Some 1,000-1,200 representatives of the National Academy of Sciences picketed buildings of the presidential administration and the parliament in Kyiv on September 16. They demanded wage arrears for 1996-1998 and an increase of budget expenditures on science to 1 per cent of the GDP in 1999 (Ukrainian media, September 16 – 17).
Initially, 0.54 percent of the GDP was earmarked for science and research in 1998. A sequestered version of the 1998 budget lowered the figure to 0.4 percent. Moreover, the cabinet–in its efforts to cut expenditures to comply with the IMF demands concerning the budget deficit– plans to decrease budget expenditures on science to 0.3 percent in the draft budget for 1999, which is to be submitted to parliament next week. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ihor Mityukov told the parliament on September 16 that wage and pension arrears in Ukraine grew by 0.798 billion to 3.6 billion hryvnyas from April through August (Ukrainian TV, September 16). In this situation the state can hardly afford allocating more on science, and many Ukrainian scientists feel constrained to either leave the country or reinforce the “army” of market traders to make ends meet.–OV
GEORGIAN GUERRILLA LEADER APPEARS ON RUSSIAN TV.