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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
Profile: Ukraine's caretaker PM
President Viktor Yushchenko (left) and Yuri Yekhanurov. File photo
Mr Yekhanurov has been with Yushchenko's team since 1999

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has appointed Yuri Yekhanurov as acting prime minister, after sacking the entire cabinet.

Mr Yekhanurov, 57, is one of the country's most experienced politicians and a long-time ally of the president.

He has a reputation of a low-key technocrat able to bring discipline to the country's economic policies, which under his predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko were characterised by high-profile public rows and inconsistency, analysts say.

"I have one goal... to ensure stability," the Russian-born economist said in his first comments after learning of his appointment.

"That's why my task right now is to form a government," said Mr Yekhanurov, who is currently serving as governor of the eastern region of Dnipropetrovs'k.

His new appointment still needs to be approved by Ukraine's parliament.

Experienced player

Mr Yekhanurov, an ethnic Buryat, was born in the village of Belkachi in Russia's far-north region of Yakutia.

He later moved to live in Ukraine - then part of the Soviet Union - and studied in a construction college in the capital before graduating from the Kiev Economy Institute in 1973.

Mr Yekhanurov quickly climbed the career ladder in the construction industry, becoming a deputy chairman of Kiev's construction directorate in 1988.

After Ukraine became independent in 1991, he worked in the government and also in the Kiev city administration, overseeing economic reforms.

Mr Yekhanurov's first big appointment came in 1994, when he served as chairman of the State Property Fund in charge of the privatisation programme.

In 1997, he was economics minister in the cabinet of Pavlo Lazarenko and was elected to parliament a year later.

Mr Yekhanurov joined Mr Yushchenko's team in 1999 and has been with the leader of the Orange Revolution ever since.

He was a key player in Mr Yushchenko's election headquarters during the 2001 parliamentary poll and also the controversial presidential election in 2004, which swept Mr Yushchenko to power.

Mr Yekhanurov is married, with one son.


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