UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS TBILISI. Boris Tarasyuk held meetings in Tbilisi on 28-29 June with President Eduard Shevardnadze, Minister of State Vazha Lortkipanidze, senior energy sector officials and his Georgian counterpart, Irakli Menagharishvili, Caucasus Press reported. Speaking at a joint press conference on 29 June, Menagharishvili said they had discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and reached "complete understanding" on all issues. Tarasyuk repeated Kyiv's willingness to participate in resolving the Abkhaz conflict, offering to supply peacekeepers to serve under the aegis of the UN or OSCE. He added that Ukraine may participate in the economic reconstruction of Abkhazia once a formal settlement of the conflict is reached. Tarasyuk also unveiled proposals for creating special coordinating bodies in each of the GUUAM member states to enhance the effectiveness of that alignment, according to "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 30 June. LF

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ISSUES 13 ECONOMIC DECREES TO BOOST REVENUES... Speaking on nationwide television on 28 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 June 1999), Leonid Kuchma said he has signed 13 economic decrees to generate budget revenues and cut expenditures. In signing them, Kuchma used special powers granted to him by the previous parliament; the term of those powers expired on 28 June. The "Eastern Economic Daily" reported that the decrees address the privatization of the UkrTeleKom communications giant, the promotion of foreign investments, support for the pharmaceutical industry, and special custom and tax regimes for the Mykolayiv shipyard and the Odesa port. Kuchma also imposed a 5 percent tobacco tax, a 1 percent tax on real estate transactions, and a 6 percent tax on owners of mobile phones. Money generated by the decrees will be used to pay wage and pension arrears and to compensate the elderly for their lost savings. JM