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GUAM WITHDRAWS FROZEN-CONFLICTS PROPOSAL. Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili told journalists in Tbilisi on December 7 that the GUAM member states (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) have asked the UN General Assembly to postpone discussion, originally scheduled for December 7, of GUAM's draft resolution on so-called frozen conflicts on its members' territory, Caucasus Press reported. The website izvestia.ru attributed that request on December 7 to disagreements among the four GUAM members over the proposed text of the draft resolution. On November 21, Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, unveiled an appeal to UN member states adopted on October 4 by the unrecognized republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transdniester, to reject the GUAM initiative (see "RFE/RL Newsline," November 22, 2006). That appeal argued that the decision to raise the issue with the UN General Assembly, rather than the UN Security Council, reflects a desire to enlist support for their bid to use force "to quash the legitimate aspiration of our peoples to live in...peace and equality." On December 1, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian warned that such a UN General Assembly debate would create obstacles to the ongoing search for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Noyan Tapan reported. LF
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS 2007 BUDGET... The Verkhovna Rada on December 6 adopted a budget bill for 2007, Ukrainian media reported. The bill envisages government spending at 161 billion hryvnyas ($32 billion) and revenues at 147 billion hryvnyas, thus setting a budget deficit at the equivalent of some $2.8 billion. The bill projects $2 billion in income from privatizations in 2007. The bill also sets the monthly subsistence minimum at 492 hryvnyas ($97) and the monthly minimum wage at 400 hryvnyas ($79) as of 1 January 2007. JM
...AND PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM. The Verkhovna Rada on December 6 passed a privatization plan putting dozens of potentially attractive state-run enterprises up for sale, Ukrainian media reported. The bill was supported by 226 deputies, the minimum required for approval. The most valuable enterprises for sale include minority stakes in the Ukrtelekom telephone communications provider, the Odesa Port Plant producing fertilizers, and 12 regional producers and distributors of electricity. JM