Mykola Azarov


Mykola Azarov
Mykola Azarov
Микола Азаров
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 March 2010
President Viktor Yanukovych
Deputy Andrii Kliuyev
Preceded by Oleksandr Turchynov (Acting)
In office
5 January 2005 – 24 January 2005
Acting
President Leonid Kuchma
Preceded by Viktor Yanukovych
Succeeded by Yulia Tymoshenko
In office
7 December 2004 – 28 December 2004
Acting
President Leonid Kuchma
Preceded by Viktor Yanukovych
Succeeded by Viktor Yanukovych
Personal details
Born 17 December 1947 (1947-12-17) (age 63)
Kaluga, Soviet Union
(now Russia)
Political party Party of Regions (2001–present)
Other political
affiliations
Civic Congress of Ukraine (1992)
Party of Labor (1992–2001)
Spouse(s) Lyudmyla Azarova
Alma mater Moscow State University
Website Official website

Mykola Yanovych Azarov (Ukrainian: Микола Янович Азаров, Mykola Yanovych Azarov); born Nikolai Yanovich Pakhlo (Russian: Николай Янович Пахло) on 17 December 1947, is a Ukrainian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Ukraine since 11 March 2010. He was the First Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister from 2002 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2007, and he also served as acting Prime Minister for two short periods in late 2004 and early 2005. Following the victory of Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 presidential election, Azarov succeeded Yanukovych as leader of the Party of Regions, and he was appointed as Prime Minister in March 2010.[1][2]

Contents

Early life and career

Azarov was born in Kaluga[3] in the Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, to Yan Robertovich Pakhlo and Yekaterina Kvasnikova as Nikolay Pakhlo.[4][5] When he married his wife, Lyudmila Azarova, he took her name.[4][5]

Azarov attended the Moscow State University where he earned his doctorate in geology and mineralogy in 1971.[3] He worked at the Tulaugol coal enterprise until 1976.[3] Dr. Azarov moved to Donetsk on a permanent basis in 1984 to become deputy director of the Ukrainian State Geological Institute, that he went on to head.[5] In 1984–1995 he was a deputy director and director of Ukraine's State Research and Design Institute of Mining Geology and Geomechanics.[3]

Political career

1st turn as Parliamentarian and head state tax administration

Azarov served as the head of the budgetary committee of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) in 1994–1997.[5] He also was a long-term (1996–2002) head of the State Tax Administration.[3][5] During this period tax inspections were used to limit the freedom of the press in Ukraine.[6][7][8][9] On tapes made during the Cassette Scandal Azarov is heard speaking on recordings, secretly recorded in Kuchma's office by Kuchma's bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko, about using his position as the head of the tax authority to pressure officials to ensure Kuchma's reelection in 1999.[5][10] Critics also stated that the recordings implicated Azarov in other corrupt schemes, including allegedly covering up graft at the state natural gas company Naftogaz,[5] aiding the demise of the Slaviansk Bank (which was connected to Yulia Tymoshenko's natural gas company United Energy Systems of Ukraine)[5] and illegal funding of Kuchma's 1999 election campaign.[11] Azarov has vehemently refuted all these allegations.[5] In 2002, he accused Slavyansk Bank president Borys Feldman of being behind the Cassette Scandal recordings.[5]

Vice-Premiers Azarov, Andrei Kobyakov (Belarus), Karim Massimov (Kazakhstan) and Viktor Khristenko (Russia) (April 2003)

First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister

In 2001 he became the head of the Party of Regions but resigned from the post in less than a year. In 2003 Azarov was elected chairman of the Party of Regions political council.[3] In 2002, the European Choice parliamentary group nominated him for the Prime Minister's post, but he declined, standing aside for Victor Yanukovych, who assumed both the leadership of the Party of Regions and the Prime Minister's job.[5] Azarov was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in late November 2002, when the first Yanukovych Government took office.[3][12] During the first Yanukovych Government governing the set of economic reforms was implemented including fiscal, tax, pensionary, regulatory reforms. During Azarov's first term as Finance Minister, the annual GDP growth was 9.6% in 2003 and 12.1% in 2004 (cf. 2.7% in 2005) in Ukraine,[13] with capital investments of 31.3% and 28.0%[14] (cf. 1.9% in 2005[15]).[16]

Azarov first served as acting Prime Minister from 7 December 2004 to 28 December 2004, after Yanukovych was put on vacation leave by President Kuchma in the midst of the Orange Revolution.[3][17] After the runoff, Yanukovych attempted to resume his duties as prime minister, but effectively unable to do so, announced his resignation on 31 December 2004,[18][19] and Azarov was named acting Prime Minister again.[3][17] The Yanukovych Cabinet was officially dismissed on 5 January 2005.[20] Azarov continued as acting Prime Minister until shortly after the inauguration of Viktor Yushchenko, when Yulia Tymoshenko was appointed Prime Minister on 24 January 2005.[17][20]

Azarov remained a strong political ally of Yanukovych, and again became a Member of Parliament for the Party of Regions after the 2006 Parliamentary elections.[3] When Yanukovych became Prime Minister again on 4 August 2006, Azarov was elected the First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in the second Yanukovych Government.[3]

Prime minister

Following his election as President of Ukraine[21][22], Yanukovych offered three candidates for Prime Minister on 21 February 2010: Sergiy Tigipko, Our Ukraine faction member Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Azarov.[21]

Azarov headed Yanukovych's election campaign during the 2010 Presidential elections.[5]

The Verkhovna Rada appointed Azarov Prime Minister of Ukraine on 11 March 2010.[23][24] Of the 343 lawmakers registered in the session hall, 242 voted in favor of the appointment.[23] The next month he was elected head of the Party of Regions.[25]

A November 2010 Razumkov Centre nationwide survey showed that only 13.2 percent of respondents fully support his government while 45 percent stated they didn’t.[26]

Cultural and political image

His Russian origin often leads to accusations[which?] by Ukrainian nationalists[who?] and Western media.[27] Azarov speaks Ukrainian poorly.[17][28][29] Nevertheless he assured his constituents in early March 2010 that his government will be speaking Ukrainian.[28] In April 2011 he also stated: "I feel one hundred percent Ukrainian".[30] In a 11 March 2010 article the UK daily The Guardian labelled him the most Russophile member of the new cabinet. In the same article an anonymous Ukrainian official noted "He's extremely boring and anti-populist".[31]

Former Party of Regions member Taras Chornovil has stated that influential Party of Regions member Rinat Akhmetov and the business wing of the Party of Regions are not positive about Azarov.[4] Chornovil claims he heard Akhmetov's associates say about Azarov: "It is better to deal with Tymoshenko; cheaper cost".[4]

Views on society

Azarov had the Prime Ministerial office blessed by a priest from Kiev Pechersk Lavra soon after being elected Prime Minister in 2010.[32] Azarov stated in March 2010 there were no female ministers in the Azarov Government because "Reforms do not fall into women's competence", while adding that he greatly respects women.[32][33] After criticism from female politicians at home and abroad, Azarov explained that he meant he would not wish any woman, especially if she has children, to work more than 15 hours a day as a Ukrainian minister does.[34] Ukrainian women's rights groups have filed different Court cases against him.[34]

According to Azarov, corruption is one of the biggest problems of Ukraine, "We must combat not just instances of corruption, but totally corrupt systems".[35]

References

  1. ^ Янукович припинив членство у Партії регіонів: Новини УНIАН
  2. ^ "Yanukovych suspends his membership in Party of Regions, hands over party leadership to Azarov". Kyiv Post. 3 March 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/60929/. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Biography of new Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, RIA Novosti (11 March 2010)
  4. ^ a b c d (Ukrainian) Микола Азаров став прем’єр-міністром, Gazeta.ua (12 March 2010)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mykola Azarov: Yanukovych's Right-Hand Man, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (12 March 2010)
  6. ^ 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine, US Department of State (23 February 2000)
  7. ^ 2000 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine, US Department of State (23 February 2001)
  8. ^ 2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine, US Department of State (4 March 2002)
  9. ^ 2002 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine, US Department of State (31 March 2003)
  10. ^ Virtual Politics – Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7 (page 81)
  11. ^ Virtual Politics – Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7 (page 117)
  12. ^ PM promises Ukraine 'new team', BBC News (22 November 2002)
  13. ^ Country Economic Reports & GDP Data Ukraine, Global Finance
  14. ^ Climate in Ukraine.doc Investment climate in Ukraine in the first half of 2005, Worldbank
  15. ^ Parliamentary Assembly, Working Papers: Ordinary Session, June 2006, Council of Europe (31 March 2007 – page 98)
  16. ^ Main social and economic indicators of Ukraine 2001–2008, National Bank of Ukraine
  17. ^ a b c d "Newsmaker: Ukraine prime minister nominee is close ally of president". Kyiv Post. 11 March 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/61476/. 
  18. ^ Timeline: Battle for Ukraine , BBC News (23 January 2005)
  19. ^ Yanukovych quits as Ukraine PM, BBC News (31 December 2004)
  20. ^ a b Ukrainian parliament dismisses Tymoshenko's government, Interfax-Ukraine (10 March 2010)
  21. ^ a b "Yanukovych has yet to secure ruling majority in parliament". Kyiv Post. 25 February 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/60468/. 
  22. ^ "Ukraine: Tymoshenko vows to contest election result". BBC News. 15 February 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8514517.stm. 
  23. ^ a b "Azarov became Prime Minister". UNIAN. 11 March 2010. http://unian.net/eng/news/news-366879.html. 
  24. ^ Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych forms coalition, BBC News, 11 March 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8561531.stm .
  25. ^ "Azarov elected Regions Party head". Kyiv Post. 23 April 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/64876/. 
  26. ^ Yanukovych to slim ranks of government, Kyiv Post (16 December 2010)
  27. ^ BBC article, which focuses on his Russian origin
  28. ^ a b "Azarov of Party of Regions swears speaking Ukrainian if appointed prime minister". Kyiv Post. 11 March 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/61440/. 
  29. ^ Уроки куртульной речи от министра б'Азарова.
  30. ^ Azarov: I feel one hundred percent Ukrainian, Kyiv Post (12 April 2011)
  31. ^ Harding, Luke (11 March 2010). "Ukraine's new government puts final nail in coffin of the Orange Revolution". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/11/ukraine-government-yanukovych-azarov. 
  32. ^ a b "Ukrainian Prime Minister Azarov had his office blessed". Interfax-Ukraine. 19 March 2010. http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/34554/. 
  33. ^ Harding, Luke (24 March 2010). "Ukrainian women berate 'Neanderthal' PM for sexist remarks". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/24/ukraine-mykola-azarov-women. 
  34. ^ a b "Women accuse Ukraine's Azarov of discrimination". Kyiv Post. 1 April 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/62995/. 
  35. ^ "Azarov informs scientists about social and economic situation in Ukraine". Kyiv Post. 14 May 2010. http://www.kyivpost.com/news/politics/detail/66713/20/page/1/#comments. 

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Valentyn Landyk
Leader of the Party of Labor
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Valentyn Landyk
New office Leader of the Party of Regions
2001
Succeeded by
Volodymyr Semynozhenko
Preceded by
Viktor Yanukovych
Leader of the Party of Regions
2010
Succeeded by
Oleksandr Yefremov
Preceded by
Oleksandr Yefremov
Leader of the Party of Regions
2010
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Viktor Yanukovych
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Acting

2004
Succeeded by
Viktor Yanukovych
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Acting

2005
Succeeded by
Yulia Tymoshenko
Preceded by
Stanislav Stashevsky
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Oleksandr Turchynov
Preceded by
Viktor Pynzenyk
Minister of Finance
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Viktor Pynzenyk
Preceded by
Oleksandr Turchynov
Acting
Prime Minister of Ukraine
2010–present
Incumbent

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