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PRIME MINISTER SAYS RUSSIA SEEKING TO INVEST IN UKRAINIAN PRIVATIZATION PROJECTS. Speaking in Moscow at a meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Economic Commission on 4 December, Premier Mikhail Kasyanov said that Russia has a keen interest in taking part in major privatization projects in Ukraine in "complete accordance with local legislation," Prime-TASS reported. In addition to joint ventures in the energy sector, Russia seeks to invest in Ukrainian aviation, transport, and agricultural machinery production, Kasyanov said. In response, his Ukrainian counterpart Anatoliy Kinakh said Kyiv supports the creation of more joint financial and industrial groups between the two countries. VY

UKRAINE HOLDS FIRST CENSUS SINCE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. Some 170,000 pollsters started a national census in Ukraine on 5 December, Interfax reported. The census questionnaire consists of 19 questions that, in particular, refer to citizenship, marital status, profession, sources of income, ethnic origin, native language, housing conditions, and land ownership of people living in Ukraine. The census will last until 15 December, and its first results, including the number of inhabitants, are expected to be released in April 2002. The results of the last Soviet census in 1989 put Ukraine's population at 51.5 million people. According to demographers, Ukraine's population has decreased since then to some 49 million. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SLAMS EBRD TERMS FOR COMPLETION OF NUCLEAR REACTOR. Ukrainian Premier Anatoliy Kinakh said in Moscow on 4 December that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's terms for issuing loans to assist the completion of two nuclear reactors in Ukraine are unacceptable. "The main disagreement is over the project's costs, including the necessity to fulfill the project's condition to raise electricity tariffs. This would result in an average 30-35 percent increase in energy tariffs in Ukraine, which is quite a drastic and shocking measure," Ukrainian Television quoted Kinakh as saying. Russian Premier Kasyanov declared the same day that Russia will grant a loan to help Ukraine complete the reactors. According to Kasyanov, the completion of the two reactors at the Rivne and Khmenlnytskyy power plants will cost some $500 million. JM

OSCE CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF NEGOTIATIONS IN MOLDOVA. In its resolution adopted at the end of the organization's Ninth Ministerial Council meeting in Bucharest on 4 December, the OSCE called "upon both sides, but particularly the Transdniester authorities, to resume promptly and in the existing format the negotiations on the status of the Transdniester region," a press release that reached RFE/RL said. The OSCE foreign ministers "noted the efforts undertaken in 2001 by the Republic of Moldova and the mediators from the OSCE, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, towards the negotiation of a comprehensive settlement" of the conflict, and reaffirmed that the conflict's resolution must be based on ensuring "the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Moldova. The ministers "welcomed the fulfillment by the Russian Federation, ahead of the agreed time, of the commitments undertaken at the OSCE Istanbul Summit in 1999," and said "this should serve as a model for constructive and fruitful cooperation in dealing with other issues" related to the conflict. MS