UKRAINE WON'T REARM WITH NUKES, WILL MAINTAIN NATO TIES. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said on 26 March that "there is no turning back" with regard to the country's nuclear weapon-free status, ITAR-TASS reported. He spoke following a resolution in the parliament calling for Kyiv to rearm with nuclear weapons in response to NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia. Vladymyr Horbulyn, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said the country does not have the "technological or financial resources" to revoke its nuclear-free status. He added that Ukraine still intends to take part in the NATO summit in Washington next month. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk had told parliament on 26 March that cooperation with NATO is in the national interests. PB

KUCHMA TO BELGRADE? Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said on 27 March that he is awaiting word from Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on the possibility of the latter meeting with President Leonid Kuchma, Reuters reported. Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Kuzmuk met with Milosevic and other Yugoslav officials the same day. Kuchma has said he is willing to go to Belgrade in an effort to mediate a resolution to the Kosova crisis. PB

UKRAINE WELCOMES IMF DECISION TO RESUME AID. Ukrainian officials welcomed the IMF's decision on 26 March to release the next tranche of a $2.2 billion loan to the country, AP reported. Ukraine is to receive $153 million over the next few days. The IMF halted the loan in November because of Ukraine's slow pace in reforms. The government has since raised prices on utilities and taken moves to streamline the government by reducing ministries. It can now expect to receive World Bank loans. PB

MILOSEVIC SLAMS NATO. Milosevic told visiting Ukrainian officials in Belgrade on 27 March that NATO air strikes against Serbian targets are "the worst threat to peace since 1945." He also called the strikes "a criminal act against peace and freedom," state-run television reported. Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic said on 28 March that "genocide is being carried out [in the province] only against the Serbs," Deutsche Welle reported. A Serbian spokesman told the BBC that the refugees are fleeing because they are afraid of NATO air strikes. PM