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NEW REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER TO OPEN IN KIEV, UKRAINE

Release Date: 12/13/99
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FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, DEC. 13, 1999
NEW REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER
TO OPEN IN KIEV, UKRAINE

U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma signed an agreement on Dec. 8 calling for the development of a new Regional Environmental Center in Kiev, Ukraine. The goal of the center will be to provide an independent, non-governmental, non-profit institution that will assist in solving environmental problems and increase environmental awareness regionally, as well as in Ukraine. EPA has led the negotiations for the United States on the development of the new center. EPA and other organizations will provide startup grants and training, facilitate the exchange of beneficial information on environmental issues and encourage networking with environmental experts. The center will work closely with national Ukrainian agencies, local governments, the business community and citizen and environmental organizations to foster strong cooperation among environmental stakeholders. Plans for the Kiev center are modeled on the 10-year-old Regional Environmental Center in Budapest. Additional centers will be established in four other former Soviet Union states, Moldova, the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia. The United States is working in cooperation with the European Union to establish these centers. EPA has allocated funds to assist in the development of the Kiev center and the four forthcoming centers. The Kiev center, like the Budapest center, will be directed by a multinational independent board which will be established in 2000. Further information is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/oiamount/envcent.htm.

R-148 ###