TURKMENISTAN TO RESUME GAS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE... Turkmenistan's Deputy Prime Minister Yolly Gurbanmuradov and his visiting Ukrainian counterpart Yuliya Timoshenko signed a preliminary protocol on gas supplies for the period 2000- 2010, Interfax reported. Kyiv will purchase 20 billion cubic meters of gas this year, and 50 billion cubic meters annually for a ten-year period thereafter, at a price of $42 per thousand cubic meters. As under previous agreements, payment will be partly in cash and partly in goods and services. According to "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 27 July, Timoshenko did not try to bargain over the price Ashgabat asked. LF

...PROVIDED UKRAINE DOES NOT ANNUL AGREEMENT. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has already cast doubt on that protocol, however. Kuchma said in Simferopol on 27 July that he "has prohibited the signing of any documents" on Turkmen gas deliveries, adding that such "agreements on principle" should be signed only by the presidents of both countries. "This is nothing short of deception," he said, noting that the final price of Turkmen gas, including its transportation costs to Ukraine, may amount to $90-$105 for 1,000 cubic meters. JM

EBRD PONDERS $200 MILLION LOAN TO UKRAINE TO FINANCE TWO NUCLEAR REACTORS. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development is considering giving nearly $200 million to Ukraine to finance the completion of two nuclear reactors at the Rivne and Khmelnytskyy nuclear power plants, Interfax reported on 27 July. The EBRD'S statement that was issued after the bank's 26 July talks with Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yushchenko says the credit is conditional on the closure of the Chornobyl plant and reform in Ukraine's energy sector, including the privatization of energy supplying companies. JM


KYIV DENIES MOSCOW'S ALLEGATION OF ENCOURAGING ANTI-RUSSIAN SENTIMENTS. Deputy Foreign Minister Oleksandr Maydannyk on 18 July told Aleksei Sazonov, charge d'affaires at the Russian embassy, that Ukraine "resolutely refutes" the allegation that Kyiv is encouraging anti-Russian sentiment in the country, Interfax reported. That allegation was made a day earlier by Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Ivan Aboimov (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 July 2000). The ministry's press service told Interfax that "the Russian side's speculations connected with the so-called protection of the Russian language and culture in Ukraine are inadmissible." According to the ministry, some Russian media and politicians have distorted the real situation in Lviv following the tragic death of Ukrainian composer Ihor Bilozir in order to launch "yet another" anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 19 July)