UKRAINIAN LEFTIST BLOC TO EMPHASIZE SOCIAL ISSUES. Parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz said in Kyiv on 19 January that his leftist bloc will base its election campaign on alleviating wage arrears and other social problems, Reuters reported. Parliamentary elections are to be held on 29 March. Moroz's socialist party is grouped with the Communist and agrarian parties in the assembly, which have routinely resisted reform legislation. "The fate of collective farming is at stake," he said, pledging to fight government plans to allow the lease and sale of land. Moroz's bloc controls 170 of the 450 seats in the parliament. PB

UKRAINIAN PREMIER ON ECONOMY. Valeriy Pustovoitenko said in Kyiv on 19 January that the government has outlined programs to stabilize the economy in 1998, dpa reported. Pustovoitenko said that although GDP sank 1.8 percent in 1997, it will increase by about 0.5 percent this year. He also said that unpaid salary debts were reduced by one-third and now total some $470 million. This contradicts end-of-year figures released by the central bank showing that some $2.6 billion is still owed to workers. PB