UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT POSTPONES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE IN GOVERNMENT. The Supreme Council on 10 June passed a resolution whereby it will postpone for one month debating a motion of no confidence in the government (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 June 1998), Ukrainian Television reported. Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko, who attended the parliamentary session, thanked the deputies for their "manifested confidence" in his cabinet and pledged that he does not want to be "entangled in the problem of electing a parliamentary speaker." "I have made no agreement on the candidacy for speaker with any parliamentary caucus leader," he asserted. Later the same day, the parliament made another futile attempt to elect its head. Former speaker Oleksandr Moroz was the only candidate and failed to obtain the necessary number of votes.. JM

KUCHMA DECREES HARSH SPENDING CUTS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has issued an edict introducing strict limits on budget expenditures and other state outlays in a bid to avert a financial crisis, Ukrainian Television reported on 10 June. The government has been given two months to work out a plan to find additional funds to pay wage arrears. The edict prohibits the Cabinet of Ministers from granting tax exemptions or postponing budget payments to any ministries, social organizations, local authority bodies, and enterprises, among others. Political observers view the move as another attempt by Kuchma to introduce order into Ukraine's economy while the country negotiates a $2.5 billion loan from the IMF. JM

KAZAKHSTAN CELEBRATES NEW CAPITAL. A large ceremony in Astana on 10 June marked the transfer of the Kazakh capital to that city. Attending the festivities were the heads of state from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Ukraine, as well as Russian Deputy Premier and special envoy to the CIS Ivan Rybkin, CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovskii. and officials from the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the decision to move the capital from Almaty, in southeastern Kazakhstan, to Astana, which lies in the approximate geographical center of the country, was "the result of a centuries-long search, lengthy contemplation, and heated debates." BP