UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SUBMITS BILL ON TAX AMNESTY. Leonid Kuchma has submitted to the parliament a bill on a tax amnesty for citizens who have concealed their revenues at home and abroad, Interfax reported on 13 June. The bill proposes that private businessmen deposit their concealed cash and property in Ukrainian commercial banks, where they would be taxed at a rate of 10 percent. Under the bill, the amnesty offer would be valid for one year, but businessmen would be obliged to declare their revenues during the first six months following the law's passage. The bill includes a promise that those who declare their assets will not be punished for previous violations of tax regulations and bans officials from seeking information on the origins of income. Kuchma has asked the parliament to consider the bill urgent and include it on the agenda immediately. JM

UKRAINE DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF SUPPLYING ARMS TO SIERRA LEONE. The Foreign Ministry has rejected allegations in foreign media that Kyiv supplied weapons to the antigovernment United Front in Sierra Leone last year, Interfax reported on 13 June. Those who make such allegations "not only attempt to conceal their dirty deeds but also want to remove Ukraine from the international weapons market through unfair competition," the agency quoted a ministry official as saying. JM

UKRAINIAN EX-PREMIER PLEADS INNOCENT TO MONEY-LAUNDERING. Ukrainian former Premier Pavlo Lazarenko has pleaded not guilty to charges of laundering some $114 million he allegedly stole while in office (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 June 2000), Reuters reported on 13 June. Those charges have been brought by the U.S., which is holding Lazarenko in a federal prison in California, pending the resolution of an extradition request by Switzerland. Lazarenko's lawyers have vowed to fight the U.S. charges, depicting their client as the victim of a political vendetta by his former ally, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. JM

UKRAINE TO CLEAR DEBT TO BULGARIA BY GAS SUPPLIES. Ukraine will export to Bulgaria some 600 million cubic meters of natural gas in exchange for Bulgaria's involvement in laying pipelines in the 1970s, AP reported on 13 June, quoting Bulgarian officials. The Ukrainian side will buy the gas from Russia, which recently rejected Bulgaria's request to lower the cost of gas deliveries. A total of 200 million cubic meters will be delivered in 2000 and 378 million cubic meters in 2001. MS