UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW PRIME MINISTER. The parliament on 16 July confirmed Valery Pustovoitenko as prime minister, Ukrainian media reported. A leading member of the People's Democratic Party, the 50-year-old Pustovoitenko was nominated by President Leonid Kuchma and was head of Kuchma's election team in the presidential campaign in 1994. He is regarded as one of the president's closest associates. From 1991-1993, Pustovoitenko chaired the Dnepropetrovsk city council and executive council. He has said that he will continue the policy of radical economic reforms. Kuchma told reporters that the parliament will be more involved in the formation of the new government than was the case in the past. But he declined to say what changes he intended to make in the cabinet.
TAX BREAKS FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS IN UKRAINE REJECTED. For the second time in just over a month, the parliament on 16 July rejected a presidential proposal to restore tax and tariff breaks for foreign investors . The tax breaks were abolished this spring at the request of the government. They applied to investors whose ventures were registered before 1995. President Kuchma has urged the parliament to restore the benefits for companies involved in production. After rejecting the tax breaks, the parliament asked the government to provide more detailed information showing how tax breaks would help production. Ukraine has received only $1.5 billion in direct foreign investment since 1991. The U.S. telecommunications giant Motorola announced in April it was leaving Ukraine because of red tape and obstacles to foreign investment.