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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ISSUES FATF-APPROVED DECREE... President Leonid Kuchma has signed a decree intended to counteract money laundering and the funding of terrorism from the proceeds of criminal activity, Interfax reported on 23 July. The decree obliges Ukraine's cabinet and National Bank to ensure the introduction of 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) that were approved by FATF last month. The cabinet is to create an integrated information system for the prevention of money laundering and the funding of terrorism by unifying the existing information resources and databases of ministries, government agencies, and state committees by 1 January. JM
...AND TEMPORARILY ABOLISHES DUTY ON GRAIN IMPORTS. President Kuchma has also signed into law a recently approved bill eliminating the duty on grain imports until the end of this year, Interfax reported on 22 July. Ukraine's grain shortfall is reportedly expected to reach 2.8 million tons in 2003-04. JM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE DIES. Yuriy Dahayev, chief of the presidential administration's property-management department, died at the age of 53 on 22 July, Ukrainian news agencies reported. Dahayev, a former deputy interior minister, had served in the presidential administration since March 2000. JM
UKRAINE UNAWARE OF TRANSDNIESTRIAN 'FREE-TRADE REGIME.' Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Horkov told journalists in Kyiv on 22 July that his office has not received any notification from Tiraspol concerning a "free-trade regime" with Ukraine that was decreed last week by separatist leader Igor Smirnov, Infotag and BASA-press reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 July 2003). Horkov added that attempts are apparently being made to drag his country into a dispute that is a "purely internal Moldovan affair" over mutually inflicted economic sanctions. "As a mediator country," he said, "we have always advocated a compromise that would lead to settling the disputes in Moldova to the benefit of Moldovans residing on both banks of Dniester River," he said. Ukrainian companies, he added, will continue trading with Transdniester in accordance with current Ukrainian legislation. MS