KUCHMA VOWS TO CONTINUE STEERING ECONOMY BY DECREE. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has said his recent economic decrees are not part of a "temporary campaign" but rather were planned, Ukrainian Television reported on 23 June. He added that he may also enact an amended budget for this year by decree. A cut in the budget deficit is the IMF's major condition for granting a $2 billion credit to Ukraine. Kuchma's economic management by decree is due to the paralysis of the activities of the Supreme Council, which has devoted the past six weeks to a dozen unsuccessful attempts to elect its speaker. Kuchma's latest decree raised the minimum wage by 10 hryvni ($5) to 55 hryvni. JM

CENTRAL BANKER SAYS UKRAINE NOT BANKRUPT. Ukrainian National Bank head Viktor Yushchenko on 23 June said that Ukraine is not a bankrupt state and has problems only with current payments, Ukrainian Television reported. He commented that the situation of Ukraine's hard currency market is "controllable and stable," while the current negotiations with the World Bank and the IMF are "correct and productive." Yushchenko's statement comes in response to growing public concern over the government's ability to pay interest rates on domestic and foreign state bonds, which have been the main source of financing Ukraine's budget deficit. JM

POLISH GOVERNMENT ADOPTS EU ENTRY PROGRAM. The Polish cabinet on 23 June approved a "national program on the preparation for the EU membership," "Rzeczpospolita" reported. The document provides for adjusting Poland's legislation and economy to EU regulations by 2002. Committee for European Integration head Ryszard Czarnecki said Poland is not going to seek many transition periods in which the country does not abide by EU regulations while adapting to EU standards. Czarnecki commented that he is not surprised by statements that the EU may not be expanded until after 2005. And he also noted that the EU preparation program provides for introducing travel visas for citizens of Belarus and Ukraine but did not specify when. JM