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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN MINISTER SAYS KYIV MAY ABANDON SINGLE ECONOMIC SPACE. Ukrainian Economy Minister Serhiy Teryokhin told journalists in Kyiv on 19 August that Kyiv will switch to bilateral economic relations with Russia and is likely to withdraw from the Single Economic Space (SES) of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan that was formally established in 2003, Ukrainian media reported. Teryokhin made the announcement at a joint news conference with Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref, following their talks earlier the same day. "We are switching from multilateral to bilateral cooperation. Primarily with Russia, but it is understood that with Belarus and Kazakhstan, too," Teryokhin added. Later that day, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko commented that Teryokhin's announcement is of a "recommendatory" character. "I think it will be resolved at the highest level which SES concept is to survive," Tymoshenko added. JM

UKRAINE'S GREEK CATHOLICS MOVE HEADQUARTERS TO KYIV. Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, celebrated Mass for some 3,000 believers outside a cathedral under construction in Kyiv on 21 August, thus marking the move of his church's headquarters from Lviv to Kyiv, Ukrainian and international news agencies reported. "Thanks to monks and missionaries, Christianity made its way from here -- in Kyiv -- throughout the Slavic world," Husar said. "But we allowed the church that was established in this holy place to be divided. And we ask ourselves: is there a way to restore that initial unity to bring confrontation to an end?" Several hundred believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, an administrative branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, staged a noisy protest against the move near the cathedral. The transfer of the Greek Catholic Church seat to Kyiv has been condemned by hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow and Kyiv (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 August 2005). Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said on 21 August that the move is the Greek Catholic Church's internal matter. JM