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UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER PREDICTS GROWTH OF PARLIAMENTARY OPPOSITION. Lawmaker Yosyp Vinskyy, former secretary of the Political Council of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU), told journalists in Kyiv on August 29 that an "interfactional opposition alliance" in the Verkhovna Rada may include 150-160 deputies by this fall, UNIAN reported. According to Vinskyy, such an alliance may be formed by the opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (129 parliamentary mandates) and those deputies from the SPU and Our Ukraine who have not agreed to their parties' decisions earlier this month to form a ruling coalition with the Party of Regions. Vinskyy accused SPU leader and parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz of betraying the party's program and demanded that he give up the party's leadership at an upcoming party congress. "Will the Socialist Party remain a socialist organization, or is it turning into a servant of the Party of Regions? The [SPU] Political Council and parliamentary faction have violated at least 10 of their key programmatic tenets by joining the coalition with the Party of Regions," Vinskyy said. He resigned his position in the SPU Political Council earlier this month in protest against his colleagues' decision to support the government headed by Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych. JM
...SAYS SITUATION IMPROVING FOR WINE EXPORTS. Also on August 29, Voronin said that the situation for the country's wine industry is improving as new markets open up, ITAR-TASS reported the same day. In a move widely seen as politically motivated retribution for Chisinau's pro-Western orientation, Russia banned the import of Moldovan wines in March, citing health and safety concerns (see "RFE/RL Newsline," March 28, 2006). "Moldovan wine makers made a great mistake by selling 80 percent of their products in the Russian market," Voronin said. "The situation is now improving. Moldova is entering the markets of other countries, including those in Europe and Asia. Wine sales in Poland, Romania, and Ukraine have grown. Some Moldovan wine brands have appeared on the markets of Japan and South Korea," he added. Voronin also said that Russia has yet to provide any documentary evidence that Moldovan wines failed to meet health standards. BW