President Viktor Yushchenko notes a paramount importance of the work on Chornobyl recovery efforts, an unprecedented nuclear catastrophe that occurred 23 years ago.

"Chornobyl remains one of the most acute problems of Ukraine inherited from the Soviet Union times," Yushchenko  addressed at the meeting of the Assembly of Donors of the Chornobyl Shelter Fund and Nuclear Safety Account in Kyiv yesterday, according to Ukrinform.

According to the Head of State, Ukraine annually earmarks UAH 1 billion from the state budget for the disaster recovery, which is more than health care spending.

V. Yushchenko noted that Ukraine has clearly and responsibly fulfilled its obligations to shut down the Chornobyl NPP. Realization of the Chornobyl Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) started 12 years ago with the help of the international community. Around EUR 897 million is already collected and EUR 850 million is today used.

The President expressed gratitude to all countries - depositors of the Chornobyl Shelter Fund and Nuclear Safety Account. Yushchenko hailed a decision of the EBRD to join implementation of the Chornobyl projects in the status of not only the administrator of funds, but the financial donor. For its turn, Yushchenko emphasized, Ukraine confirms its intention to continue a solidary participation in filling the Chornobyl Shelter Fund and Nuclear Safety Account.

The Ukrainian President reminded that Ukraine has recently done a lot to improve safety at the Chornobyl NPP. However, he is concerned about delay in transforming the Chornobyl NPP into the environmentally sound system.

V. Yushchenko also reminded that the Shelter facility, according to expert estimates, currently has more than 150 tons of fuel from the damaged power generating unit #4. He voiced confidence that the whole world clearly realizes that the Chornobyl NPP reactor #4 is a monster posing deadly threat not only to Ukraine, but the whole international community.

The Head of State believes that additional common financial efforts of the donor countries, hard and responsible work of contracting companies are needed for successful implementation of international projects at the Chornobyl NPP.


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