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Communist Leader wants Madeleine Albright barred from entering

Petro Symonenko told journalists on 11 March that Madeleine Albright, U.S. secretary of state from 1997-2001, should be declared persona non grata in Ukraine, Interfax reported. "She is a threat to Ukraine," Symonenko said, referring to her article "How To Help Ukraine Vote," published in "The New York Times" on 8 March.

"If the [2004 presidential] elections take place in the way we do not want them to, we will close all foreign accounts of natural and legal persons," Symonenko misquoted Albright as writing.

"This is unprecedented impudence, and simply boorish behavior with regard to Ukraine." In fact, Albright wrote: "If, however, the elections are fraudulent, Ukraine's leaders should know that their entry into Western institutions will slow and that their own bank accounts and visa privileges will be jeopardized.

The same should hold true if Mr. [President Leonid] Kuchma's faction manipulates the Constitution to its own advantage."

(RFE/RL 12.iii.04)

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