Victor Yushchenko has opened a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, according to the President`s press-office.

Its participants are going to discuss the current political and social situation in Crimea and Ukraine’s 2007 budget, particularly its articles on national security.

In his speech, the President said: “Crimean policy must be particularly purposeful. Ukraine’s policy in Crimea must be consistent and efficient.”

He added that no other region in Ukraine faced as many challenges and problems as Crimea, being, for example, the only place in our country with a foreign military base.

Addressing those present, the Head of State insisted that it was vital to carry out systematic and well-coordinated policies in Crimea: “No government will be able to resolve such problems in social relations in Crimea alone.”

Mr. Yushchenko continued: “Our task is to make the factor of the Crimean Tatars stabilizing.” He said, to resolve the problem of the deported Tatars, the government “should carry out frank, public and wise policies which, on the one hand, can help create good living conditions for the banished people returning to Crimea and, on the other hand, help find ways to achieve this goal not at the expense of those who settled here fifty years ago.”

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, Acting NSDCU Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin and Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha are present at the meeting.