UKRAINIAN LEFTISTS FAIL TO BAN SEA BREEZE '98 MANEUVERS. Communists and their allies in the parliament failed on 23 October to achieve the required majority to ban the "Sea Breeze '98" naval exercises under NATO's Partnership for Peace Program scheduled. They fell 31 votes short of the necessary total of 226. The Sea Breeze '98 maneuvers, which are scheduled to take place in Ukraine from 25 October to 4 November, will involve 4,500 troops, including 14 Ukrainian ships and naval vessels from the U.S., Russia, and other countries. Ukrainian Communists believe that NATO's participation in the maneuvers poses a military threat to Ukraine. "Bringing NATO troops on Ukrainian territory is a prelude to a future imperialistic, aggressive war on Ukraine's territory," Ukrainian Television quoted Communist parliamentary deputy Volodymyr Moiseyenko as saying. JM

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1999 BUDGET. The cabinet on 23 October approved a revised 1999 budget draft with a deficit of 0.6 percent of GDP, AP reported. The document provides for revenues totaling 22.5 billion hryvni ($6.6 billion) and 1 percent growth of GDP, which is expected to reach 117.5 billion hryvni in 1999. The cabinet will submit the new budget to the parliament at the same time as the government's action program for the next six months. Ukrainian Television reported that the action program's priorities include macroeconomic stabilization, completing tax reform, promoting entrepreneurship, and implementing administrative reform. JM

KUCHMA PROPOSES SUMMIT ON TRANSDNIESTER. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said in Chisinau on 23 October that he has proposed to Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi and separatist leader Igor Smirnov that the Transdniester problem be settled at a summit meeting, Infotag and BASA-press reported. Kuchma, who met with Lucinschi and Smirnov, said Moldova, the Transdniester region, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE must participate in the summit. He also said he has requested that Smirnov pardon Ilie Ilascu, who was sentenced to death by a Transdniester court in 1992 for alleged terrorism and is still in jail. At the end of their summit meeting (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 October 1998), Lucinschi, Kuchma, and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu signed agreements on cooperation in combating organized crime and on setting up a free trade zone in the lower Danube region. MS