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PROSECUTORS HALT INVESTIGATION OF FORMER UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER AFTER MOSCOW VISIT. Russian military prosecutors announced on 26 September that they are no longer seeking the arrest of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko on suspicion of fraud and bribery, and other media reported. The investigators reportedly said an international arrest warrant is also being rescinded. Tymoshenko voluntarily came to the military prosecutors' offices in Moscow on 24 September, provided adequate explanations, and agreed to cooperate in the investigation, prosecutors said. Tymoshenko's Moscow visit was kept quiet but coordinated with Russian authorities, as she passed through customs and border checkpoints, reported. The Ukrainian Embassy in Russia declined to comment on the visit, noting that it was a private affair. But Tymoshenko adviser Dmitrii Vydrin suggested to that the recently dismissed prime minister might have met with President Putin while in the Russian capital. "I cannot exclude that she met with Putin; in any case, such a meeting could have happened," Vydrin said. Moscow has long regarded Tymoshenko as an anti-Russian politician, but her new role as a possible counterweight to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko "is a very valuable quality" in Moscow's eyes, NTV commented on 26 September. In an interview with the Ukrainian television station 1+1 on 26 September, Tymoshenko said she intentionally came to Moscow to protest her innocence now that she no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity, adding that she did not see any other officials than investigators. VY

GEORGIAN MILITARY OFFICIALS REMANDED IN CONNECTION WITH FAULTY EQUIPMENT. Three former members of the Georgian armed forces' general staff were sentenced on 23 September to three-months pretrial detention, ITAR-TASS reported. The three are suspected of involvement in the procurement from Ukraine last year of 40 armored personnel carriers that broke down the first time they were used in maneuvers. The Defense Ministry claims the APCs were inoperational when they were purchased, but on 26 September quoted Georgian defense expert Irakli Aladashvili as saying they might have been damaged by inappropriate use. LF

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT REPORTEDLY MAKES NEW CABINET APPOINTMENTS. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has appointed a dozen ministers to Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov's cabinet, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( reported on 27 September, quoting "informed sources" in the government. There are reportedly seven new faces in the current cabinet, compared with the previous one led by Yuliya Tymoshenko. They are: First Deputy Prime Minister Stanislav Stashevskyy, Deputy Prime Minister for Humanitarian Issues Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, Deputy Prime Minister for Regional Policy Roman Bezsmertnyy, Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Emergency Situations Minister Viktor Baloha, Construction Minister Pavlo Kachur, and Labor Minister Ivan Sakhan. Former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh became secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, and Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko retained their posts in the new government. JM

SACKED UKRAINIAN PREMIER DISCLOSES POLITICAL PLANS. Yuliya Tymoshenko, who was dismissed as prime minister by President Yushchenko on 8 September, said on the 1+1 television channel on 26 September that she is planning to regain her post after the 2006 parliamentary elections, ITAR-TASS reported. Answering a question about her political allies in the elections, Tymoshenko said they will include -- apart from members of her eponymous bloc -- former State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko, ex-Security Service chief Oleksandr Turchynov, and ex-Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko. She added that she will also hold talks on forging an election coalition with the Reforms and Order Party, the Pora movement, and other forces that "will help fulfill the tasks set by the Maydan [Kyiv's Independent Square as the main rostrum of the Orange Revolution]." Tymoshenko stressed that she is not going to form an election alliance with the Regions of Ukraine Party of ex-Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych or the Social Democratic Party-united of former presidential-administration chief Viktor Medvedchuk. JM

BELARUSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER REJECTS KYIV MEDIATION OFFER. Ukrainian Acting Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk met with Belarusian Foreign Minister Syarhey Martynau in Kyiv on 26 September, Ukrainian and Belarusian media reported. "We are ready to act as a friendly side, a friendly partner regarding the problems Belarus has with the Council of Europe and the European Union," Tarasyuk said at a joint news conference later the same day. "[Belarus], as a sovereign state, will make its own decisions about processes taking place in its society and it does not need outside help, with all respect to brotherly Ukraine," Martynau said, answering a journalist's question about Ukraine's potential role in democratizing Belarus. It was agreed, however, that next month Ukrainian Premier Yekhanurov will visit Minsk and President Yushchenko will meet with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka either in the southeastern Belarusian town Homel or at a location near the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, which is in northern Ukraine. JM

TRANSDNIESTER OFFICIAL SUGGESTS LEGITIMIZATION OF SECESSONIST REGIME VIA PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT. Transdniester Supreme Soviet speaker Grigorii Marakutsa told the Tiraspol-based Olvia-Press news agency on 26 September that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's plan calling for democratic parliamentary elections in Transdniester under international monitoring this year might be tied to a presidential ballot planned in the region next year. "There are precedents in the world when the legitimization of a state or its authorities was started not from parliament," Marakutsa said. "The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says it needs 240 days to technically prepare elections under international monitoring. Today we have not 240 but 440 days until the presidential election [in Transdniester].... Let [the OSCE] join us, and we will hold legitimate, democratic, internationally observed elections of the president of the Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic." On 11 December, Transdniester will hold legislative elections, which will not be monitored by the OSCE. JM