UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT OVERRIDES KUCHMA'S VETO ON VETERANS' BENEFITS. The Supreme Council voted 11 times on 5 May to override President Leonid Kuchma's veto of a bill providing for a special pay to World War II veterans, AP reported. The parliament finally voted by 303 to 11 to approve annual payments to veterans ranging from 41 to 162 hryvni ($12-$41), in addition to the veterans' current pensions. Kuchma vetoed the bill in December, arguing that the budget does not include the 340 million hryvni needed to cover the additional payments. Communist parliamentary deputies also sought to override Kuchma's veto on increasing the monthly minimum pension from 16.6 hryvni to 55 hryvni. After failing to do this, the parliament re-approved its initial bill. In order to block the pension increase Kuchma will have to impose a new veto. JM

GERMAN OFFICIAL SAYS NO MONEY TO UKRAINE BEFORE IT REPAYS DEBT. Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber said in Kyiv on 5 May that Germany will not lend Ukraine any more money until it repays a German loan for the construction of a chemical plant, Interfax reported. Germany has extended a credit line for Ukrainian industry, including a loan of DM 22 million ($12 million) for the Oriana chemical plant in Kalush, IvanoFrankivsk Oblast. Ukrainian Premier Valeriy Pustovoytenko assured Stoiber that Ukraine will repay the debt by resorting to "social welfare funds," the agency reported. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DENIES BEING 'ENEMY OF THE PRESS.' Kuchma's press secretary Oleksandr Martynenko said on 5 May that the Ukrainian president may file suit against the U.S. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for calling him an "enemy of the press" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 May 1999), Interfax reported. In addition, Kuchma intends to send a letter to the CPJ refuting the "inaccurate information" on whose basis he was included on the CPJ's list of the 10 biggest oppressors of the press. According to Martynenko, the parliament, not the president, is responsible for tax policies in Ukraine, therefore Kuchma cannot be accused of using those policies as "instruments of his hostility toward journalists." JM