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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT MEETS WITH VISITING BELARUSIAN LEADER. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met on May 2 with visiting Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Baku, Turan reported. Speaking at a joint press conference following the meeting, President Aliyev offered "political support" for a Belarusian role in plans to transport Caspian Sea oil to Europe through Ukraine's Odesa-Brody pipeline. Aliyev also noted the two countries' close military relations and welcomed a further expansion of cooperation in the areas of defense production. For his part, Lukashenka hailed bilateral relations as "mutually beneficial" and saying that "the president of Azerbaijan will never betray us" because "we absolutely trust each other." During the meeting, the two presidents signed a broad framework Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation and a set of 10 agreements, including accords formalizing cooperation between state agencies and ministries. Azerbaijani officials are also interested in supporting a Belarusian plan to launch oil production projects in Azerbaijan for its domestic market, according to Interfax. RG

UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL TO EXAMINE SACKED JUDGES' COMPLAINTS. Svyatoslav Piskun, who was appointed prosecutor-general by President Viktor Yushchenko last month, said in a television interview on May 2 that his office will look into complaints from Syuzanna Stanik and Valeriy Pshenichnyy against their recent dismissal from the panel of the Constitutional Court, Ukrainian media reported. President Yushchenko fired Stanik and Pshenichnyy, accusing them of a "breach of oath" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," May 2, 2007). "The Prosecutor-General's Office examines cases presented by individual citizens. We do not view issues not connected to citizens' rights, they are for the Constitutional Court," Piskun said on Channel 5. Piskun also said in the same interview that his office will open criminal cases linked to the government's failure to implement the president's decree calling for early parliamentary elections only after the Constitutional Court hands down a ruling on this decree. Piskun claimed that currently there is "no basis" for a criminal case connected with this decree. "I spoke a short while ago with the chairman of the Central Election Commission and I think that the president's decree is being implemented," Piskun added. JM

UKRAINE'S RULING PARTY PROPOSES TALKS AMONG ALL MAIN POLITICAL ACTORS. The parliamentary faction of the Party of Regions has proposed holding a meeting behind closed doors of all lawmakers of the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers, the president, and judges of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court to discuss ways to overcome the current political crisis in Ukraine, UNIAN reported on May 3, quoting Party of Regions lawmaker Raisa Bohatyryova, who also coordinates the ruling majority of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party in parliament. Bohatyryova called on President Yushchenko to refrain from "using forcible methods to rule the country." She also observed that early elections are a "cure for ailing democracy, provided that they result from a political compromise and adhere to the principle of the supremacy of law." JM

"RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova Report" is compiled on the basis of a variety of sources.

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