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Ukraine: New Premier Pledges Reform, Seeks Unity

Kyiv, 29 May 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine's newly confirmed prime minister says he wants to continue reforms initiated by the previous government. The Ukrainian parliament today confirmed Anatoly Kinakh as the country's new prime minister. A total of 239 of 279 participating deputies voted in favor of Kinakh, who needed at least 226 votes to be approved.

The Communists, the largest parliament faction, boycotted the vote, as did many members of the centrist opposition and nationalist groups.

President Leonid Kuchma nominated Kinakh for prime minister after the Communist-dominated parliament ousted the reformist government of Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko last month.

Kinakh has pledged to continue market reforms and seek Ukraine's deeper integration into Europe and the world economy.

"We must immediately start new reforms and adopt new social and economic policies. I will do my best to consolidate the positive results achieved by the previous government, and will do everything possible to deepen structural reform as well as to increase the effectiveness of work on social problems."

Kinakh, who heads the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, said he will seek political unity behind his program. He said he intends to take into account "the viewpoints of different parliamentary factions and groups" while forming the government.

For more on Ukraine's new prime minister, please see Ukraine: Parliament Elects New Prime Minister.