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UKRAINIAN CABINET, PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY SIGN POWER-SHARING DEAL. Premier Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the pro-government majority in the Verkhovna Rada on 7 December signed a political accord on cooperation and shared responsibility in exercising power in Ukraine, Ukrainian media reported. "Achievements and mistakes of the new government will now find themselves under close scrutiny by society. They will be assessed as proof of the efficiency or inefficiency of the new administrative system that we are currently working out -- a parliamentary-majority-plus-coalition government," UNIAN quoted President Leonid Kuchma as saying. Kuchma added that no other Ukrainian government started its work accompanied by such political consolidation as Yanukovych's cabinet enjoyed at its inception. JM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS ANTI-MONEY-LAUNDERING BILL. President Kuchma on 7 December signed into law a bill on combating money laundering, ITAR-TASS reported. The law stipulates that all transactions over 300,000 hryvnyas ($55,600) in the case of noncash operations and 100,000 hryvnyas in the case of cash operations will be monitored by state bodies that include the National Bank and the State Commission for Securities and the Stock Market. In other news, President Kuchma appointed former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko as head of the State Tax Administration and once again requested that parliament replace National Bank Governor Volodymyr Stelmakh with Serhiy Tihipko (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 December 2002), UNIAN reported. JM
TRADE-UNION BOSS QUITS OUR UKRAINE FOR PRO-GOVERNMENT MAJORITY. Lawmaker Oleksandr Stoyan, head of the Trade Union Federation of Ukraine, has decided to leave the Our Ukraine parliamentary caucus and join the pro-government majority, UNIAN reported on 6 December. "Today I, as the head of the Trade Union Federation, have no reasons to be in opposition to the new coalition government from its first days. I should work with it," Stoyan told journalists of his move. Lawmaker Oleksandr Turchynov of the opposition Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc accused Stoyan of joining the parliamentary majority in order to remain in his trade-union post. "Unfortunately, betrayal in this parliament is becoming a customary phenomenon. For money or posts, some deputies are prepared to abandon their own dignity...and betray their voters," Turchynov said. JM
CONFERENCE ON EUROPEAN COOPERATION HELD IN LATVIAN CAPITAL. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the pro-NATO Latvian Trans-Atlantic Association (LATO), a nongovernmental organization, held an international conference on prospects for cooperation in Eastern and Western Europe in Riga on 6 December, LETA reported. In opening the conference, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga said there is still a long way to go before the common dream of stability and security on the entire European continent is achieved. She noted that the expansion of NATO and the European Union help ensure this and extended a special welcome to representatives from Ukraine, Georgia, and other countries seeking to join these organizations. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, U.S.-NATO Committee Chairman Bruce Jackson, former Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar, Lithuanian Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius, and officials from Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, and Poland participated in the conference. SG
POLISH PREMIER HOPES FOR 'SENSIBLE COMPROMISE' AT EU SUMMIT. Prime Minister Leszek Miller on 8 December said he believes it will be possible to work out a "sensible compromise" regarding conditions for EU enlargement at the EU summit in Copenhagen on 12-13 December, PAP reported. Commenting on his informal meeting with the premiers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary in Bratislava on 7 December, Miller said the Visegrad Group countries have decided to cooperate until the conclusion of EU accession talks. "We are convinced that there will be no winners or losers and that the Copenhagen summit will be a success for all of us. It will go down in the history of Europe and the entire world for overcoming the division of Europe," Miller added. On 6 December, Miller met with his Swedish counterpart Goeran Persson in Stockholm. Persson assured Miller that Sweden will support a Danish proposal regarding the financial aid to 10 EU aspirants (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 3 December 2002), according to PAP. JM