KUCHMA REAFFIRMS TIES WITH RUSSIA. "There is not and will never be any severance with Russia, which is a traditional partner of Ukraine," President Leonid Kuchma said in Sevastopol on 6 May at a ceremony dedicated to Victory Day and the 55th anniversary of Sevastopol's liberation from the Nazis, UNIAN reported. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev delivered Russian President Boris Yeltsin's message to the people of Sevastopol, describing the city as a bonding link between Ukraine and Russia. JM

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKERS ACCUSE CENTRAL BANK OF MISUSING RESERVES. Viktor Suslov, head of a parliamentary investigative commission, said on 6 May that his commission has examined the National Bank's activities since last October and found that currency reserves were misused. According to the findings, Ukraine's Central Bank has failed to return some $85 million from a Cypriot bank account. The commission also alleges that the bank illegally transferred part of its reserves to Russia's National Reserves Bank. "If I were [National Bank Chairman] Viktor Yushchenko, I would resign," AP quoted Suslov as saying. Yushchenko has denied the allegations. JM