LUZHKOV SAYS MOSCOW WILL PROVIDE TEXTBOOKS FOR RUSSIANS ABROAD. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov announced on 13 October that the Moscow city government will provide Russian-language textbooks for Russian-speaking students in Estonia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, ITAR-TASS reported. The textbooks will also be sent to schools in Sevastopol, the Crimean port where the Black Sea Fleet is based. Russia renounced all territorial claims against Ukraine when Yeltsin signed a treaty with his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, in May. Luzhkov was an outspoken critic of that treaty and has repeatedly declared that Sevastopol was, is, and will remain a Russian city.
BELARUSIAN COURT FINES TWO DEMONSTRATORS. A Minsk court on 13 October fined Pavel Serinets and Yevgeniy Skochko $10 each for taking part in the 12 October demonstration, at which an effigy of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka was burned, Interfax reported. Meanwhile, speaking at the opening of a hospital established near Minsk to treat victims of the Chernobyl accident, Lukashenka praised Austria for its assistance in setting up the facility and chided Russia and Ukraine for not doing more, Belarusian media reported.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT THREATENS TO VETO ELECTION LAW. Leonid Kuchma will veto the election law passed by the parliament in September unless lawmakers make small changes to bring the bill into line with the constitution, Interfax reported on 13 October, quoting presidential administration chief Yevhen Kushmaryov told . Kuchma has until 16 October to sign the bill if the parliament modifies it or veto the measure if it does not.