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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT BOOSTS FARM SUPPORTS IN 2003 BUDGET. The Verkhovna Rada amended the 2003 budget on 9 July, providing for an additional allocation of 760 million hryvnyas ($142 million) to buy grain from Ukrainian producers and compensate Ukrainian farmers for losses in this year's crops, Interfax reported. The parliament authorized the government to raise duties on sugar imports and borrow $112.5 million to cover outlays connected with the budget changes. AM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOWS NOT TO PROLONG TERM... President Leonid Kuchma declared on 10 July that he is not going to extend his term in office "under any circumstances," Interfax reported. "My ultimate task is [to make the next presidential elections] transparent and in line with the constitution," he said. Kuchma called on lawmakers "to stop speculation" about his alleged intention to prolong his tenure. He called the recent parliamentary standoff over the constitutional-reform bill he proposed "cynical" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 July 2003). AM
...AND SEEKS TO ALLAY FEARS OVER GRAIN SHORTAGE. President Kuchma on 9 July said there are no grounds for "panic" in connection with the recent price hikes for grain products (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 July 2003), Interfax reported. "We have enough grain for four months in the state reserves," Kuchma said. He ascribed the current problems on the food market to "mismanagement by officials." AM
'RYWINGATE' COMMISSION SEEKING TO QUESTION POLISH PROSECUTORS. The parliamentary commission probing what has been dubbed the "Rywingate" scandal (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 18 February 2003) wants to question prosecutors involved in the alleged bribery case, Polish Radio reported on 9 July. The commission presidium approved the proposal, the report added. Deputies Jan Rokita and Zbigniew Ziobro put forward the proposal following a 9 July report in the "Zycie Warszawy" daily suggesting that film producer Lew Rywin did not act alone. The daily, quoting prosecutor Wanda Marciniak, reported that there is pressure at the Justice Ministry to conclude the investigation as soon as possible. "If it is true that [Justice Minister and Prosecutor-General Grzegorz] Kurczuk dealt with Lew Rywin's case, this raises questions about the veracity of his statements before the investigative commission," Ziobro said. Kurczuk declared that he has not intervened in the probe. AM
UN INDEX OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT SHOWS DECLINES IN THREE CENTRAL ASIAN STATES. The UN Development Program's Index of Human Development for 2003 shows declines for Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, akipress.org reported on 9 July. The declines have been attributed to lower life expectancy, lower literacy rates, reduced incomes, and poorer education. Indicators from some of the post-Soviet states -- in addition to the three Central Asian states, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine showed declines -- put them at the same level as many underdeveloped countries. Akipress.org noted that the index ranked Turkmenistan 82nd among the 175 countries assessed, while Kyrgyzstan ranked 102nd and Tajikistan ranked 113th. BB