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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

FORMER SECURITY COUNCIL SECRETARY GETS NEW POSTING. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has signed an order appointing former Russian Security Council Secretary and former Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo as CIS executive secretary, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 29 April. Kuchma is currently the head of the CIS States Council. Rushailo replaces Yurii Yarov, who was named executive secretary after then-President Boris Yeltsin dismissed Boris Berezovskii in 1999 from his position as Security Council deputy secretary and CIS executive secretary. JAC

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WANTS 'CLEAR' SIGNAL FROM EU... Speaking at the European Economic Forum in Warsaw on 29 April, President Leonid Kuchma urged the EU to clearly define Ukraine's European integration prospects, Interfax reported. "Only God knows where Ukraine is today, even though we have chosen a strategic direction towards Europe long ago," Kuchma said. "We are not asking much from the EU today, we just want to know one thing -- whether the EU would like to see us part of the union.... Over the last few years we have not received any clear signals that Ukraine is welcome in the European Union." JM

...BUT GETS 'NEGATIVE' ONE... President Kuchma told journalists in Warsaw on 29 April that the Ukraine-EU Troika meeting at the level of foreign ministers in Dublin earlier the same day sent a "negative signal" by failing to make a decision on granting Ukraine market-economy status, Interfax reported. "The decision was not made," Kuchma said. "They are still chasing the hare around." The same day in Kyiv, Kuchma compared Ukraine's relations with the EU to a bullfight. "This whole thing reminds me of a corrida, where Ukraine is a young bull running after the red cloth while [the EU] is standing still," Ukrainian Television quoted him as saying. "[However], the red cloth has somewhat faded in the sun and is not as bright as it used to be, so we are not rushing so eagerly towards it." JM

...AS OPPOSITION LEADER BLAMES HIM FOR EU INTEGRATION FAILURE. Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yushchenko said in a statement on 29 April that Ukraine's absence among the new EU members and even among candidates to join the EU in the foreseeable future is the most "eloquent" outcome of President Kuchma's 10 years in office, UNIAN reported. "Everything possible and impossible has been done to make the regime's domestic policy a formidable challenge to the European community, because it contradicts basic European values," Yushchenko added. According to Yushchenko, Kuchma is trying to make up for the "resounding failure of his European policy" by pursuing the Single Economic Space (SES) project with Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. "The text of the [SES] treaty shows that this project is political populism, which is economically disadvantageous for Ukraine, or a political bribe to secure [Russia's] support during the presidential campaign," Yushchenko said. JM

ANTIGLOBALISTS DEMONSTRATE DURING ECONOMIC FORUM IN WARSAW. Some 4,000 globalization protesters from Poland and other European countries staged a peaceful demonstration in Warsaw on 29 April to coincide with the European Economic Forum in the city, Polish media reported. The forum was holding a session called "Europe Beyond the European Union" with the attendance of the presidents of Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Georgia, as well as EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen. JM