Most Ukrainian politicians never miss an opportunity to flaunt ultra-expensive, glittering 'pimp watches' on their wrists.
Several years ago, during a parliamentary debate on the financial deficit in the country's education budget, one deputy suggested that everyone present should merely drop their watch into a waste-paper bin by the door when they leave the parliamentary chamber. The money collected from their sale should easily plug the budgetary hole..
They should take a lead from US President Obama, who wears a $300 watch. More here. Looks smart...The guy has class..
p.s. Russian 'Newsweek' have an interesting article entitled: "The queen of the gas pipeline", in their current edition.
They claim that that "the trigger in the gas war at the end of December was pulled by Yulia Tymoshenko", when she failed to fly to Moscow on the 31st of that month to sign fresh contracts. 'Newsweek' claim she 'phoned Putin to tell him, "Yushchenko will not let her return home, or will arrest her." As result it has practically guaranteed her victory in the next presidential election.
Details of gas contracts with Gazprom's European clients, of which there are several tens, are always keep secret. The contracts are all different: some have a discount according to volume, some have other terms, depending on individual agreements. Therefore nobody understood what Putin meant in his speech on January 19th when he said Ukraine would pay a Central European price in 2009, but with a 20% discount.
In Russia and Ukraine observers speculated for a week about what Putin and Tymoshenko agreed, but political pressure in Ukraine is such that contracts, both on delivery and on transit, could not be kept in the dark for long - they were published by many Ukrainian websites [within days]. In these contracts only the dates were written by hand. They were very detailed documents... It is impossible to write such documents even in five hours - the duration of the 19th January Putin-Tymoshenko negotiations...
Putin will be 'leading' Tymoshenko into the Ukrainian presidential chair, "Newsweek" claims. Amongst Yushchenko, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko, Moscow considers her the lesser evil in the trio.
The article provides a 'behind-the-scenes' account of how the gas crisis developed, and claims that on January 16th, Putin secretly met Tymoshenko in Dresden to fix the final deal.