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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT BLAMES MONEY-LAUNDERING PROBLEMS ON LEGISLATIVE GAPS. President Leonid Kuchma said on 10 July that Ukraine should take all necessary measures to avoid criticism from international organizations regarding Ukrainian efforts to combat money laundering, Interfax reported. There are many shortcomings in Ukrainian legislation that leave room for money-laundering structures to "flourish," he added. Kuchma announced he will meet next week with the heads of state bodies responsible for fighting money laundering to consider the work of the State Department for Financial Monitoring. AM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS CONTENTIOUS RESOLUTION ON VOLHYNIA MASSACRES. The Verkhovna Rada voted 227-25 on 10 July to adopt a fiercely debated declaration on the 60th anniversary of the Volhynia massacres (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 8 July 2003), Ukrainian media reported. The document recognizes events in Volhynia in 1943-44 -- when serious crimes were committed by Ukrainians and Poles in what is now northwestern Ukraine -- as a tragedy for both the Ukrainian and Polish nations. The vote was preceded by heated debate in the Ukrainian parliament because the events were described as a tragedy for the Polish people in the first sentence of the resolution while Ukrainian victims were recalled only at the end of the paragraph (see Poland item below). AM

POLISH PARLIAMENT PASSES VOLHYNIA DECLARATION. The Sejm voted 323-35 with 14 abstentions on 10 July to pass a declaration on the 60th anniversary of the Volhynia massacres, PAP reported. The voting was preceded by debate on 9 July. Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said his party opposes the declaration because it does not contain the term "genocide." "All that took place in Volhynia 60 years ago was genocide in the most explicit meaning of the word, a large-scale genocide," Kaczynski said. The League of Polish Families (LPR), the Polish Peasant Party (PSL), and three minor opposition caucuses also criticized the draft, arguing that it is not sufficiently explicit (see Ukraine item above). AM