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CIS SUMMIT FOCUSES ON FIGHT AGAINST TERROR... A summit of CIS leaders took place in Astana on 16 September with a focus on antiterrorism efforts in the wake of recent attacks in Russia, news agencies reported. "The terrorists who have committed crimes against the Russian Federation present an extremely serious danger to all countries of the world without exception," read a joint statement cited by "The heads of the CIS member states express their full solidarity with the Russian Federation in its battle against terrorism." The leaders agreed to step up the activities of the CIS Antiterrorism Center, Kazinform reported. Calling terrorists "criminals who hide behind political, religious, and nationalistic slogans while they try to accomplish things that have nothing to do with what they proclaim publicly," Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "I did not get the sense that any of my colleagues have any differences on the definition of terrorism," Vesti reported. Journalists' questions at a final news conference, however, centered on disagreements between CIS states, ITAR-TASS reported. The summit, which was attended by all CIS leaders except Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, selected Putin to replace Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma as CIS chairman. The next summit will take place in Minsk, Belarus in September 2005. DK

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT'S REFERENDUM. The European Parliament on 16 September added its criticisms to those of the Council of the European Union and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine report," 15 September 2004) regarding Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's decree to hold a presidential referendum simultaneously with the parliamentary elections on 17 October, Belapan reported. According to the European Parliament, Lukashenka's "attempts to seek an extension of his presidential term by referendum [is] contrary to the provisions of the Belarusian Constitution" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 September 2004). Meanwhile, the Belarusian Justice Ministry issued a statement the same day saying that the announced referendum is fully in line with the country's constitution and laws. JM

WAS UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DELIBERATELY POISONED? Oleksandr Zinchenko, presidential campaign manager of leading opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko, told journalists in Kyiv on 17 September that Yushchenko's recent bout of acute poisoning (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 September 2004) may have resulted from an intentional attempt on his life, Interfax reported. Zinchenko cited doctors from a clinic in Vienna, who examined Yushchenko, as saying that Yushchenko's ailment was caused by "a viral infection and chemical substances that usually do not appear in foodstuffs." Since the examination in Vienna was made six days after the poisoning, Zinchenko added, it proved impossible for the doctors to identify what "chemical substances" might have been involved. JM

UKRAINIANS MARK ANNIVERSARY OF JOURNALIST'S DISAPPEARANCE. Some 5,000 people took part in a rally in Kyiv on 16 September to mark the death of Internet journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, whose headless corpse was discovered on 2 November 2000 following his disappearance on 16 September 2000, Ukrainian news agencies reported. Speakers at the rally accused the current Ukrainian authorities, including President Leonid Kuchma, of involvement in Gongadze's slaying. Socialist Party activist Yuriy Lutsenko said at the rally that Gongadze's disappearance gave rise to a number of anti-Kuchma protests in the following years. "The main result of those protests was that Ukraine has ceased to be afraid of Kuchma any longer," Interfax quoted Lutsenko as saying. Participants in the rally subsequently marched to Bankova Street, where the building housing the presidential-administration offices is located, and placed a plaque reading "Heorhiy Gongadze Street" on a building on that street. The presidential-administration building was cordoned off by special-task police troops. JM

UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER WON'T GO TO MOSCOW FOR INTERROGATION. Opposition Fatherland Party leader Yuliya Tymoshenko said on Channel 5 on 16 September that she is not planning to go to Moscow for an inquiry by Russian military prosecutors who suspect her of bribing Russian Defense Ministry officials in 1995-97 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 September 2004), Interfax reported. "There is no sense whatsoever for me to fulfill plans of [President] Kuchma and [presidential-administration chief Viktor] Medvedchuk and go to Russia in order to give Russia a possibility to stage some provocations [against me]," Tymoshenko said. "Therefore I have proposed...that Russian prosecutors come to Ukraine, and I will gladly give them any explanations they need." JM

ROMANIA FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST UKRAINE AT INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE. The Romanian government announced in a 16 September press release that it has filed a complaint against Ukraine at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Romania asked the Netherlands-based court to decide on delimitating the continental plateau and exclusive economic zones of Romania and Ukraine in the Black Sea. The complaint argues that since bilateral negotiations started in 1998, 24 rounds of talks have resulted in no progress on the issue. The Romanian government also expressed its willingness to continue bilateral negotiations, but only if Ukraine shows a real interest in reaching a mutually acceptable solution. ZsM

RUSSIAN, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS VOICE OBJECTIONS TO MOLDOVA'S ECONOMIC BLOCKADE OF TRANSDNIESTER. Speaking at the CIS summit in Kazakhstan on 16 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the economic sanctions enacted by Moldova against Transdniester are "destructive," Flux reported. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma also expressed his opposition to the blockade, and said that expanding the number of participants in the Transdniester-conflict negotiations, as called for by Moldova, will not facilitate a resolution. ZsM