UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SLAMS CABINET OVER ENERGY POLICY... Leonid Kuchma on 27 July criticized Viktor Yushchenko's cabinet for mismanaging the energy and fuel sector in Ukraine. ""I am not happy with the government's performance, although this does not mean with the prime minister. But changes are necessary, and if Yushchenko does not understand this, it is his problem, not mine," Interfax quoted Kuchma as saying. Earlier the same day, Kuchma criticized Deputy Premier Yuliya Tymoshenko, who is in charge of the energy and fuel sector, for signing a deal on gas deliveries from Turkmenistan (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 27 July 2000). Yushchenko explained that Tymoshenko only "initialed" a document on conditions of Turkmen gas supplies, adding that the document has not yet acquired legal force. JM

...WHILE TYMOSHENKO SAYS SHE WILL NOT RESIGN. Tymoshenko told journalists the same day that she "fully agrees" with Kuchma's opinion that the price of Turkmen gas could be lower than that on which she agreed during her visit to Ashgabat, Interfax reported. She noted, however, that the gas transportation costs will not be as high as suggested by the president, adding that Ukrainian consumers will be able to buy 1,000 cubic meters of Turkmen gas for some $50. Tymoshenko declined the suggestion that she would resign in connection with Kuchma's criticism of the situation in the energy and fuel sector. "It is no wonder to me that there are a lot of circles dissatisfied with [my] curbs on the shadow economy in the energy sector.... But as long as I am in my post, I will be introducing such a [high degree of] order that Ukraine will not be ashamed," she said. JM