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ELECTION COMMISSION RELEASES YABLOKO PROPERTY DECLARATIONS. Yabloko on 9 October became the first party to complete the process of registering its federal party list with the Central Election Commission (TsIK), Russian media reported. Yabloko submitted 250,000 signatures in support of its list, 50,000 more than is required. The TsIK on 9 October released information on the incomes and property holdings of Yabloko candidates. Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii has a bank account with 3.9 million rubles ($130,000), and he earned 1.7 million rubles in 2002. He owns a 77-square-meter apartment in Moscow and an 81-square-meter apartment in Ukraine. Another candidate, Konstantin Kaganovskii of the Open Economics Institute earned 2.3 million rubles last year and has bank deposits worth more than 37 million rubles. JAC

KAZAKHSTAN WANTS TO USE UKRAINIAN PIPELINE TO SHIP OIL TO EUROPE. The Kazakh state oil and gas agency KazMunaiGaz wants to use the Odessa-Brody pipeline to ship oil from its Caspian Sea fields to Europe because this line better preserves the quality of Kazakh crude oil than do Russian pipelines, the firm's transport director, Kairgeldy Kabyldin, told journalists at the KIOGE-2003 conference on 9 October, Interfax reported. But Ukraine is still undecided whether it wants to use the pipeline, the first section of which was opened in May 2002, to ship Caspian oil to Europe or Russian oil from the Urals to a Black Sea port. Kabyldin said that for Kazakhstan the Odessa line is ideal, and extending the pipeline to Plotsk, Poland, would make it even more attractive. BB

UKRAINIAN, BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTS PLEDGE MUTUAL SUPPORT. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma met on 9 October with his Belarusian counterpart Alyaksandr Lukashenka in a presidential residence near Kyiv, Ukrainian and Belarusian media reported. The presidents reportedly discussed bilateral relations, the recent Ukraine-EU summit in Yalta, and the situation in Iraq. As has become routine during their meetings, they promised to oblige their governments to resolve all bilateral controversies, including the issue of Ukraine's outstanding debt to Belarus. This time Kuchma and Lukashenka set 1 November as the deadline for doing so. "Irrespective of any political struggles in our mutual relations, we should be together and support one another because we have a common goal -- to improve the lives of our people," Belarusian Television quoted Lukashenka as saying after the meeting. "We will cooperate to this end with both the European Union and our eastern neighbor, the Russian Federation." JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER IN HIGH SPIRITS AFTER U.S. VISIT. Wrapping up his three-day visit to Washington on 9 October, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych told journalists that the U.S. administration has promised to help his country accede to the World Trade Organization by 2004, Reuters reported. Yanukovych also said World Bank President James Wolfensohn has told him that the bank's board of directors will approve this year a "strategic plan of assistance" that could give Kyiv access to $2.5 billion in loans. Yanukovych met in Washington with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and congressional leaders. "We believe that precisely now, when Ukraine is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. in the struggle against terrorism, the time has come for us to significantly revise our relations and move them to a new level," Interfax quoted Yanukovych as saying after his meeting with Powell. JM

UKRAINE, HUNGARY SIGN VISA AGREEMENT. Deputy Ukrainian Foreign Minister Oleksandr Motsyk and Hungarian Foreign Ministry deputy state secretary Krisztina Berta on 9 October signed a visa accord in Kyiv, Interfax reported. The agreement envisages visa-free entry to Ukraine for Hungarians and free Hungarian visas for Ukrainians. The agreement will come into force on 1 November 2003. Ukrainians will need no formal invitation to obtain Hungarian visas, Motsyk told journalists. They can apply for the cost-free Hungarian visas as of 15 October. JM

POLISH PRESIDENT ENDS VISIT TO ROMANIA. Ending a two-day visit to Bucharest, Alexander Kwasniewski on 9 October addressed a joint session of parliament, saying his country supports Romania's reform measures needed for full NATO membership and also supports Romania's EU accession in 2007, Mediafax reported. He added that Poland could offer expertise for Romania's negotiations with the EU; he noted Poland has the same objections to the European Constitution as Romania. Kwasniewski also said Europe's relations with the United States are fundamental for European security and should be strengthened; furthermore, he pledged support for Ukraine's future accession to NATO. Kwasniewski also met with Romanian Orthodox Church Patriarch Teoctist and saluted the church's support for Romania's European accession bid. ZsM