FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS UKRAINE MAINTAINS EUROPEAN COURSE. Newly appointed Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko assured foreign diplomats in Kyiv on 10 October that Ukraine will continue its efforts to integrate with Europe. "Let me reiterate once again that our course remains unchanged. As President [Leonid] Kuchma stated...the course on European integration is and will remain our priority," Reuters quoted Zlenko as saying. Zlenko declared that Kyiv wants "to materialize its European choice in a concrete form," according to Interfax. JM

UKRAINIAN DEPUTY PREMIER REPORTS ON PREPARATION FOR WINTER... Yuliya Tymoshenko told the parliament on 10 October that this year the country saw growth in every branch of the fuel and energy sector except oil refining, Interfax reported. According to Tymoshenko, electricity production increased by 0.6 percent compared with the same period in 1999, oil extraction by 0.1 percent, gas extraction by 2.2 percent, and coal mining by 6 percent, while oil refining shrank by 41 percent. Tymoshenko assured lawmakers that Ukraine's nuclear power plants have a sufficient amount of fuel for the winter. Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz, however, remained unconvinced and commented that the situation in the energy sector does not differ from last year's. "If people freeze in their apartments in the winter, no [political] power will be able to stay in place," he added. JM