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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINE SEEKS EXTRADITION OF FORMER EESU EXECUTIVES. Ukraine is seeking to extradite four former executives of the energy supplier Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine (EESU) who were arrested in the Turkish resort town of Antalya last week, Reuters reported on 4 June. The four include Hennadiy Tymoshenko, the former general director of the company and father-in-law of Ukrainian opposition politician Yuliya Tymoshenko; former Chief Executive Officer Yevhen Shaho; and two former financial officers, Lydiya Sokolchenko and Antoniya Palyura (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 June 2002). Ukrainian prosecutors accuse them of hiding hard-currency profits and stealing state assets. Yuliya Tymoshenko said on 3 June said the extradition efforts are a politically motivated attack against her opposition activities in parliament and she asked Turkish authorities to grant the four asylum. CB

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MORE DEMOCRATIC REFORMS IN UKRAINE. In a speech before the Ukrainian parliament on 4 June, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised Ukraine for its moves toward European integration, but he also urged the former Soviet republic to continue with democratic reforms, AP reported the same day. "One of the great challenges to humankind today is to make not just the principle but the practice of democracy equally universal," Annan told the Verkhovna Rada. The UN secretary-general also called on the international community to help Ukraine ensure that "democracy cannot be subverted in insidious ways, through the slow accretion of abuses," alluding to allegations of corruption and election rigging that have been leveled against Ukrainian officials. International observers reported irregularities in Ukraine's 31 March parliamentary elections and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has also faced a number of accusations, including corruption, illegal arms trading, money laundering, and abuse of power. CB