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NOTE TO READERS: RFE/RL INTERVIEWS UKRAINE'S PRIME MINISTER. Six months into Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko's government, our Kyiv bureau spoke with her about post-Orange Revolution power grabs, the "difficult and dirty battle" ahead of next year's parliamentary elections, and her cooperation with President Viktor Yushchenko. See a52105d571b9.html

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT PRICES KRYVORIZHSTAL AT $2 BILLION. The Ukrainian government on 9 August set a $2 billion starting price for a 93.02 percent stake in the Kryvorizhstal steel mill, which was sold last year under a disputable privatization tender for $800 to a consortium controlled by oligarchs Rynat Akhmetov and Viktor Pinchuk, Ukrainian and international media reported. Earlier this year the privatization of Kryvorizhstal was annulled by a Ukrainian court (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 June 2005). Bidders in the new privatization tender are also obliged to present an eight-year investment program worth 12 billion hryvnyas ($6 billion). Kryvorizhstal declared earnings of more than $400 million last year. Akhmetov and Pinchuk have lodged complaints against the Kryvorizhstal reprivatization with the Supreme Court of Ukraine and the European Court for Human Rights, both of which are pending. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CONGRATULATES HIS PREDECESSOR ON BIRTHDAY. President Viktor Yushchenko on 9 August passed his best wishes to former President Leonid Kuchma on the latter's birthday, Interfax-Ukraine reported, quoting the presidential press service. In a telephone conversation, Yushchenko reportedly wished Kuchma a warm anniversary spent with friends and relatives. Kuchma turned 67 on 9 August. JM