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KYIV MIGHT TURN TO THE HAGUE OVER TUZLA SPAT WITH MOSCOW. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko told journalists on 19 November that Kyiv might ask the International Court of Justice in The Hague to resolve the Ukrainian-Russian dispute over Tuzla Island in the Kerch Strait if bilateral talks with Moscow prove unsatisfactory (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 November 2003), Interfax reported. "However, we of course prefer to find a solution in a bilateral format, which can allow us [to put the issue behind us] much sooner than any court examination or hearing," Hryshchenko added. JM
TWO PRO-PRESIDENTIAL PARLIAMENTARY GROUPS MERGE IN UKRAINE. Verkhovna Rada speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn announced on 20 November that two parliamentary caucuses, Ukraine's Regions and European Choice, have united under the name Ukraine's Regions, UNIAN reported. The new caucus, which is co-chaired by Rayisa Bohatyryova and Volodymyr Pekhota, becomes the second-largest deputies' group in the Ukrainian parliament. The current array of forces in the Verkhovna Rada is as follows: Our Ukraine (103 deputies), Ukraine's Regions (64), the Communist Party (60), the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs-Labor Ukraine (42), the Social Democratic Party-united (36), People's Power (21), the Socialist Party (20), the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (19), the Agrarian Party (16), People's Choice (14), and 22 independent deputies. JM