UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MOVES TO EXCLUDE KUCHMA FROM ELECTION RACE. The Supreme Council on 22 September voted 286 to 12 to approve speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko's motion urging the Central Electoral Commission to ban President Leonid Kuchma from seeking re-election. The parliament cited alleged violations by Kuchma of the presidential election law. However, the motion is not expected to have any consequences for Kuchma because the election law does not specify how to remove registered candidates from the race. Kuchma commented that the parliament's decision was a result of his competitors' "hysteria and fear" of losing the vote, according to AP. All except one of Kuchma's 14 rivals are lawmakers. JM

UKRAINE, BULGARIA, ROMANIA APPEAL FOR EU HELP TO CLEAR DANUBE OF DEBRIS. The transport ministers of Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania have appealed to the EU for financial aid to clear the River Danube of debris left by NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia. The debris has brought the Danube fleets of the three countries to a virtual standstill. Ukraine claims $70 million and Bulgaria $100 million in trade losses due to the suspension of navigation on the Danube. Romanian ship owners say they have had to lay off some 3,000 workers and have lost $90 billion, according to AP. JM