NEW PRO-MAJORITY CAUCUS EMERGES IN UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT. A new parliamentary caucus called "Solidarnist" (Solidarity) emerged on 29 February, Interfax reported. The group is composed of six deputies from the Social Democratic Party (United), five from the Peasant Party, and three each from the Fatherland, Independence, and Popular Democratic Party caucuses. Solidarnist leader Petro Poroshenko declared that his caucus will join the Coordinating Council of the parliamentary majority. Oleksandr Volkov from the majority's Revival of Regions caucus commented that Solidarnist is a "good political move" intended to attract to the majority "as many leftist deputies as possible." The Peasant Party and Hromada Party caucuses, like that of the Progressive Socialist Party, have been dissolved because they did not have the required minimum number of deputies (14). JM

NATO HOLDS WORKING SESSION IN KYIV. In the alliance's first working session in a partner country, NATO ambassadors from 19 member states and NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson met in Kyiv on 1 March. The gathering is also the first meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission to be held in the Ukrainian capital, following 15 sessions in Brussels. "We have a unique opportunity to contribute to Euroatlantic stability," Robertson told the meeting, which he described as "historic" and being held in "recognition of special partnership between NATO and Ukraine," according to Reuters. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, who read a letter from President Leonid Kuchma to the meeting, said "Ukraine is ready to further deepen its relations with the alliance." JM