UKRAINIAN PREMIER PREDICTS GROWTH. Pavlo Lazarenko, who is currently on an official visit to Canada, has predicted slight growth in Ukraine's gross domestic product and lower inflation in1997. Lazarenko told journalists in Ottawa on 13 June that he expected Ukraine's inflation not to exceed 11-12% this year. He said GDP growth for the year should be about 1%, compared with a 10% drop in 1996. RFE/RL's correspondent in Ottawa reported that a large part of Lazarenko's trip is aimed at "damage control." The premier is anxious to reassure potential investors that Ukraine is determined to implement economic reforms and to deal with corruption in government. Foreign investors in Ukraine have complained about corruption and bureaucratic interference in their business dealings.
POLAND DETAINS A RECORD NUMBER OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Polish border guards on 13 June detained 46 Sri Lankan nationals trying to enter Poland illegally from Ukraine. The PAP news agency quoted a border guard official as saying the illegal immigrants were found huddled in a Ukrainian truck in a secret compartment covered with bags of corn. The official said a growing number of mostly Asian illegal immigrants traveling westward have been detained in Poland over the past few months. Meanwhile, Hungarian Defense Minister Gyoergy Kaleti is due to begin a three-day official visit to Poland on 16 June.