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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT STAFFS CABINET WITH SEVERAL NEW MINISTERS... President Viktor Yushchenko has made some 20 appointments to the new cabinet of Yuriy Yekhanurov, Ukrainian media reported on 28 September. New faces in the current cabinet, compared with the previous one led by Yuliya Tymoshenko, are: First Deputy Prime Minister Stanislav Stashevskyy, Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Emergency Situations Minister Viktor Baloha, Construction Minister Pavlo Kachur, Labor Minister Ivan Sakhan, and Transport Minister Viktor Bondar. JM
...BUT KEEPS MANY OLD HANDS. President Yushchenko reappointed to work with Yekhanurov a dozen previous cabinet members, Ukrainian media reported on 28 September. They are: Deputy Prime Minister Roman Bezsmertnyy; Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk; Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov; Coal Industry Minister Viktor Topolov; Agriculture Minister Oleksandr Baranivskyy; Family, Youth, and Sport Minister Yuriy Pavlenko; Environmental Protection Minister Pavlo Ihnatenko; Education Minister Stanislav Nikolayenko; Industrial Policy Minister Volodymyr Shandra; Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko; Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko; and Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk. The posts of culture minister, justice minister, and health minister remain vacant. JM
UKRAINIAN ECONOMY MINISTER OPTS FOR STABILIZATION... Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's 31-year-old new economy minister, said in a press interview on 28 September that the government needs to stabilize the economy and stop the continuing fall in economic output, Interfax-Ukraine reported. "The situation is deplorable, you may take any data from the State Statistics Committee," Yatsenyuk told the "Kommersant-Ukrayina" newspaper. "It would be unreasonable to speak about an economic upswing. There won't be any economic miracle, and there is no need for it. We will do our utmost to return the economy to the normal temperature of 36.6C, so that the situation stabilizes and the fall stops." JM
...AS FINANCE MINISTER SPEAKS FOR CONTINUATION OF UNFINISHED JOB. In a statement issued after his reappointment on 28 September, Finance Minister Pynzenyk said he is remaining in the cabinet to complete the work begun during the presidency of Viktor Yushcheno, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www.pravda.com.ua) reported. "I am remaining because I have assumed this responsibility and cannot leave unfinished what I must accomplish," Pynzenyk said. "This is responsibility for the future of Ukraine which, due to the election of Viktor Yushchenko, has received a unique opportunity for the first time. We must not waste it." Pynzenyk also appealed to his colleagues from the Reforms and Order Party he heads not to support a split among the forces that came to power with the president. Former Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko, a member of the Reforms and Order Party, suggested earlier that Pynzenyk should quit the party if he remains in the cabinet. JM
EU, U.S. INVITED TO JOIN TALKS ON TRANSDNIESTER AS OBSERVERS. A meeting of representatives of Chisinau and Tiraspol along with mediators from Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Odesa on 26-27 September resulted in extending an invitation to the European Union and the United States to take part in the Transdniester settlement process as observers, Moldovan and Ukrainian news agencies reported on 27 September. "Our proposal to expand the negotiation format was accepted by all participants in the consultative meeting, and this was the meeting's chief result," Infotag quoted Moldovan Minister of Reintegration Vasile Sova as saying. EU and U.S. observers are expected to attend the next round of negotiations on Transdniester scheduled for 27-28 October in Chisinau. JM