UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT TO BOOST GRAIN OUTPUT NEXT YEAR. Premier Viktor Yushchenko said on 15 August that "within seven to 10 days" the government will adopt a program to stimulate next year's grain yield, Interfax reported. According to Yushchenko, the program will provide for gathering 35-40 million tons of grain. "This is [an ambitious objective] but absolutely realistic, according to conclusions and data from the Agrarian Policy Ministry," Yushchenko said. This year's grain crop in Ukraine is expected to total some 25 million tons. JM

UKRAINE CUTS DEBT TO IMF. In the first half of 2000, Ukraine reduced its debt to the IMF by $415.6 million to $2.257 billion, Interfax reported on 15 August, quoting IMF data. Taking into account interest payments, Ukraine paid $476.8 million to the IMF from January to June. Ukraine is due to repay the fund $389.1 million in the second half of 2000, $605.5 million in 2001, and $301.8 million in 2002. JM