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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DECREES LARGER EXPENDITURES ON ARMED FORCES... Leonid Kuchma has signed a decree obliging the government to increase by "nearly twofold," budget allocations for the armed forces in 2003 compared with those in 2002, UNIAN reported on 13 August, quoting presidential spokeswoman Olena Hromnytska. JM
...APPOINTS NEW GENERAL STAFF CHIEF. President Kuchma appointed Colonel General Oleksandr Zatynayko as chief of General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces, UNIAN reported the same day. Kuchma fired the previous chief of the General Staff, Petro Shulyak, following the tragic air crash in Lviv on 27 July (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 July 2002). JM
UKRAINIAN TOP INVESTIGATOR SAYS PILOTS LACKED INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE AIR-SHOW CRASH. National Defense and Security Council Secretary Yevhen Marchuk, who heads the commission investigating the jet crash in Lviv on 27 July, told journalists on 13 August that flight commanders did not give pilots adequate instructions for maneuvers that led to the deaths of 85 spectators, AP reported. Marchuk said the two pilots trained for three days prior to the show, but flight commanders and the show's organizers did not conduct a rehearsal of the event. Marchuk added that commanders failed to call off the performance after the pilots deviated from the flight plan on their first pass. Marchuk also rejected pilot Volodymyr Toponar's claim that technical failures caused him to lose control of the Su-27 jet seconds before the crash. JM
POLISH CABINET WANTS CHANGES IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEDURES. The government on 13 August adopted a package of bills relating to Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko's anti-crisis program (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 30 July 2002), Polish television reported. The package provides opportunities for state assistance to companies facing bankruptcy. Enterprises employing over 1,000 people and "of particular importance to the economy" can count on state help after they prepare a revitalization program; the implementation of the revitalization program is to take place under the supervision of a court and with the cooperation of creditors. The government also endorsed changes in the bankruptcy law that has been in force for 70 years. Under these changes, a firm declared bankrupt will not be able to sell off its assets in order to pay off its obligations. "The bankruptcy law is revolutionary, since it surrenders the bankruptcy procedure to the audit of creditors and not to the commissioner for bankruptcy, who [has always] sought the sale of the company assets. In this way, an opportunity is given for the cleansing and reconstruction of the enterprise, and under the supervision of the creditors," Polish television quoted an unidentified government official as saying. JM
MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SCHEDULES 'MARATHON SUMMIT' ON OSCE SETTLEMENT PLAN. President Vladimir Voronin on 13 August invited separatist leader Igor Smirnov and the mediators in the Transdniester conflict -- Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE -- to a "marathon summit" in Chisinau on 15 August, AP reported. A Flux report from Chisinau said that Voronin's initiative envisages negotiations until an accord is reached on a "final version" of an OSCE plan that provides for Moldova's federalization. Voronin said the plan should be the only point on the summit's agenda. The initiative was endorsed by Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev, according to the AP report. Matti Sidoroff, OSCE mission spokesman, saluted the initiative but said that he believes the proposed summit cannot take place on 15 August, as OSCE mission chief David Schwartz will return to Chisinau only on the evening of 15 August. MS