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BELARUS SAYS IT SEEKS 'COMMON ECONOMIC SPACE' WITH EU. Foreign Minister Syarhey Martynau suggested that Belarus is interested in a "common economic space" and in trade relations with the EU and its new postcommunist members, Belapan reported on 7 January. The EU will share a border with Belarus following Poland's expected accession to the union on 1 May. Martynau said Minsk is interested in the EU's proposals for cooperation with its new neighbors, particularly Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova. He noted that EU enlargement will significantly affect Belarus's economy because it will change commodity flows among Belarus's traditional trading partners. "These countries on 1 May will have to [accept] all commitments of the EU member states, including anti-dumping measures, and that may lead to a reduction in our exports of potash fertilizers and chemical fibers," Martynau said. "We are working together with these countries to find solutions." AM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SAYS KUCHMA PRESIDENTIAL BID IS UP TO KUCHMA. Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych told journalists on 5 January that President Leonid Kuchma should decide on his own whether or not to run for a third term as president in 2004, UNIAN reported. Yanukovych was responding to a question about support by pro-government forces for Kuchma as a joint candidate. The Ukrainian Constitutional Court ruled last week that Kuchma may seek the presidency in 2004 despite a two-term limit in the constitution that went into effect in 1996, during Kuchma's first term as president (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 January 2004). AM