IMF PUTS OFF DECISION ON LOAN TRANCHE TO UKRAINE. The IMF has postponed until 29 October its decision on whether to release a second tranche worth $125 million of the $2.2 billion three-year loan to Ukraine agreed in August, AP reported on 26 October. An IMF mission arrived in Kyiv the same day to check if Ukraine is meeting requirements for the release of the tranche. Valeriy Litvytskyy, aide to the Ukrainian president, said the postponement of the tranche is due to an "exclusively technical reason" connected with the repayment of Ukraine's $109 million loan to the Chase Manhattan Bank in Luxembourg, Ukrainian Television reported. The IMF disbursed the first, $257 million tranche of the loan in September. JM

UNHCR TO SUPPORT CRIMEAN TATARS. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has allocated $2.3 million to support Crimean Tatars who returned to their homeland from exile within the former Soviet Union, Reuters reported on 26 October. "We are going to concentrate most of our attention on the question of citizenship," a UNHCR representative told journalists in Simferopol on 26 October. The representative added that the UN had supported the holding of Ukrainian-Uzbek talks that resulted in a simplified procedure for Tatars returning to Crimea from Uzbekistan to obtain a Ukrainian passport. Some 250,000 Tatars have returned to Crimea since the breakup of the Soviet Union, of whom one-third are technically foreigners in Ukraine or have no citizenship whatsoever. JM