UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT INTERROGATED ABOUT JOURNALIST'S DISAPPEARANCE... Prosecutor-General Mykhaylo Potebenko said on 8 December that he has questioned Leonid Kuchma in connection with the slander case against Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 December 2000), Interfax reported. Potebenko added that investigators have also questioned Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko and presidential administration chief Volodymyr Lytvyn, whom Moroz accused, along with Kuchma, of being behind the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze. "They all think that [Moroz's accusation] is slander [based on] a fabricated material," Potebenko noted. Potebenko said Moroz has already been interrogated twice, adding that the Socialist Party leader "diplomatically avoids [answering] some questions." JM

...WHILE MOROZ PLEDGES TO RELEASE INTERVIEW WITH SECURITY SERVICE DEFECTOR. Oleksandr Moroz said on 8 December that he will soon make public an interview with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) officer who gave him the tape allegedly demonstrating Kuchma's complicity in Gongadze's disappearance. Moroz said the interview was brought to Ukraine by three Ukrainian lawmakers. The same day, people's deputies Serhiy Holovatyy, Oleksandr Zhyr, and Viktor Shyshkin said they had met with the officer in "one of the Schengen Agreement countries" and made audio and video recordings of conversations with him. "[Moroz's tape] is not a falsification, and I can prove this to anyone," Zhyr told journalists. The three lawmakers said they were searched by security officers at Kyiv airport after their return to Ukraine. The materials they had with them were confiscated for "several minutes" and subsequently returned. JM

WARSAW SAYS POSITION ON BYPASS GAS PIPELINE 'UNCHANGED.' Government spokesman Krzysztof Luft said on 8 December that Poland's position on a new link of a gas pipeline from Russia to Western Europe that would bypass Ukraine remains unchanged, PAP reported. Luft was commenting on an Interfax report asserting that Poland and Slovakia have given Russia a "green light" to build the bypass pipeline. Interfax quoted Gazprom Vice President Petr Rodionov as saying that the "issue has been practically resolved." Luft said Poland remains "open to all solutions." Warsaw earlier voiced objections to the project, saying that Russia's-proposed route for the pipeline along Poland's eastern border disregards Poland's economic interests (since there are not many gas consumers in eastern regions), its ecological interests (it runs through national parks), and its political interests (it bypasses Ukraine). JM