LUZHKOV STILL HAS EYE ON SEVASTOPOL... During a speech to World War Two veterans on 17 February, Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov vowed that "we will still fight for Sevastopol," ITAR-TASS reported. Luzhkov criticized what he called the "forced Ukrainianization" taking place in the Crimean port, where the Black Sea Fleet is based and which Luzhkov has repeatedly declared a Russian city. He confirmed that the city of Moscow will continue to fund the construction of housing for Russian sailors based in Sevastopol. Luzhkov also told the veterans that Russia must develop a strong defense industry. The mayor, who is considered a leading contender for the support of the "patriotic" electorate in the next presidential election, recently announced that all defense enterprises located in Moscow will be exempt from city taxes, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 February. LB

EBRD UNCERTAIN ABOUT LOAN FOR UKRAINIAN REACTORS. Charles Frank, the acting president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said in Kyiv on 18 February that the EBRD is still unsure about lending money to Kyiv for the construction of nuclear reactors, ITAR-TASS reported. The new reactors would be built at the Rivno and Khmelnytsky nuclear power plants and would pave the way for the permanent shutdown of Chornobyl. Frank said that even if the $1.2 billion loan were granted, it would not be possible to construct the new reactors by 2000, the year by which the Ukrainian government has pledged to close down Chornobyl. Frank said the EBRD wants to ensure that the decision to build the two new reactors is cost-effective, that a safe design is used, and that the loan would be repaid. PB