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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

GEORGIA RESCHEDULES DEBT TO UKRAINE. Having concluded debt rescheduling agreements with Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey, Tbilisi has now reached agreement with Kyiv on repaying its $920,000 debt over a period of 20 years, at an annual interest rate of 3 percent, beginning in 2003, Caucasus Press reported. Georgia's total foreign debt amounts to $1.6 billion. LF

UKRAINIAN EX-PREMIER CALLS FOR ELECTORAL ALLIANCE OF REFORMIST FORCES. In a videotaped address to a congress of the Reforms and Order Party in Kyiv on 30 June, former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko called for forging a union of all reformist and democratic forces before the parliamentary elections next year. "The main task is to revive economic reforms in order to build a flourishing Ukraine. Therefore we should unite all reformist, patriotic, and democratic forces and reach for an election victory," Interfax quoted Yushchenko as saying. JM

UKRAINIAN PRO-REFORM PARTY WANTS ELECTORAL BLOC OF RIGHTIST, CENTRIST FORCES. The Reforms and Order Party congress on 30 June approved the previous decision of the party's leadership to form a political bloc with the Popular Rukh of Ukraine (Hennadiy Udovenko's faction) and the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, Interfax reported. The congress re-elected Viktor Pynzenyk as the party's leader and authorized him to sign accords with other parties in order to create "an election bloc of reformist, patriotic forces." Pynzenyk told the congress that the Reforms and Order Party is ready to join an electoral bloc of rightists and centrist forces united around former Prime Minister Yushchenko. JM

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT OPPOSES PAYING GAS DEBT TO RUSSIA WITH EUROBONDS. Ukrainian Premier Anatoliy Kinakh told Interfax on 29 June that the government is against the idea of transforming the gas debt to Russia -- owned formally by the Naftohaz Ukrayiny monopoly -- into a government debt. Kinakh was commenting on Moscow's recent proposal that Kyiv should repay this debt with Eurobonds issued under government guarantees (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 June 2001). Kinakh said he regrets that former Premier Yushchenko signed a document obliging the government to repay the gas debt to Russia with state securities. "I think, and I am supported by the government in this issue, that this [gas debt repayment method] is inadmissible and runs counter not only Ukraine's legislation but also our national economic interests in general," Kinakh said. He noted that Naftohaz Ukrayiny's gas debt to Russia amounts to $1.342 billion. JM