UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT AGAIN FACES IMPEACHMENT BID. A group of deputies on 17 September launched a campaign to initiate impeachment proceedings against Leonid Kuchma, whom they accuse of compromising Ukraine's independence. Members of the Ukrainian Republican Party and an informal grouping of lawmakers called Nation and State signed the resolution calling for Kuchma's ouster. They point to deals with Russia on the division of the former Soviet Black Sea fleet as compromising the country's independence. Some two weeks earlier, a parliamentary committee urged Kuchma's impeachment over his refusal to sign a law on local government after lawmakers had twice overruled his veto. Observers say this latest impeachment bid is unlikely to succeed.
DAEWOO SIGNS DEAL WITH UKRAINIAN CAR PLANT. South Korea's Daewoo Group on 17 September signed a deal creating a joint venture with Ukrainian car maker Avtozaz. The venture, which will also involve the U.S. company General Motors, is to produce 255,000 cars a year, half of which will be for export and the other half for the domestic market. Some $1.3 billion will be invested over the next six years to modernize the Avtozaz plant in Zaporizhia, increase production capacity, and build a sales and service network in Ukraine. An Avtozaz official told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that Daewoo will put up half of the venture's $300 million starting capital, and the 85 percent state-owned Avtozaz will offer the other half in property. The Daewoo Corp. also has factories in Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic.
TWELVE KILLED IN BOSNIAN HELICOPTER CRASH. NATO peacekeepers on 18 September began to recover the bodies of 12 people killed when a UN helicopter crashed the previous day into a remote mountain in central Bosnia in heavy fog. The helicopter's four-man Ukrainian crew survived the crash. Among the dead are German diplomat Gerd Wagner, who was a deputy to Carlos Westendorp, the international community's chief representative in Bosnia. Westendorp said that Wagner was one of many dedicated foreigners who had sacrificed much time and effort to help bring peace to Bosnia.