IMF INCLINED TO RESUME LENDING TO UKRAINE. The IMF on 16 March praised Ukraine for its progress in fiscal and structural reforms. An IMF statement said the fund's board is scheduled to meet by the end of March to discuss resuming its $2.2 billion loan to Ukraine. "IMF management has decided to propose to the executive board to resume financial assistance to Ukraine," the statement added. The IMF approved the loan in September 1998, but after disbursing $300 million it suspended further tranches because of the slow pace of reform and poor economic performance. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO LAUNCH IMPEACHMENT OF KUCHMA. The 450-seat Supreme Council on 16 March voted by 160 to 57 to begin impeaching President Leonid Kuchma but fell 66 votes short of the majority required for the bill to pass, AP reported. The Communists, who initiated the impeachment motion, said Kuchma should be ousted for his refusal to sign a law on local government that lawmakers passed one year ago by overriding a presidential veto. Kuchma argues that the parliament violated house voting procedures in overriding his veto. Commentators say Kuchma is reluctant to approve the law because it would reduce the authority of presidential representatives in the oblasts. JM

KUCHMA CALLS FOR SUMMIT ON MOLDOVA'S TRANSDNIESTER REGION. The Ukrainian president on 16 March called for Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova to take part in a summit later this year to discuss the normalization of relations between Moldova and its separatist Transdniester region, Reuters reported. Kuchma proposed the summit during a meeting with Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov in Kyiv. Kuchma's spokesman said Ukraine hopes that Russian President Boris Yeltsin will also take part in the summit. JM