UKRAINE HOPES FOR BETTER TRADE TERMS WITHIN CIS. Nikolai Doroshenko, a senior official in the presidential administration, said on 20 October that Kyiv hopes the upcoming CIS summit in Chisinau will resolve trade problems within that organization, InterfaxUkraine reported. But Doroshenko noted that Kyiv is not satisfied with many provisions of the documents drafted for that meeting. He also criticized the emergence of the four-member customs union. Meanwhile, Mikhail Shmakov, the leader of the Russian independent trade union federation, told Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma that he hoped "integration ties" between Russia and Ukraine will be revived, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 October. In other news, the IMF began a review of its standby loan for Ukraine because Kyiv has not kept to the monthly budget deficit ceiling.

CHORNOBYL DRIVERS STAGE PROTEST IN UKRAINIAN CAPITAL. Some 50 truck drivers who work in the "dead zone" around the troubled Chornobyl nuclear power plant staged a protest in Kyiv on 20 October to demand payment of wage arrears, Ukrainian media reported. The Ukrainian Energy Ministry said it would like to pay the drivers but has no money to do so.