Victor Yushchenko has laid out specific areas of focus for the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, according to the President`s press-office.  They include:

formulating a strategy of national security, based on the understanding of long-term national interests, objective geopolitical and geoeconomic processes and Ukraine’s optimal place in the modern world;

formulating a new military doctrine, guaranteeing Ukraine’s security and helping it address challenges. (The President said his position on the issue was in the National Unity Pact);

supporting the military industry (“We need a concept to develop the military industry to preserve its reputation in the market and help it conquer new markets. This is a principal task for the NSDCU,” he said.);

ensuring that the work of intelligence services is focused on the protection of national interests;

resolving economic problems (“It is impossible to guarantee security without proper development of the economy and profound reforms,” he said, urging the Council to build a competitive economy.);

fighting corruption (“Corruption is our major challenge for the national economy,” he said. Mr. Yushchenko believes law enforcement agencies should work out a national program to fight corruption and submit it to the Verkhovna Rada. “The Council will support the efforts of the Verkhovna Rada and government, and encourage political and public forces to join efforts,” he said.);

minimizing energy threats (“Our common goal is to set the country free from any political energy pressure,” he said. The President said it was important to be a reliable transporter of energy, diversify energy supplies, introduce energy efficiency and resume the sales of energy. He believes Ukraine should also find new consumers of its energy, use the Odesa-Brody oil pipeline and build gas pipelines in Ukraine.);

ensuring Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic progress and promoting Ukraine as a real regional leader. (“I am convinced our political dialogue and understanding will result in a consolidated foreign political course,” he said.).

Victor Yushchenko said the National Security and Defense Council must protect national interests. He said the Law on the Fundamentals of National Security defined national security as “the protection of vital human and civil interests by ensuring social development, detecting, minimizing or preventing real and potential threats.”

“I think such a task, such an interpretation of the law requires patriotic feelings from the people sitting at this table now,” he said.

The President called on those present to leave political and business interests “behind the doors of this room.”

“Here, we are discussing only national interests and I will demand this,” he said.

Then he introduced Vitaly Haiduk, the newly appointed secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.

“I hope that the experience of Vitaly Haiduk as a person that worked in many sectors of the national economy and in the government and has connections in political and business circles of Ukraine will help strengthen the Council,” he said.