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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora