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U.S., UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS AGREE TO SUPPORT DEMOCRACY IN BELARUS. The United States and Ukraine will support the advance of freedom in Belarus, declared U.S. President George W. Bush and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in a joint statement released on 4 April. "We also commit to work together to back reform, democracy, tolerance, and respect for all communities, and peaceful resolution of conflicts in Georgia and Moldova, and to support the advance of freedom in countries such as Belarus and Cuba," the statement said. "We share a goal to spread freedom to other nations," said Bush, according to Belapan. Belarus leaders have not yet commented on the declaration. RK
YUSHCHENKO'S TRIP TO U.S. CONTINUES. Ukrainian President Yushchenko's visit to the United States continued after his meeting in Washington with U.S. President Bush on 4 April, with Yushchenko flying to Chicago where he met with local businesspeople and urged them to invest in Ukraine. He also spoke with members of Chicago's large Ukrainian-American community and thanked them for their efforts on behalf of their ancestral homeland. Yushchenko's wife, Katerina Chumachenko, was born in Chicago. Yushchenko is scheduled to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on 6 April. RK
UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL RENEWS CHORNOVIL INVESTIGATION. The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office announced on 5 April that it has begun a new investigation into the 1999 death of the former leader of the Rukh party, Vyacheslav Chornovil, Interfax reported. Chornovil, a Soviet-era political prisoner known for exposing political arrests in Ukraine in the 1970s via samizdat, was killed in a highway accident when the car he was riding in collided with a Kamaz truck on 25 March 1999. At the time many of his supporters claimed that he was the victim of an "arranged collision" and blamed the administration of then President Leonid Kuchma for his death. That same year, Yevhen Marchuk, the former head of the security service, announced he had been given a video recording of police officers claiming they were ordered to arrange Chornovil's death. Afterwards Marchuk said he had lost the video. RK
MOLDOVA TO STEP UP ANTITRAFFICKING MEASURES. Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has announced plans to open an antitrafficking center to curb human smuggling, BASA reported on 5 April. Vornonin made his comments following meetings with Jean Fournet, NATO's deputy secretary-general for public diplomacy, who was in Chisinau for an official visit. Voronin also requested some form of international monitoring of the Transdniester section of the Moldova-Ukraine border. International controls there "would put a barrier to smuggling, trafficking in people and weapons so typical of that region," Voronin said. Voronin also said his country wants to upgrade its participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, which Chisinau joined in 1994, and to continue joint research projects with the alliance. BW