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Ukraine: Brief News Items

Kyiv, 21 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A representatives of the Council of Europe has reiterated the council's condemnation of the death penalty in Ukraine and in Russia's breakaway Chechen Republic.

On a recent visit to Ukraine, a deputy of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, Renata Volvend, said that Ukraine's council membership should be suspended if executions there continue.

Ukraine performed its last execution in March and 264 more condemned prisoners await death. President Leonid Kuchma has said that only the parliament can eliminate the death penalty.

Motor-Sich Signs Contract to Provide Iran with Aircraft Engines

Zaporizhzhia -- Iran has awarded Ukraine's Motor-Sich firm a contract worth $140 million to supply equipment and personnel training for the production of aircraft engines. The contract is part of a larger $4 billion project to build a plant to produce military airplanes.

The contract was awarded jointly to the Motor-Sich plant in Zaporozhzhia on the Dnieper River in Ukraine, the Kharkiv Aviation plant, and the Antonov Aviation Design Bureau in Kyiv.

Ukraine Adopts Uranium Control Law

Kyiv -- Ukraine's parliament has approved a bill to control mining, processing and export-import of uranium. The bill provides that only entities with special licenses may import or export uranium and that uranium may be exported only for non-weaponry uses.

Russian Study Says Ukraine's Economy Lagging

Kyiv -- A research report circulated to top government officials in Russia says that Ukraine lags behind Russia by four to five years in economic reform. Entitled Socio-Political Situtation in Ukraine Prior to Elections, the report predicts that former Premier Pavlo Lazarenko will be a leading competitor against the incumbent Leonid Kuchma in the 1999 presidential elections.