UKRAINE HOPES FOR WORLD BANK LOAN TO PAY ARREARS... Deputy Labor Minister Olena Haryacha said on 20 August that the government currently owes 1.9 billion hryvni ($413 million) in unpaid pensions and 1 billion hryvni in wage arrears. Despite President Leonid Kuchma's order to clear those debts by October, only a fraction of those amounts has been paid to date. Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tyhypko said the same day that the World Bank has tentatively agreed to provide a $100 million loan in September to pay back pensions and wages. He added, however, that the loan is conditional on the continuation of the IMF's aid program. JM

...LOOKS FOR MONEY IN ANOTHER EUROBOND ISSUE. The Finance Ministry on 20 August announced that it has issued Eurobonds worth 538 million German marks ($292 million), which will mature in February 2001 at an annual interest rate of 16 percent, Interfax reported. The ministry has received confirmation from the Luxembourg Stock Exchange that it has included the Eurobonds in its listing. In February and May 1998, Ukraine floated the first issue of Eurobonds, worth 1 billion German marks. JM

PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER URGES UKRAINIANS TO ELECT 'SAVIOR OF MOTHERLAND.' Oleksandr Tkachenko said in a statement marking the eighth anniversary of the country's independence that "on the threshold of the third millennium, Ukraine has abandoned progressive development and walks the path of selfdestruction," Interfax reported on 21 August. Tkachenko noted that 80 percent of Ukrainians are now living below the poverty line. Meeting with Crimean parliamentary and local deputies in Simferopol the previous day, he said that the 31 October presidential elections, in which he is a candidate, will be a turning point in Ukrainian history, since the people "must elect not simply a president but a savior of the Motherland," ITAR-TASS reported. If elected president, Tkachenko intends to reach an agreement with Russia and Belarus on the "creation of a single economic space and a defense union." JM