UKRAINIAN PREMIER OPTIMISTIC ABOUT DEBT RESTRUCTURING SCHEME. Viktor Yushchenko said on 15 February that he is satisfied with investors' response to the debt restructuring proposals that he presented in London the day before (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 February 2000). He added that Ukraine's Finance Ministry will make similar presentations in Frankfurt, Zurich, Munich, Vienna, Milan, and Paris. Yushchenko hopes that Ukraine will be able to restructure 85 percent of its foreign debts. JM

UKRAINIAN LEFTIST LAWMAKERS REGISTER FOR SESSION. The 15 February parliamentary session took place with the participation of 350 registered deputies, Interfax reported. This means that leftist lawmakers, excluding those from the Progressive Socialist Party, registered for a session for the first time since the center-right majority took over the leadership of the Supreme Council. JM

UKRAINE'S PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION REPORTEDLY PLANNING TO SPLIT COMMUNISTS. Petro Symonenko, leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine, told Interfax on 15 February that the presidential administration is planning to create an "alternative" party that will include the word "Communist" in its name. According to Symonenko, the presidential administration has instructed regional authorities to hold meetings of local residents to set up such a party. He added that the first of such meetings has already been held in Cherkasy Oblast. Symonenko believes that the authorities will be unable to split his party since he argues it is united by the principle of "democratic centralism." Presidential spokesman Oleksandr Martynenko denied that the administration is planning any such step, arguing that "the president is not a supporter but rather an opponent of communist ideology." JM