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Ukraine: Kuchma Nominates Prime Minister

Kyiv, 22 May 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has nominated Anatoly Kinakh, leader of a pro-business party, to be the country's next prime minister. Kinakh, leader of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, will need the approval of parliament, which ousted reformist Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko last month (26 April).

The Communists -- the largest party in parliament -- have already said they will not back any of the candidates that Kuchma has suggested.

Also, today in Paris, two leaders of the European Union urged Ukraine to continue the economic reforms pursued by former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, ousted last month in a parliamentary vote.

Prime Minister Goeran Persson of Sweden, the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, and European Commission President Romano Prodi said in an article in the daily "International Herald Tribune" that Ukraine's continuing progress and reform is in the EU's interest.

The two leaders said any regression in Ukraine's development, either political or economic, would threaten to create "a new discontinuity" in Europe.

For more on Kuchma's candidate for prime minister, please see: Ukraine: Kuchma Names Kinakh To Replace Yushchenko.