UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT PROMISES TEACHERS MORE MONEY--NEXT YEAR... Leonid Kuchma said on 28 September that the government will raise salaries for all employees in the education sector in 2001 and wipe out all wage arrears to teachers by the end of that year, the "Eastern Economist Daily" reported, citing UNIAN. There are some 500,000 teachers in Ukraine who make an average of 137 hryvnia ($25) per month. Social Policy and Labor Minister Ivan Sakhan said that other state employees will receive 25 percent wage hikes next year. He said it is the first time in three years that wages for those employees will be increased. PB

...AS PREMIER PREDICTS PENSION INCREASE. Viktor Yushchenko said that some 800 million hryvnia ($147 million) will be allocated to increase pensions in 2001, the "Eastern Economist Daily" reported on 28 September. Yushchenko said "the government plans to eliminate all current social debts to the population." He added that Ukraine will experience substantial economic growth next year and that the government's goal is to increase the percentage of the budget spent on social services from 41 percent to 46 percent. PB

BULGARIAN, ROMANIAN PREMIERS URGE MILOSEVIC TO ADMIT DEFEAT. Ivan Kostov and his Romanian counterpart, Mugur Isarescu, said in a joint statement on 28 September that they "request the powers in Belgrade to respect the will for change of Serbia's population," Reuters and local media reported. They said the Yugoslav electorate demonstrated through its vote that President Slobodan Milosevic "no longer represents it." Kostov and Isarescu met at the Belene military training grounds in Bulgaria, where they witnessed peacekeeping exercises by a joint Bulgarian-Romanian force. Bulgarian Defense Minister Boiko Noev said the two countries are "strong candidates" for NATO membership because they will "complete the region's security map." In addition, Kostov and Isarescu announced they will jointly appeal to Ukraine to allow the transit of Russian gas to the Balkans via its territory. MS

Romania___________10_______4______4______18 Ukraine____________3_______7_______7______17 Belarus____________3_______1_______10______14 Poland_____________6_______4_______1______11 Bulgaria___________5_______3_______2_______10 Czech Rep._________2_______2_______3_______7 Hungary____________3_______2_______1_______6 Slovakia___________1_______3_______1_______5 Lithuania__________2_______0_______2_______4 Latvia_____________1_______1_______1_______3 Estonia____________1_______0_______2_______3 Slovenia___________2_______0_______0_______2 Croatia____________1_______0_______1_______2 Moldova____________0_______1_______0_______1 Yugoslavia_________0_______1_______0_______1 Albania____________0_______0_______0_______0 Bosnia-Herzeg._____0_______0_______0_______0 Macedonia__________0_______0_______0_______0