Conditions for continuing lending by the IMF–and implicitly by the World Bank as well–include cancellation of state subsidies which support unrealistically low costs of rent, utilities and public transport. In keeping with that reform requirement, President Leonid Kuchma recently vetoed the Verkhovna Rada’s July 23 decision, which had prohibited any increase in those tariffs. But the Rada yesterday overrode Kuchma’s veto.
Symptomatically, many centrists joined the ideological left against the president. They used the argument that citizens should not be required to pay the full costs of those services as long as government does not pay the wage arrears (Ukrainian agencies, September 15).
Last week, Rada deputies threatened to impeach Kuchma because of his recent budget-balancing decree (see the Monitor, September 3, 10). That measure is also among the main conditions to the resumption of international lending to Ukraine.–VS
BLOODY INCIDENT IN ABKHAZIA.