell would like to see Ukraine as a member of the EU, however, the country would have to undergo a number of complicated reforms. Canada’s first and only woman prime minister and the founding Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Ukrainian Foundation for Effective Governance made this statement in her interview with Interfax.

October 23, 2012

28 Countries Monitor Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine

On October 22nd the Central Election Committee of Ukraine registered the final batch of 666 international observers for the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, which will take place on October 28th. The total number of foreign monitors reached 3,797 persons – they represent 28 countries and 35 international non-governmental organizations. Moreover, more than 130,000 domestic observers will also work at the elections.

October 23, 2012

European Commission Ex-President: Ukraine Should Become a Bridge Between Russia and EU

Ukraine has been pursuing a balanced policy between Russia and the EU and the Europeans should support this trend. Such statement was made by the ex-President of the European Commission, the former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi in his video address to the International Forum “Innovation and International Integration” held on Oct. 18-19, in Verona, Italy.

October 18, 2012

Mixed Electoral System Helps Ukraine’s Ruling Party Retain Majority Government?

With a little over a week left until the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, the ruling Party of Regions seemed to be confident in getting the majority of seats in the Verkhovna Rada, reported the British news source The Economist. Current Ukrainian President’s party is likely to gain control over two-thirds of the parliament due to the recent introduction of the mixed proportional and majority electoral systems, reads the British media.

October 17, 2012

Ukraine Equips All Polling Stations With Webcameras

In an unprecedented attempt to allow broad public to monitor the course of elections in Ukraine, the government provided all 33,755 polling stations with webcameras. The devices will broadcast the video from the polling stations online – live on the day of the parliamentary elections, October 28th. “Ukraine is open to all the observers willing to monitor elections”, added the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov.

October 16, 2012

EU Ambassador to Ukraine: There Is Freedom of Self-Expression in Ukraine

“There is a complete freedom of self-expression and no censorship in Ukraine”, stated the Head of the Delegation of the EU to Ukraine Jan Tombinski. At the same time, he said, there was an issue regarding the ability of citizens to express their views through media.

October 12, 2012

EU to Ukraine: Ensure Balanced Media Opportunities for Election Candidates

“The significant lack of political pluralism on television is very worrisome and requires immediate action to define clear procedures for media to ensure a balanced coverage”, reads with reference to Ukraine the joint statement by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.

October 10, 2012

Ukrainian Authorities Attempt to Chip Away at Free Speech

Since the beginning of autumn Ukrainian parliament provided preliminary approval for not one, but two bills that provoked vast domestic and international condemnation – the draft laws suggested criminalizing libel and propaganda of homosexuality. Public protests resulted in Verkhovna Rada scrapping the first draft law – on criminal punishment for libel, but failed to have an impact in the case of banning the positive portrayal of homosexuality yet.

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