News / Europe

New Ukrainian Prime Minister Seen Loyal to President

A new parliamentary coalition in Ukraine has approved a prime minister considered loyal to recently inaugurated President Viktor Yanukovych.  But the ousted prime minister says the new government is illegitimate. 

Former finance minister Mykola Azarov, a close associate of Viktor Yanukovych, received a large bouquet of roses from the president after the parliament, the Supreme Rada, approved his appointment as prime minister.  

Two hundred forty two lawmakers in the 450-seat Rada voted in Mr. Azarov's favor.  

Speaking just before the mid-day vote, Mr. Azarov said the country has been plundered, the state treasury is empty, economic decline continues, and the national debt has increased threefold.  The situation, he says, requires a realistic 2010 budget.

Mr. Azarov says Ukraine has reached a critical limit and the situation must be changed.  He adds that the government's task is to give the people responsible, effective and just leadership.

The new prime minister moved to Ukraine from Russia in the mid 1980s and is often criticized for poor command of the Ukrainian language.  But he has served as first deputy prime minister and finance minister and is considered to be an experienced economic manager.

The new coalition was made possible by a vote in parliament Tuesday to amend the constitution to allow lawmakers to ignore party affiliation and to join a coalition as independents.  

Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko said Wednesday the move has not only rendered the constitution worthless, but that any coalition or government formed on such a basis would have no legitimate authority.  

Responding to Mr. Azarov's implied criticism of her government, she said she passes along a worthy economy.  She also recognized the suffering of ordinary Ukrainians as a result of the global economic crisis.

Ms. Tymoshenko says no one could hide from the crisis, not society, not banks, nor businesses or any individual.   She admits to hands-on control of all economic processes during her tenure, saying it was simply impossible to maintain the country any other way.

Mr. Azarov says he would welcome a meeting with his predecessor to discuss cooperation with the opposition, which Ms. Tymoshenko now enters.  Her tenure as prime minister was characterized by frequent infighting with former president Viktor Yushchenko.

The new majority in the Rada has been named the Stability and Reforms faction.  It includes 172 members of President Yanukovych's Regions Party, 27 communists, 20 members of speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn's party, and 12 lawmakers from parties loyal to Ms. Tymoshenko or former President Yushchenko.

The Foreign Ministry in the new government will once again be headed by Kostyantin Hryshchenko, Ukraine's current envoy to Russia and former ambassador to the United States.  He is a professional diplomat and is considered pro-Western.  

The Education Minister will be Dmytro Tabachnyk, a controversial pro-Russian lawmaker whose appointment was reported eliciting a gasp of disbelief among his detractors in Parliament.  In September, Tabachnyk was widely criticized for his article in Russia's Izvestia newspaper that described the Soviet decision to unite western and eastern Ukraine during World War II as a time bomb that brought together peoples with almost nothing in common in terms of mentality, religion, language or politics.  

President Yanukovych drew criticism in Russia this week after announcing he would not promote Russian as a second state language in Ukraine.  

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More