U.S. offers Ukraine $17.7 million in humanitarian aid: White House

Ukraine/EU/U.S. - In BAM with Trust

Ukraine/EU/U.S. – In BAM We Trust

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday about the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and offered an additional $17.7 million in aid for essentials like food, shelter and water, the White House said.

Biden and Poroshenko discussed Ukraine’s reform efforts, the White House said in a statement.

“The vice president welcomed the appointment of a new head of the anti-corruption bureau and encouraged the further implementation of rule of law reforms, including anti-trust measures and judicial reform,” the White House said.

The White House says Vice President Joe Biden informed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the new assistance in a telephone call Monday.

The two men are welcoming efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe to seek a permanent ceasefire in areas still experiencing fighting. Both are calling on Russia to abide by earlier agreements and stop moving troops along the Russia-Ukraine border.

The call came as U.S. and Ukraine troops kicked off joint training exercises intended to help bolster Ukraine’s defenses against incursions from the Russian-backed separatists in the east.

Ukraine says it aims to prevent Russian “attacks” at WW2 commemorations

This guy is an idiot. He was Nuland’s favorite for Prime Minister, and got the job. Chancellor Merkel adores him. He was stupid enough to accuse the USSR of having invaded Germany and Ukraine during WW2. Now, you figure it out why Ukraine has a Nazi government. Yes, NAZI.

KIEV(Reuters) – Ukraine is planning an operation involving tens of thousands of police to guard against any attack by separatists or Russian agents during World War Two commemorations next month, security chiefs said on Tuesday.

Tension is mounting in the capital and other cities amid an increase in rebel attacks in the east. Kiev said one Ukrainian serviceman had been killed in the past 24 hours, in an attack near the airport in Donetsk. The airport fell to the rebels earlier this year.

The killings in Kiev of two pro-Russian activists, a journalist, by what appeared to be professional hitmen, have further driven up tension in the run-up to May 8-9 celebrations of victory in 1945, which traditionally bring thousands of people on to the streets.

Ukraine, along with most European Union members and the United States, is boycotting festivities in Moscow marking 70 years since the allied victory over Nazi Germany, because of Moscow’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine in which more than 6,100 people have been killed.

But it will hold victory celebrations of its own in Kiev and other cities.

“We cannot trust the word of Russia and their terrorists at all. We must be ready to give a clear, appropriate and strong reply to protect people on the streets, provide warnings of terrorist attacks and bring those guilty of crimes to justice,” Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told security chiefs.

Calling for heightened security measures, particularly in large cities, Yatseniuk said Russia was spending a lot of money on financing networks to stir up trouble.

“We are fighting a state which has planned dozens of terrorist acts and we must do all we can to head them off. Social, political and ideological detribalization — that’s the aim of Russia.” he said.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said 10,000 guards were ensuring security at 3,300 of the most sensitive facilities in the country, including nuclear power stations.

A total of 20,000 extra security and police would be drafted in for the May festivities. “We are ready to ensure calm,” he said.

Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, speaking of the situation in the east, said “terrorist threats” were growing and protection of arms and military equipment arsenals and depots would be stepped up.

(Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Roche) –

 

Ukraine claims Russian military column has entered east of country

Tanks, howitzer artillery systems and trucks carrying ammunition and fighters in column, says military…

 A rebel tank being repaired in Starobeshevo in Donetsk. Ukraine says Russian tanks and trucks have entered the country. Photograph: Petr Shelomovskiy/Demotix/Corbis

A rebel tank being repaired in Starobeshevo in Donetsk. Ukraine says Russian tanks and trucks have entered the country. Photograph: Petr Shelomovskiy/Demotix/Corbis

 

A column of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer artillery systems and trucks carrying ammunition and fighters has crossed into eastern Ukraine from Russia, the Kiev military said on Friday.

“The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the frontlines,” spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing referring to Thursday’s cross-border incursion.

NATO said it has seen an increase in Russian troops and equipment along the Ukraine border was looking into the reports. “We are aware of the reports of Russian troops and tanks crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia,” a NATO military officer told Reuters. “If this crossing into Ukraine is confirmed it would be further evidence of Russia’s aggression and direct involvement in stabilising Ukraine.”

But NATO “forgot” to mention that the Ukrainian president, the chocolate billionaire Petro Poroshenko, has promised to use full force until all separatists have been destroyed. He has now vowed to strengthen the military crackdown, making it faster and more efficient.

Mr. Poroshenko’s latest declaration of war alerted the leadership of the Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk of his new planed genocide in Eastern Ukraine, and the help of Russia to the leadership of the Republics to prevent another gruelsome massacre of civilians and self-defense forces in the east.

The so-called report of a new Russian movement of armour across the border follows a charge on Thursday by the leadership of the two Republics that the Kiev regime forces had launched a new offensive – which Kiev, as usual, immediately denied.

Shelling by the Ukrainian army following orders from Poroshenko and “Yats”  have continued even when a cease-fire was still in effect, with more civilians killed, including children,  in a conflict that has cost more than 4,000 lives.

The ceasefire was broken by Kiev multiple times, forcing the leadership of the Republics to accept another cease-fire,  a game used by Poroshenko to make believe he wants peace with the pro-independence leadership in East Ukraine after the leaders held elections in the “people’s republics” last Sunday.

The parliamentary elections in Kiev have not changed anything. Mr. Poroshenko, faithful to his US masters, wants to destroy the self-defence forces as well as the civilians in east ukraine, and peace in the two regions is not in the US/NATO war agenda.

“Supplies of military equipment and enemy fighters from the Russian Federation are continuing,” Lysenko said. He added that five Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and 16 wounded in the past 24 hours despite the “ceasefire” that didn’t exist since a few weeks ago when the shelling by the Ukrainian army started again. .

Fifteen civilians were wounded by shrapnel in Donetsk, the mayor’s office said, in a night of shelling in two neighbourhoods near the ruins of the airport, where government troops are holding out.

Some 150 mourners later attended an emotional memorial service in the city for two teenage boys killed when a shell hit a school playing field on Wednesday. Kiev blamed the pro-independence rebels for the incident.

Claims of fresh troop movements are reinforcing fears of a return to all-out fighting.

Poroshenko, said this week that the rushed elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which the Kiev government and EU had declared illegal, had violated the September peace accord. He said the votes – which the rebel leaders claimed gave them a mandate to negotiate directly with Kiev – had “torpedoed” an offer of autonomy for the east and ordered troops to reinforce frontline cities.

But Mr. Poroshenko withdrew the offer for “autonomy” long before the elections in Donetsk and Luhansk. And the date chosen for the elections in the Republics doesn’t violate the Minsk agreement.

A Kremlin adviser said on Friday that Russia was committed to the two-month-old agreement and wanted further talks held to build on peace moves involving government forces and the pro-independence leadership.

Foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov also said Russia respected the will of voters after the elections, but following western criticism of Moscow’s stance on Sunday’s vote, he said he had deliberately chosen the word “respect” rather than “recognise”.

The elections have been condemned by the U.S., E.U., and Ukraine, erroneously, for violating the September Minsk agreementa truce between the rebels and the Ukrainian governmentwhich stipulated that “early local elections in accordance with the Law of Ukraine” would be held in rebel territories. The Ukrainian government had scheduled those elections for December 7.

The Donetsk and Luhansk leadership said that the elections were entirely legal under the provisions of the Minsk agreement. “It was said there [in the Minsk protocol] that we have the right to hold our own elections. The date was not specified,” Zakharchenko said on Sunday, RIA Novosti reports. It is abundantly evident that the Ukrainians had no plan for how exactly “early local elections in accordance with the Law of Ukraine” could possibly be held in rebel territory, just like it is also painfully clear that the government has no plan for how that territory will ever be re-integrated into the rest of the country.

Meanwhile,  elected Prime Minister of Donetsk, Alexander Zaharchenko, issued a statement on Thursday, saying he did not to rule out full-scale conflict re-igniting between separatists in eastern Ukraine and Kiev, warning that “a period of very heavy military action is approaching”, referring to Proshenko’s threats he will destroy all the pro-independence fighters.  “We are going to take Slaviansk and Krematorsk and Mariopol. Sadly this has not been conveyed successfully in a peaceful way. The ceasefire is observed only by our side,” he told a press conference.

Newspapers and magazines in Europe have continued with their venomous attacks on Russian and the pro-independence leadership in Donetsk and Luhansk in East Ukraine. The entire “reports” were designed to dispel doubts about the legality of the elections  the people of the two regions held on Sunday in which they elected  Alexander Zakharchenko as Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

An article published in Der Spiegel, the writer erroneously claimed that “the Russian television has also been peddling the idea that radicals somehow prevailed in the Oct. 26 vote — despite the fact that the opposite is true. The fact is that the right-wing extremist parties didn’t even clear the five-percent hurdle necessary to gain seats in parliament. This is not true.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that “Russia is ready to recognize parliament elections in Ukraine, but is very concerned with two radical parties getting into the Ukrainian parliament,”  he said in an interview with LifeNews channel.

“Elections did indeed take place, even though not across all of Ukrainian territory,” Lavrov told Life News and Izvestiya newspaper. “I think Russia will recognize the election results — it is very important to us that Ukraine will finally get a government, which is not focused on internal conflict or ‘dragging’ the country towards east or west divide, but instead work on how to facilitate unity in the country.”

However, promotion of certain radical elements into Ukraine’s parliament (the Verkhovna Rada), such as the Svoboda Party and Radical Party, remains a serious concern, Lavrov said.

The Svoboda Party’s platform is based on principles that stand in solidarity with Hitler’s ideology in Europe, he said, adding that EU has turned away from the party due to its radicalism in the past.

“The EU protested against the Svoboda Party joining the ranks of Rada back in 2012, rightly referring to it as ultranationalist … Brussels called on other political forces not to cooperate precisely because of the party’s views.”

He added that Poroshenko has repeatedly confirmed his commitments to the Minsk treaty and firmly declared that he will not allow the military scenario to repeat. Avoiding another outbreak of violence is the top priority right now, Lavrov said.

Lavrov also highlighted that upcoming elections on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics will prove to be very important in terms of legitimizing the Ukrainian government, as they were outlined in the Minsk protocol.

“We believe that this is one of the most important Minsk agreements. We are assuming that the elections will be carried out as discussed and we will of course recognize the results,” Lavrov said.

 

 

 

 

Poroshenko considers canceling law on special local governance of Donbass

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (RIA Novosti/Nikolay Lazarenko)

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (RIA Novosti/Nikolay Lazarenko)

 

RT news

Ukraine may abolish its law on special local governance in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, President Petro Poroshenko announced on Monday. The measure will be discussed at a meeting with the National Security Council, called by the president for Tuesday.

In his address to the nation, the Ukrainian president said that Kiev stays true to the Minsk protocol, but has to make amendments to the special status law, which was approved by the parliament on September 16.

Ukraine is ready to adopt a new law on decentralization of power “if all sides get back to observance of the Minsk protocol,” Poroshenko said.

The protocol was approved in the Belarusian capital on September 5, with Kiev authorities and Donetsk and Lugansk militias agreeing on a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The contact group in Minsk agreed on other key issues, including the exchange of war prisoners and humanitarian aid access to the conflict zone.

The document on special local governance in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, signed by Poroshenko last month, outlined “temporary order of local government in certain districts,” and suggested local elections in the districts to be scheduled for December.

Prime Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, casting his vote. RIA Novosti / Aleksey Kudenko

Prime Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, casting his vote. RIA Novosti / Aleksey Kudenko

The self-proclaimed people’s republics carried out elections this weekend. According to the vote’s final results, incumbent PM Aleksandr Zakharchenko won Sunday’s elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, taking some 75 percent of the votes. In Lugansk, 63 percent voted for the current leader, Igor Plotnitsky.

In his address, Poroshenko said Ukraine did not recognize the elections in the regions, calling it a “farce at gunpoint” and a “terrible event that has nothing in common with the real expression of the people’s will.”

The vote “brutally violates” the Minsk agreements, Poroshenko stated, adding that the vote threatened to disrupt the peace process in the area.

Representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions have said they abide by the Minsk protocol and are ready to continue their dialogue with Kiev, should its officials “act in a sensible way.”

Ukraine held its early parliamentary elections on October 26. Moscow recognized the results of both votes.

Earlier in October, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the law giving special status to troubled regions in eastern Ukraine was “not perfect,” but might be used to finally stabilize the situation in the area.

Perhaps it’s not a perfect document, but it’s a step in the right direction, and we hope it will be used in complete resolution of security problems,” Putin said after closed-door talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Milan.

Breaking news Poroshenko: Ukraine, Russia fail to reach agreement on gas dispute

‘Difficult, full of disagreements’: No breakthrough in Milan talks on Ukraine crisis

(L to R) France's President Francois Hollande, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko sit during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. (Reuters/Daniel Dal Zennaro)

(L to R) France’s President Francois Hollande, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko sit during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. (Reuters/Daniel Dal Zennaro)

RT news

Published: October 17, 2014

The talks on the Ukrainian crisis, where the presidents of Russia and Ukraine have met with their European counterparts, have resulted in “no breakthrough,” according to Chancellor Merkel, but were still labeled “positive” by most participants.

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine met on Friday morning in Milan on the sidelines of the summit of Asian and European leaders in Italy. They were joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

I cannot see a breakthrough here at all so far,” Merkel said after the meeting, according to Reuters.

We will continue to talk,” she added. “There was progress on some details, but the main issue is continued violations of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”  – Ms Merkel’s favorite song lyrics.

A political solution to the conflict in Ukraine has not yet been found, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy commented on the talks and urged both Russia and Ukraine to follow through on the peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus at the beginning of September.

What we agreed was the protocol of Minsk on the ceasefire, and the peace plan is of crucial importance,” Rompuy said. “We have to implement this. This would guarantee again a future for Ukraine. So implementation, implementation, implementation — those are the key words.”

 

 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has so far been laconic in his assessment of the talks’ outcome.

It was good, it was positive,” the smiling president told reporters after the event, Reuters reported.

It was Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who eventually elaborated on the negotiations, describing them as “difficult” ones.

The negotiations are really difficult, full of disagreements, full of misunderstandings,” Peskov said. “Nevertheless they are still taking place. There’s an exchange of opinions.

The participants have discussed in detail the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Peskov said.

Unfortunately, some of the breakfast participants demonstrated their complete reluctance to understand the real situation in the southeast of Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko complained to Austria’s chancellor Werner Faymann later in the day, that the morning talks did not leave him hopeful about achieving a breakthrough in the crisis.

Unfortunately, I am not very optimistic,” Reuters cited Poroshenko as saying.

(L to R) Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron talk during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Dal Zennaro/Pool (ITALY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4AJ1R

(L to R) Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron talk during a meeting on the sidelines of a Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan October 17, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Dal Zennaro/Pool (ITALY – Tags: POLITICS) – RTR4AJ1R

Other European leaders, who participated in the talks, seemed to be more encouraged by their outcome. “Positive” has been the most frequently used definition.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who hosted the meeting said he was “really positive” after it, although he also acknowledged “a lot of differences” remained.

It was a very positive meeting,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to AFP. “Vladimir Putin said very clearly that he doesn’t want a frozen conflict and he doesn’t want a divided Ukraine.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko had one more meeting later in the day trying to resolve the crisis. This time they were only accompanied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko had one more meeting later in the day in an effort to resolve the crisis.

Putin was once again concise, commenting on the outcome.

The results of the talks are good,” he told journalists when he left the negotiations room, TASS reported.

Petro Poroshenko announced that the meeting had resulted in a preliminary agreement on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.

British MP: West Should Not Make False Threats Against Russia

West and US should not make false threats against Russia in taking an unrealistic position on possible military action in Ukraine, British MP said

West and US should not make false threats against Russia in taking an unrealistic position on possible military action in Ukraine, British MP said

WASHINGTON, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – The West and the United States should not make false threats against Russia in taking an unrealistic position on possible military action in Ukraine, Liam Fox, conservative MP in Great Britain and former UK Defense Minister, stated Tuesday.

“I think it’s very important not to pretend that you can or will do things that you clearly won’t,” Fox stated. “Making false threats, I think, is a big problem. We have to look at different ways of dealing with the Ukrainian situation.”

In late August, President Barack Obama stated that the US was “not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem.”

In his visit to Washington last week, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko requested lethal military assistance, which the White House declined.

Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s seven-point peace plan for Ukraine is based on the premise that there is no military solution for the country’s challenges.

Fox noted that there are four key questions to ask before seriously threatening military action, the first being the question of what the intended outcome would be.

“Number two, could such an outcome be engineered? Number three, could we possibly engineer it? And number four, how much of the outcome do we want to own?”

“I find in Ukraine it is very difficult to answer those questions,” the British MP concluded.

 

Breaking News: Huge blast devastates munitions factory in Ukraine’s rebel-held Donetsk (VIDEO)

RT news
Published time: September 20, 2014 13:51
Edited time: September 20, 2014 10:47

 Screenshot from youtube.com/channel/UCcGOu_GgCra6B0DLggzTk8w


Screenshot from youtube.com/channel/UCcGOu_GgCra6B0DLggzTk8w

A powerful explosion occurred at a military plant in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk after a shell hit it. A fire is now ravaging the damaged facility.

The plant was used for producing explosives and ammunition as well as for dismantling unexploded munitions collected on the battlefields. On Saturday morning, residents of the war-torn city heard a powerful blast, which was followed by a huge cloud of white smoke rising into the sky.

 

 
 

A neighborhood official told Ukrainian 112 television that a shell hit the plant.

“There was a direct hit at the No 47 industrial explosives shop, where some explosives were present. It detonated and caused another explosion. Luckily it didn’t hit the main storage facility where we have some 2.5 tons of explosives,” said Ivan Prikhod’ko, deputy chair of the local community council.

He added that while the incident caused considerable damage, nobody was hurt. The plant itself was not working at the time, so no one was there. Also, it was built far from any residential areas specifically for safety purposes.

 
 

 
 
As the fire continued, smaller explosions could be heard, presumably from shells detonating in the fire, RIA Novosti reported.

There is no verified report about what kind of weapon hit the plant. But there are rumors of it being targeted by a Tochka-U tactical missile launched by Kiev’s troops.

“According to our information, three Tochka-U missiles were fired and there you have it,” a militia member who identified himself as codename ‘Scorpio’ told RT. He added that the area around the plant was considered dangerous lately because both the rebels and their opponents could shell it.

Donetsk saw sporadic shelling overnight.

 
 

 
 

The incident mars Friday’s signing of an extended ceasefire deal between Kiev and rebel forces, which hopes to put an end to hostilities in eastern Ukraine. The deal includes pulling back all heavy weapons from cities and frontlines.

The blast happened just as a Russian humanitarian aid convoy was unloading elsewhere in the city. Some 200 trucks carrying 2,000 tons of aid crossed the border earlier on Saturday.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s Major Decisions in Office

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree dissolving the country’s parliament

 

MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) – As Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is marking Sunday his first 100 days in office, the nation is looking back at what has been done so far.

He took the post of Ukraine’s fifth president with firm intentions to integrate Ukraine with Europe and NATO, bring back Crimea, and become a strong rival to Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the eyes of his Western allies. However, the cordial welcome Poroshenko received from the West has so far failed to net him any tangible financial aid.

EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT

On June 27, President Petro Poroshenko signed the economic part of the EU Association Agreement at the EU summit in Brussels. The agreement is designed to gradually bring Ukraine and the EU closer together on the basis of common values, promote trade and economic relations, and enhance cooperation in upholding freedom, justice, and security.

The economic component is the top priority, in particular the provision on the Ukraine-EU free trade area, which will ensure the gradual integration of the Ukrainian economy into the EU internal market. The agreement also outlines principles of cooperation in a number of areas, such as energy, industrial policy, entrepreneurship, taxation, and tourism, as well as the procedures for granting EU financial assistance to Ukraine.

AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION

On June 26, Poroshenko submitted to parliament draft amendments to the Constitution that would decentralize power by replacing local state administration with elected district councils and executive committees. The president would appoint an envoy to each district or region, and local authorities would have the right to grant special status to Russian and other languages within their administrative borders, though what this status involves is not explained.

Poroshenko also proposed enshrining in the Constitution the concept of “the parliamentary opposition” and abrogating the imperative mandate. He wants to give the prime minister the right to submit to parliament nominees for the positions of defense and foreign minister, and to authorize the president to dismiss the prosecutor general and the head of the Ukrainian Security Service without the approval of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.

PEACE PLAN FOR SOUTHEAST

On June 20, Poroshenko signed an executive order on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s Southeast as part of a process that would last from 10 p.m. (18:00 GMT) on June 20 to 10 p.m. on June 27, 2014.

The plan consists of 15 steps and provides security guarantees to all participants in the talks, including the release of hostages and amnesty for those who have laid down arms and have not committed serious crimes.

EARLY ELECTIONS TO VERKHOVNA RADA

On August 27, Poroshenko signed an executive order dissolving the Rada, with early elections scheduled for October 26. He has spoken repeatedly on the need for early elections, because in his view the current Rada does not reflect the political attitudes of Ukrainian society.

ENDING BENEFITS FOR OFFICIALS

On August 4, Poroshenko rescinded a number of resolutions from 1992 to 2010 on material support and security for top government officials. Resolution № 977/2014 of August 4, 2014 declassifies and rescinds resolutions on services and security for Ukraine’s former Prime Ministers Viktor Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov, Viktor Yushchenko, Yevhen Marchyuk, Pavlo Lazarenko, Valeriy Pustovoitenko, Vitaliy Masol and Anatoliy Kinakh.

The resolution of May 17, 2006, providing a life-long stipend as well as financial, medical, transportation and other services to former Rada Speaker Volodymyr Litvin, was also rescinded, and benefits were canceled for the former head of the National Bank Vladimir Stelmakh, former Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko and the former head of the Supreme Court Vasyl Malyarenko.

On August 4, Poroshenko also signed an executive order ending benefits for army and internal service generals, as well as councilors in justice that were dismissed upon completion of their service. They will no longer receive stipends and the transportation and medical services they were entitled to in their government positions, or free stays at health resorts.

On August 1, Poroshenko ended benefits for residents of elite neighborhoods in the suburbs of Kiev. About 40 million hryvnyas had been spent on them every year.

REFORMING GAS TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

On September 8, the media reported that Poroshenko signed a law on reforming Ukraine”s gas transportation system (GTS). The law retains state ownership of the GTS and underground depots but allows specially created companies to run them.

FOREIGN POLICY

According to experts, no Ukrainian president has been in such close personal contact with world leaders as Poroshenko. According to his official website, from the moment of his inauguration to September 11, Poroshenko has spoken by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel 32 times; US Vice President Joe Biden 15 times; President Vladimir Putin 10 times; French President Francois Hollande 9 times; Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko 4 times; President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso 3 times; British Prime Minister David Cameron 2 times and US President Barack Obama 2 times.

On August 26, Poroshenko held talks with the presidents of the Customs Union countries – Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan) and Alexander Lukashenko (Belarus) – which were also attended by EU officials. Putin and Poroshenko held a bilateral meeting.

On August 30, Poroshenko traveled to Brussels where he met with Barroso, Merkel, Cameron, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Finnish Prime Minister Alex Stubb, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.

On September 4, Poroshenko took part in the NATO summit in Wales and held meetings with five G7 leaders on the sidelines: Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Renzi and Hollande. He also had a separate conversation with President Obama.