NEWSBRIEFS FROM UKRAINE
- HUNGARY - Chief Consul Andras Paldi and Ukrainian Foreign Minister
Anatoliy Zlenko signed papers to establish diplomatic relations. As the
Hungarian consulate in Kiev was upgraded to an embassy, Hungary became
the first to establish full diplomatic relations with Ukraine. It also
recognized the Russian Federation, which may mean the cancellation of Prime
Minister Jozef Antall's scheduled trip to sign the Soviet-Hungarian Treaty
in Moscow. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
- POLAND - Special envoy Jerzy Kozakiewicz formalized Poland's recognition
of Ukraine on December 3. President Lech Walesa sent a telegram to President
Leonid Kravchuk which said that "further cooperation between the two
countries will benefit the whole of Europe." Poland's Foreign Minister
said that Ukrainian disarmament is very important to Poland.
However, Mr. Walesa phoned Mikhail Gorbachev on December
14 to tell him that he "supported Gorbachev's ideas of reforming the
union," according to the Polish President's press secretary. Mr. Walesa
reportedly told Mr. Gorbachev it is "dangerous to break the Union's
ties in a revolutionary way after having been together for 70 years...If
this good idea of yours is rejected, it must end tragically." (RFE/RL
- ROMANIA - Although the Foreign Ministry said that it is ready to establish
diplomatic relations as soon as possible, the Romanian territories are
still a "highly sensitive issue for public opinion in Romania."
On December 3, the Romanian press reported that the Romanian government
urged Ukraine to enter into negotiations on the question of northern Bukovyna,
Hertsa district, Hotin county and southern Bessarabia, in which the republic
of Moldova would "unquestionably" participate. The government
did acknowledge Ukraine's "inalienable right to self-determination"
and said it greeted "Ukraine's independence with sympathy."
In reaction to Romania's claims, Anatoliy Zlenko, Ukraine's
Foreign Minister, who was on his way to Romania for an official visit,
turned back. He was to have established diplomatic relations and concluded
a treaty of friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation. (RFE/RL Daily
- MOSCOW - In a telegram of congratulations that Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev sent to Leonid Kravchuk, he included his hopes for close cooperation
and understanding in "the formation of a union of sovereign states."
As TASS reported on December 3, Mr. Gorbachev's press secretary,
Andrei Grachev, had repeated Mr. Gorbachev's earlier statement that the
outcome of the referendum should not be taken as tantamount to the desire
for secession from the union. He said that if the referendum question had
been differently formulated, there would have been a different result.
He said that a new political union is "totally realistic"
and that the referendum vote "provides additional freedom of activity"
for Ukraine's participation in the union.
Vitaliy Churkin, USSR Ministry of External Relations spokesman
said at a press conference that the ministry agrees with Mr. Gorbachev
that the referendum vote does not mean that Ukraine is "automatically"
separated from the Soviet Union.
Mr. Gorbachev made another appeal to the remaining republics
not to leave the union because this would bring the threat of war and be
a catastrophe for the world. He made no direct reference to Ukraine, but
did sound more urgent than in his previous appeals. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
- KIEV - There will be a summit in Minsk of leaders of Ukraine, Russia
and Belarus on December 7, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko told
journalists. The participants will discuss international problems and future
foreign policy. Mr. Zlenko said that Ukraine's first priority is relations
with Russia. He added that President George Bush had been the first to
call President Leonid Kravchuk and congratulate him on his election and
the referendum vote.
Mr. Kravchuk said that he will discuss an economic union,
possibly with Russia, but based in Kiev or Minsk, not Moscow.
Mr. Yeltsin's trip was planned before the referendum, and
takes on a further significance now that Mr. Kravchuk, president of a new
country, will be there, said Belarusian parliamentary opposition leader
Zyanon Paznyak, who lamented Belarusian leaders' recent tendency to "follow
Russia's tail." He said he hoped that eventually there would be a
cooperative union of the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine. (RFE/RL Daily
- BRUSSELS - NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner issued a statement
on December 3 that Western allies expect Ukraine to sort out its relations
with remaining republics peacefully; to commit itself to a non-nuclear
policy; to adhere to the nonproliferation treaty; and to respect other
international agreements such as human rights and European borders. (RFE/RL
- ST. PETERSBURG - Mayor Anatoliy Sobchak decried "the threat of
forced Ukrainianization" in Crimea, but later conceded that the Russian
language was permitted there. He said that Russia would "immediately
raise territorial claims" if Ukraine refused to join a new political
union, and that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine is especially threatening
because of the nuclear arms on their territories. He said that there would
be no problems if Ukraine remained within the union, but if it seceded,
Russia would reclaim "numerous Russian provinces" that were "given"
to Ukraine. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
- KIEV - Ukraine will supply Bulgaria with electric power again, Western
agencies reported on November 6. Ukraine insisted on direct trade with
Bulgaria rather than going through existing agreements with Moscow, said
Minister of Foreign Trade Atanas Paparizov on November 7 on Bulgarian Radio.
Bulgaria will deliver raw materials and industrial goods
in exchange for the 450 million kilowatt hours that it will receive through
the end of the year. The Bulgarian Radio said that the rationing of power
supplies, with cuts in one of every four hours, would be discontinued that
day. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
- KIEV - A statement criticizing the central media of the former USSR
was issued by the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Council on November
6. They charged the mass media with disseminating material discrediting
the Ukrainian Parliament and government; instigating inter-ethnic hostility;
employing scare tactics regarding political and economic chaos in connection
with Ukrainian independence; and facilitating rumours about an exchange
of nuclear strikes between Ukraine and Russia. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
- BONN - After disarmament experts from the German and French Foreign
Ministries returned from a trip to Kiev, German officials reported on November
21 that Ukraine is refusing to join the Soviet ratification of the Conventional
Forces in Europe agreement. Because Ukraine wants to dissociate itself
from the USSR, authorities said that they will abide by the USSR's arms
commitments, but will ratify the conventional forces agreement on their
own, rather than voting on the issue in the Supreme Soviet's Council on
Republics. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
- ROMPRES - The head of Romania's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Teoctist,
called on the Romanian government to negotiate the return of northern Bukovina
and southern Bessarabia from Ukraine. Romania's government has made no
statements, but on November 19 Romanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Traian
Chebeleu said that the government "recognizes that these are stolen
Romanian territories. The only question is how the reparations should be
made," western agencies reported. (RFE/RL Daily Report)
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December
8, 1991, No. 49, Vol. LIX
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