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BELARUSIAN SPORTS MINISTER CANCELS TRIP TO ATHENS. Sports Minister Yury Sivakou, who was due to head Belarus's team to the Summer Olympic in Greece from 11-29 August, has decided to stay in Minsk and lead the country's athletes from home, Belapan reported on 10 August, citing Sivakou's spokesman Anatol Artsemyeu. In a decision last week coordinated with all members of the EU, Greek authorities banned Sivakou from entering Greece because of his alleged involvement in the disappearances of opposition politicians and a journalists in Belarus in 1999-2000 (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine Report," 10 August 2004). JM
OUR UKRAINE LEADER COMPLAINS OF BEING SHADOWED... Presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, who leads the opposition Our Ukraine bloc, and his bodyguards detained three men who were shadowing him in Crimea on 10 August, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported. The men had a directional microphone, radios, video cameras, and a car with 12 extra license plates. They also had a videocassette documenting one day of Yushchenko's stay with his family in Sevastopol. According to Yushchenko's spokeswoman Iryna Herashchenko, the detained men could not explain what they were doing in Crimea. Yushchenko reported the incident to the police. "Such people in uniforms discredit not only their service but also the law and the country as a whole," Yushchenko commented on the detainees. "And the officer who simulated a faint in order not to show his identity card simply filled his pants, because he knew that he serves criminal bosses, not the law." JM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES RECEIVE AIRTIME ON STATE TV, RADIO. The Central Election Commission on 10 August adopted, on the basis of a draw, a schedule for using television and radio airtime as well as print space in the newspapers "Holos Ukrayiny" and "Uryadovyy kurer" by 26 presidential candidates for budget-funded election advertisements, Interfax reported. In particular, each presidential contender has the right to address viewers on the national UT-1 television channel three times for 10 minutes each. In addition, each contender can use 45 minutes of airtime on a nationwide radio channel as well as 30 minutes on a regional television channel and 20 minutes on a regional radio channel in each of Ukraine's 27 regions. JM
GEORGIAN AND UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS MEET IN YALTA. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Yalta on 10 August, the Rustavi-2 and the Caucasus Press reported. The two presidents reviewed measures seeking to expand bilateral cooperation in energy and trade, and discussed the latest situation in South Ossetia. The visit is characterized as "unofficial" and is timed with the 64th birthday of the Ukrainian leader. RG