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Опубликовано в библиотеке: 2021-12-07
Источник: Politics and the Times 2003-12-31

Ukraine & India: Bilateral Cooperation in the 21st c

Oleh Semenets, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Republic of India

* * *

Those, who professionally study India, know: any theme, dedicated to this ancient cradle of world civilization and a country with population of 1bn, needs at least a thick folio, in order to dwell upon all its aspects. And what is more, realizing, that about India in general and about Ukrainian-Indian relations specifically there is a great lot of printed matter, perhaps, we would rather go about political relations of Ukraine with India in the interval between the 11th and 12th independence anniversaries of our country, as well as about other aspects of bilateral relations, first of all in the field of economy and scientific and technical cooperation in this, to say the least of it, year of no small importance for two friendly countries.

The period immediately following the celebrations of the 11th Independence Day of Ukraine was one of the most responsible for the personnel of Ukrainian Embassy in the Republic of India: the laborious preparation was under way on the eve of the prominent event in Ukrainian-Indian relations-the state visit of President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. This was not simply an important visit, but a momentous event preceded by almost eight years of sluggish development of bilateral relations, stagnation, caused by objective factors (young Ukraine was still in the making on the world arena, attempting to find its "place under the sun", understand "who is who" among friends and competitors) and, partially, by subjective ones. Therefore the main task was to bring the Ukrainian-Indian relations on qualitatively higher level.

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The State Visit of President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma to India on October 2-5, 2002 following the invitation of President of Republic of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam became the really crucial event in the Ukrainian-Indian relations of the past decade, which the President of Ukraine himself named a breakthrough visit.

During his visit to India the President of Ukraine was accompanied by the high-rank governmental delegation. Meanwhile in the framework of this visit President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma met and conducted negotiations with the majority of representatives of the political and national elite of India, namely: President of the Republic of India APJ Abdul Kalam, who was a missile specialist like the President of Ukraine; Premier of the Republic of India Atal Vajpayee; Vice-President, Head of the Rajya Sabha or the Council of States (the upper house of Indian Parliament) B. S. Shekhavat; Vice Premier of the Republic of India Lal Krishna Advani; Speaker of the Lok Sabha or House of the People (the lower house of Indian Parliament) M. Joshi; Foreign Secretary of the Republic of India Jashwant Singh; Minister of the Development of Human Resources, Science and Technologies of India M. M. Joshi and others.

All meetings and negotiations were conducted in the warm atmosphere honoring the decade of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and India and renewing of Ukrainian- Indian partnership. Major international issues were discussed, commonness of treatment of key questions of international policy underlined and lack of disagreements in matters of principle stated.

The parties emphasized that they share the opinion that the new world order should be just, honest, impartial and be based on principles of democracy, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference into internal affairs and other basic principles of the UNO. The parties also decisively condemned international terrorism in all its manifestations and stressed the necessity of vigorously rooting up this ugly modern phenomenon. Ukraine also confirmed its support for normalization of Indian- Pakistani relations by the way of bilateral dialog on the foundations of Shimla Agreement (1972) and Lahore Declaration (1999).

During the negotiations there were heard repeated confirmations of traditionally friendly character of Ukrainian-Indian intergovernmental relations, deep experience of mutually beneficial cooperation, and also opinions about the necessity to bring up all spectrums of bilateral relations between our countries to the proper level.

The leaders of two states noted with satisfaction the renewal in 2002 of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Indian Commission on industrial technical, scientific, economic, trade and cultural cooperation, which gathered for the last time in 1994, and the meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Indian Business Council.

They underlined, that now Ukraine and India, which had closely cooperated in various industries still at the times of the FSU, had considerable perspectives of continuation of this cooperation in Indian power engineering, electric mains construction, metallurgical and by-product-coking industries, infrastructure development, high-tech industries, joint exploration and peaceful use of space, militarily-technical cooperation etc.

The Indian side expressed interest

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in the development of interbank relations with Ukraine and energizing investment activity, return to the use of Odesa sea port as gates for the access of Indian goods to countries of East and Central Europe

The Indian leaders stated that their country support Ukraine on its way to the World Trade Organization membership and signed the corresponding Protocol on admission to commodities markets and services between Ukraine and India.

The Parties consented, that further expansion and improvement of contract and legal basis between two countries should become the effective energizer of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and India. A number of intergovernmental agreements signed during the visit of the head of Ukrainian state to India contributed to this end, namely: about trade navigation, about mutual legal aid in investigation of criminal cases, about extradition, as well as Memorandum about mutual understanding between Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Confederation of Indian Industry.

In such a way the main overall political results of official visit of President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma to India including renewing of bilateral political dialog on the highest level, inauguration of a new stage in the Ukrainian-Indian relations, as well as determination of perspective areas of deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukraine and India in political, trade-economic, militarily-technical industries, scientific and technical, and humanitarian.

To be candid, and this is not an overstatement, that before the presidential aircraft left air space of India, the Embassy already became thoroughly engrossed in the work intended to realize agreements reached during the visit. First of all, this was the matter of our trade and economic relations, because President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma repeatedly and on different occasions stressed the pressing need of economization of foreign-policy activity.

Moreover President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma pays big attention to the development of bilateral cooperation of Ukraine with India, which in the nearest future may become the most important partner of Ukraine in South Asia. This was proved during the conference held by the President of Ukraine this past March with the Ministry on cooperation questions between Ukraine and India, and his corresponding instructions to the government, intended to expand bilateral cooperation.

On the one hand, there is a recent uptrend in the trade and economic relations between Ukraine and India: according to Indian statistics, in 2001-2002 fiscal year the commodity circulation between Ukraine and India grew almost 24% and made USD248m, and in 2002-2003-16% and reached USD288.5m. The debit balance increase is also of benefit to Ukraine, which in 2002-2003 fiscal years made USD100m and more.

Ukraine is the second best in commodity circulation with India among CIS countries, leaving behind the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

However, it is quite evident, that despite positive tendencies in commodity circulation with India, which, by the way, coincided with the positive tendencies in political relations between two countries, these results can not be considered satisfactory.

We have to deal now with the

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gigantic potential, which we should fully use to the benefit of both nations and for their progress. By its geopolitical and demographic parameters India is the continent by itself, the economic power of which is rising with the time.

One should bear in mind, that still during the times of cooperation of FSU with India the Ukrainian enterprises took active part in creation of the metallurgical industry of India, power engineering and mining machines manufacturing, medical instrument- making, realization of geological survey works, electric power stations construction, creation of Indian armed forces. However, today, under conditions of market economy and intensive international competition, this glorious past grants Ukrainian enterprises no automatic access to desired contracts.

That is why the Embassy does what it can to help Ukrainian enterprises, which plan to be a party to global tenders for reconstruction and building of industrial projects in India, supply equipment and spare parts for different branches of Indian industry; the Embassy spares no efforts to promote Ukrainian enterprises in different branches of Indian economy and be a confident player on Indian market. At the same time we should underline, that it is up to enterprises themselves in the first place.

Today one of the most perspective lines of cooperation of our states in economic sphere is joint participation of Ukrainian and Indian companies in reconstruction of by-product coke plants and blast-furnace production of the Indian industrial complexes.

In order to manage this direction they created the international consortium in Ukraine, which has own sufficient financial, scientific and technical possibilities for independent participation in modernization projects. The Ministry of Economics and Foreign Ministry helped to create the consortium under the Ministry of Industrial Policy which includes Ukrainian producers of by-product coke engineering (Design and Planning Institute Diprocoks, Slavvazhmash Public Corporation, Construction Firm UkrAsiaBud, Corporation Industrialny Soyuz Donbasu, Ukrprommash Public Corporation, Foreign Economic Corporation Vazhmash-Impeks, banking and financial structures, as well as foreign associated members).

The Ukrainian Consortium Ukrindustriya was awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the coke-oven battery of Rourkela Steel Plant which demonstrated the potential of Ukrainian producers to work on their own on the Indian market.

The success of Ukrainian by-product-coking industry entering the market riveted interest to the Consortium Ukrindustriya on the part of private companies, which are planning to build coke-oven batteries on their enterprises.

The NKMZ Public Corporation, the domestic maker of machinery for metallurgy combines, is also very active on Indian market. The enterprise went on well delivering forming rolls for Indian metallurgy combines and snapping off a considerable share of the market that in August of 2002 led to the antidumping investigation against the NKMZ. This action is a part of the policy of the Indian government intended "to protect and back national commodity producer", which has been recently realized under the government of Atal Vajpayee and which is the only possibility for the noncompetitive Indian production to retain the domestic market.

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The Foreign Economic Corporation Vazhmash-Impeks together with the NKMZ Public Corporation won the contract of the Neyveli Brown Coal Corporation (NLC) for the delivery of four walking excavators and conveyors (guiding price USD4.0m).

Power engineering is another perspective branch of Ukrainian-Indian economic cooperation. The Turboatom Stock Company (Kharkiv) was awarded a contract; now it is working together with Indian Nuclear Power Corporation to deliver four turbines together with generators for the nuclear power-stations Kaiga and Rajasthan, and to modernize operating equipment on objects of Indian power engineering.

The Ukrainian-Indian trade-economic cooperation is better-off now due to regular meetings of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Indian Commission for scientific, industrial, trade, economic, technical and cultural cooperation, the last sitting of which took place in the late July 2003; the participants discussed the ways of further cooperation of two countries in many branches, created a kind of the "road map" of our future bilateral cooperation in many branches. At the same time there was the scheduled meeting of the Joint Ukrainian-Indian Business Council. The exchange of delegations between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ukraine and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Confederation of Indian Industry, business forums that contribute to better understanding among businesspersons of Ukraine and India began to work on a regular basis.

In their turn the Indian businesspersons open up Ukraine for their enterprises. Everybody knows, that India supplies into Ukraine medical preparations, tea, and coffee; however, a few people know, that one third of beer is produced in Ukraine by the transnational company SAN-Interbrew with mainly Indian capital. In the towns and villages of Ukraine one can see comfortable busses Etalon manufactured together by Ukraine and India. The Kyivites visit the Metrohrad Emporium, certain Kyiv hotels built with Indian investments.

However the cooperation of Ukraine and India does not and should not stop working beyond the limits of, say, of some branches of metallurgy, power engineering or trade. Ukraine always prided on the achievements of its scientists, which are to occupy the deserved place in cooperation of Ukraine and India, one of the acknowledged world leaders in information industry and in the development of various newest technologies.

Now Ukrainian and Indian scientists hold over fifteen contracts together in the field of scientific research. On March 3-6, 2003 in Hyderabad the Ukrainian exhibition took place showing achievements of powder metallurgy and new materials, which proved the interest of Indian party to more active cooperation with Ukraine, primarily in newest technologies for machine-building, metallurgy, chemical industry, and to the development of cooperation in the sphere of high technologies (information and biotechnologies).

This exhibition became a kind of prelude to the well organized Third Meeting of the Ukrainian-Indian Committee for Cooperation in Science and Technology in Kyiv taking place this past June

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17-20, 2003. During the meeting the Ukrainian and Indian scientists agreed to improve legal basis for contracts in bilateral scientific and technical cooperation, discussed present-day problems and perspective of cooperation expansion, also including determination of mega-projects in the sphere of information technologies, biotechnologies, medicine, science of materials on the basis of the Hyderabad Research Centre, Days of Science and Technology of Ukraine and India, specifically, Days of Science and Technology of Ukraine in India in 2004.

The Indian delegation had a chance to visit the Presidium of NAS of Ukraine and a number of leading academic research institutes in Kyiv, share its own experience in the transfer of technologies and their manufacturing application and creation of appropriate centers.

During this meeting they signed the Agreement between the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Indian National Academy of Sciences, and discussed matters connected with the preparation of the visit of Minister of the Development of Human Resources, Science and Technologies of India M. M. Joshi.

The Ukrainian-Indian contacts in the sphere of joint exploration and peaceful use of space begin to gradually liven up

Following the instructions of the President of Ukraine the political dialog between Ukraine and India grows deeper, which determines the level of relations between states and without which it is more complicated to develop other cooperation directions. Political consultations between foreign-policy ministries of Ukraine and India are to become more regular from now on. The last such consultations with participation of the then Deputy State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine O. Motsyk and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of India Shashank took place in April 2003.

Following the agreements reached during the visit of the President of Ukraine to India the then Foreign Minister of Ukraine A. Zlenko visited India this past August. This was the most important event on the eve of national holidays of two countries-Twelfth Anniversary of Ukrainian Independence and Fifty-sixth Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of India.

The Ukrainian minister discussed the contemporary state and ways of further improvement of Ukrainian-Indian cooperation in political, trade-economic, scientific and technical, humanitarian-educational and other spheres.

Within the framework of his visit A. Zlenko met with Vice Premier, Minister of Internal Affairs of India Lal Krishna Advani, Minister of Defense of India George Fernandes, and conducted Ukrainian-Indian negotiations with Foreign Minister of India Jashwant Singh. During these meetings and negotiations the parties underlined the importance of the visit of the President of Ukraine to India for the renewal of mutually beneficial active relations between Ukraine and India.

In the sphere of international relations the parties noted the coincidence of views of the settlement of main current problems on the basis of universal principles of UNO, assignment of greater weight to this organization, positions concerning its reformation and accounting for the new threats and challenges. The parties reiterated their positions condemning terrorism in any form, supported the idea of international legal principles of

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effective control of this negative phenomenon and illegal drugs and arms traffic, as well as discussed prospects of bilateral cooperation in this direction, exchanged views of the situation in the region of South Asia, postwar rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan, peaceful solution of the Near East problem.

In the sphere of trade and economy the parties agreed to take successive measures and increase volumes of bilateral commodity circulation, back its doubling in the short time, changes of its structure building up science intensive and high-tech production.

The considerable attention was paid to discussing the Free Trade Agreement issues between Ukraine and India.

In scientific and technical sphere they discussed Indian suggestion of joint development and transfer of contemporary technologies and commercialization of this process.

With Minister of Defense of India Mr. George Fernandes A. Zlenko discussed the ways of deepening bilateral cooperation in the sphere of defense.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and India signed the Agreement about cooperation in travel industry and Agreement about mutual keeping secret information, as well as Protocols about exchange of instruments of ratification of the Agreement about promotion and mutual protection of investments and Agreement about mutual legal assistance in criminal cases.

A. Zlenko took part in the Ukrainian-Indian Business Forum together with business representatives of Ukraine which accompanied him during his visit. During the Forum there was a presentation of economic, scientific and technical possibilities of Ukraine. The Members of Ukrainian business delegation conducted negotiations with Indian partners concerning the establishment of direct business contacts.

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine lectured to the Indian Council for World Affairs on "Ukraine-India: the renewed partnership in the new millennium", eagerly answered numerous questions of the friendly and interested audience.

As the Ambassador of Ukraine to India, I take pleasure in the fact that already a few days after the return of Minister of Foreign Affairs A. Zlenko into Ukraine there were celebrations of the Fifty-sixth Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of India on Khreshchatyk Street. Those festivities were attended by five thousands members of Indian business and student community, representatives of Ukrainian public. Minister of Foreign Affairs A. Zlenko delivered a speech. And, they say, the holiday was crowned with a salute.

I mentioned only the major events, which took place in Ukrainian-Indian relations from the Eleventh to Twelfth Anniversaries of the Independence of Ukraine. However, one should note, that for the level of measures and their importance this period was the most intensive in the history of bilateral Ukrainian-Indian relations since 1992.

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© Oleh Semenets () Источник: Politics and the Times 2003-12-31

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