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UKRAINIAN PREMIER'S PARTY TO JOIN PRO-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BLOC. Premier Anatoliy Kinakh said on 28 November that his Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs will join the For a United Ukraine election bloc, Interfax reported. He declined to say whether he himself will run in the parliamentary election on 31 March 2002. Meanwhile, Labor Ukraine leader Serhiy Tyhypko told UNIAN that For a United Ukraine has already selected five top candidates for its election list, adding that they include presidential administration chief Volodymyr Lytvyn and Premier Kinakh. Party of Regions leader Mykola Azarov told ICTV television the same day that Lytvyn is the list's No. 1, while Kinakh is No. 2 (see also "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 27 November 2001). JM

U.S. OFFERS $200,000 TO UKRAINIAN REGIONAL PRESS... U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Carlos Pascual and U.S. Assistance Coordinator for Europe and Eurasia William Taylor have announced a $200,000 assistance program to help improve the Internet capacity of Ukrainian regional print media, AP reported on 28 November. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said in a statement that the program opens a nationwide competition for local nongovernmental newspapers and seeks up to 25 winners. The program will fund new Internet connections or upgrade existing information websites, as well as cover the cost of new equipment, training, and online charges. JM

...AND WARNS OF SANCTIONS FOR FAILURE TO CURB CD PIRACY. Pascual on 28 November said Ukraine will face U.S. trade sanctions if the parliament fails to approve legislation aimed at combating piracy of compact discs by mid-December. The parliament failed to pass such a law in mid-November and is currently considering a new bill that was hastily submitted by the government. JM

POLISH RIGHTIST LAWMAKERS STOP WORK ON COMMISSION OVER HASSLE WITH FOREIGN MINISTER. Five deputies from the League of Polish Families (LPR) have suspended their participation in the work of the Sejm's European Integration Commission in protest against Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz's recent presentation in Brussels of Poland's stance on land sales (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 27 November 2001). "We do not consent to the existence of such a situation, where representatives of the European Union possess greater knowledge about the stance of the government of the Polish Republic on the matter of negotiations with the EU than does the Polish nation," the LPR deputies said in a statement. The same day, Roman Giertych of the LPR submitted to Sejm speaker Marek Borowski a motion to hold a vote of confidence in Cimoszewicz. According to Giertych, the motion was signed by some 100 deputies from the LPR, Self-Defense, and Law and Justice. JM

POLAND DELAYS VISA CURBS FOR EASTERN NEIGHBORS. Chief EU negotiator Jan Truszczynski said in Brussels on 28 November that Poland will not meet its commitment to introduce EU-style visas for Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians in 2001 because the meager national budget cannot afford the costs that would be incurred in opening new consulates and hiring more diplomatic personnel. "The introduction of visas is an enormous task. In 2000, Poland was visited by 5.9 million Belarusians, 2.75 million citizens of Russia, and 6.1 million Ukrainians, while our consulates all over the world issued [only] 185,000 visas the same year," PAP quoted Truszczynski as saying. The agency said Poland's EU negotiators unofficially suggest that Warsaw will introduce visas for Belarusians, Russians, and Ukrainians in 2003, shortly before Poland's anticipated accession to the EU in 2004. JM