Ukraine's parliament on Thursday approved Mykola Azarov, 62, an ally of President Viktor Yanukovych, as prime minister.
Below follows a brief biography of Azarov.
Mykola Azarov was born December 17, 1947 in Kaluga some 200 km (120 miles) southwest of Moscow.
He graduated from Moscow State University as a geologist and geophysicist in 1971 and then worked at the Tulaugol coal enterprise until 1976.
In 1976-1984 Azarov headed a laboratory at the Moscow Region Design and Research Coal Institute.
In 1984-1995 he was a deputy director and director of Ukraine's State Research and Design Institute of Mining Geology and Geomechanics.
In 1996-2002 Azarov headed Ukraine's State Tax Administration.
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.
In 2002-2005 Azarov was a first deputy premier in the government of then premier Viktor Yanukovych.
In late 2004-early 2005 Azarov was acting Ukrainian prime minister.
In March 2006 he was elected to parliament on the Party of Regions list.
In August 2006 Azarov was appointed first deputy prime minister again in the Yanukovych government, and in a few months he was appointed Ukraine's finance minister, a post he occupied until Yulia Tymoshenko became premier in late 2007.
In June 2009 the Party of Regions appointed Azarov head of Yanukovych's presidential campaign headquarters.
In March 2010 Azarov, who now leads the Party of Regions, was appointed prime minister after President Viktor Yanukovych submitted his candidacy to parliament.
MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti)