Victor Yushchenko met with Crimea’s Speaker Anatoly Hrytsenko and Prime Minister Viktor Plakyda, president's press office reported.

They spoke about the autonomous republic’s achievements in 2006 and its social and economic problems.

The Crimean leaders assured the President there were almost no land seizures now. They said they would allot enough land to the Tatar minority. Plakyda said his government had built “normal” relations with Crimea’s national minorities. He added that they were all represented in government and could protect the interests of their communities.

Speaking about how to create jobs for the deported Tatars, Hrytsenko said the Crimean authorities were implementing many infrastructure projects (hotels, roads, etc.), which should help boost employment in the republic. Yushchenko promised to lobby bills encouraging construction of hotels and entertainment complexes in Crimea through the Verkhovna Rada.

They spoke about education, especially how to build new schools. The President suggested that they open offices of Ukraine’s biggest universities, such as Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Taras Shevchenko University, Ostrog Academy and Kyiv Mohyla Academy, in Crimea.

They also discussed the Kosa Tuzla issue.

Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Bondar was present at the meeting.


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