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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ENACTS 2003 BUDGET, MINIMUM-WAGE BILL. President Leonid Kuchma signed into law the 2003 deficit budget adopted on 26 December by the parliament (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 27 December 2002), UNIAN reported on 5 January. In a letter published on his official website (, however, Kuchma appealed to lawmakers to amend the 2003 budget in order to increase the level of social-security protection for poorly provided-for Ukrainians. Kuchma also signed a minimum-wage bill to increase the minimum monthly wage by 28 percent -- from 185 hryvnyas ($34) to 237 hryvnyas -- on 1 January 2003. AM

WINDOWS TO RUN IN UKRAINIAN. Microsoft has released a free computer application allowing conversion of the Russian-language version of the Windows XP operating system into a full-fledged Ukrainian-language version, UNIAN reported on 4 January, quoting the BBC Ukrainian Service. AM