IMF RESUMES LOAN PROGRAM, APPROVES NEW MONEY FOR UKRAINE. The IMF on 27 May approved the release of a $180 million tranche of its $2.2 billion loan to Ukraine, Reuters reported. It also endorsed Ukraine's request for an extra $366 million in financial support. "In view of the country's heavy debt service obligations, Ukraine's economic recovery will require the continued involvement of private creditors. A collaborative solution to Ukraine's debt service must be found in line with Ukraine's capacity to pay," the fund said in a statement. The news agency added that the fund wants Ukraine to use IMF money to repay debts to private creditors. JM

UKRAINIAN, ROMANIAN PRESIDENTS MEET. Leonid Kuchma and his Romanian counterpart, Emil Constantinescu, met in Kyiv on 27 May and discussed border demarcation issues and prospects for economic cooperation. "We have made good progress in resolving the question of border demarcation," AP quoted Kuchma as saying. The agency added, however, that no "major breakthrough" has been achieved on the issue. Ukraine and Romania disagree on how to demarcate a part of the continental shelf in the Black Sea where large oil and gas deposits are believed to be located. Interfax reported that both presidents also discussed plans for transporting Caspian oil to Western Europe. Ukraine proposes a route extending from Supsa, in Georgia, via Odesa and Ukraine to Poland, while Romania prefers a route from Odesa to the Romanian port of Constanta. "The two routes will not compete because they will service different areas," Kuchma commented. JM