UKRAINE DEVALUES CURRENCY. Ukraine announced a new trading band for the hryvna on 9 February, effectively devaluing the beleaguered currency, dpa reported. The new trading corridor is 3.4 hryvni to 4.6 hryvni to the dollar, down from 2.5 to 3.5 announced in September. The government has kept the hryvna at an artificial rate of 3.43 hryvni to the dollar since November, although it has been trading on the black market at 4 hryvni to the dollar. Deputy Economy Minister Serhiy Tyhypko said the government will have to maintain the currency corridor in order to ensure stability for investors and domestic producers. National Bank chairman Viktor Yushenko said he hopes to maintain the exchange rate in the middle of the band. PB

UKRAINIAN BANKS ANGRY AT GOVERNMENT. Some 80 Ukrainian banks have accused the government of delaying payments on treasury bills without consulting bank officials. The Finance Ministry announced last week that it will not redeem government bonds due to mature this month until between May and September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 February 1999). The banks, struggling to stay in business since the Russian economic crisis, said they will appeal to the Association of Ukrainian Banks and seek to have the government's decision overturned in court. PB

CRIMEAN TATARS TO APPEAL FOR INTERNATIONAL HELP. The National Movement of Crimean Tatars said on 9 February in Simferopol that they have begun collecting signatures for an appeal on their plight to the UN and the Council of Europe, ITAR-TASS reported. A regional meeting of Crimean Tatar leaders passed a resolution stating that Kyiv "cannot and will not carry the burden of restoring [the] lawful rights of the Crimean Tatars, cannot and will not provide for equal rights of all people residing in Crimea, and keeps pursuing a policy of genocide and ethnocide against [the Crimean Tatars]." Crimean Tatar leader Vasvi Abduraimov said some 80,000 Tatars in Crimea are unable to receive Ukrainian citizenship and that unemployment is as high as 50 percent among them. PB