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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN SENIOR OFFICER ARRESTED FOR SMUGGLING. Major General Serhiy Savchenko, former commander of the Ukrainian military contingent in Iraq, has been arrested on charges of smuggling, Interfax reported on 13 June, quoting the Prosecutor-General's Office. The office did not provide any more details of the arrest. According to Channel 5, Savchenko is being charged with the smuggling of foreign currency. The Prosecutor-General's Office has also opened a criminal case against former Ukrainian Security Service deputy chief Volodymyr Satsyuk, charging him with abuse of office and forgery, and issued a search warrant for him. Satsyuk, who is reportedly hospitalized at an unknown location, told the 14 June issue of "Komsomolskaya pravda v Ukraine" that he is innocent and sees no reason to escape justice. Moreover, an Odesa district court on 13 June ordered the arrest of former Odesa Mayor Ruslan Bodelan, whom prosecutors accuse of abuse of office. Bodelan's whereabouts are unknown. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SEEKS SUPPORT FOR EU BID IN FRANCE. Yuliya Tymoshenko said after talks with her French counterpart Dominique de Villepin in Paris on 13 June that she is confident the door to the European Union remains open despite confusion caused by Dutch and French voters' rejection of the EU Constitution, Reuters reported. "I'm sure that when the French said 'no,' it wasn't 'no' to Ukraine, to the desire of the Ukrainian people to become a European nation," she said. She also said that the two sides signed 11 agreements and memorandums on mutual cooperation, including in the spheres of aviation, defense, and security. JM

BUCHAREST HAILS MOLDOVAN VOTE ON TRANSDNIESTER SETTLEMENT. The Romanian Foreign Ministry on 13 June praised the Moldovan parliament's unanimous vote on the settlement of the Transdniester conflict (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 and 13 June 2005) as an "eloquent expression of the commitment of representative political forces and decision makers in the Republic of Moldova to find a sustainable and democratic solution for reestablishing [the country's] territorial integrity," Flux reported. The ministry specifically promised to urgently analyze the appeal by the Moldovan legislature to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania regarding the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transdniester. JM