Only a government that doesn’t just promise but also deals with ripe and even “overripe” burning social issues can be called the efficient one. The last week was marked by two absolutely unprecedented decisions that required political will and have to be supported. First, the Crimean Parliament agreed to allocate land to build a mosque in the Crimean peninsula. There has been a dispute over the area in question since 2004, but only now has the issue been resolved. Second, the government decided to launch the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline in the direct mode. It should be noted that both the president and the government obviously realized that Russia has a special opinion concerning this issue, and might disapprove of this step. With the pipeline working in direct mode Ukraine’s image as a reliable transit country will improve in the eyes of foreign investors. Moreover, the domestic oil transportation system will be more loaded and bring additional revenue to the national budget, and will reinforce the energy security of Ukraine.
THE QUESTION CONCERNING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE MOSQUE IN THE CRIMEA HAS BEEN FINALLY RESOLVED
During the city council session the Head of the ARC Council of Ministers Vasyl Dzharty told deputies: “The question concerning the construction of the mosque is politically loaded and we have to stop it.” The deputies then voted for the permission to start working out a land management project to lease an area of 2.7 hectares, located at 22 Yaltynska Street, Simferopol. Back in 2004 the city council of Simferopol approved the allocation of this area to the Spiritual Board of Crimean Muslims. However, shortly afterwards the deputies refused to lease it. It turned out that two years earlier the city council had already leased this area and had given permission to a developer.
Last August this question was raised during a meeting on Crimean development prospects, organized in Simferopol by the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who instructed Dzharty to examine and solve this problem. All the details of this tangled story were discussed during his meeting with the President of the Crimean Tatars World Congress Refat Chubarov and with the MP, the Head of the Crimean Tatars Majlis Mustafa Dzhemiliov. Taking into account the importance of the question about leasing the area for the mosque construction, Dzharty attended the session of the city council and encouraged the deputies to support the draft decision. The city council deputies also approved the decision on allocating land for building houses for repatriates.
Chubarov told The Day that “this long-standing problem was resolved because the relations between the government and the Majlis entered a new stage and that both sides had moved from suspicion and confrontation to dialog and cooperation. Dialog is always more efficient than conflicts…”
“It’s clear that the city council wouldn’t have approved this decision without Vasyl Dzharty’s personal fundamental position!” the head of the Majlis public relations department Ali Khamzyn told The Day. According to him, the head of the Crimean Council of Ministers “taught the deputies and all the inhabitants of Crimea a lesson on political culture and tolerance.”
As we know, during the dialog between Dzharty and the representatives of the Crimean Tatars they planned decisions on other long-standing problems. The Council of Ministers and the Majlis came up with a conclusion to the effect that the unauthorized land acquisitions, so common in Crimea, should be stopped. Now both sides are taking actions to eliminate the violations of the law. The local authorities have passed a decision on an urgent land allocation for repatriates. Dzharty claimed that the phenomenon of unauthorized land acquisitions will disappear in the Crimea.
“THE ODESA-BRODY OIL PIPELINE HAS BECOME A COMPENSATORY PROJECT FOR UKRAINE”
Oleksandr TODIICHUK, the President of the Kyiv International Energy Q-Club, board member of the Alliance “New Energy of Ukraine”:
“The bad myth that Ukraine will never dare launch the alternative stream Odesa-Brody, popular among the experts in recent years, has been disproved. Finally, after long years of preparations, negotiations and coordination came to an end and work has started.
“It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of Odesa-Brody working in direct mode. This project is extremely important for the whole Ukrainian oil transportation system. Until today it has fallen on hard times: during the last two years Ukraine lost significant amounts in terms of oil transit. Domestic pipelines are now loaded at less than 25 percent of their capacity, which means they are barely turning a profit. However, it could have been even worse. As we now, Russia is finishing the construction of its Baltic Pipeline-2, which will take up to 60 million tons of oil from the European pipeline Friendship. It means that Ukraine will lose more oil. Without the Odesa-Brody pipeline the amount of oil transported by Ukrtransnafta would be insufficient to make profits, and it would become bankrupt. Besides, Caspian oil can become an alternative source for domestic petroleum refineries. In its turn, this will increase the profitability of the Ukrainian oil-processing sector that, to put it mildly, isn’t in a very good condition.
“Odesa-Brody has become for Ukraine a compensatory project, preserving not only the Belarusian pipes, as emphasized by the experts, but also the domestic oil transit system. Moreover, we hope that with the launch of Odesa-Brody in direct mode we will encourage the Poles to extend the pipeline from Brody to Plotsk, which is the next stage in the Ukrainian alternative transportation corridor.
“Demand for a new Ukrainian oil artery can be confirmed on the example of Azerbaijan. The latter transports near two million tons of oil through the Bosporus and the Adriatic to the Kralupy petroleum refinery in the Czech Republic. The Odesa-Brody route is much shorter and can save three dollars per ton of oil for Azerbaijan. If Ukraine proves itself to be a reliable transit country, Azerbaijan will certainly become a client of the domestic transportation system.”