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UKRAINE, RUSSIA TO MAKE TUZLA PART OF BROADER TALKS. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov discussed the recent Russian-Ukrainian spat over Tuzla Island (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 29 October 2003) with his Ukrainian counterpart Kostyantyn Hryshchenko in Kyiv on 30 October, Interfax reported. The two politicians reportedly agreed that the Tuzla problem will be resolved along with other issues pertaining to the status and the use by both countries of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. A number of bilateral working groups will be set up to tackle these issues. "On behalf of our side, it was clearly said that we consider the island of Tuzla an inalienable part of Ukrainian territory," Hryshchenko told journalists. Asked about whether he considers Tuzla to be Ukrainian, Ivanov said this is an object of negotiation. "There are different documents that offer different interpretations of the issue," Ivanov said. Premier Viktor Yanukovych, who also met with Ivanov, said Ukraine understands now that the decision to build a contentious dam between Russia's Krasnodar Krai and Tuzla was taken at a regional level and that the dam is intended to protect Russia's coastline. JM

WILL OUR UKRAINE MANAGE TO HOLD CONVENTION IN DONETSK? The Our Ukraine bloc led by Viktor Yushchenko, which was scheduled to hold a congress in Donetsk on 31 October, has canceled the gathering due to "security considerations," Interfax reported on 31 October, quoting Our Ukraine lawmaker Mykola Tomenko. The building where the congress was to take place has reportedly been filled by people shouting anti-Yushchenko slogans. Many are allegedly drunk. More than 100 buses brought market vendors, students, and budget-sector employees to the vicinity of the building in what appears to be city authorities' attempt at organizing an anti-Our Ukraine rally. Meanwhile, Yushchenko told journalists at a Kyiv airport that he was nevertheless flying to Donetsk. Yushchenko added that he cannot abandon a group of Our Ukraine lawmakers and supporters who have already gathered in Donetsk for the congress. Yushchenko warned that Our Ukraine cannot guarantee security for journalists and diplomats who have planned to attend the congress. JM