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Czech Republic/Ukraine: Havel To Discuss New European Order

Kyiv, 30 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Czech President Vaclav Havel arrived in Kyiv today at the start of a three-day visit to Ukraine. The trip is the first official visit from a Czech head of state to the former Soviet republic.

Havel told reporters at Prague's Ruzyne airport this morning that the bilateral talks will focus on "security questions" and the "new European order which has arisen after the fall of communism."

Havel is being accompanied by the Czech ministers of Finance, Interior, Transport, Trade and Education, along with a business delegation. Later today, the Czech president is scheduled to hold talks with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Parliament chairman Oleksander Moroz and acting Prime Minister Vasyl Durdynets.

Correspondents say that Havel is expected to raise the issue of the estimated 140,000 Ukrainian workers currently in the Czech Republic. More than half of them do not have work permits. During his stay, Havel will visit the Chornobyl nuclear power station.