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UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH GEORGIAN LEADERSHIP. Arriving in Tbilisi at the start of a two-day official visit, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk met on 30 June with President Saakashvili, Prime Minister Noghaideli, and Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili, Interfax and Georgian TV reported. Tarasyuk signed a new bilateral accord pledging support for Georgia's "European and Euro-Atlantic integration" and reviewed plans for the expansion of the GUAM regional organization (comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova). Tarasyuk's visit is also focused on preparing for a state visit to Georgia by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko scheduled for 15 July. RG

UKRAINIAN BUSINESSES TAKE OVER POLISH STEEL MILL, CAR MAKER. The presidents of Poland and Ukraine -- Aleksander Kwasniewski and Viktor Yushchenko, respectively -- attended the signing of two major deals at an annual Polish-Ukrainian economic forum in Gdynia on 30 June, Ukrainian and Polish media reported. The Industrial Union of Donbas finalized the purchase of the Huta Czestochowa steel mill, following a lengthy and controversial privatization duel with the Indian-Dutch-British holding LMN in 2003-04 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 March 2004). Moreover, Ukraine's AvtoZAZ motor company signed a deal for the takeover -- for a symbolic 1 zloty ($0.3) -- of 20 percent of the troubled Warsaw-based FSO carmaker's shares. AvtoZAZ has promised that it will not lay off anyone from the 2,000-strong workforce within the following six months. The remaining 80 percent of the shares in FSO belong to the South Korean company Daewoo, which became insolvent in 1999. JM

POLAND REPORTEDLY INTENDS TO ALLOW 200,000 UKRAINIAN GUEST WORKERS. Warsaw is finalizing negotiations with Kyiv on an accord that could allow up to 200,000 Ukrainian guest workers annually to work in Poland, the Polish daily "Rzeczpospolita" reported on 1 July, quoting an official from the Polish Economy Ministry. "This is a part of the Polish strategy that intends to tie Ukraine to the West as closely as possible. The first stage of [this strategy] was the cancellation of visa fees for Ukrainians entering Poland," an official from the Polish Foreign Ministry told the daily. JM

UKRAINE SIMPLIFIES VISA REGIME FOR U.S. CITIZENS. President Yushchenko on 30 June issued a decree simplifying trips of U.S. citizens to Ukraine as of 1 July. The decree, published on the government's website (, stipulates that visas will no longer be required by U.S. citizens making a second trip within six months, provided the new stay in Ukraine does not exceed 90 days. The document says the measure is intended to develop and implement a "strategic partnership" between both countries. JM

UKRAINIAN CABINET ANNOUNCES UPCOMING PRIVATIZATIONS. Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko told journalists on 30 June than her cabinet has approved a list of more than 10 enterprises that will soon be offered for sale, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( reported. The list includes the Kryvorizhskyy Ore Enriching Combine, the Odesa Port Plant, the Nikopol Pipe Plant, the Kyiv Motorcycle Plant, and a number of hotels. Tymoshenko also predicted that the controversial Kryvorizhstal steel mill will be resold by the government by 24 October. Asked to comment on Kryvorizhstal former owner Viktor Pinchuk's words that no one will take part in the new privatization of the company as its recent takeover by the state is being disputed in the European Court for Human Rights (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 June 2005), Tymoshenko said: "What Pinchuk said is psychotherapy for those who owned the steel mill. I know at least five large enterprises in the world that have expressed their interest in participating in a new auction." JM

CHISINAU OFFERS STABILIZATION MEASURES FOR TRANSDNIESTER. The Moldovan delegation to the Joint Control Commission (JCC) has proposed a list of measures aimed at stabilizing the situation in the Transdniester security zone, Infotag and Flux reported on 30 June. The delegation conditions the resumption of its participation in the JCC, which was suspended in April, on the approval of these measures by international mediators in the Transdniester conflict -- Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE. Chisinau postulates removing from the security zone -- a long, narrow strip of land along the Dniester River separating Transdniester from the rest of Moldova -- all Moldovan and Transdniester border and customs checkpoints. Order in the security zone, according to Chisinau, should be maintained by the Joint Peacekeeping Force (Russian, Moldovan, and Transdniester troops) with contributions from Moldovan and Transdniester police. All sides involved in the conflict settlement should freely share information about troops and armaments in the security zone and have trouble-free access to all military units deployed in the area. Chisinau also suggests resuming motor traffic over a recently repaired bridge across the Dniester at Gura Bicului. JM