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EU CANNOT NORMALIZE RELATIONS WITH BELARUS. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on 11 September said the EU cannot conduct normal relations with Belarus following the 9 September presidential election. "We're not going to normalize relations with a country which does not respect the freedom of an election," Solana told Reuters during a EUUkraine summit at Yalta. EU Commission spokesman Gunnar Wiegand said the same day that "one thing is perfectly clear, the elections were not held in a normal way," and added that current relations between the EU and Belarus are "practically nonexistent" because of the political climate in Minsk. JM
EU PLEDGES HELP FOR UKRAINE'S NUCLEAR SECTOR. In a communique issued following an EU-Ukraine summit at Yalta on 11 September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 September 2001), the EU pledged to help Ukraine with the costs involved in making its nuclear power plants safe and solving social problems related to the closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. During the summit, the Ukrainian side repeated its demands for EU countries to provide some $800 million promised to Ukraine for closing Chornobyl. The communique noted that the EU and the Euroatom energy agency will make a final decision on the means and size of funding "as soon as possible." Other issues discussed at the Yalta meeting included deliveries of Central Asian gas and oil to Europe via Ukrainian pipelines, increasing bilateral trade, the coordination of legal and customs laws, military cooperation, and joint responses to natural disasters. JM
UKRAINE'S AN-225 PLANE CLAIMS WORLD CARGO RECORD. Ukraine's Antonov aircraft company on 11 September said the world's biggest plane, the An-225 (dubbed "Mriya," or Dream), has set a world record for cargo lifting, world agencies reported. The company said a cargo of 253.8 tons (four tanks) was carried at an altitude of two kilometers for 1,000 kilometers on a flight from Kyiv to the Black Sea's Serpents Island and back. JM
KUCHMA SENDS CONDOLENCES OVER TERRORIST ATTACKS ON U.S. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has send a telegram to U.S. President Bush, expressing sympathy with the families of the victims and the American people in connection with the 11 September terrorist attacks on Washington D.C. and New York, Interfax reported on 11 September. "We expect that the perpetrators of these terrible crimes will not avoid just punishment," Kuchma said. JM
CZECH SMUGGLERS SENTENCED BY HUNGARIAN COURT. A city court in Lenti, southern Hungary, has sentenced four Czechs to prison terms of between 24 and 35 months for trafficking in humans and forgery of documents, CTK reported on 11 September. Three others were acquitted of similar charges, which stem from the interception of a bus carrying 28 Ukrainians holding forged passports in November 2000. Some 13 Czech citizens are currently serving sentences in Hungarian prisons for human trafficking, CTK reported. AH