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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN MINISTER FEARS POOR GRAIN HARVEST. Agriculture Minister Serhiy Ryzhuk said on 4 June that if Ukraine sees no rain in the next 10 days, the country's grain harvest in 2003 might total just 25 million-27 million tons, as predicted by Ukrainian agricultural experts earlier this year, Interfax reported. Last year, Ukraine harvested 38.8 million tons of grain. JM

UKRAINIAN POST OFFICE LOSES MONOPOLY ON SALE OF STAMPS, ENVELOPES, POSTCARDS. The Ukrainian Constitutional Court ruled on 4 June that the sale of postage stamps, envelopes, and postcards may be conducted by other economic entities than the Ukrposhta national postal service on the basis of appropriate contracts with Ukrposhta, Interfax reported. The ruling came in response to a motion requesting an official interpretation of some provisions of a 2001 law on postal services. JM

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT INVITES WORLD BANK PRESIDENT TO VISIT. Vladimir Voronin has invited World Bank President James Wolfensohn to visit Moldova in early 2004, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported on 3 June, citing a communique from the president's office. Voronin received the World Bank's director for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, Luca Barbone, on 2 June, saying his administration wants to establish the basis for a "performing market economy" that would "include efficient mechanisms for social protection" and is seeking "efficient cooperation with international financial organizations." According to Infotag, Barbone told Voronin that the World Bank will not resume credits to Moldova as long as Chisinau fails to meet conditions set by the bank for those facilities. MS