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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DEPRIVES CABINET MEMBERS OF DEPUTY SEATS. The Verkhovna Rada on September 12 stripped 13 members of the current government -- including Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuyev -- of their parliamentary mandates, Ukrainian news agencies reported. In this way the legislature complied with a legal provision obliging Ukrainian lawmakers appointed to governmental posts to give up their parliamentary mandates. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz said he will request that the Kyiv Appellate Court strip Justice Minister Roman Zvarych of his parliamentary seat, since Zvarych has failed to tender his formal resignation as a lawmaker. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPROVES MAKEUP OF TOP SECURITY BODY. President Viktor Yushchenko has approved the composition of the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO), which is a constitutional body for coordinating and monitoring the activities of executive bodies in the sphere of national security and defense, Interfax-Ukraine reported on September 12. The RNBO, chaired by Yushchenko, is made up of Prime Minister Yanukovych, First Deputy Prime Minister Azarov, Presidential Secretariat head Oleh Rybachuk, Economy Minister Volodymyr Makukha, Emergency Situations Minister Viktor Baloha, Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Security Service chief Ihor Dryzhchanyy, Justice Minister Zvarych, Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Health Minister Yuriy Polyachenko, Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mykola Malomuzh, and acting RNBO Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin. Three other officials are also allowed to participate in RNBO meetings: parliament speaker Moroz, Prosecutor-General Oleksandr Medvedko, and National Bank head Volodymyr Stelmakh. JM