UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FRUSTRATED BY PARLIAMENT. Leonid Kuchma on 2 July criticized Supreme Council deputies after they failed yet again to elect a parliamentary speaker, AP reported. Kuchma said that along with the 1998 budget, more than 100 bills await parliamentary approval. The budget includes a sharp reduction in the budget deficit, a major requirement for a $2.5 billion loan from the IMF. Kuchma said the failure of the legislature to address urgent economic issues has reached a "critical level." He said he is willing to work constructively with the parliament but is prepared to issue more decrees on economic matters if the body remains inactive. More than 50 deputies have been nominated for the speaker position in nearly 20 votes since the Supreme Council convened in mid-May. PB

HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN OF RADIOACTIVE FOOD IN KYIV. Ukrainian health officials have found dozens of cases of excess radioactivity in foodstuffs being sold in Kyiv markets, particularly blueberries and mushrooms, AP reported on 2 July. Health authorities have begun televised warnings about the products, which originate from areas of the country contaminated by the 1986 explosion at Chornobyl. PB