UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW FOREIGN MINISTER. Leonid Kuchma has appointed Borys Tarasyuk, until now ambassador to the Benelux countries and NATO, as foreign minister. The 17 April appointment follows the resignation of Hennadiy Udovenko, who won a parliamentary seat and is reportedly seeking the post of speaker. Tarasyuk said after his nomination that he will "do everything possible to help integrate Ukraine into European and European-Atlantic structures and strengthen the country's independence by means of foreign policy," ITAR-TASS reported. He also affirmed that one of the Foreign Ministry's goals will be developing "normal and fruitful relations" with Russia. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER ANNOUNCES CABINET RESHUFFLE. Valeriy Pustovoytenko on 17 April said that a number of other changes will be made to the cabinet within the next few days, ITAR-TASS reported. "Now it is necessary to considerably reinforce and improve the government team in order to speed up structural changes in the Ukrainian economy," ITAR-TASS quoted him as saying. JM

UKRAINE TO DESTROY 40 STRATEGIC BOMBERS. Ukraine will destroy 40 Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers following the U.S.'s pledge to pay for their destruction, Reuters reported on 17 April, quoting Volodymyr Horbulin, secretary of the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense. Ukraine currently has 44 such aircraft, which are able to carry long-range nuclear missiles and stay in the air for 18 hours without refueling. "Two [planes] will be used as models to be put on display and two will be retrofitted for other uses," Horbulin told journalists. JM