In January, a court ruled that the 2003 sale to Viktor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma (shown), was illegal (file photo) (CTK)
9 February 2006 -- Ukraine's parliament today barred the privatization of the Nikopol steel factory.
A majority of lawmakers voted to include the Nikopol factory on a list of enterprises that could not be privatized.
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2003 sale of Nikopol to Viktor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma, was illegal and returned it to the state.
President Viktor Yushchenko called for the mill to be put up for sale in an open auction in the hope of receiving a high price.
The Economics Ministry today accused lawmakers of violating the law with their vote. The ministry said it was up to the government, not the parliament, to decide whether to bar the sale of specific companies.
Former Prime Minister YULIYA TYMOSHENKO
has long been a controversial figure in Ukrainian politics. A former economist and head of Unified Energy Systems (EES) of Ukraine from Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, Tymoshenko served as deputy prime minister for energy in the cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko, when he was prime minister under former President Leonid Kuchma. She has faced legal troubles linked to corruption allegations both in Ukraine and in Russia, although all cases against her have now been dropped. Tymoshenko was a firebrand of the opposition movement during the 2004 Orange Revolution, leading demonstrators to surround the presidential administration and issuing ultimatums to the Kuchma government.
In March 2005, President Viktor Yushchenko named her prime minister, a post that she held until September of that year. In August, on the occasion of the six-month anniversary of her appointment, Tymoshenko spoke with RFE/RL at length, discussing, among other things, the then-looming gas conflict with Russia and the likelihood of a "difficult and dirty" battle in the upcoming parliamentary elections....(more)
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