GEORGIA, AZERBAIJAN, UKRAINE SET TO CONCLUDE JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE. Some 100 members of the Georgian, Azerbaijani, and Ukrainian armed forces embarked on 16 April on the final stage of exercises begun three days earlier near Tbilisi on maintaining the security of the Baku-Supsa oil export pipeline in the event of a natural calamity or terrorist attack on that facility, Caucasus Press reported. "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 16 April reported that Georgia is creating mobile patrols, stationary posts and a communications system to guard the pipeline. That force will be supplied with military hardware and helicopters. LF

GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER RULES OUT THREAT TO SUPSA CEREMONY. Kakha Targamadze told journalists in Tbilisi on 16 April that there is no chance that fugitive rebel Colonel Akaki Eliava will make good on his threat to attack the oil terminal at Supsa during the 17 April ceremonies to mark the departure of the first tanker carrying Azerbaijani oil exported via the Baku-Supsa export pipeline, Caucasus Press reported. The presidents of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine and senior U.S. government officials are due to attend that ceremony. Eliava has been on the run since launching an abortive insurrection in western Georgia last October (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19-20 October 1998). LF

UKRAINE PROPOSES PEACE PLAN FOR KOSOVA... In an interview with the 15 April "Uryadovyy kuryer," Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma revealed a three-stage plan to end the conflict in Kosova. The first stage involves a simultaneous cease-fire by Yugoslav, Albanian, and NATO forces and a withdrawal of Yugoslav troops from Kosova. The second stage calls for the return and resettlement of Kosova refugees under the protection of peacekeeping forces controlled by the UN or the OSCE. The third stage envisions a peace conference in a neutral capital. "Ukraine does not consider itself to have a monopoly on peacemaking. But the fact that our thoughts are now shared by many parties demonstrates that they were realistic from the very beginning," Kuchma said. JM

UKRAINE'S ECONOMY STILL FALLING. Ukraine's GDP decreased by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 1999 compared to the same period last year, AP reported on 15 April, citing Ukrainian Economy Minister Vasyl Rohovyy. Rohovyy added that Ukraine's positive achievement in JanuaryMarch was a low inflation rate of 3.5 percent. Meanwhile, the State Gas and Oil Committee has reported that Ukraine's gas and oil production dropped by 1.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 1999. JM

SWITZERLAND WANTS LAZARENKO EXTRADITED FROM U.S. Swiss judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet said on 15 April that he is asking the U.S. to extradite former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko to Switzerland for a moneylaundering investigation. Lazarenko, who is currently seeking political asylum in the U.S., was arrested on money laundering charges in Switzerland last December, but subsequently released on bail of $3 million. KasperAnsermat said he had issued an international arrest warrant for Lazarenko after the latter failed to honor a summons to appear in a Geneva court on 1 and 2 March. JM

LITHUANIAN, POLISH, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS IN VILNIUS. Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus hosted his Ukrainian and Polish counterparts, Leonid Kuchma and Aleksander Kwasniewski, for talks on 15 April at the seaside resort of Palanga. The three leaders discussed various issues of regional cooperation and the crisis in Kosova. Adamkus reaffirmed Lithuania's goal of joining NATO, saying the alliance is an inseparable element of European security, BNS reported. During the visit, Kuchma unveiled a proposed peace plan which has been circulated throughout the international community (see story above). The three presidents also hosted the conference "Regional Integration of Transportation" in Klaipeda the same day. Kwasniewski called for further development of the Baltic and Black Seas' transport systems as well as the "Via Baltica" project linking the Baltic states and Poland via a modern highway. MH

MOLDOVA NOT APPROACHED ABOUT TRANSITING RUSSIAN AID TO YUGOSLAVIA. The Moldovan Foreign Ministry's Department for Relations with the CIS States on 15 April told the Flux agency that Moldova has not yet been "officially or unofficially" approached about Russia's intention to transit aid to Yugoslavia through its territory. The question was posed after ITAR-TASS cited Russia's Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying that Russia is "examining the possibility of transiting the aid through Romania," which would only be possible if the convoys were to transit Moldovan territory as well. In other news, Flux reported that the joint UkrainianMoldovan Elektroalians has taken over the January-March $12.5 million Moldovan debt to Ukraine for electricity deliveries, following which Ukraine, which supplies 60 percent of Moldova's electricity, will resume deliveries through 1 May. MS