UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS. Hennadiy Udovenko, current president of the UN General Assembly, has resigned his cabinet post to devote himself to parliamentary politics, AFP reported on 9 April. Udovenko was elected to the parliament on the Popular Rukh party list. In a resignation letter to President Leonid Kuchma, he said he wished to "work full time" as a parliamentary deputy. JM

UKRAINE REPORTS ECONOMIC GROWTH... Yewhen Kushnaryov, chief of the president's administration, told journalists on 8 April that 1998 may be the first year of economic growth in independent Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported. He said that industrial output from January through March grew by 1.7 percent, while the inflation rate was only 0.2 percent. JM

...NEGOTIATES NEW LOAN FROM IMF. An IMF representative in Kyiv told ITAR-TASS that the fund's further cooperation with Ukraine has been called into question. In the first quarter of 1998, Kyiv exceeded by 2.2 times the budget deficit limit agreed with the IMF, which responded last month by withholding the next two tranches, each worth $50 million, of its stand-by loan. The Ukrainian News agency reported on 8 April that the Finance Ministry has decided not to seek a resumption of the IMF stand-by program. Instead, the government is negotiating a new three-year loan with an IMF mission currently in Kyiv. JM

U.S. ENVOY CRITICIZES UKRAINE FOR HEAVY BUREAUCRACY. Richard Morningstar, U.S. special ambassador for Russia and the newly independent states, who was in Kyiv on 8 April, has censured Ukraine for having too much bureaucracy, AFP reported. He said Ukrainian business regulations are "too numerous, too burdensome, too complicated, too arbitrary." He added that economic development is also hampered by inconsistent tax regulations. The United States, which is the largest investor in Ukraine, has spent $90 million to help resolve disputes between Kyiv and U.S. firms operating in Ukraine, AFP reported. JM