Ukraine Goes All Out To Increase Cooperation With Europe, Detains Chairman of Emergency Service
Saying that exports to Europe compensated for the decline of Ukrainian trade with Russian Federation, European authorities confirmed their commitment to increase cooperation with Kiev.
“We decided to step up our support to Kiev” Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, stated during his speech in the Parliament on Wednesday.
Tusk said that Brussels is ready to take additional measures against Russia. On another point, he noted that European authorities are also working to stabilise North Africa and to promote stronger economic ties with the US - he wished for a quick convergence on the TTIP, noting it should be clinched by the end of the year.
He also said that the European Commission is working on legislation about energy negotiations carried out by a member state and a third country. He said he legislation should be proposed “soon”.
Also on Wednesday, the European Commission published its European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) reports, explaining that EU funding to Ukraine amounted to €365 million in 2014. The report adds that the country also received €1.360 billion in macro-financial assistance loans in loans.
‘Unfolding events made it difficult to pre-identify the focus of EU assistance to Ukraine over several years; this is why, for the time being, EU assistance is committed in the form of annual special measures’ reads the report, which also asked for a fight against corruption.
A few hours later, the Government of Ukraine said that the country will start investigation on Serhii Bochkovsky, Chairman of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and his first deputy Vasyl Stoyetsky.
“The investigation must be public to an extent as is allowed under the criminal procedure law," Arseniy Yatsenyu commented, adding that Kiev worked with American and European authorities to keep track of financial transactions.
The Cabinet of Ministers informed Bochkovsky and Stoyetsky they ere suspected of organisation of criminal schemes and transferring funds through offshore companies.
"The Ukrainian Government has given clear and strict instructions to ensure the true fight against corruption within the country," Yatsenyuk commented in another press release.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Naftogaz said it hopes to sign a temporary gas agreement with Russia, not explaining when the parts could reach a compromise. The “Winter Package” expires at the end of March.
“Gas from the EU is currently offered at a lower price than gas from Russia, so from a commercial point of view, it makes more sense to source imports from Europe. That being said, if we can negotiate a satisfactory deal with Gazprom that makes Russian gas financially attractive to us, then we will be interested to source our gas from there as well. From a Naftogaz perspective, any decision we take is based purely on commercial principles” CEO Andriy Kobolyev said as reported on Naftogaz’ website.
On the other hand, Gazprom did not comment on the issue focusing on luring foreign investors. According to the Russian company, it will ‘extend the relations with American and European investors,’ while focusing on the Asia-Pacific.
‘Gazprom considers a possibility to broaden its presence in the major Asia-Pacific stock exchanges’ the Board reported on Tuesday.