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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT STIFFENS CONTROLS ON CD PRODUCTION. Leonid Kuchma has issued a decree intended to curb CD piracy in the country in a move aimed at halting $75 million of U.S. trade sanctions, Interfax reported on 30 January. The decree orders the government to designate state officials to monitor CD production and sales, and requires that every CD be stamped with a special identification code. Meanwhile, Deputy Prosecutor-General Oleksiy Bahanets has said that an investigation of five Ukrainians plants determined that those plants did not have the facilities to produce the large number of pirated CDs claimed by the United States. JM

HEADQUARTERS OF UKRAINE'S RUSSIAN BLOC FIREBOMBED. The headquarters of the Russian Bloc in Kyiv has been subjected to an arson attack, Ukrainian media reported on 30 January. Unknown attackers broke the windows of the headquarters, which is also the site of the newspaper "Russkii Mir," and threw Molotov cocktails into the premises. The fire destroyed some furniture and a computer. The Russian Bloc has appealed to President Kuchma and law enforcement bodies for protection, saying the attack was an attempt at "intimidating the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and depriving it of moral support" in the ongoing election campaign, Interfax reported. JM

NEW OIL DEPOSIT DISCOVERED IN CENTRAL UKRAINE. The Ukrnafta oil company has discovered a new industrial oil deposit in Poltava Oblast, Ukrainian Television reported on 30 January. The new deposit was revealed at the Reshetnyakivske oilfield, from where oil has been extracted for the past 30 years. "At this oilfield, we successfully used horizontal drilling in veins that had been left untapped in previous years. This enabled us to find new oil reserves," an Ukrnafta official said of the discovery. JM

RFE/RL'S UKRAINIAN SERVICE TO HOST MORE POLITICAL DEBATES. Communist Party head Petro Symonenko and Our Ukraine election bloc leader Viktor Yushchenko have agreed to meet for a discussion that will be broadcast live by RFE/RL on 4 February, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported on 30 January. Socialist Party head Oleksandr Moroz and For a United Ukraine election bloc leader Volodymyr Lytvyn are reportedly negotiating the date of their meeting in RFE/RL's Kyiv studio. These moves follow a highly popular debate by Yuliya Tymoshenko and Viktor Medvedchuk that was broadcast live by RFE/RL last week (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 29 January 2002). JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER HOPES DISPUTE WITH ROMANIA TO BE SOLVED THIS YEAR. Visiting Ukrainian Premier Anatoliy Kinakh said on 30 January that he hopes the dispute with Romania over the Black Sea shelf and Serpents' Island will be solved in negotiations by the two countries' experts before President Ion Iliescu pays a scheduled visit to Kyiv in the first half of 2002, Mediafax reported. "Prime Minister [Adrian] Nastase and myself agreed that the problem must be solved in a constructive manner and its solution must be in line with international legislation, territorial integrity, and [earlier] bilateral agreements," Kinakh said. MS