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RUSSIAN FILMMAKER REPORTEDLY TO PORTRAY BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT IN EROTIC MOVIE. "Moskovsky komsomolets" reported on August 28 that Russian film director Aleksandr Valov is working on an erotic film that will mockingly depict Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Valov revealed that his film will show the life of a Belarusian collective farm manager named Luka whose hobbies are limited to skiing, playing hockey, and philandering. The action of the film is to focus on the visit of a foreign delegation to the farm, to which Luka has invited fashion models from Moscow to personify milkmaids. The film will reportedly also parody Ukrainian Progressive Socialist Party leader Natalya Vitrenko, a staunch supporter of Lukashenka. Valov assured the newspaper that central characters in the film will bear a "100 percent similarity" to their real-life prototypes. "We will have six erotic scenes. Sex and satire are our main direction," he added. Valov is the author of a scandalous erotic film "Yuliya," which presents a love affair between heroes resembling former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. JM
WILL UKRAINE PAY AN 'OPTIMISTIC' $135 PER 1,000 CUBIC METERS OF GAS IN 2007? First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said in an interview with the "Profil-Ukrayina" weekly on August 28 that the Ukrainian government expects to obtain gas from Russia in 2007 at a price of $135 per 1,000 cubic meters. "We are basing [our expectation] on an optimistic scenario of developments. In actual fact, the situation may be worse, or it may be better," Azarov said. "If the gas price is higher [than $135], the Cabinet of Ministers will be ready for that -- our budget envisions a stabilization fund of nearly 3 billion hryvnyas ($600 million)," Azarov added. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yanukovych told the Russian television channel Vesti 24 on August 28 that he expects the price of gas imported by Ukraine in 2007 to rise "insignificantly." Yanukovych did not name any specific figure. Ukraine currently pays $95 per 1,000 cubic meters of an imported Russian-Turkmen gas mix. JM