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Crimean News No16 *


The imported gasoline**

News of the Mejlis

"Aksakals" (Elders) have acted "on behalf of the people"

Attention for the deported

The gas pipeline

Analytic Files

Fuel crisis


The imported gasoline**

The fuel market of Crimea has become more stable. Seven thousand tons of fuel came to Crimea from Azerbaijan as a result of an agreement between President of Ukraine and Government of Azerbaijan. Last Tuesday a tanker with 30 thousand tons of fuel came from Greece. According to the agreement between the Crimean Government and the Russian "Lukoil" Fuel Company, Crimea will receive four thousand tons every month. Crimean Government agreed with fuel suppliers that they will keep the price of the fuel 10 percent lower than in Ukraine.

Interfax-Ukraine, newspaper "Krymskie Izvestiya" ("Crimean News"), No148 (1899), 29 July 1999, p. 2.

News of the Mejlis

On July 24 there was a meeting in Istanbul between the Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People Mustafa Dzhemilev and heads of various Crimean Tatar organizations in USA, Turkey, Romania, Germany and Ukraine. The participants discussed the situation of the Tatars who returned back to Crimea .

"Aksakals" (Elders) have acted "on behalf of the people"

Bahchisaray regional court accepted the application of representatives of the Council of Aksakals (Elders) which demanded the protection of their honor and dignity. This application claims that during the meeting in Bahchisaray, on May 17 Ilmi Umerov "insulted" them "in front of many people" by calling the "Council of Aksakals" (Elders), the "Council of Akshakals" (White Jackals). Applicants said that member of Mejlis and Chairman of the Bahchisaray regional Mejlis I.Umerov violated some articles of Criminal Code of Ukraine and asked for compensation for moral damage in the amount of $3000. Leontiy Sheketa, Head of Bahchisaray Regional Administration has been called as a witness. The "Council of Aksakals" created by L.Gratch, was intended to be an opponent of the Mejlis. Unfortunately for the Council of Aksakals, the Mejlis has many supporters while the Council of Elders has few.

Lentara Khalilovs, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No31 (298) 30July 1999, p. 1.

Attention for the deported

On July 28 there was a meeting between the Chairman of the Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) of Crimea Leonid Gratch and the Coordinator of the UN Crimea Development and Integration Program Merlin Udho. The subject of the meeting was the social and economical problems of formerly deported Crimean Tatars. The Chairman stated that $2.3 million will be allocated in the budget for these problems in the year 2000. Merlin Udho suggested the formation of a "round table" with the participation of UN, Ukrainian Government, and the Council of Crimean Tatar Representatives. L.Gratch supported this idea provided that the "round table" will include all formerly deported people - Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Germans, Bulgarians, and Armenians.

G.Mamiko, newspaper "Krymskie Izvestiya" ("Crimean News"), No148 (1899), 29 July 1999, p. 1.

Our comment.

Leonid Gratch, in all his meetings with state figures of Ukraine, diplomats and representatives of international organizations, never mentions the Mejlis. As Speaker of the Crimean Parliament and Head of the Crimean Communist Party, the Mejlis is his only opposition in Crimea.

The gas pipeline

Another section of the gas pipeline Dzankoy-Feodosia-Kerch has been completed. Construction workers have finished the 230th kilometer of the pipeline.

"Krymskaya Gazeta" ("Crimean Newspaper"), No139 (15753), 31 July 1999, p. 8.

Analytic Files

Fuel crisis

In July of 1999 Ukraine was undergoing a fuel crisis. A Ukrainian agency called Interfax announced on July 20 that the price of gasoline in Crimea was $1 per litter. Valeriy Belik, First Deputy of the Agriculture of Crimea called the situation with fuel a "nightmare". According to him, out of the 162 thousand tons of diesel fuel that Crimea was predicted to receive that year, only 44.7 thousand tons arrived, and instead of receiving the much needed 60 thousand tons of gasoline, it only received 13 thousand tons. The question is, could we have foreseen this crisis and taken preventive measures?

As Mikhail Chechetov, Deputy Minister of the Economy said in during a press-conference in Kiev, "practically all fuel supplies in the Ukrainian market have been depleted". Ukraine has only been supplied with 5-6% of fuel that it received during this period last year. This so-called July terror was not unexpected. Some analysts have predicted this crisis, but the government was deaf.

The main reason for this crisis is probably the increase of world prices for fuel. Another reason is the devaluation of Grivna (Ukrainian money). After August 17 last year the value of Ukrainian money, according to USD, dropped to only half of its previous value within a month. Did the fuel market react adequately? What is the situation now?

Fortunately, the President of Ukraine signed agreements with Azerbaijan (which will provide Ukraine with 500 thousand tons of diesel fuel) and Greece (800 thousand tons of diesel fuel and 200 thousand tons of petrol). The first ships with fuel from Azerbaijan and Greece have already arrived in Odessa and Feodosia. In few days the situation will normalize, and the prices will be closer to those in Europe.

V.Darg, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No31 (298) 30 July 1999, p. 2.

** More you can read in our analytic file called "Fuel crisis: payment for devaluation?".

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