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OFFICIAL SAYS UKRAINE SHOULD NOT ENTER CUSTOMS, CURRENCY UNIONS IN CIS. Deputy Foreign Minister Oleksandr Chalyy said at a conference on EU-Ukrainian relations in Kyiv on 23 September that Ukraine should limit its participation in the newly formed CIS Single Economic Space with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 23 September 2003) to the formation of an efficient free-trade zone that could promote Ukrainian goods and services, UNIAN reported. Chalyy added that those four countries' free-trade zone should be based on principles of the World Trade Organization. He said Ukraine cannot form a customs or a currency union with CIS countries if the country wants to pursue its declared goal of integration with Euro-Atlantic structures. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Motsyk, another Ukrainian deputy foreign minister, told journalists the same day that Ukraine will aim at extending EU norms to the operation of the CIS Single Economic Space, Interfax reported. JM

UKRAINE WANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on 23 September that Kyiv regards the United Nations as the principal arbiter in international security issues, and declared Ukraine's readiness to actively participate in peacekeeping operations under the UN aegis, Interfax reported. In particular, Kuchma promised to provide technical aid to a UN peacekeeping operation in Liberia. The previous day, Kuchma addressed the 58th session of the UN General Assembly in a speech devoted to Ukraine's efforts in combating AIDS. JM

MOLDOVAN PREMIER 'CLARIFIES' PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ABOUT CIS. Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev denied on 23 September that President Voronin's criticism of the CIS Yalta summit and its decision to set up a Single Economic Space is tantamount to a Moldovan withdrawal from the CIS, Flux, and Infotag reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 September 2003). According to Tarlev, the president said the decision by Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan might lead to the end of the CIS, and not that it already did so. Tarlev also said Moldova must safeguard and fortify its relationships within the CIS, while concurrently taking efficient measures to accelerate Moldova's integration with the EU. MS

OUR MOLDOVA ALLIANCE WANTS EU, U.S., ROMANIA TO JOIN MEDIATION TEAM. Dumitru Braghis, co-chairman of the Our Moldova Alliance, said on 23 September that the alliance wants the United States, the EU, and Romania to be included on the team that is mediating the resolution of the Moldova-Transdniester conflict, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. The team currently comprises Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE. According to Infotag, Braghis said resolving the conflict might require the use of pressure, which the United States and the EU are capable of applying. Braghis also said the alliance proposes that both Moldova and Transdniester undergo full demilitarization as a means of bringing about the conflict's resolution. He said Moldova's security could be safeguarded by a system of international treaties instead of an army. MS