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Ukraine signs the energy community accession protocol
On September 24 2010, Mr. Yuriy Boyko, Minister of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine, and Mr. Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Economy of Macedonia, in his function as the Energy Community Presidency in Office, signed a Protocol on the accession of Ukraine to the Energy Community in Skopje, Macedonia. Representing the Vice- Presidency, Mr. Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission also took part in the ceremony.
“Today’s signature signals our political will to align the principles of Ukrainian energy policy with that of the EU. I expect the Ukrainian parliament to ratify the Treaty very quickly within the coming months,” said Mr. Boyko.
“Ukraine’s accession to the Protocol is a milestone in the Energy Community process... Today we witness the deepening of the EU energy policy and extension of its borders”, said Minister Fatmir Besimi.
“I am impressed by the dynamics of the Energy Community process. Just five years ago nine Contracting Parties signed the Treaty establishing the Energy Community… Now in 2010 we are welcoming Moldova and Ukraine as new members of the Energy Community. Today’s signing ceremony adds force to the ultimate objective of creating a pan-European energy market on the ground of the EU principles and rules”, Mr. Barbaso added.
The Ministerial Council of the Energy Community approved the accession of Ukraine in December 2009. The signature of the Accession Protocol was, however, made subject to the adoption of a gas law in compliance with EU relevant rules. As a next step, the Ukrainian Parliament is expected to ratify the Treaty establishing the Energy Community as soon as possible.
As a Party to the Treaty, Ukraine has a binding obligation to implement the core EU energy law and thereby put in place a sound and transparent market structure. The alignment with the EU legal framework will, additionally, result in improved investment climate and higher financial stability. With its legal obligation to increase usage of renewable energy and energy efficiency, Ukraine will also contribute to tackling of climate change.
Ukrainians win chess gold
The men’s national chess team of Ukraine won the 39 World Chess Olympiad which was held in the Autonomous District of Khantia-Mansia, Russia. 148 teams from all over the world took part in the Olympiad which lasted from September 20 – October 3, 2010
The last match of Ukraine against Israel ended in a draw and the Ukrainians finished one point ahead of their main opponent Russia which had 18 points. Russia qualified for the silver medals. The Israelis were the third.
The Ukrainian chess team, led by GM Vasyl Ivanchuk, did not lose a single game at this Olympiad. Vasyl Ivanchuk was recognized to be the best player at the Olympiad — he won eight games out of ten he played.
It was the second time that the Ukrainian chess players won the Olympiad — the first victory was won in 2004 when the Olympiad was held in Spain.
Ukraine’s women chess team was not so lucky — the Ukrainian women chess players managed to earn only 15 points and it put them at the ninth place — a letdown compared with the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden when they won the silver medals.
The international chess olympiads are held every two years under the aegis of the World Chess Federation (FIDE — Federation Internationale des Echecs). These olympiads attract participants from very many countries of the world and are a very tough test of the chess strength of the participants. Victory at such an Olympiad greatly boosts the chess prestige of the winners.
A Friend of Thailand 2010
Oleksandr Horobets, president of the Mizhnarodny Turyzm Publishing House, is the first Ukrainian to be honored with an international Friends of Thailand Awards prize.
On September 27 2010, which happens to be the World Tourism Day, international Friends of Thailand Awards prizes — statuettes Kinnari, in the shape of a half-bird, half-woman creature as well as appreciation certificates were handed by the Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the highest ranking official of Thailand after the King, to the recipients for promoting culture and hospitality industry of the Kingdom of Thailand. The prize was instituted by the Ministry of Tourism of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (ÒÀÒ) in 1996. Prizes are awarded every two years. This year the Mizhnarodny Turyzm Magazine and its editor in chief Oleksandr Horobets were among 75 recipients of the Friends of Thailand Awards prizes from 29 countries.
Oleksandr Horobets, as editor in chief of the Mizhnarodny Turyzm Magazine and president of the Mizhnarodny Turyzm Publishing House which also publishes Welcome to Ukraine, an English-language magazine devoted to Ukrainian culture, history, traditions, politics and many other issues, has been cooperating with the Tourism Authority of Thailand for many years. His series of photographs about Thailand for articles published in Mizhnarodny Turyzm, have made a considerable contribution to the development of friendly relations between Ukraine and Thailand.
Cambridge becomes a permanent home for Ukrainian Studies
A major gift from a prominent Ukrainian businessman to the University of Cambridge has permanently endowed Western Europe’s premier program in the study of the culture and language of Ukraine.
Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, an initiative of the Department of Slavonic Studies, was launched at Cambridge in 2008. It has deepened public understanding of Ukraine and advanced fresh, innovative approaches to research on the country, which is situated at the crossroads between “East” and “West”. The initiative has been met with strong student and public interest in Great Britain and beyond.
The benefaction now makes possible to establish the permanent two key academic posts central to the Cambridge Ukrainian Studies initiative: a Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies and a Lector in Ukrainian Language. It also provides the resources for a pioneering undergraduate programme and for public events throughout the academic year.
“Cambridge will be a vibrant home for the study of Ukraine for many generations to come,” said Professor Simon Franklin, Department of Slavonic Studies, Head of the School of Arts and Humanities. “New possibilities have been opened for teaching and research at the University of Cambridge.”
In only two years, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies has become one of the liveliest centres of activity in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages.
Its courses offer undergraduates the opportunity to explore works of literature and films in the Ukrainian original, from the impressionistic prose of Mykola Khvylyovyi to the cinematic masterpieces of Oleskandr Dovzhenko.
Its postgraduate workshops, open to students through Great Britain by application, feature the foremost experts in the fields of Eastern European history and society.
“Ukraine is a fascinating country that has been understudied for far too long,” said Rory Finnin, Lecturer in Ukrainian Studies. “We are committed to seeing Ukrainian Studies grow as an exciting and diverse academic field in Europe and to contributing to this growth to the greatest extent possible.”
“The understanding of Ukraine, the studying of Ukraine on a fundamental level, is hardly ever seen in Western Europe, although it exists in North America, especially in Canada. Ukraine appears in England only when it is shaken by yet another political or economic crisis. Otherwise, it just stays away from the newspaper pages, and from people’s minds. In our opinion, it is detrimental not only to Ukraine, but to us as well,” said Professor Franklin.
According to Mr Franklin, the Ukrainian Program at Cambridge pays a lot of attention to building public awareness. The program includes the popular annual Festival of Ukrainian Films, as well as public talks and seminars on present-day Ukraine, which have been attended by the British MPs, staff of the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK, and the representatives of the BBC. Also, students learn about the works of Ukrainian artists of the 19th– 20th centuries.
“Our goal is to train a new generation of analysts and politicians, who know and understand Ukraine and realize that Ukraine is not part of Russia’s sphere of influence,” Mr Franklin emphasized.
On October 4 2010, in the city of Minsk, Belarus, the UEFA Executive Committee, led by Michel Platini, adopted the schedule of the games to be played within the Euro-2012 football championship.
15 Euro-2012 games will be played in Poland and 16 games in Ukraine. The final is to be played at the Olimpiysky Stadium in Kyiv on July 1 2012.
In Ukraine, the cities of Donetsk, Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv will host the games and in Poland Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw will be the venues of Euro-2012 games.
The Euro-2012 games are scheduled to be played between June 8 and July 1, with the semi-finals played in Warsaw on June 28 and in Donetsk on June 27.
Quarter-finals will be played in Kyiv and Donetsk in Ukraine, and in Warsaw and Gdansk in Poland.
Euro-2012 will be the last European football at which only 16 national teams will compete — the next championship, which is to be held in France, will have 24 teams competing for victory.
New terminal at Kharkiv Airport
A new terminal has been opened at Kharkiv Airport which is being reconstructed as part of the preparations for the European Football Championship Euro-2012.
The new terminal, which has cost 433 million hryvnyas to build, will serve about 2 million passengers a year, which will raise four times the overall passenger handling capacity of the airport.
The group of companies DCH from Kharkiv was the principle investor into the reconstruction. All the works at the airport is to be completed by April 2012, just in time for receiving the influx of tourists who will be coming to Ukraine to see the Euro-2012 games.
The financing of the project is done by the private investor (New Systems AM from the DCH Group) and from the State Budget of Ukraine.
A reconstructed streetcar line in Kyiv
A reconstructed section of the “fast streetcar line” was put into operation in Kyiv. The line connects the Velyka Okruzhna (Big Ring) Highway with the Vokzalna (Railroad terminal) subway station, and makes it possible for commuters to reach their destinations in a short time.
The newly reconstructed service was inaugurated by Oleksandr Popov, deputy head of the Kyiv State Administration, in the presence of Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s prime minister.
It is planned to launch 40 streetcars which will carry from 15 to 20,000 passengers an hour. The interval between the streetcar arrivals at the intermediate stations will vary from 2 to 6 minutes. The maximum speed of the streetcars will be up to 65 kilometers an hour, with an average speed of about 30 kilometers an hour. The fare is 1.50 hryvnya, which is average for such kind of public transportation in Kyiv.
Young Olympians win medals
At the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which were held in Singapore from August 14 to August 26 2010, the Ukrainian Olympic teams performed very well and won the third place in the overall team rating.
The Ukrainian team was made up of 55 young athletes who won 35 medals — 10 gold, 9 silver and 16 bronze medals, in 18 different sport events. Altogether, 3,522 young athletes whose age ranged from 14 to 18, from 204 countries of the world competed at the Olympics.
The IOC set a vision for the YOG to be an event comprising a balance of sports, culture and education. Says Serhiy Bubka, President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee: “I think that the idea to combine sports and culture at the YOG in an integrated sport and culture and education program was an unqualified success. Young athletes were enthusiastic both about the sport events they took part in and in the cultural programs. The young participants have learned a lot about other cultures. They freely socialized and made a lot of friends from different countries of the world.”
Some of the young Ukrainian athletes won several medals. Oleh Stepko, for example, won two gold and two silver medals in gymnastics; Andriy Hovorov won two gold medals in swimming events, and Daryna Zevina won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Anastasiya Spas was awarded two medals in pentathlon, Oleksandr Bondar won two medals in diving events, Anatoliy Melnyk — two medals in rowing events, and Kseniya Darchuk earned two medals in judo.
The Ukrainian Olympic Committee has awarded the Olympic victors and their coaches with money prizes which will be payed in two years in monthly installments.