UKRAINE CRITICIZES EU FOR DELAYS IN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. President Leonid Kuchma on 28 July criticized the EU for "unfair delays in providing assistance" to help boost Ukraine's struggling economy. Kuchma spoke to journalists in Kyiv after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, who arrived for a two-day official visit. Kuchma said European countries have demanded too many conditions in exchange for financial assistance, including the closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and the elimination of Ukraine's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. He said the U.S. has surpassed the EU in investments and financial assistance to Ukraine. The Ukrainian government owes workers and pensioners the equivalent of some $2.5 billion in back wages and subsidies. Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko told journalists on 28 July that Ukraine will try to pay off the backlog within four months.