Victor Yushchenko has met with Victor Baloha, Ukraine’s Emergency Minister, Yuriy Nedashkivsky, Energoatom President, and Serhiy Parashyn, Head of the Chornobyl Zone Administration, President's press office reported.

They spoke about Chornobyl issues and particularly discussed ways to construct a new safe shelter. The President said he hoped it would be built by 2010 if the government conducted a tender on time.

Yushchenko also said it was important to rationally use the polluted Chornobyl zone. He reminded those present that the state had spent USD 25 mln since the time of the accident to help the victims and deal with its devastating aftermath and added that Ukraine had managed to make its nuclear power plants safer.

The Chief of State said it was incumbent on the government to decide how the zone will be used in the future and suggested that they formulate national and international programs to develop the territory. He reiterated that all these issues should be publicly and transparently discussed.

The participants of the meeting also spoke about ceremonies to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster and particularly a conference “The Twenty Years of Chornobyl: Looking into the Future,” which will be held in Kyiv on April 24-26.


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