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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kuchma Fires Cabinet Ministers

KIEV -- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on Tuesday banished his finance minister and three other ministers with economic and industrial portfolios, his press service said.

"Finance Minister Valentyn Koronevsky has been sacked for serious inadequacies in his work," said the statement, which was issued to Reuters.

Statistics Minister Olexander Osaulenko had been sacked for bad management, while Economy Minister Vasyl Hureyev -- and the minister for machine-building and the military complex -- were moved to other posts. Kuchma, on holiday in western Ukraine, had signed the decrees following a request from the cabinet, the statement said.

Kuchma, who also this month sacked his agriculture minister and deputy transport minister at the first meeting of a new anti-corruption body, has often spoken of the need for staff changes in the ministries.

Ukrainian media said the work of the four ministries was sharply criticized Friday by Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko at a cabinet meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Pynzenyk, in charge of economic reform in the former Soviet republic, told reporters Saturday that he had no information on the sackings but that the cabinet had to "play in tune."