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UKRAINE'S TWO RUKHS JOIN YUSHCHENKO'S OUR UKRAINE. The Popular Rukh of Ukraine led by Hennadiy Udovenko and the Ukrainian Popular Rukh of Yuriy Kostenko on 8 September declared their accession to the Our Ukraine election bloc led by former Premier Viktor Yushchenko, Interfax reported. In addition, Udovenko and Kostenko pledged to make efforts to reunite their Rukhs into one organization. Speaking at a joint conference of the two Rukhs, Yushchenko announced that Our Ukraine's core will consist of "five to seven parties," but failed to name them. JM

EU TO DELIVER TOUGH MESSAGE TO UKRAINE. Senior EU officials, including foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, will meet President Leonid Kuchma and members of the Ukrainian government in the Crimean resort of Yalta on 11 September. "If President Kuchma is serious about Ukraine's European choice and putting the Gongadze affair and other scandals behind him, he must clarify relations between the state and the media and ensure safety for foreign investors," Reuters quoted EU official Timo Summa as saying on 7 September. Summa said the EU is also worried about the lack of independence among Ukraine's judiciary, and pledged that Brussels will closely monitor the country's parliamentary elections next spring. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SEES POLAND AS PARTICIPANT IN OIL TRANSPORT CONSORTIUM. Speaking to journalists at a Poland-East economic forum in Krynica on 8 September, Ukrainian Premier Anatoliy Kinakh said Ukraine regards Poland as a potential participant in an international consortium to implement the project for constructing and exploiting a Eurasian oil transport corridor, UNIAN reported. Kinakh noted that a group of experts from Ukraine, Poland, the U.S., and well-known oil-extracting and oil-refining companies is to prepare a feasibility study for setting up such a consortium. Kinakh added that he and Buzek discussed "very serious strategic issues and came to understanding on all of them," including the implementation of the Eurasian oil transport corridor project and the use of Ukraine's main oil pipelines. JM

EU BACKS NEW PLAN FOR MACEDONIA... Meeting in Genval, Belgium, on 9 September, EU foreign ministers endorsed a proposal by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to provide an armed Western presence to protect OSCE monitors after the end of NATO's Operation Essential Harvest on 26 September, RFE/RL reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 September 2001). The force could be NATO-led but would include Russian, Ukrainian, and other non-NATO forces. Fischer stressed that "we must avoid a vacuum" after NATO's arms-collection program is completed. His French counterpart Hubert Vedrine said that "we cannot purely and simply leave" after Operation Essential Harvest. Fischer noted that Macedonia faces three potential threats: a security vacuum, the rise of "a silent coalition of extremists on both sides," and an ethnic division of the small republic, Deutsche Welle reported. The ministers agreed that the mission would be part of a larger program that includes economic assistance. PM

ROMANIAN PREMIER SIGNALS CHANGE IN POLICY ON MOLDOVA. Nastase on 7 September reiterated his "dismay" at Moldova's cancellation of a tender for the sale of two Moldovan electricity companies on the grounds that one of them is heavily indebted to Ukrainian electricity suppliers and its shares may have to be taken over by the Ukrainian utility, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Nastase said that he "wonders" whether Romania should use similar methods to ensure the payment of the $32 million Moldova owes Romania for electricity supplies. The Romanian premier said Romania has provided $3.5 million for various projects in Moldova, but does not know "where the money goes." Nastase said that from now on, priority in relations with Moldova should be on the economic aspects and particularly in bilateral collaboration between border-adjacent counties. MS

MOLDOVAN NEGOTIATORS IN KYIV RETURN EMPTY-HANDED. After four days of negotiations in Kyiv on the customs checkpoints established by Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin on Ukrainian territory, the Moldovan delegation headed by First Deputy Premier Dimitrii Todoroglo on 7 September returned home without having succeeded to obtain the accord of the authorities in Kyiv, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The Ukrainian side is insisting that representatives of the separatists take part in the negotiations. A new round of parleys will be held on 11 September, also in Ukraine. Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev earlier said that Kyiv had agreed to the joint customs posts but later ordered its customs officers to detain the Moldovan customs officials if they step on Ukrainian territory. Separatist leader Igor Smirnov on 7 September met with the Ukrainian and Russian ambassadors to Moldova as well as with the OSCE head of mission William Hill, and reiterated that Chisinau is setting up an "economic blockade" of the Transdniester by having withdrawn permission from Tiraspol to use the Moldovan customs seals. MS

PAVLOVSKII PROMOTES RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN TIES ON THE INTERNET. Gleb Pavlovskii, who serves as President Putin's media adviser, has launched a new Internet site,, to promote Russian-Ukrainian relations, reported on 23 August. On its opening page, Pavlovskii said that his main goal is to inform Russians about developments in Ukraine where, he said, "Putin is even more popular than in Russia." He added that Putin wants both countries to be part of a "united Europe" but not become "copies of the West." He said his site will also seek to overcome obstacles to this among many Ukrainians: the notion of some in the Ukrainian elite that Russia remains a threat and that Ukraine can join Europe without Russia. (RFE/RL Security Watch, 3 September)


SON OF SLAIN JOURNALIST CRITICIZES INVESTIGATION... Oleksiy Aleksandrov, son of slain journalist Ihor Aleksandrov, has written in an open letter that the official investigation into his father's death is inefficient, AP and the "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported on 29 August. Aleksandrov said his father was killed because he was planning to publicize the corruption activities of several local officials in Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, where he ran a television station before his death. He also said the investigators are trying to cover up the real reason for his father's death, adding that they recently told his mother "in confidence" that his father's attackers mistook the journalist for someone else. Last week, Deputy Prosecutor-General Serhiy Vynohradov said police have arrested one suspect in the case. (RFE/RL Newsline, 30 August)