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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT REFUSES TO SEND PEACEKEEPERS TO LIBERIA. A motion introduced by President Leonid Kuchma to send a peacekeeping contingent to Liberia failed to attract the required 226 votes in the Verkhovna Rada on 25 November, UNIAN reported. The motion, which would have allowed 370 Ukrainian troops to travel to that African country under UN auspices, was supported by 217 deputies from the pro-presidential majority. Lawmakers from the opposition Our Ukraine, Communist Party, Socialist Party, and Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc caucuses either ignored the vote or voted against the move. Kuchma pledged to consider sending peacekeepers to Liberia during a session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 and 25 September 2003). JM

BRUSSELS TO ASSIST KYIV WITH $250 MILLION IN 2004-06. The European Commission and the Ukrainian government on 24 November signed an accord whereby in 2004-06 Kyiv will receive technical assistance totaling 212 million euros ($250 million) from Brussels to promote reform efforts in Ukraine, Interfax reported. The funds should be spent on promoting legal, judicial, and administrative reforms; upgrading border controls; improving the business climate; developing civil society; and implementing training and educational programs. The EU has spent nearly 1.1 billion euros in aid to Ukraine in the past 10 years. JM

...AS KUCHMA 'FULLY BACKS' RUSSIAN PLAN... Ukraine "fully backs" the Russian plan for Moldova's federalization in its capacity as one of the mediators and guarantor-states, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported on 24 November, citing a statement by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. Kuchma told visiting Russian deputy presidential-administration head Dmitrii Kozak that Ukraine considers the solution of the Transdniester conflict to be one of its priorities, and that the settlement must be based on Moldova's "sovereignty, territorial integrity" and "the respect of fundamental human rights" in that country. MS