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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW DEPUTY PREMIER. President Leonid Kuchma appointed lawmaker Andriy Klyuyev on 10 December as deputy prime minister in charge of the fuel and energy sector to replace recently sacked Vitaliy Hayduk (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 December 2003), Interfax reported. Klyuyev, 39, who is deputy head of the Donetsk-based Party of Regions led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, served as chairman of the parliamentary Commission for the Fuel and Energy Sector until his current appointment. In 1996-98, he was first deputy head of the Donetsk city administration, and in 1998-2000 was deputy head of the Donetsk Oblast administration. JM
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FORMS COMMISSION TO CHECK FOREIGN FUNDING OF NGOS. The Verkhovna Rada on 10 December voted 289 to five to set up an ad hoc commission to investigate the legality of "foreign interference in financing election campaigns in Ukraine through nongovernmental organizations [NGOs] that are supported by foreign states' grants," Interfax reported. The Our Ukraine and Socialist Party parliamentary caucuses did not take part in the vote. The commission consists of 13 lawmakers and is headed by Valeriy Mishura from the Communist Party. A draft bill to set up the commission was prepared by Petro Symonenko (Communist Party), Ihor Sharov (Labor Ukraine), Valeriy Pustovoytenko (Popular Democratic Party), Yuliya Tymoshenko (Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc), and Mykola Hapochka (People's Choice). According to a survey by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center, foreign grants account for 58 percent of the budget of nearly 100 nongovernmental "analytical centers" in Ukraine. Major foreign providers of grants to Ukrainian NGOs include the Renaissance Foundation (the Soros Fund in Ukraine), the Freedom House, the Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative, the U.S. Aid for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the World Bank, according to Interfax. JM
BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS NEW STRATEGY FOR BULGARTABAC PRIVATIZATION. Lawmakers voted 112-81 with 18 abstentions on 10 December to approve a new strategy for privatizing state tobacco monopoly Bulgartabac, vsekiden.com reported. According to the plan, the holding will be carved up prior to its sale (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 September and 3 October 2003). Economy Minister Lidia Shuleva announced that tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American Tobacco have welcomed the new privatization model. The monopoly includes 12 tobacco-processing plants, nine cigarette factories, and factories in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro. UB