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UKRAINIAN PREMIER HAILS RESUMPTION OF IMF, WORLD BANK LOANS. Anatoliy Kinakh on 21 September welcomed the resumption of loans by the IMF and the World Bank (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 September 2001), saying that it enables Kyiv to begin official talks with member countries of the Paris Club on the restructuring of Ukrainian debts for 12 years with a three-year grace period, UNIAN reported. Kinakh also said that the renewal of cooperation with the two financial organizations makes it possible for Ukraine to begin discussions with Turkmenistan about the restructuring of Ukrainian debt for Turkmen gas. JM

UKRAINIAN FIGHTERS FORCE DOWN SUDANESE PLANE IN CRIMEA. Ukrainian warplanes on 21 September forced a Sudanese An-26 plane to land in Crimea after it was refused a permit to fly over Ukraine, Interfax reported. The plane was discovered by air defense forces when it was approaching Ukrainian waters in the Black Sea. According to Ukraine's Security Service, the An-26 with nine people aboard was heading for a Kiev aircraft enterprise for repairs. The plane came from Turkey, where it had refueled, and had an expired permit to fly over Ukraine. JM

UKRAINE CONFIRMS TANK SHIPMENT TO MACEDONIA. Interfax reported from Kyiv on 21 September that Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko told reporters that Ukraine has delivered 31 T-72 tanks to Macedonia. He said: "We, as a party to a treaty with Macedonia, have made certain commitments and, as a predictable and reliable partner, must meet them and are meeting them." He stressed that shipping tanks to the cashstrapped Balkan country does "not run against anybody's interests" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September 2001). Zlenko added that his government had "held the necessary consultations with NATO and the American side about these shipments." U.S. officials have previously urged Ukraine not to sell weapons to Skopje, which tries to fight its domestic insurgency primarily by shelling villages with tanks and artillery. PM

=46ORMER MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT REMINISCES. Former President Mircea Snegur on 21 September said conditions in August 1991, when Moldova proclaimed its independence, were not ripe for reunification with Romania. In an interview with the Internet journal "Moldova Azi," Snegur said the Moldovan population was not "ready" at that time for the reunification and the step might have "triggered serious consequences for the still-fragile Moldovan democracy." Snegur also said that separatist leader Igor Smirnov was detained in 1991 in Kyiv by "collaborators of the Moldovan Interior Ministry." The "pretext" was the participation of a group from Tiraspol in the putsch attempt against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Snegur said Smirnov was later freed because Russian women and children in Transdniester had protested by blocking rail links between Tiraspol and Varnita. Moldova, Snegur said, "was about to have its energy resources cut" just ahead of the winter. As a result, it was decided that "Smirnov is not worth as much as a whole country" and he was set free. MS