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U.S., BRITAIN DELIVER REPORT ON KOLCHUGA PROBE TO UKRAINE... Ukrainian authorities on 5 November received a U.S.-British report on last month's investigation by 13 U.S. and British experts into allegations that Ukraine sold a Kolchuga radar system to Iraq in violation of UN sanctions, Ukrainian and international news agencies reported. Quoting an unidentified "senior official," Reuters reported that the experts were unable to determine whether Ukrainian officials transferred a radar system to Iraq. "The report will be analyzed and studied in detail, and we will make a decision on further interaction with the American and British sides," Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's spokeswoman, Olena Hromnytska, said later the same day, according to AP. Meanwhile, parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, who claimed to have seen the U.S.-British report, said it criticizes Ukraine for not presenting convincing evidence that it did not sell a Kolchuga to Iraq. JM
...AND REQUEST MORE INFORMATION... The United States and Britain on 5 November asked Ukraine for more information to show whether or not it sold a Kolchuga radar system to Iraq, Reuters reported, quoting U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. "We've asked the government to answer some follow-up questions. So once we get that back, we'll be looking at their answers, as well as the report itself, and factor that into our policy review in terms of our relationship and our future assistance and programs," Boucher said. Reuters quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying, "The cooperation [U.S. and British investigators] got [in Ukraine] was mixed. They didn't get everything that they wanted. They didn't get information to confirm at this point whether the transfer actually took place, so that remains a point of uncertainty." JM
...AS UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT REMAINS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TIES WITH NATO. President Kuchma said at a meeting with the Defense Ministry leadership on 5 November that allegations that Ukraine illegally sold arms to Iraq will not affect cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, UNIAN reported. "It is no secret that we are experiencing temporary difficulties in [our] relations with the North Atlantic alliance," Kuchma said. "[However], I dismiss the logic that some kinds of suspicions, which are unfounded, can destroy the process of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO," he added. "This [U.S.-British] report is simply impertinent.... Ukraine should not have to prove that it did not sell [arms], those who accuse the country should prove it did," said Heorhiy Kryuchkov, the head of the parliamentary Committee for National Security and Defense. JM
LAWSUIT TARGETS UKRAINE IN WAKE OF AIRLINE DISASTER. A district court in Kyiv on 5 November opened hearings on a suit filed by the widow of a crewmember on the Tu-154 passenger airliner downed by a stray Ukrainian S-200 missile over the Black Sea on 4 October 2001, AP reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 October 2001). Alena Laptev has demanded more than 2.8 million hryvnyas ($520,000) in compensation for the death of her husband, who was one of 78 victims. Laptev was the first of several Russian relatives of crash victims expected to sue Ukraine. Last month, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said it was near agreement on compensation for Israeli relatives and was awaiting information from the Russian government about its citizens to resolve the compensation issue. Kyiv said it will offer reasonable compensation in equal amounts for Israeli and Russian families to prevent private suits by victims' relatives. JM
MOLDOVAN OFFICIAL SAYS JOINING EEC DEPENDS ON UKRAINE. Andrei Neguta, chairman of the parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission, on 5 November said Moldova wants to join the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) but doing so depends on Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported. Neguta, who was in Dushanbe for an EEC Interparliamentary Assembly meeting, said: "Moldova is interested in integration with the Eurasian EC, because this would open for us broad prospects of cooperation with our main economic partners -- Russia and other CIS members. Our country, however, can join the EEC only after we have a common border with it, which only Ukraine can secure [by also joining that organization]." He added that Ukraine, like Moldova, has the status of an observer in the EEC, and its failure to attend the Dushanbe meeting "astonished" participants. MS