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=2E..LISTS FURTHER OSCE PRIORITIES. Geoana said another main focus of activity will be Chechnya, and proposed that Romanian ambassador to Kyiv Alexandru Cornea head a new mission to Grozny, calling on Russia to grant it "all possible support." He said his first mission as OSCE chairman will take him next week to Belgrade, and the OSCE will help prepare elections in Kosova and build democratic institutions in Bosnia. The OSCE will also concentrate on the struggle against organized crime, ethnic hatred and discrimination against minorities. In 2001, he said, Romania will organize an OSCE conference on the situation of Sinti and Roma in Europe ("RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January)

CROSS BORDER COOPERATION PROJECTS. The European Commission has announced a call for proposals from border areas of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, with EU and /or CEE accession countries. Local and regional authorities or associations of local and regional authorities can apply, in partnership with an eligible accession country, EU member state, NGOs, or education centers. Application deadline is 27 March 2001. To download application documents:, quoting reference SCRE /111760/C/G/WW.


SECURITY SERVICE DENIES PRESSURE ON RFE/RL JOURNALISTS. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has denied that their employees are pressuring Radio Liberty journalists in order to influence the RFE/RL coverage of developments in Ukraine, Interfax reported on 15 January. The SBU's denial appears to be a response to RFE/RL President Thomas Dine's recent statement on the SBU's activities vis-a-vis RFE/RL. In that statement, Dine said that "in recent days, people claiming to be Ukrainian intelligence officers have approached members of our Ukrainian Service and threatened reprisals against them and those who rebroadcast our programming in Ukraine if the service does not modify its coverage of Ukrainian political developments." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 16 January)

LAWMAKERS SLAM PROSECUTOR OVER MISSING JOURNALIST CASE. Serhiy Holovatyy and Viktor Shyshkin, members of the ad hoc parliamentary commission to investigate the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, have accused ProsecutorGeneral Mykhaylo Potebenko of seeking to hide evidence in the Gongadze case, Interfax reported on 11 January. Valeriy Ivasyuk, the commission's expert, noted in connection with the Gongadze case that Ukraine "has created a forensic medical system to annihilate people and hide crimes." Robert Menard, head of the Reporters Without Borders international group, told journalists in Kyiv the same day that he recommended to President Leonid Kuchma that Potebenko be dismissed because of the unsatisfactory investigation progress in the Gongadze case. Menard added that Kuchma "did not speak in [Potebenko's] defense." ("RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January)

PACE PLEDGES TO HELP EVALUATE 'MOROZ'S TAPES.' Hanne Severinsen, a rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), pledged PACE's help in making an expert evaluation of the "Moroz tapes" which caused a political scandal in Ukraine by implicating President Leonid Kuchma in Gongadze's disappearance. "If it turns out that these tapes are authentic, you will have a Watergate in Ukraine," Severinsen said, adding that PACE will find an institution to evaluate the original tapes made by Kuchma's former bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko. The same day, Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz said Melnychenko eavesdropped on Kuchma for a total of 300 hours. And Melnychenko told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service on 9 January that he has taped "dozens of people" in Kuchma's office, adding that those persons can confirm the authenticity of the tapes. Prosecutor-General Potebenko told the parliament the previous day that Melnychenko's recordings are doctored. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January)

TWO OPPOSITIONIST INTERNET SITES. The Glasnost Defense =46oundation Digest provided information from two websites in Ukraine which try to provide independent views on their country. "Gazeta Antenna" at claims it has been subjected to "constant pressure" from the government and that Ukrainian law enforcement "has simply refused to investigate attempts against the lives" of its editorial board. Another website - -- focuses on human rights issues in Ukraine. (Glasnost Defense Foundation Digest, 9 January)

IVANOV SAYS ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE IN KOSOVA COMPARES WITH CHORNOBYL. Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov said on 17 January that the environmental impact of the conflict in Kosova compares with that of the Chornobyl nuclear accident and the Desert Storm operation in Iraq, Interfax reported. Meanwhile, Nikolai Ryzhkov, who heads the Duma commission for assistance to Yugoslavia, sent a letter to the International Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia calling for "court hearings" on the use of depleted uranium shells, ITAR-TASS reported on 17 January. PG

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TO SACK TYMOSHENKO? Leonid Kuchma is considering a request by Prosecutor-General Mykhaylo Potebenko to fire Deputy Premier Yuliya Tymoshenko because of the criminal charges recently brought against her (see "RFE Newsline," 16 January 2001), Interfax reported on 17 January. Potebenko argued that Tymoshenko's dismissal will prevent her from using her government post to influence the investigation. Kuchma's spokesman, Oleksandr Martynenko, said Kuchma will decide on Tymoshenko's fate "shortly." Tymoshenko commented that Kuchma's compliance with Potebenko's request would mean a victory of "Ukraine's shadow [economy] circles" against which she claims to have launched an efficient campaign. JM

COUNCIL OF EUROPE OFFERS TO HELP EVALUATE 'MOROZ TAPES.' The Council of Europe on 17 January offered to arrange for an expert evaluation of the audio recordings that allegedly implicate President Kuchma in the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze and are widely known as the "Moroz tapes." The council added that it will take such a step only following the Ukrainian parliament's official request for help in establishing the authenticity of the tapes. Interfax reported that the same day that the parliamentary commission headed by Oleksandr Lavrynovych decided to send the tapes as well as genetic samples of the body believed to be Gongadze's to the Council of Europe for independent tests. JM

UKRAINIAN LEGISLATIVE GROUP TO PROMOTE UNION OF UKRAINE, BELARUS, AND RUSSIA. Communist lawmaker Pavlo Baulin on 17 January announced the creation of a parliamentary group named "For the Union of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia" (ZUBR), Interfax reported. Baulin added that the path to Ukraine's rebirth is possible only in its union with Belarus and Russia. The group consists of 20 lawmakers from several caucuses. JM