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OUR UKRAINE LEADER SLAMS INVESTIGATORS FOR 'INSINCERE' EFFORT... Speaking in the Verkhovna Rada on 4 March, Our Ukraine head Viktor Yushchenko "thanked" investigators from the Prosecutor-General's Office, the Ukrainian Security Service, and the Interior Ministry for their "insincere work" in uncovering who was behind last month's dissemination of a bogus letter to voters bearing his name and apparent signature (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 25 February 2003), UNIAN reported. Yushchenko said the mystery could be solved by "any boy from any courtyard." He suggested that presidential administration chief Viktor Medvedchuk's Social Democratic Party-united (SDPU-o) was behind the release of the false message, and he charged that law enforcement bodies in Ukraine have become hostages to the process of "SDPU-o-ization" of the country. Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun assured Yushchenko and the legislature that the investigation is "under his personal control." Mykola Honchar, head of the State Committee for Communications and Computerization, blamed the distribution of some 900,000 copies of the letter through the state postal service, Ukrposhta, on "legal loopholes." JM
...AS OPPOSITION LEADERS CALL FOR ANTIPRESIDENTIAL PROTESTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. Speaking from the parliamentary rostrum the same day, Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz and Oleksandr Turchynov, a leader of the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, called on "all honest Ukrainians" to take part in antipresidential protests throughout the country on 9 March, UNIAN reported. The Socialist Party, the Communist Party, and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc are planning to restart the "Rise Up, Ukraine!" campaign intended to force President Leonid Kuchma to resign (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 4 March 2003). Specifically, the three opposition parties asked the Kyiv city administration earlier this week for permission to hold a 200,000-strong rally in the capital on 9 March. JM
POLISH, UKRAINIAN EMPLOYERS SIGN COOPERATION ACCORD. The Confederation of Polish Employers (KPP) and the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (USPP) concluded an agreement on expanding economic cooperation between the two countries in Warsaw on 4 March, PAP reported. The document was signed by KPP President Andrzej Malinowski and USPP President Anatoliy Kinakh. "According to various sources, Polish-Ukrainian trade turnover in 2002 amounted to $1-1.5 billion," Kinakh told journalists. "We are not satisfied with the present level of economic cooperation between our countries because their potentials are much bigger," he added. Kinakh has said bilateral economic cooperation should cover above all the food and processing industries, the pharmaceutical industry, construction and roads, the steel industry, mining and transport, and banking services. According to the Polish Economic Ministry, Polish investments in Ukraine amounted to $69.3 million at the end of 2001, which constituted just 1.58 percent of foreign direct investment in Ukraine. JM