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'OUR UKRAINE' LEADER PROMOTES PRESIDENTIAL PROGRAM IN MOSCOW. Oleksandr Zinchenko, presidential campaign manager of Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yushchenko, was in Moscow on 4 August to challenge the Russian perception of Yushchenko as a radical nationalist, Ukraine's private ICTV television reported. Zinchenko met with Russia's Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov and members of the Russian Duma's commission for relations with Ukraine and held a news conference at the "Sobesednik" weekly's editorial office. Zinchenko's news conference at Interfax in Moscow was cancelled by the agency at short notice, a move blamed by Yushchenko on behind-the-scenes pressure by the Ukrainian presidential administration. "With Yushchenko as president, Ukraine will be a consistent partner, a pragmatic partner, a predictable partner," Zinchenko said in Moscow. "I guarantee that everything will be all right in this respect. You will not get more stable relations under any other regime." In the general perception of both Russian and Ukrainian observers, the Kremlin unofficially favors Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's presidential bid. JM
UKRAINIAN SOCIALIST PARTY LEADER URGES OFFICIAL REACTION TO GONGADZE CASE. Socialist Party leader and presidential candidate Oleksandr Moroz has called on the country's leaders to "immediately issue an official statement on the deliberate violation of the law on investigative activity" in connection with "the admission by the Prosecutor-General's Office that police officers were illegally shadowing journalist Heorhiy Gongadze," Interfax reported on 4 August. Moroz referred to leaked documents posted at delogongadze.org, which include records of the questioning of police officers who said they had been shadowing Gongadze ahead of his disappearance in September 2000. Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office admitted that the documents published at delogongadze.org are authentic. "All the new information about the circumstances of the crime and the complete inactivity of the authorities will be officially submitted to all the leading international organizations that follow developments in the Gongadze investigation," Moroz said in a letter to the president, prosecutor-general, and interior minister. JM
UKRAINIAN PREMIER CRITICIZES MOLDOVAN ECONOMIC SANCTIONS. Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said in a letter to his Moldovan counterpart Vasile Tarlev on 4 August that Moldova's decision to suspend customs certificates for Transdniestrian enterprises that are not legally registered in Moldova would make the implementation of the customs agreement between Ukraine and Moldova difficult, Infotag and ITAR-TASS reported. "The buildup of a large number of vehicles at border crossing points will disrupt traffic across the Transdniester territory and is fraught with unpredictable social and economic consequences," Infotag quoted Yanukovych as saying. The Ukrainian prime minister also said that while the "acts of the Transdniester administration violate European human rights and freedoms," retaliation by economic measures would result in the "further accumulation of problems and a snowballing effect," Infotag reported. He also said Ukraine cannot remain indifferent to the fate of the 200,000 ethnic Ukrainians living in Transdniester who would be affected by the Moldovan sanctions. Transdniestrian leader Igor Smirnov told Ukrainian Ambassador to Moldova Petro Chalyy on 4 August that Moldova's recent economic sanctions on Transdniester are tantamount to a "total economic siege," ITAR-TASS reported. MS