UKRAINIAN DELEGATION IN KAZAKHSTAN. Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko and his deputy, Anatoliy Golubchenko, headed a delegation to a session of the Kazakh-Ukrainian Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in Astana on 10 November, RFE/RL's Almaty bureau reported. The next day, the delegation met with Kazakh Prime Minister Nurlan Balghymbayev. Their talks focused on the prospects for processing Kazakh crude oil at Ukrainian refineries, the participation of Ukrainian workers in construction projects in the new Kazakh capital, and the possible use of Ukrainian Black Sea ports to export Kazakh wheat and metals. Kazakhstan expressed an interest in purchasing the controlling interest in the Lisichansk oil refinery, which is slated for privatization, according to Interfax. LF

UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ASKS FOR MORE MONEY. Oleksander Kuzmuk urged the parliament on 11 November to increase military spending to 2.6 billion hryvni ($760 million) from the 1.7 billion hryvni planned in the 1999 draft budget, Reuters reported. Addressing the parliament's Security and Defense Committee, Kuzmuk said the planned sum will not be enough even to cover wages, provisions, and uniforms. He added that the armed forces need a minimum of 3.14 billion hryvni to fulfill their role of defending the country. JM

KUCHMA SIGNS NATO COOPERATION PROGRAM. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has approved a cooperation program with NATO until 2001, Ukrainian Television reported on 10 November. According to the station, the "large-scale and integrated" document is unmatched in any other country taking part in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. The document defines cooperation not only in the political and military spheres but also in science and technology, emergency situations, nuclear non-proliferation, information exchange, environmental protection, and combating terrorism, organized crime, and drug-trafficking. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT WARNS CABINET AGAINST INCREASING STATE DEBT. The Supreme Council on 10 November adopted a resolution warning the government against increasing Ukraine's debt, Ukrainian Television reported. The resolution stresses that a further increase in the country's debt threatens Ukraine's economic independence. The warning came after Finance Minister Ihor Mityukov told deputies that Ukraine's debt is nearing $15 billion (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 November 1998). The resolution also tasks the prosecutor-general with investigating violations of the law related to the servicing of the country's debt. JM