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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT NOTES POLITICAL 'MISUNDERSTANDING' WITH KYIV. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said at a meeting with Ukrainian Communist Party head Petro Symonenko in Minsk on 12 July that there are political and diplomatic differences between Minsk and Kyiv, Belapan and Belarusian Television reported. "We are sliding more and more into misunderstanding in the sphere of political relations, diplomacy, etc," Belarusian Television quoted him as saying. At the same time, Lukashenka said that economic relations between both countries are improving, with trade turnover rising to $1 billion last year and continuing to grow in 2005. Lukashenka thanked Symonenko for "the colossal support" the latter's party is rendering to Minsk during "these hard times of all-out pressure on our country from certain forces." JM

UKRAINIAN CABINET CALLS FOR PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY, SLAMS LAWMAKERS FOR 'SAVAGERY.' Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko's cabinet on 13 July called on the Verkhovna Rada to form an efficient majority in order to implement the government's program, UNIAN reported. At the same time, the cabinet branded last week's tumultuous debates in the parliament, where lawmakers were unable to adopt a number of bills proposed by the government (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 and 8 July 2005), as a "planned provocation" against the government and the president. "It is sad to admit that [this provocation] involved the parliamentary leadership, which preferred to maintain social and economic tension in society," the cabinet's statement reads. "All that culminated in absolute political savagery when for the first time in the country's history the parliament cast in doubt the right of the president of the country and the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] to address the Ukrainian people from the parliamentary rostrum." On 6 July, Communist Party lawmakers prevented PACE President Rene van der Linden from speaking in the Verkhovna Rada. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CREATES INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL MEMORY. President Viktor Yushchenko has ordered that the government set up an Institute of National Memory by 26 November, when Ukraine will observe the Day of Remembrance of Famine Victims to memorialize millions of Ukrainians who died in an artificially induced famine in the Soviet Union in 1933, UNIAN reported on 12 July. The government is obliged to decide on the planned structure of the institute and main areas of its research by 15 September, after consultations with the National Academy of Sciences and nongovernmental organizations studying political repression in Ukraine and the 1933 famine (Holodomor). By virtue of another decree, Yushchenko instructed the government to draft a bill on increasing social support for victims of political repression and their families. JM

MEDIATORS SUBMIT SECURITY PROPOSALS TO CHISINAU, TIRASPOL. Intermediaries in the Transdniester conflict settlement from Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have passed a document to Chisinau and Tiraspol proposing measures to build confidence and security between the two sides, BASA and ITAR-TASS reported on 12 July. The document, worked out by military experts of the mediating sides, reportedly proposes reductions in the armed forces and weaponry of Moldova and Transdniester. Neither Chisinau nor Tiraspol have so far commented on the proposals. JM