KUCHMA URGES DEMOCRATIC FORCES TO UNITE... Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma addressed the nationwide forum of democratic forces Zlahoda [Concord] in Kyiv on 19 March, urging those formations to unite in order to support Ukraine's independent statehood and economic reforms. "All of us must make a choice between statehood and amorphousness, between reforms and a retreat [from them], between democracy and anarchy or totalitarianism," the 20 March "Uryadovyy kuryer" quoted him as saying. The initiative to form Zlahoda came from Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko in an attempt to enlist wider support for Kuchma's re-election bid (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 January 1999). JM

...MEETS WITH ISRAEL'S NETANYAHU. The Ukrainian president met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Kyiv on 21 March to discuss bilateral relations. "Ukraine supports Israeli efforts in the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian problem," Kuchma commented after the meeting. Kuchma added that Ukraine needs Israeli investments, while Netanyahu confirmed the interest of Israeli businessmen in investing in Ukraine's large enterprises. JM

UKRAINE RATIFIES NUCLEAR COOPERATION DEAL WITH U.S. The Supreme Council on 19 March ratified an agreement with the U.S. on civilian cooperation in nuclear energy. The 1998 agreement will allow Ukraine to import U.S. nuclear materials and much-needed technology to revamp its nuclear industry. It was signed after Ukraine pledged to give up building turbines for Iran's nuclear power plant in Bushehr. JM