NATO CALLS ON MOSCOW TO SEEK POLITICAL SOLUTION IN CHECHNYA. Speaking in Kyiv on 28 January, NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson said the alliance believes that "a political track is absolutely essential" to achieving a long-term solution of the Chechen conflict, Reuters reported. Robertson also rejected comparisons between the war in Chechnya and the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, pointing out that "we first exhausted all diplomatic avenues.... In the end, we were left with no alternative but to act." LF

UKRAINE, IMF TO CHECK LOAN FRAUD ALLEGATION. Ukraine and the IMF have agreed to an audit of the IMF's 1997 credits to Kyiv following former Premier Pavlo Lazarenko's allegation that the government misused hundreds of millions of dollars in IMF funds (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 January 2000), AP reported on 31 January. The agreement was reached at a meeting between President Leonid Kuchma and IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer in Davos, Switzerland, this weekend. Kuchma called Lazarenko's allegation a "complete absurdity," adding that it is a "provocation against Ukraine's president, its course toward economic reform, and [its] cooperation with the IMF," according to Interfax. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY TO HOLD SECOND SESSION OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT. The parliamentary majority is to convene in the Ukrainian House exhibition center on 1 February, having already met at that venue earlier this month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 January 2000), Interfax reported on 28 January. According to deputy speaker Viktor Medvedchuk, the decision is a response to leftists' attempts "to organize provocative actions." Medvedchuk added that both the parliamentary right-center majority and the leftist minority have been invited to attend the session. Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry has informed Medvedchuk that all resolutions passed at the majority's session on 21 January, including the ouster of speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko and his deputy Adam Martynyuk, are legitimate. JM