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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPOINTS THREE CABINET MINISTERS. President Leonid Kuchma made three new appointments to the Ukrainian cabinet on 12 January, UNIAN and Interfax reported, quoting presidential spokeswoman Olena Hromnytska. Mykola Derkach was sworn in as minister for economy and European integration, Viktor Slauta as agriculture minister, and Oleksandr Neustroyev as minister for industrial policy. Derkach, a former Ukrainian ambassador to Lithuania, replaces Valeriy Khoroshkovskyy, who cited obstacles to his ministry's activities when he resigned earlier this month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 January 2004). Slauta, a lawmaker from Donetsk Oblast, takes over for Serhiy Ryzhuk, who was appointed head of the Zhytomyr Oblast state administration. Neustroyev assumes the industrial-policy portfolio from Anatoliy Myalytsya. JM

UKRAINE POSTS 15.8 PERCENT INDUSTRIAL GROWTH. The State Statistics Committee announced last week that industrial production in Ukraine grew by 15.8 percent in 2003, including an annualized 18.4 percent in December, Interfax reported on 10 January. Ukraine's industrial output increased by 12.4 percent in 2000, 14.2 percent in 2001, and 7 percent in 2002. JM

POLISH TV BOSS RULES OUT ANOTHER TERM. Robert Kwiatkowski has withdrawn from the contest for a new term as chairman of the management board at Polish Television, the station reported on 10 January. Kwiatkowski said his candidacy has divided the Polish Television Supervisory Council, adding that such a situation does not benefit public television. Last year, the Polish Television Supervisory Council announced an open competition to select a chairman and four members of the Polish Television board (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 11 November 2003). Some Polish media have speculated that Kwiatkowski was behind Lew Rywin's alleged bribery proposal in the notorious Rywingate media-law scandal (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 December 2003). JM

U.S. CALLS ON MOLDOVA, TRANSDNIESTER TO RESUME NEGOTIATIONS. A recent statement released by U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Heather Hodges said Washington is calling on Moldova and Transdniester to resume negotiations, ITAR-TASS reported on 11 January. The Russian news agency said the negotiations should be resumed under the five-party format that includes Moldova and Transdniester and three mediators -- the OSCE, Russia, and Ukraine. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reported on 11 January that the separatist authorities reject the idea of placing an international peacekeeping force in the security zone between Moldova and Transdniester under the aegis of the OSCE. The agency cited the separatist representatives on the Joint Control Commission as saying the breakaway region would consider the arrival of such a peacekeeping contingent to be "a foreign military intervention and a change in the existent [five-party] format of the regional peacekeeping operation." The Tiraspol statement came in reaction to an announcement by Moldovan Reintegration Minister Vasile Sova, who said Chisinau might call upon the international community to ensure "stabilization" in Bendery-Tighina. The separatist authorities in control of that town earlier gave an ultimatum to Moldovan police forces there to leave Bendery-Tighina by the end of 2003. The 1992 cease-fire agreement placed that town under the control of both Moldovan and Transdniester police forces. MS