RUSSIA ADVOCATES POSTPONING CIS PREMIERS MEETING. Prime Minister Primakov has asked CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovskii and Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko to postpone the 24-25 September session of the CIS Heads of Government Council, Russian agencies reported on 15 September. Primakov explained that only after a new Russian government is formed can Moscow formulate its official position on CIS reform. Addressing a 15 September session in Minsk of the interstate forum tasked with preparing proposals on reform within the CIS, Berezovskii said some CIS prime ministers still want this month's planned meeting to take place as scheduled. LF

WORLD BANK APPROVES LOANS TO UKRAINE. The World Bank on 15 September approved two loans to Ukraine with a combined value of $600 million, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reported. The loans are to help Kyiv reform the country's financial sector and spur industrial development. Approval of the loans was delayed until after the Ukrainian government came to an agreement with the IMF on a long-term reform plan. That agreement was reached on 4 September. In other news, Ukrainian banks criticized the government for ordering the mandatory conversion of all short-term treasury bills into long-term ones. PB

UKRAINIAN PREMIER DECREES PRICE CONTROLS. Valeriy Pustovoytenko said on 15 September that the government has issued decrees that regulate the prices of petroleum and diesel fuel in an effort to stem rising consumer prices, dpa reported. The hryvnya has lost about 30 percent of its value in the last month, causing the prices of many goods to increase. Some regions, including Crimea and Kharkiv, have imposed price controls on consumer goods. PB

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH KUCHMA. Bronislaw Geremek met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Kyiv on 15 September to discuss economic cooperation and border issues, AP reported. Upon arrival, Geremek announced that Poland will begin tighter control of its border with Ukraine in an effort to prevent the smuggling of weapons and drugs and to help keep illegal immigrants out. Geremek also said Warsaw will do its best to maintain visa-free travel for Ukrainians but admitted that it is under pressure from the EU to adopt tougher regulations against its Eastern neighbors. Geremek said Poland's entry into NATO represented a "chance for Ukraine." He added that Ukraine will always be Warsaw's "partner of fundamental importance in the region." Geremek also met with Premier Pustovoytenko and Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk. PB

BELARUSIAN ECONOMY MINISTER UNHAPPY WITH TRADE DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIA. Uladimir Shimov said it is unacceptable that Russia accounts for 70 percent of Belarusian foreign trade. In an interview published in the weekly "Belorusskaya gazeta" on 14 September, Shimov said that Belarusian exporters have insufficiently developed relations in markets like Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, as well as those in Africa and Asia. Shimov said that Belarusian exports must be more competitive. He said one way of achieving that is to introduce a new means of calculating the prices of exports. And he added that one positive aspect of having a financial crisis is that it forces the state to "mobilize [its] internal resources and reserves." PB