GAZPROM THREATENS TO CUT GAS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE. Gazprom head Rem Vyakhirev on 12 February warned Ukraine that its debt to the Russian gas giant must be paid soon or fuel deliveries will cease, AFP reported. Vyakhirev said Ukraine must pay its nearly $1.1 billion debt by the end of March. At the same time, he acknowledged that there are "no realistic guarantees" that this can be done. Gazprom reduced gas supplies to Ukraine last summer in a bid to collect unpaid bills (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 July 1997). PB

TURKISH PREMIER IN KYIV, CRIMEA. Mesut Yilmaz and his Ukrainian counterpart, Valery Pustovoitenko, met in Kyiv on 12 February and signed three accords, including one on the Black Sea, AFP reported. Pustovoitenko noted that Turkey is an "influential partner" in the region. The Black Sea agreement is aimed at preventing conflicts between Turkish fishermen and the Ukrainian coast guard, such as the one last month in which two people drowned (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 January 1998). Yilmaz, who is to visit a Crimean Tatar village on the last day of his two-day trip, said the Tatars are a "cultural bridge" between the two countries. He expressed satisfaction with Kyiv's efforts in protecting the rights of the Tatars. PB