CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT TO DISCUSS VOTE ON PENINSULA'S STATUS. The Crimean Supreme Soviet voted on 4 February to discuss holding a referendum on returning the disputed peninsula to Russian rule. Also proposed for the referendum was a question on adopting Russian as the official language. Despite calls by Russian nationalists for Crimea to return to Moscow rule, Russia and Ukraine signed a treaty last year that declared the inviolability of their common border. The Ukrainian parliament has already ratified that treaty. Ethnic Russians constitute a majority in Crimea, which Russia ceded to Ukraine in 1954. In other news, deposed Yalta city council chief Aleksandr Kalyus and several council members are still refusing to leave the city hall (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 February 1998). One deputy said he feared security forces surrounding the building would be used to end the protest and to place a Kuchma-imposed official in office, AFP reported. PB

GERMAN PRESIDENT APOLOGIZES FOR WARTIME ATROCITIES IN UKRAINE. In an address broadcast by Ukrainian Television on 4 February, Roman Herzog apologized for the death and destruction caused by German troops in the country during World War Two. Herzog, who is on a four-day visit to Kyiv, expressed grief for the "barbaric crimes" and said he suffers "together with the victims and their families, and I am ashamed of what was done." The German president has made similar apologies in Prague and Warsaw. Herzog also said Ukraine belongs to Europe "culturally and politically" but noted that joining the EU would entail the attainment of greater economic prosperity. President Leonid Kuchma said he is dissatisfied with the country's progress in reforms but added that "only a blind man" would not notice the positive economic changes that have taken place. PB