ANOTHER INDEPENDENT PUBLICATION WARNED. Adding to the slew of official warnings against independent publications in Belarus, the State Press Committee recently warned the cultural magazine "Arche" for what it called the unauthorized alteration of the publication's title and the magazine's distribution abroad. The latest issue of "Arche" came out under the title of "Arche-Skaryna" and lists addresses of distributors in Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine. Under Belarusian regulations, two warnings within one year give the authorities sufficient grounds to shut down a publication. Valerka Bulhakau, chief editor of "Arche," deems the warning groundless. "The authorities are putting us in the same category as independent newspapers --the principal target of their repressive machinery," he told Belapan. "They consider us dangerous. That is quite an achievement for a cultural publication."("RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 1 August)

MEDIA FORUM SET FOR SEPTEMBER IN YALTA. An international forum for journalists, film directors, and media professionals from the newly independent states will be held from 2-7 September in Yalta, Ukraine. Please contact in Kyiv:
in Crimea: (International Journalists' Network, 24-28 July)

RADIO B2-92 NOW ALSO IN ALBANIAN. For three months Radio B2-92 news bulletins have been broadcast on about 30 radio stations in Serbia, Montenegro, BosniaHerzegovina, Hungary, and Ukraine as well as in Kosova on Radio Kontakt in Pristhina and Kosovska Mitrovica. Radio B2-92 now prepares news programs in Albanian every day at 2:30 pm, the first produced in Belgrade and translated into Albanian, and which are now available on the Free B92 website together with bulletins in Serbian, English, and Hungarian. The B2- 92 website also presents debates, the magazines "Rec" and "ProFemina," Radio B2-92 live webstream, video programs by ANEM and B2-92, award-winning films, and the Truth, Responsibility and Reconciliation website. (ANEM press release, 27 July)


RESTRICTIVE FREQUENCY LICENSING REQUIREMENTS OVERTURNED. On 14 April, the Supreme Arbitration Court invalidated that segment of a 1998 Cabinet of Ministers decree which stipulated that broadcasters acquire an additional "license for frequency use." The high license fee would have required an advertising market much larger than existed and would have resulted in the closure of numerous stations. The Association of Ukrainian Radio Broadcasters (AURB) at that time held that this decree violated the 92nd article of the Ukrainian Constitution, under which non-state broadcasters of Ukraine can only be regulated through acting legislation--which does not include a Cabinet of Ministers decree--and the AURB appealed to legislators. In late 1999, the AURB took its case to the Supreme Arbitration Court of Ukraine, and filed suit against the State Communication Committee and the State Licensing Chamber. (Ukraine, Belarus & Southern Caucasus Internews Network, 13 July)

PRESIDENT CALLS FOR INTERNET DEVELOPMENT. Leonid Kuchma has signed a decree on Internet development in Ukraine, Interfax reported on 31 July. It obliges the government to provide Internet connections to scientific organizations, educational and cultural institutions, as well as to a wider segment of the population. The government is also to draft a bill on the protection of intellectual property and copyrights on the Web. The decree stipulates that by the end of 2000 the government must create websites for all central and local executive power bodies as well as for leading scientific and educational institutions in Ukraine. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 1 August)

UKRAINE REPORTS 0.1 PERCENT DEFLATION IN JULY. The State Statistics Committee on 3 August reported that the country posted a 0.1 percent deflation rate in July. The committee attributed the deflation to a seasonal drop in food prices, saying that food prices dropped 0.4 percent, while nonfood prices went up 0.6 percent. Inflation was 18.7 percent in the first six months of 2000, well above the government's projected year-end inflation rate of 15.9 percent. Officials fear that inflation may soar later this year if Kyiv fails to agree with the IMF on the renewal of the latter's $2.6 billion loan program (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 August 2000). A Ukrainian delegation led by Deputy Premier Yuriy Yekhanurov is currently in Washington for talks with the IMF on the restoration of the suspended loan. JM

GAZPROM SEES UKRAINIAN BOMBERS FOR GAS AS 'HEADACHE.' Gazprom has said the transfer of Ukrainian strategic bombers as repayment for Ukraine's gas debt is unprofitable for Russia, the "Eastern Economic Daily" reported on 3 August. Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yushchenko earlier confirmed that Kyiv is considering such a repayment scheme (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 August 2000). Gazprom press service head Anatolii Babaev said the possible transfer could become "a headache for Gazprom since if this proposal were implemented, Russia would not gain anything but would have to pay large amounts of taxes." Babaev added, however, that Kyiv's proposal to repay its gas debt by putting part of Ukraine's gas pipeline network at Russia's disposal is a "constructive step." JM