TURKMENISTAN THREATENS TO TAKE UKRAINE TO COURT. Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry released a statement on 12 August warning that it will take Ukraine to an international arbitration court if that country fails to pay its debts for this year's supplies of Turkmen natural gas soon, ITAR-TASS reported. As of 12 August, Ukraine had paid for only some 10 percent of the 8.76 billion cubic meters of gas supplies between 1 January and 21 May, when gas transports were suspended (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 August 1999). LF

UKRAINE'S FOREIGN TRADE DECREASES. The State Statistics Committee on 12 July reported that Ukraine's foreign trade from January-June fell to $10.8 billion, down 24.6 percent compared with the same period last year. Foreign investment in the first six months of 1999 totaled $265 million, down 48.8 percent on the same period in 1998. The committee also said that Ukraine's population had declined from 52.04 million at the end of 1991 to 49.89 million as of 1 July 1999. JM

YET ANOTHER HOPEFUL TO JOIN UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL POLL. The Supreme Court on 12 August ordered that Vitaliy Kononov, leader of the Green Party, be registered as a presidential candidate, UNIAN reported. The Central Electoral Commission had refused to register Kononov, saying that only 974,527 signatures on the lists supporting his candidacy were genuine. If the commission complies with the order, Kononov will become the 14th presidential hopeful. JM