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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINE BACKPEDALS ON UNIFICATION OF ENERGY SYSTEM WITH RUSSIA. Ukrainian Premier Anatoliy Kinakh said in Kyiv on 1 August that a previously planned harmonization of the energy systems of Ukraine and Russia "is not a goal in itself," ITAR-TASS reported. Kinakh said that instead, "We are talking about effective and equal conditions of cooperation between Ukraine and Russia in the energy sector." He added that "all this is possible, but our economic interests should be considered on an equal basis." The premier's comments contradict recent statements made by Ukrainian First Deputy Premier Oleh Dubyna and Russian Deputy Premier Viktor Khristenko that the energy systems of the two countries should be harmonized by 1 August. PB

UKRAINE INCREASES OIL TRANSPORT. The Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry said on 1 August that Ukrainian oil pipelines increased the amount of oil they transported in the first half of this year by 11.5 percent over the same period last year, ITAR-TASS reported. The ministry said a total of 33.76 billion tons of oil were carried through June. Oil exports to Western Europe dropped by 17.5 percent in that time, however, as did natural gas deliveries, which declined by 9.5 percent. PB

LUZHKOV COMMENT PROVOKES PROTEST FROM UKRAINE. A spokesman for Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Ministry, Serhyi Borodenkiv, has handed to his Russian counterparts an official protest against a recent statement made by Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov at the navy parade celebration in Sevastopol, "Rossiiskaya gazeta" reported on 31 July. Luzhkov declared that "I believe that the Crimea is Russian land. It has always been Russian and never belonged to Ukraine" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 31 July 2001). According to Borodenkiv, Luzhkov's words call into question Ukraine's territorial integrity and its existing border, as well as good relations between the two countries. VY