KUCHMA, TKACHENKO WANT 'CONSTRUCTIVE COOPERATION.' President Leonid Kuchma and Supreme Council speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko held a "constructive and open" meeting on 13 July to discuss urgent tasks facing the executive and the legislature, Ukrainian Television reported. Both officials stressed that the two branches need to demonstrate "constructive cooperation and concerted action" in legislative work. Tkachenko expressed his support for Kuchma's recent economic decrees and his appeal to the parliament to adopt a 1998 revised budget (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 July 1998). The Supreme Council is planning to extend its current session until the end of July in order to pass an amended budget. JM

RUKH TO STAY IN OPPOSITION. Vyacheslav Chornovil, leader of the Popular Rukh, has said the Supreme Council is controlled by a "nomenklatura-leftist majority," Ukrainian Television reported on 13 July. In his opinion, Peasant Party representative Oleksandr Tkachenko became speaker owing to "betrayal" among right-centrist deputies. "Thus, hopes for a coalition government have been buried," Ukrainian Television quoted him as saying. Chornovil announced that Rukh will remain "in opposition to all power branches." A Communist deputy told Ukrainian Television that Rukh "is trying to play [being in] opposition" because it has been " those whom it brought to power." JM