UKRAINE STRUGGLES TO AVOID DEFAULT ON LOANS. The Finance Ministry on 5 August said some 50 percent of its Eurobonds sold through the U.S. Merrill Lynch bank have been converted into new Eurobonds maturing in February 2001. Ukraine sold some $400 million in T-bills through Merrill Lynch in 1997 and was to have redeemed them last September. It needs around $3.5 million to service debts by the end of 2000, but the National Bank has only $1.3 million and is dependent on the IMF's $2.6 billion loan program. A government delegation will visit MF headquarters in Washington next week to seek new loans. "We have agreed on some questions but others demand an elaboration of positions and wordings," AP quoted Deputy Premier Serhiy Tyhypko as saying. Ukraine is counting on receiving some $180 million in IMF credit this month. JM

UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR POWER WORKERS WARN OF SECTOR'S 'BANKRUPTCY.' The union representing workers employed by the state-run Enerhoatom nuclear power company issued a statement on 5 August warning that the atomic energy industry is in a critical state. "An unbalanced tax policy has brought highly profitable nuclear power plants to the verge of bankruptcy," AP quoted the statement as saying. The document also noted that the industry lacks money to pay on time for nuclear fuel supplies from Russia, thus casting doubt on the "readiness of some reactors to be operational during the fall-winter season." JM