Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych appointed Valery Khoroshkovsky as first deputy prime minister in his latest Cabinet switch before parliamentary elections in October.
Khoroshkovsky, 43, was also dismissed today as finance minister, a post he assumed on Jan. 18, according to a statement on Yanukovych’s official website. Khoroshkovsky had previously been in charge of the Ukraine’s security service. He replaces Andriy Klyuev, who was named as secretary of the National Defense and Security Council last week.
Khoroshkovsky will lead talks with the International Monetary Fund on a $15.6 billion loan program that’s been frozen since last March as well as negotiations to strengthen ties with the European Union. Before it resumes disbursements, the IMF has demanded the government raise utility tariffs for households to trim the state’s budget gap. The EU delayed the signing of an association agreement, planned for December, because of the imprisonment of the opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
--With assistance from Kateryna Choursina in Kiev. Editor: Patrick G. Henry
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