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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN ENVOY RESIGNS OVER CIS SINGLE ECONOMIC SPACE. President Leonid Kuchma has accepted the resignation of Ukrainian Ambassador to Romania Anton Buteyko, Interfax reported on 23 September, quoting presidential spokeswoman Olena Hromnytska. Buteyko stepped down to express his "resolute disagreement" with Ukraine's participation in forming a single economic space that also includes Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 23 September 2003). Buteyko submitted his resignation via e-mail on 19 September, immediately after Kuchma signed the relevant accord at a CIS summit in Yalta. Buteyko previously served as deputy foreign minister and Ukrainian ambassador to the United States. JM

POLAND, GERMANY DIFFER ON EU VOTING RIGHTS. Polish Premier Leszek Miller met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on 22 September to discuss the contentious issue of voting rights within an expanded EU, Reuters and PAP reported. Poland wants to retain the system proposed by the 2000 Nice Treaty, which grants Warsaw 27 votes in the Council of the European Union (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 23 September 2003). Germany favors the system proposed by the draft European Constitution that makes voting in the council dependent on the population of member states. "We are not as close to each other as necessary," Schroeder said after his meeting with Miller. "I will say very clearly that Germany has hardly any room for maneuver." Schroeder suggested that it would be awkward for Germany, a net contributor to the EU budget, to be forced into a decision on the European Constitution by net recipients of EU funds. "It would cause huge legitimacy problems for countries such as Germany, which are large net payers," Schroeder said. JM