UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VETOES MORATORIUM ON REFERENDUMS. Leonid Kuchma has vetoed the bill that temporarily bans holding nationwide referendums in Ukraine (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January 2000), Interfax reported on 26 January, quoting Kuchma's spokesman Oleksandr Martynenko. Kuchma believes that the ban violates the constitution by denying the right of the people to express their will through a form of direct democracy such as a referendum. JM

UKRAINE'S TKACHENKO CANCELS DOCUMENTS SIGNED BY MEDVEDCHUK. Parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko, who was voted out of his post by the parliamentary majority on 21 January, has canceled all parliamentary resolutions signed by deputy speaker Viktor Medvedchuk on 22 January, Interfax reported on 26 January. According to a communist deputy quoted by the agency, Medvedchuk does not have the true parliamentary stamps and seals the resolutions he signs with "falsified stamps." Meanwhile, Medvedchuk has recently fired parliamentary spokesman Vitaliy Lukyanenko. According to deputy Oleksandr Volkov, it is Tkachenko who has duplicated stamps, while Medvedchuk's seals are genuine. JM

SPECIAL SUMMIT ON TRANSDNIESTER TO BE HELD IN JULY. Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi on 26 January said he and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed at the CIS summit in Moscow to hold a special meeting on the break-away Transdniester region this July, BASA-Press reported. He said the meeting will be attended by representatives from Moldova, Transdniester, Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE. Lucinschi described the CIS summit as a "turning point" and said Putin "unequivocally supported Moldova's position on the resolution of the Dniester region problem," ITAR-TASS reported. VG

UKRAINE THREATENS TO CUT OFF ALL ELECTRICITY TO MOLDOVA. Ukraine on 26 January threatened to cut off all electricity exports to Moldova because of unpaid debts, BASA-Press reported. Moldovan energy officials described the warning as a means of pressuring Chisinau into paying those debts. According to BASA-Press, Moldova owes Ukraine some $60 million in unpaid energy debts. Meanwhile, the Chisinau energy distribution network has been cutting off power to various neighborhoods of the capital 3-4 times a day for 6-10 hours. Temperatures in the capital have been oscillating recently between 15 C and 20 C degrees below zero. In other news, observers from the Helsinki Human Rights Committee on 26 January said they noted "numerous" violations of the electoral rules during the 23 January elections in Taraclia county, BASA-Press reported. VG