Victor Yushchenko introduced Security Service Head Igor Drizhchany to his staff. President said he was convinced that together with his colleagues the newly-appointed head would implement all tasks the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) was currently facing.

The Head of State urged those present not to “trade in information and become politically engaged.”

Commenting on the past eight months of SSU performance, Yushchenko reminded all that corruption was still the biggest problem in the country.

“The fight against bribery and corruption was one of the points in my program. This is my election program, so I would demand its execution,” said Yushchenko. He emphasized that “law enforcement agencies, which should be coordinated by the Security Service, should work particularly hard to achieve results.”

President said the fight against corruption was “being leveled and politically gambled.”

“I am convinced that you should not earn political dividends on that,” said the Head of State. He also stressed that each statement about corruption among high state officials should be meticulously investigated. Yushchenko assured those present “nobody will put pressure on the Security Service.” 

President ordered a special committee to investigate all recent corruption allegations to “respond adequately to these facts.”

He asked all to make the people trust in governmental institutions: “We are speaking about controversial cases that have not been brought into court yet. We are speaking about the Gongadze Case and the Alexandrov case.”

The Head of State also said it was necessary to more efficiently investigate economic crimes.

“We are still living in the country where 40-45% of the national economy is black. I cannot say there are great achievements in this area. Only 6-7 % of willing businessmen agreed to work legally,” noted the President.

He said the dialogue with businessmen had been resumed. “But that is not the merit of the Security Service,” he stressed.

In his speech, Yushchenko broached the subject of smuggling, human trafficking, drug-dealing and illegal migration.

“For the past eight months, we have not changed the situation radically. I cannot compliment the SSU for developing a road map that would help customs officers and border services to radically change the situation,” he stressed.     

He also touched on the subject of illegal interception of telephone conversations.

“I cannot understand why the SSU bugs 3.5 thousand citizens, using only 42 facts in court trials. Don’t you think that information is mostly used to fulfill other purposes?” asked the President.

He also broached the subject of separatism and election fraud. President noted that separatism had almost been “neglected” while the fraud was being quite successfully investigated.

“We have done much. The 2006 election will be fair. When I was meeting with OSCE representatives, I asked them to keep monitoring Ukraine this year and next year during the campaign,” stressed Yushchenko.


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