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THE USES OF 'KOMPROMAT' OUTLINED. An article in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 17 May says that the appearance in the press of transcripts with compromising materials ("kompromat") about presidential administration chief Aleksandr Voloshin might reflect either the work of his enemies, his friends, or himself. Meanwhile, an article in "Novye Izvestiya" on the same day said that kompromat may appear about newly appointed Russian ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin and argued that such materials are intended to immunize the population against any incriminating material that does turn up. That in turn shows that "the authorities are refusing to accept any negative information about members of the upper echelons, proclaiming a special kind of sovereignty with regard to muckraking and virtually branding all complaints not sanctioned by the Kremlin against state officials as acts of political sabotage." PG

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SAYS GUUAM MUST NOT UNDERMINE CIS. Vladimir Voronin has said his country will continue to support the GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) alignment, of which it was a founding member in 1997, only if that grouping "does not run counter to the interests of cooperation within the CIS," according to Interfax on 17 May. Voronin noted the emergence within the CIS of two groups, GUUAM and the Eurasian Economic Community (the former CIS Customs Union). He said it is important to determine whether those new formations "are part of the whole [CIS], or whether they are independent or even contradict the CIS." Voronin added that "there must be no politics in either of these unions, or any other union." Turan on 30 April quoted Voronin as rejecting speculation in the wake of the Communist victory in the 25 February parliamentary elections that Moldova plans to quit GUUAM (see also Part II below). LF

CONSULTATIONS ON UKRAINE'S NEW PREMIER YET TO PRODUCE RESULTS. A 17 May meeting between President Leonid Kuchma and leaders of parliamentary groups to discuss candidates for the post of prime minister ended inconclusively, Interfax reported. Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko told journalists that Kuchma mentioned five possible candidates: Mykola Azarov, Oleh Dubyna, Anatoliy Kinakh, Vasyl Rohovyy, and Serhiy Tyhypko. Symonenko noted that the Communists will not back any of those candidates and will make their own proposals. Oleksandr Volkov, leader of the Democratic Union parliamentary caucus, said centrist parliamentary groups will propose a single candidate for prime minister on 18 May. Asked whether the centrist groups will coordinate their proposal with other caucuses, Volkov said the parliamentary approval of a prime minister is impossible "without the leftists or the rightists." And he added: "One has to make a deal with someone." JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO OVERCOME VETO ON ELECTION BILL, AGAIN. The parliament failed on 17 May to override President Kuchma's veto of a bill that would have permitted only political parties to field candidates for the legislature. The measure was supported by 259 deputies, 41 votes short of the required two-thirds majority. The current electoral law stipulates that 225 lawmakers are elected under a proportional party-list system, while the other 225 in one-seat constituencies. It was already Kuchma's second veto on the election bill. The parliament sidestepped the former veto by adopting an amended version of the vetoed bill (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 March 2001). JM

UKRAINE DESTROYS LAST STRATEGIC BOMBER. Ukraine on 17 May cut into pieces its last long-range TU-95MS bomber, which was capable of being fitted with a nuclear weapon, Interfax reported. In this way Kyiv completed the dismantling of 38 strategic bombers inherited from the former USSR. The U.S. has been assisting Ukraine financially and technically in liquidating nuclear-capable aircraft and missiles under the U.S.-Ukrainian Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. The agency reported that as of 30 April, the U.S. has spent $7.7 million for this purpose. JM

VORONIN: 'GOD HELP UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS!' In an interview with Infotag on the eve of his 18-19 May visit to Ukraine, Voronin said his country is linked to Ukraine through "our common history and present-day reality" and by the fact that the Ukrainian minority is Moldova's largest. Asked to comment on the recent statement by Ukrainian Communist Party head Petr Symonenko that Ukraine will become the second Communist republic after Moldova in the former Soviet Union, Voronin replied: "This is a domestic Ukrainian affair. Will the Communists [there] be second after us? God help them win! Communists, after all, do not wage the worst policy, do they?" But he assured the interviewer that when he meets Symonenko during the visit "we will not be plotting to export revolution to Ukraine, the more so as the Moldovan Communists have come to power democratically, as acknowledged by the whole world." MS