GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER CANCELS UKRAINE TRIP. Kakha Targamadze will not attend a planned meeting in Kyiv of Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian interior ministers, Caucasus Press reported on 18 July. The agency attributed Targamadze's decision to his reluctance to leave Georgia while President Eduard Shevardnadze and parliamentary speaker Zurab Zhvania are both abroad as well as to rising tensions in western Georgia in the wake of rebel Colonel Eliava's death. LF

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT EXPECTS RENEWAL OF IMF LOAN IN SEPTEMBER. Leonid Kuchma on 16 July said he expects that the IMF will resume its suspended $2.6 billion loan program to Ukraine in September, Interfax reported. Kuchma added that there have already been two international audits of Ukraine's National Bank showing that the bank did not misuse IMF funds. Western media, in particular the "Financial Times," have alleged those funds were misused. Meanwhile, Premier Viktor Yushchenko told journalists the next day that Ukraine cannot stop accepting IMF credits. He said that while Ukraine undergoes the transition from the command system to a market economy, the country is witnessing a decline in budget revenues and needs IMF support to make social payments in order to prevent too large a drop in living standards. JM

RUSSIA WORRIED BY KYIV'S LACK OF RESPONSE TO 'ANTI-RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN' IN LVIV. Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Ivan Aboimov said on 17 July that Russia is disturbed by the lack of a reaction from Kyiv to the "anti-Russian campaign" in Lviv following the tragic death of composer Ihor Bilozir in May (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 6 and 13 June 2000), Interfax reported. Aboimov noted that the absence of an official assessment of the situation in Lviv is seen by Ukrainian radicals as "the Ukrainian authorities' encouragement of such acts also in the future." Aboimov presented a video tape showing an attack by Ukrainian radicals on the cafe where Russian-speaking guests brawled with Bilozir over his singing of Ukrainian songs. The Lviv City Council has subsequently banned performing Russian music in public, while the Lviv branch of the Ukrainian Republican Party has begun organizing so called "detachments for Ukrainianization." JM