EU ISSUES LOAN TO UKRAINE. The EU on 25 September issued a 100 million ECU loan ($110 million) to Kyiv to help improve the country's balance of payments situation, ITAR-TASS reported. This is the second tranche of an EU credit to Ukraine for this purpose. The first installment was paid out in November 1996.

RUSSIA, UKRAINE DISCUSS TRANSDNIESTR REGION. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov and his Ukrainian counterpart, Boris Gudyma, met in Moscow on 25 September to discuss how to advance the dialogue between Chisinau and Tiraspol, ITAR-TASS reported. The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that Russia and Ukraine fundamentally agree on how to settle the conflict between the breakaway Transdniestr region and Moldova. The statement said that Moscow and Kyiv believe in "granting a special status to the region on condition of observing the principle of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova."