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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Ukraine Fears USSR May be Revived

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers failed to make a decision concerning Ukraine's participation in the United Economic Area which is to be made up by Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Varely Khoroshkovsky, the Ukraine Minister for Economy and European Integration said at a press-conference that the government would consider documents concerning creation of the United Economic Area in a week. He added that the project raised several objections; what is more the documents the government got for consideration disagree with the Constitution of Ukraine, the international agreements and with "the strategy of Ukraine's European choice".

The Justice Minister of Ukraine Alexander Lavrinovich supports the opinion. He thinks that a great number of norms fixed in the documents concerning creation of the United Economic Area "disagree with the legislation and the constitution of Ukraine"; that is why each item of the documents requires thorough study. The Supreme Rada Profile Committee for European Integration is against the project of the United Economic Area for the same reasons. The committee suggested it would be reasonable to appeal to the president of Ukraine and offer him to reject signing of the document.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, when the government of Ukraine had its session, the building of the Cabinet of Ministers was picketed by supporters of the right-wing parties. The people waved slogans blaming Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma for turning the Ukrainian people into Asians; they also demanded that First Vice-premier Azarov who developed the documents concerning the United Economic Area must resign. The right-wing parties are particularly anxious about the fact that in the framework of the United Economic Area supranational governmental authorities are to be created.

Member of the Our Ukraine faction, Roman Zvarych says the project of the United Economic Area creation is "treason to Ukraine" and "reanimation of the Soviet Union". Under these conditions, the Cabinet of Ministers thinks it’s better not make haste about the idea. Valery Khoroshkovsky said as cited by the Ukrainskiye Vesti news agency: "It was decided to work on the document more thoroughly, to take into account all recommendations of the Economy Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Justice. The main decision achieved is that the problem will be considered once again in a week."

It is expected that within this week the ministries of Ukraine will make important suggestions to understand what amendments the documents on the United Economic Area require.

The parliament will listen to the governmental information about the idea of the United Economic Area next week. The documents on creation of the area are to be signed on September 18-19 at a summit in Yalta; however it is not clear whether work on the documents will be completed by the moment. First Vice-premier Nikolay Azarov, the head of the group developing the documents is now in Mexico with an official visit; the official is dealing with the WTO problems. The first vice-premier is not participating in the polemics concerning Ukraine's joining the United Economic Area. But Nikolay Azarov has voiced his arguments on the problem some time ago.

At the end of August the first vice-premier met with diplomats and explained that main objective of the United Economic Area was "to remove the barriers thus speeding up development of the economies" that participate in the project. Nikolay Azarov says that as a result of participation in the United Economic Area Ukraine's GDP will considerably increase.