ONE RUSSIAN IN THREE OBJECTS TO FOREIGN WORKERS. According to the All-Russia Public Opinion Center, some 34 percent of Russians object to Russian firms' hiring workers from Ukraine, Belarus, and other countries, Interfax reported on 10 January. Of the 1,600 respondents, only 28 percent supported such hires, while 33 percent said they are indifferent. PG

UKRAINE'S 1998 INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT DOWN BY 1.5 PERCENT. Industrial production shrank by 1.5 percent last year, compared with 1997, AP reported on 10 January, citing official sources. The Ukrainian economy has been steadily declining since the country gained independence in 1991: industrial output reduced by 38.4 percent over that period, according to official data. JM

PUSTOVOYTENKO ADMITS FAILURE IN REFORMING AGRICULTURE. Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko on 10 January said that government efforts to reform the agricultural sector have yielded few results, AP reported. "We must acknowledge that the agricultural sector has largely turned into a poorly managed, inert and heavily indebted structure which is not attractive to investors," he commented. According to official data, the total debt of Ukrainian farms is 13.3 billion ($3.8 billion). Pustovoytenko said some 11,000 farms, or 90 percent of their total number, finished 1998 with losses, while agricultural output fell by 2 percent last year, compared with 1997. JM