BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT MAKES NEW APPOINTMENTS. Alyaksandr Lukashenka has appointed Mikhail Dzyamchuk as deputy prime minister in charge of science, education, and health care, Belarusian Television reported on 14 July. "I need a man...who has lived through the time of confusion, chaos, and disintegration, when he did not know where he had to go and to whom he had to report," Lukashenka commented on Dzyamchuk's nomination. He also appointed Vadzim Papou as agricultural minister and Uladzimir Tsalko as head of the Committee for Dealing with the Aftermath of Chornobyl. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER REPORTS ON CABINET ACHIEVEMENTS TO PARLIAMENT. Viktor Yushchenko told the parliament on 15 July that the country's GDP grew by 5 percent in the first half of 2000, compared with the same period last year. He added that budget revenues increased by 10.5 percent during the first six months of 2000 and that almost all of it was collected in cash instead of through barter or offsets. Yushchenko noted that this year's growth has enabled the government to pay off debts to pensioners and cut back on unpaid wages to government workers, while the real income of the population increased by 11.8 percent. Yushchenko said there is no immediate threat of a new financial crisis although inflation is on the rise: 1.7 percent in April, 2.1 percent in May, and 3.7 percent in June. It is expected to total 18.7 percent by the end of the year. JM

UKRAINE HAS NEW FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has appointed Serhiy Yermilov as fuel and energy minister, Interfax reported on 13 July. Yermilov commented after his nomination that his aim is to stabilize energy supplies to Ukraine and modernize the fuel and energy sector. Yermilov replaced Serhiy Tulub, who resigned last month over disputes with Deputy Premier Yuliya Tymoshenko on how to reform the troubled fuel and energy sector. Kuchma also appointed Vadym Kopylov as Yermilov's deputy and head of the state-run Naftohaz Ukrayiny. JM