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KYIV DISAGREES WITH WASHINGTON ON EFFICIENCY OF COMBATING CD PIRACY. The United States' inclusion of Ukraine on a list of countries that do not effectively combat CD piracy is unfounded, Viktor Lytvynenko of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Department for Combating Economic Crime, charged on 8 May, according to Interfax. "Ukraine has adopted all the laws necessary for the protection of intellectual-property rights, and law enforcement bodies are intensively combating the manufacture of pirated media," Lytvynenko said. He said only one plant in Ukraine currently produces CDs, and its production is being carefully monitored by the authorities. Lytvynenko said the fact that U.S.-based software giant Microsoft more than tripled its sales in Ukraine over the past year is a sign of success in the battle against media piracy in the country. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick released a report in early May listing Ukraine as a "Priority Foreign Country," that is, as one "pursuing the most onerous or egregious policies that have the greatest adverse impact on U.S. right holders or products, and are subject to accelerated investigations and possible sanctions," Interfax reported. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 May)

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DECLARES 1932-33 FAMINE 'AN ACT OF GENOCIDE.' The Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution on 15 May declaring that the catastrophic famine in Ukraine in 1932-33, which claimed lives of millions of Ukrainians (see "RFE/RL Poland Belarus, and Ukraine," 12 June 2002), was "an act of genocide" and "a terrorist act of the political system of Stalinism" against the Ukrainian people, UNIAN reported. The resolution was supported by 226 lawmakers (the minimum required for its adoption) of the 410 attending the session. The resolution followed a hearing on the famine held by the parliament the previous day. Lawmakers of the Communist Party left the session hall before the hearing took place on 14 May. JM

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKERS RATIFY EUROPEAN CHARTER FOR REGIONAL LANGUAGES... The Verkhovna Rada ratified with 249 votes on 15 May the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 3 December 2002), UNIAN reported. Lawmakers had ratified the charter in December 1999, but that vote was subsequently ruled unconstitutional for procedural reasons. The charter, aimed at protecting historical regional and minority languages in Europe, will be applicable to the languages of the following national minorities in Ukraine: Belarusians, Bulgarians, Crimean Tatars, Gagauz, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Jews, Moldovans, Poles, Romanians, Russians, and Slovaks. JM