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GOVERNMENT SURVEY SAYS 79 PERCENT OF BELARUSIANS NEED STATE IDEOLOGY. A poll conducted by the government-controlled Institute of Social and Political Studies among 1,505 Belarusians from 14-20 August found that 79 percent of respondents answered "yes" to the question whether their country "needs the ideology of the Belarusian state," Belapan reported on 11 September. Earlier this year, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka decided to inculcate state ideology in school and at the workplace on a mandatory basis (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 August 2003 and "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 1 April 2003). JM
UKRAINIAN PREMIER ASKS PARLIAMENT TO MULL CIS COMMON ECONOMIC AREA. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has requested that the Verkhovna Rada discuss on 16 September the issue of a draft accord between Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine on the creation of a single economic zone, UNIAN reported on 12 September, quoting parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. The cabinet is expected on 17 September to adopt a stance on the possible signing of the accord, which has provoked much controversy in Ukraine (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 September 2003), by President Leonid Kuchma during a CIS summit in Yalta on 18-19 September. Meanwhile, Labor Ukraine leader Serhiy Tyhypko, who is also head of the National Bank of Ukraine, has threatened that his party will recall its three representatives in Yanukovych's cabinet -- Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk, Industrial Policy Minister Anatoliy Myalytsya, and Economy Minister Valeriy Khoroshkovskyy -- if they fail to support the creation of a single economic zone of the four CIS states, Interfax reported on 11 September. JM
EU COMMISSIONER URGES UKRAINE TO LOOK TOWARD 'WIDER EUROPE.' EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen told Ukrainian President Kuchma at a meeting in Crimea on 11 September that Ukraine and the European Commission should focus on talks regarding the signing of a joint-action plan within the EU's Wider Europe initiative (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 1 July 2003), Interfax reported, quoting presidential spokeswoman Olena Hromnytska. Kuchma reportedly said during the meeting that "Ukraine's strategic course toward European integration remains unchanged." The following day, Verheugen met with lawmakers from the Verkhovna Rada's Commission for European Integration, headed by Borys Tarasyuk. According to Tarasyuk, Verheugen expressed hope that Ukraine's intention to form a common economic area with three other CIS countries (see above) will not change Kyiv's course toward integration with Europe. JM
POLISH PREMIER OPPOSES CENTER AGAINST EXPULSION IN BERLIN. Prime Minister Leszek Miller told parliament on 11 September that the creation in Berlin of a Center Against Expulsions, as proposed by Germany's League of Expellees (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 26 August 2003), could negatively affect Polish-German relations, PAP reported. Miller said that if a center commemorating expulsions is to be established, it should have a "European dimension." He stressed that the resettlement of Germans was the consequence of World War II and criminal policies of the Third Reich in the occupied states. "It wasn't Poland that attacked Germany but Nazi Germany that attacked Poland," Miller said. "Obviously, every nation has the right to commemorate its victims. It should not, however, distort history, blur differences between cause and effect, and crime and punishment." JM
MOLDOVAN OFFICIAL SAYS CHISINAU WON'T CHANGE FRAMEWORK OF SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS. Contradicting President Vladimir Voronin's statement earlier on 11 September, deputy parliamentary speaker Vadim Mishin said the same day that Moldova does not intend to change the framework of the current negotiations with Transdniester, ITAR-TASS reported. Mishin said Voronin's proposal to invite the EU to participate in the negotiations on a settlement in Transdniester does not mean that the current five-party negotiations framework -- including Moldova, Transdniester, the OSCE, Russia, and Ukraine -- would be changed. He also said Chisinau is satisfied with the present framework. Mishin is widely believed to be a rival of Voronin in the ruling Party of Moldovan Communists. He also said the "future peacekeeping contingent under OSCE aegis will include Russian and Ukrainian peacekeepers." Mishin also said the settlement of the Transdniester conflict should be considered separately from the issue of the withdrawal of Russian troops. "The negotiation process is one thing, while the peacekeeping force and their military presence is another thing," he said. MS