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UKRAINIAN INTERIOR MINISTER REPORTEDLY SUSPECTED OF CORRUPTION. Deputy Prosecutor-General Renat Kuzmin said in a television interview on November 14 that Ukrainian prosecutors believe that Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko has been involved in corruption, Ukrainian media reported. Kuzmin said the alleged corruption is linked to an investigation into the killing earlier this year of Roman Yerokhin, a colonel in the Interior Ministry. Asked by a journalist to be more specific about Lutsenko's alleged corrupt actions, Kuzmin said the issue involves the "unlawful promotion of police officers, unlawful issue of combat handguns to individuals who have no right to carry weapons, and a lot of other [violations]." Lutsenko was one of President Viktor Yushchenko's nominations to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet. JM
UKRAINIAN PRO-PRESIDENTIAL MINISTER WANTS TO REMAIN IN YANUKOVYCH'S CABINET. Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko said on November 15 that he is ready to stay in Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's government, Interfax-Ukraine reported. Polyachenko added that he does not support the decision of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine People's Union to go into opposition. Polyachenko was appointed health minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov in September 2005 and proposed by Our Ukraine for the same job in Yanukovych's cabinet in August 2006. After the Our Ukraine parliamentary caucus decided to go into opposition in October, Polyachenko and three other ministers proposed by Our Ukraine tendered their resignations (see "RFE/RL Newsline," October 19, 2006). The Verkhovna Rada on November 1 accepted the resignations of Justice Minister Roman Zvarych and Culture Minister Ihor Likhovyy. JM
UKRAINIAN FOREIGN, DEFENSE MINISTERS QUESTIONED IN PARLIAMENT. Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko delivered reports in the Verkhovna Rada on November 15 on their cabinet performance, as they were requested to do by parliament last month, Ukrainian media reported. Lawmakers from the ruling coalition of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party criticized Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko for what they saw as their unsatisfactory work and negligence in office. The Verkhovna Rada failed to pass any resolution on either minister during its morning sitting. Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko were nominated for their cabinet posts by President Yushchenko. JM