KUCHMA URGES 'CENTRIST PARTY POLICY.' Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told a 31 August meeting of the political bloc Our Choice--Leonid Kuchma! that he advocates a "centrist party policy," Interfax reported. "Establishing centrist politics and a middle class will signify a breakthrough toward a better life and pulling Ukraine out of the crisis," Kuchma noted. He said that Ukraine has 76 registered political parties but most people do not want to join any of them. In his opinion, Our Choice--Leonid Kuchma! could become instrumental in forming a government coalition and a parliamentary majority after the presidential elections. According to Yevhen Kushnarov, coordinator of the pro-Kuchma bloc, 19 parties with a combined membership of 800,000 belong to the grouping. JM
UKRAINE, CZECH REPUBLIC SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION DEAL. On 1 September in Kyiv, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk and his Czech counterpart, Vladimir Vetchy, signed a protocol on cooperation in military aviation, CTK reported. Vetchy said Ukraine could supply engines for the new Czech L-159 plane. Vetchy added that Ukraine has a lot of experience in the production of aviation engines. He noted that U.S.'s Boeing company, the Czech Republic's strategic partner in the L-159 project, has been consulted about Ukraine's possible cooperation. JM
KYIV TV STATION THREATENED WITH SHUTDOWN. Kyiv's STB TV is suing Ukraine's tax administration and the commission on communications frequencies for freezing the channel's bank accounts, company director Dmytro Prykordonnyi told a press conference on 27 August, according to Infobank News Agency. Prykordonnyi charged that nine government agencies are now investigating the channel and that the investigation is politically motivated, as the channel provides "objective coverage" of the current presidential race. With its bank accounts frozen, the director explained, the channel will not be able to pay the fees for transmitter services, which in turn will lead to a shutdown.