TATARS DEMONSTRATE IN CRIMEAN CAPITAL. .Some 10,000 ethnic Tatars demonstrated yesterday in Simferopol to mark the 53rd anniversary of the mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars, dpa reported. The demonstrators gathered in Lenin Square to demand assistance for the 250,000 Crimean Tatars who have returned to Crimea in the past five years. The Tatars were deported to Soviet Central Asia in 1944 under communist leader Joseph Stalin for alleged cooperation with the German occupation forces during World War II. The demonstrators said some 100,000 returnees still have no flats, and tens of thousands of them are unable to find jobs.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT, PARLIAMENT . Leonid Kuchma yesterday accused the parliament of deliberately delaying the passage of the long-delayed 1997 budget and of stalling reforms in the hope of "reaping the harvest" of voter discontent in next year's elections, Interfax reported. He said lawmakers were showing "sharpened opposition" to the president's reforms. Kuchma also criticized Pavlo Lazarenko's government, saying it had taken a "subservient position" on the budget issue by offering the parliament the opportunity to pass a budget based on an incomplete package of tax reforms.
EU APPROVES ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE, KYRGYZSTAN. The European Commission announced yesterday its approval of technical assistance programs for Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan this year within the framework of the TACIS program, RFE/RL's Brussels correspondent reported. The goal of the TACIS program is to support and accelerate the transition to a market economy. The assistance programs will be in the form of non-repayable grants, amounting to some $30 million for Ukraine and about $8 million for Kyrgyzstan. The program for Ukraine is focused on support for economic reform and developing the private sector.
ROMANIA, UKRAINE TO SIGN TREATY NEXT MONTH . The basic treaty initialed between the Romanian and Ukrainian foreign ministers on 3 May (see RFE/RL Newsline, 5 May 1997) will be signed by the two country's presidents, Emil Constantinescu and Leonid Kuchma, on 2 June in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta. The announcement was made by President Kuchma in Kyiv and was confirmed by the Romanian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. On the same occasion, the signatories will exchange letters detailing the agreed solutions to problems not mentioned in the treaty. Among these are the non-deployment of offensive weapons by Ukraine on the Black Sea Serpents Island, navigation on the Chilia branch of the Danube River delta and the delimitation of the continental shelf around Serpents Island. In the treaty itself, the two countries recognize present frontiers as inviolable and grant extensive rights to each other's national minorities.
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER FILES SUIT AGAINST PREMIER . ITAR-TASS reported on 23 May that Olexander Moroz has filed suit against Pavel Lazarenko for retaining his parliamentary mandate while serving as premier. Some 41 deputies had urged Moroz to take legal action following a ruling last week by the Constitutional Court that allowed Lazarenko to hold onto his parliamentary mandate. The court ruled that parliamentary deputies cannot hold government positions but permitted lawmakers who were elected before June 1995 and held state office continuously since before that date to keep both jobs. According to Interfax, Moroz said the clause does not apply to Lazarenko because he was not appointed to a government position until July 1995, one month after the cutoff date. The largely anti-reform parliament has been battling with Lazarenko's government over tax and economic reforms.
CHORNOBYL REACTOR BACK ON LINE . Valeri Idelson, a spokesman for the nuclear power station in Chornobyl, told journalists on 22 May that the only reactor still functioning is back on line after a breakdown. Idelson said the reactor was shut down owing to a still unexplained problem with an electrical transformer. But no increase in radiation levels around the reactor has been reported. Chornobyl's fourth reactor exploded 11 years ago, causing the worst-ever civil nuclear catastrophe.
ROMANIAN EXTREMIST PARTY ORGANIZES DEMONSTRATION AGAINST TREATY WITH UKRAINE . The extremist Greater Romania Party (PRM) and several other associations staged a
demonstration in Bucharest on 22 May against the forthcoming signing of the basic
treaty between Ukraine and Romania. PRM leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor said the
government's decision to conclude a treaty that recognizes Ukrainian sovereignty
over northern Bukovina, southern Bessarabia, and the Herta territory (incorporated
into the former Soviet Union in 1940) is an act of "national treason." He added that
the government had no right to sign the treaty without first submitting it to a national
referendum. The demonstrators carried maps showing the old borders of the