Yuriy Yekhanurov : biography
Yuriy Ivanovych Yekhanurov () (born August 23, 1948) is a Ukrainian politician who was Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2005 to 2006 and Minister of Defense in from 2007 to 2009. On July 14, 2009 he was appointed as the first deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Secretariat., Interfax-Ukraine (july 14, 2009)
Background and professional career
Yekhanurov was born in the village Belkachi in the far-north Yakut ASSR, which is currently the Sakha Republic within the Russian Federation. Yekhanurov, an ethnic Buryat, moved to Ukraine during Soviet times, where he has spent most of his life and career. He holds a PhD-equivalent degree in Economics, is married, and has one son.
Yekhanurov graduated from the Kiev Construction tekhnikum in 1967, and the Kyiv Institute of National Economy in 1973. He was appointed manager of the "Kyivmiskbud-4"'s Plant of reinforced concrete as his first job in 1974. Yekhanurov quickly rose the ranks, already heading the "Stroydetal'" industrial group from 1985 to 1988. In that year, he was appointed deputy chairman of the Kiev construction directorate, the "Golovkyivmiskbud".
On September 8, 2005 Yekhanurov was appointed Acting Prime Minister by President Viktor Yushchenko, after the President had sacked the previous Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. He was succeeded by Victor Yanukovich on August 4, 2006. Yekhanurov's candidacy was hotly contested in parliament, most notably by former Prime Minister and Yushchenko's ally Yulia Tymoshenko. His confirmation required two rounds of voting; in the first round on September 20, 2005, Yekhanurov was only three votes short of the 226 needed for approval. On September 22, 2005, after negotiations between President Yushchenko and opposition groups, he was approved by 289 deputies out of 339 present. The CPU and SDPU(o) factions abstained from voting.
Yekhanurov was widely regarded as an experienced administrator, a caretaker rather than a politician. Like Yushchenko, he is a supporter of economic liberalization and privatisation, but opposed "reprivatization" of previously sold companies that were thought to have been privatized illegally under the administration of President Leonid Kuchma.
Yekhanurov government lost a vote of no confidence on January 10, 2006http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=31268 but stayed in power until the parliamentary election two months later.
After the signing of a coalition agreement (June 22, 2006) by the political parties behind the "Orange Revolution" it was agreed that Yulia Tymoshenko would be restored as Prime Minister of Ukraine after nearly three months of negotiating and political uncertainty. Yulia Tymoshenko election was expected to be only a formality but opposition members (Party of Regions & Communist Party of Ukraine) blocked the parliament from Thursday, June 29, 2006 till Thursday, July 6, 2006 because they felt they hadn't got enough chairmen in parliamentary committees Yekhanurov was skeptical about the new government and he wanted the Party of Regions to be a part of the new government He felt that would have been better for the stability of Ukraine.
Gas crisis of 2005–2006 and fallout
Late 2005/January 2006, Russia and Ukraine had a serious dispute over the import of gas. Russia had been charging Ukraine traditionally low prices for gas, but decided to increase them to reflect the market price. After cutting off the flow of gas to Ukraine for several days, a complicated deal was struck on January 4, 2006. According to President Yushchenko and Yekhanurov, it was a compromise.
Nonetheless, the Ukrainian parliament was not happy with the deal, and passed a vote of no-confidence on January 10, 2006. But President Yuschenko "quickly dismissed the vote as a publicity stunt by the opposition" Yekhanurov continued to perform his duties until the newly elected Verkhovna Rada convened and formed a majority in July. He was succeeded by Viktor Yanukovych.
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