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...BUT THOSE WHO DO SHOULD BE CAREFUL. Meanwhile, "Izvestiya" reported on 15 July that Russian tourists abroad are being increasingly victimized by Russian organized-crime groups. The report recounted a recent incident in Egypt where criminals robbed 12 hotel rooms at one resort after spending the previous evening drinking with a group of tourists from Russia and Ukraine. Incidents of con games and robbery were also documented in Italy, Spain, and France. RC
U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY IN KYIV. U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has told Ukrainian leaders that investors will no longer tolerate ongoing legal abuses in Ukraine. In meetings in Ukraine from 12-14 July with President Leonid Kuchma and Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh, O'Neill praised the country's land-reform efforts, but Reuters added on 14 July that he also warned Ukraine that if it hopes to attract necessary foreign investment steps must be taken to ensure that Western businesses are treated fairly. "When there are famous or notorious cases involving a company that carries a U.S. flag, the word travels fast to other potential U.S. investors," the agency quoted O'Neill as telling business leaders. In addition, a spokesman for O'Neill told Ukrainian leaders that the United States "is seriously concerned about Iraq and its intentions" regarding recent allegations that the country is working with Ukraine in order to build up its military arsenal (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 July 2002). Earlier this year Ukraine was accused of illegally selling highly sophisticated radar systems to Iraq in 2000. RK
FORMER HEAD OF INVESTIGATION INTO UKRAINIAN JOURNALIST'S DEATH BANNED FROM ELECTION. Oleksandr Zhyr, the former chairman of the temporary parliamentary commission investigating the murder of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, was banned from seeking re-election in the repeat parliamentary elections in the 35th electoral district (Dnipropetrovsk), UNIAN reported on 13 July. Zhyr on 12 July was forbidden to participate in the 14 July elections, which were won by Viktor Drachevskiy, Ukrainian media reported the next day. He was removed from the ballot by the local election commission following a court decision that found him guilty of financial improprieties during the campaign. Zhyr lost the elections in the first ballot in March, but demanded a repeat election, which was granted by the Central Election Commission. Zhyr, an officer of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), was an outspoken critic of President Kuchma during his term as a member of parliament. RK