Kuchma continues Cabinet appointments with a view toward "reformist potential"
by Khristina Lew
Kyiv Press Bureau
KYIV - A vacationing President Leonid Kuchma continued the process of appointing a new Cabinet of Ministers, and by August 14 all but three ministers had been named to the new government.
On August 8 the Ukrainian president signed a decree appointing National Deputy Anatolii Holubchenko as first vice prime minister. The 47-year-old Mr. Holubchenko hails from Mariupol and is a metallurgical engineer. In 1992-1995 he served as minister of industry.
On August 11 President Kuchma replaced retiring Vice Prime Minister Ivan Kuras with Valerii Smolii. The 47-year-old Dr. Smolii served as the director of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Ukrainian History. Mr. Kuchma also appointed Valerii Cherepa as minister of transport.
The new Cabinet of Ministers is composed of 21 ministries and 23 state committees. Ministers of justice, information, and family and youth have yet to be appointed.
Prime Minister Valerii Pustovoitenko told a press conference on August 13 that the government had been streamlined to focus on key spheres of interest: industry, the agro-industrial complex, the financial-economic sphere, and social-humanitarian policies.
The choice of ministers for the new government was not "cosmetic surgery," he said, but "people chosen for their reformist potential."
"This is not a coalition government, but a government team that will focus on stabilizing Ukraine's economic situation," he underlined.
Mr. Pustovoitenko added that the government's top priority is to pay 370 million hrv. in back wages and pensions, which will be financed from the proceeds of the first Eurodollar note sales managed by the Japanese firm Nomura International.
The new Cabinet of Ministers will be introduced to the Ukrainian public at a ceremony to be held at the Mariinskyi Palace on August 22. The ceremony is scheduled to be broadcast on Ukrainian Television's Channel 1.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 17, 1997, No. 33, Vol. LXV
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