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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN, POLISH PRESIDENTS AGREE ON 'LIBERAL' VISA REGIME... Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski on 13 February offered Ukrainians visas at no fee under a new border regime that will be introduced on 1 July, in line with EU demands, Ukrainian and Polish media reported. "The Polish side announces that it will introduce the most liberal visa regime for Ukrainian citizens while meeting the demands of the European Union and the Schengen agreement. It will include free visas for Ukrainians," said a joint statement issued after Kwasniewski's talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kuchma in Ivano-Frankivsk, western Ukraine, earlier the same day. Speaking to journalists after the talks, Kuchma said Polish citizens will not need visas to visit Ukraine after 1 July. "A joint decision on the visa regime between our countries -- free Polish visas for Ukrainian citizens and a visa-free regime for Polish citizens -- is the Polish president's personal achievement, I want to emphasize this," Kuchma noted. JM

...AND JOINT COMMEMORATION OF 1943 MASSACRE. Kwasniewski and Kuchma also decided that both sides will organize -- in Volhynia, northwestern Ukraine, in July -- joint commemoration of the massacre of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists in 1943 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 February 2003). Kuchma spoke in favor of clarifying all the circumstances of the tragedy. "Crimes against humanity cannot be justified. Let it be the last such 'celebration' in our relations," PAP quoted Kuchma as saying. The joint statement stresses that it is "extremely essential to make the commemoration of the anniversary [of the 1943 massacre] a significant step toward overcoming divergences in understanding mutual history." JM

FATF WITHDRAWS CALL FOR SANCTIONS ON UKRAINE. The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) has decided to withdraw the recommendation of countermeasures against Ukraine for that country's insufficient efforts to combat money laundering (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 February 2003), the FATF website ( reported on 14 February. The FATF said its move was prompted by Ukraine's recent enactment of "comprehensive anti-money-laundering legislation" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 February 2003). The FATF added, however, that Ukraine will remain on its list of "noncooperative countries and territories" until Kyiv has efficiently implemented this legislation. JM