UKRAINIAN MINERS STRIKE OVER WAGE ARREARS, LOW PAY. Some 40,000 miners launched an indefinite strike in 19 mines in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Volynska Oblasts on 10 May, Interfax reported. Ukraine's Independent Trade Union of Miners told the news agency that the miners are protesting the late payment of wages and mounting wage arrears, low earnings in the mining industry in comparison with other national economic sectors, and insufficient budget subsidies to the industry. The union said the government has not responded to earlier proposals to begin negotiations with miners on resolving the industry's problems. It added that the protest "will be expanded to achieve a mass character." According to official data, Ukraine's wage arrears totaled 6.5 billion hryvni ($1.2 billion) as of 10 April, of which 747 million hryvni were in the mining sector. Only eight of Ukraine's 191 mines are profit-making. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SATISFIED WITH U.S. TRIP. Viktor Yushchenko on 10 May expressed satisfaction with his recent talks in Washington (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 and 10 May 2000) on shutting down the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and prospects for resuming IMF loans. He said he achieved "pretty good results" regarding his visit's goals. "The main result of the visit is that the Ukrainian president and his policies are regarded as [guarantors] of the political and economic stability of the country's domestic and foreign interests," Interfax quoted him as saying. Yushchenko's aide Valeriy Lytvytskyy told Reuters that an IMF mission is expected in Kiev by mid-June at the latest and that a decision on the disbursement of IMF loans will be reached soon afterward. JM