WORLD BANK SAYS UKRAINE PLAN COULD LEAD TO RENATIONALIZATION. A group of World Bank experts have concluded that a Ukrainian plan to reform the country's energy sector could lead to the renationalization of energy companies there, Interfax reported on 27 April. The plan, which the experts characterized as ineffective, could make these firms less profitable and thus less attractive to outside investors. Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshkeno responded that Kyiv had improved its plan in response to earlier World Bank criticism. PG

UKRAINE, GAZPROM AGREE ON DEBT RESTRUCTURING. Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian vice premier in charge of the energy sector, told ITAR-TASS on 27 April that Kyiv and Gazprom have agreed to restructure Ukraine's debt for Russian gas over the next three years. She said that Kyiv is exploring the possibility of extending that restructuring period over five years. PG

YUSHCHENKO HAS NO PLANS TO RESIGN. Vladimir Litvin, the chief of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration, told ITAR-TASS on 27 April that Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko has not submitted his resignation despite rumors that he had done so. "No one knows where the reports of this kind come from," Litvin said, but he did not rule out the possibility that the rumors had been spread by those who want to force Yushchenko out. PG

KYIV MAYOR WARNS OF GRAIN SHORTAGES. Oleksandr Omelchenko, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital, told Interfax on 27 April that his city will run out of grain this summer unless it receives supplies from state reserves. Omelchenko appealed to the parliament to release half of the country's grain reserves to support Kyiv's needs. He said that the shortages had been triggered by the purchases of Kyiv-subsidized bread by those from other regions of the country where bread is not subsidized. PG

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT TO CONSIDER CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on 27 April sent to the parliament a draft bill to amend the constitution according to the wishes of the voters that were expressed in the 16 April referendum, AP reported. The measures, which include reducing the size of the Verkhovna Rada from 450 to 300 seats, creating an appointed upper house, and lifting deputy's immunity, face significant opposition in the parliament. PG

LANDSBERGIS SEEKS REVIEW OF TRADE ACCORD WITH UKRAINE. In Kyiv on an official visit, Lithuanian Parliament Speaker Vytautas Landsbergis told Ukrainian President Kuchma that trade relations between the two countries need to be reviewed and improved, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 April. Landsbergis said there are some "misunderstandings" between the two countries and that these have cost Lithuanian firms more than $500,000 in unfair duties, AP reported. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yushchenko said that Kyiv will address this trade dispute in the near future. Kuchma also told Landsbergis that "I can assert that our strategic goal is membership in the EU," and added that Ukraine is only an associate member of the CIS. PG

UKRAINE, IRAN TO BUILD AN-140 PLANES IN ISFAHAN. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Sadeq Kharrazi and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk announced in Ukraine on 27 April that the two countries will begin to assemble An-140 planes in Iran later this year, ITAR-TASS reported. The An-140 is intended to replace the older An-24. PG