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Ukraine Index
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Constitutional Background

Ukraine gained independence from former Soviet Union in 1991, but concluded a cooperation agreement with Russia in 1993 in order to secure important oil shipments. Ukraine faces a stong separatist movement of the Tartars on the Krim island.

With the ratification of a new constitution in July 1996, President Leonid Kuchma won a long battle against the parliament during which he threatened to hold general elections. The new constitution provides for a constitutional court to oversee its application. The President has the right to pick the Prime Minister and the regional governors, but the parliament can veto his decisions. Presidential decrees will eventually be abolished. The President can no longer dissolve parliament. The new constitution also guarantees the much discussed right to private property. Public schools will teach minority languages and the Krim island will stay autonomous to the degree that it may draft its own constitution, albeit subject to confirmation by Ukraine's parliament. The conflict with Russia about the Black Sea fleet in Sebastopol will continue: the constitution forbids military bases for foreigners, but only lets Ukraine lease them.

Ukraine concluded the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU in 1994.

History and News

  • 28 June 1996: Constitution adopted.
  • 25 May 1996: Kutschma dismisses Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk for jeopardizing reforms and replaces him with Pavel Lazarenko, a Soviet-era collective-farm boss.
  • 10 Dec 1995: By-elections to fill 45 seats in the Parliament.
  • Oct 1995: The new currency "Grivna" replaces the old "Karbovanets".
  • 10 July 1994, Kiew: Leonid Kutschma defeats former President Krawtschuk in Presidential Elections.
  • Sep 1993: Leonid Kutschma resigns from his office as Prime Minister after the adoption of a presidential program on 'Compelling Measures for Stabilization of the Economic and Political Situation in Ukraine'.
  • Jan 1992: Plan for Urgent Economic Measures.
  • Nov 1990: Concept for Transition to Market Economy.
  • 26 April 1986: Tschernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophe.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - January 2nd, 2011 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.