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Ukrainian Tax Chief Resigns Under Pressure

11 June 2004 -- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma accepted the resignation today of the country's tax chief, Yuriy Kravchenko.

Kuchma two days ago demanded the resignations of Kravchenko and other senior officials at the National Tax Administration, saying those officials must be held responsible for a 2 percent shortfall in tax collections in the first quarter of 2004.

Kuchma said the shortfall was a direct result of the tax administration's failure to enforce legislation regarding value-added tax on major enterprises.

Kravchenko's position at the head of the tax body is a politically powerful one because of the agency's ability to perform damaging audits and even armed police raids.