UKRAINIAN DEPUTY PREMIER SAYS ENERGY SECTOR REFORM IS WORKING. Yuliya Tymoshenko, who is in charge of reforming Ukraine's energy sector, has said consumers paid 663 million hryvni ($122 million) for energy in August, which constitutes 70.8 percent of the total cost of energy supplies that month, "Ukrainian Economist Daily" reported on 8 September. She noted that as a result of those payments the government was able to repay nearly all debts in the sector, including wages. She said the government still has debts only to those coal enterprises that have not paid for electricity. Tymoshenko added that the government expects 100 percent payment for electricity in September, noting that at the beginning of the year, only 13 percent of electricity supplies were paid for in cash. JM

UKRAINIAN TRADE UNION LEADER ARRESTED. Yuriy Pyvovarov, leader of the All-Ukrainian Trade Union "Solidarnist," was arrested in Donetsk on 6 September, Interfax reported. Donetsk Prosecutor Oleksandr Almezov told journalists that the Kharkiv Prosecutor's Office had launched a criminal investigation into "Solidarnist" activists on charges of abuse of office and had ordered "Solidarnist" headquarters in Donetsk to be searched. Almezov said Pyvovarov put up resistance to police officers and inflicted serious injuries on three of them when they tried to enter his office. Subsequently Pyvovarov spent eight hours on a window ledge of the "Solidarnist" headquarters' building in protest against the search. After finally persuading Pyvovarov to leave his ledge, police interrogated and then arrested him after he had made two attempts to "disappear." Almezov said there is no link between Pyvovarov's arrest and the 29 August protest action in Donetsk, which was organized by "Solidarnist," among other groups (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 August 2000). JM

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER ADDRESSES RFE/RL FORUM. Dumitru Diacov told a press briefing at RFE/RL's Washington office on 7 September that Moldova's July decision to switch from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary system will benefit both its citizens and democracy. Diacov, who is accompanied in the U.S. by Party of Moldovan Communists Chairman Vladimir Voronin, said many post-communist states face problems because they have a presidential system in which too much power is concentrated in one pair of hands. He said Moldova is "a small country with big problems" facing numerous challenges and having to perform a "difficult balancing act between East and West." He noted that if Ukraine becomes part of NATO, Moldova will also seek membership in that organization. MS

FOUR GUUAM PRESIDENTS MEET. The presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova met on 7 September in New York on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit to discuss how to transform the grouping from an informal into a formal organization, UNIAN and Interfax reported. Uzbek President Karimov did not attend, as he was still en route to New York. Azerbaijani President Aliev and his Georgian counterpart, Shevardnadze, both said that GUUAM's primary focus should be the realization of the Eurasian Transport corridor project. Shevardnadze and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said the delays and problems in creating a CIS free trade zone and Russia's withdrawal from the Bishkek agreement on visa-free travel between CIS member states highlight the need for GUUAM states to introduce their own free trade regime. LF