Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 156

President Leonid Kuchma announced on August 22 the full composition of Ukraine’s reshuffled cabinet of ministers under the country’s recently appointed prime minister, Valery Pustovoytenko. Ukraine’s foreign partners will find that Foreign Minister Hennady Udovenko, Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for economic reforms Serhy Tyhypko, Finance Minister Ihor Mityukov, Foreign Economic Relations Minister Serhy Osika, and Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister Yury Kostenko remain in the same posts. However, most of the cabinet’s 25 members are new, replacing the team of Pavlo Lazarenko whom Kuchma recently forced out amid charges of corruption and foot-dragging on reforms.

In his own address marking the occasion, Pustovoytenko stressed that the new government is expected to focus on accelerating "transparent privatization" for cash, development of stock and capital markets, tax reforms, legalization of the shadow economy, improvement of conditions for foreign investment, and modernization of the agricultural sector. "Despite the gravity of the current situation, we have no right to succumb to hopelessness and drift," Pustovoytenko commented in a speech on the sixth anniversary of Ukrainian independence. (Ukrainian agencies, August 22-23)

Russian Paratroopers Released in Georgian-Abkhaz Deal.