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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

GUAM MEETING OPENS IN KYIV. A two-day summit meeting of the presidents of GUAM member states (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) opened in Kyiv on May 22. The main topics on the agenda are the diversification of energy supplies and containment of regional "frozen conflicts." The adopted agenda foresees separate meetings of the member states' foreign, energy, and interior ministers, and of the heads of their respective security services. A proposed name change for the organization, Organization for Democracy and Economic Development -- GUAM, is expected to be adopted at the meeting. The presidents of Lithuania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania were invited to attend the summit as guests. RK

EBRD PREDICTS STUNTED ECONOMIC GROWTH IN UKRAINE. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has forecast that Ukraine's economic growth in 2006 will be the lowest in Central and Eastern Europe, UNIAN reported on May 22. The EBRD predicts economic growth of 1.2 percent in Ukraine in 2006, compared to 2.4 percent in 2005. The increased cost of imported gas is named as one of the factors for the lower expectations. The EBRD has forecast lower economic growth throughout the entire region. UN experts predicted in February that Ukrainian growth in 2006 would be 5 percent, UNIAN reported on May 22. RK