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Ukraine: Prime Minister Accepts Reformer's Resignation

Kyiv, 8 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko has accepted the resignation of deputy Prime Minister Viktor Pynzenyk -- the man seen as the driving force behind economic reform.

A spokeswoman for Pynzenyk said the deputy premier had insisted on stepping down. He first offered his resignation last week to President Leonid Kuchma, after the government failed to win parliamentary approval for its 1997 budget and new tax law.

Kuchma then ordered Lazarenko to take the final decision on whether to accept the resignation. Pynzenyk has often criticized the government and parliament for slowness in implementing wide-ranging measures to pull Ukraine out of economic decline. He is expected to hold a news conference later today to explain his decision.