Verkhovna Rada dismissed Ohryzko as Foreign Minister of Ukraine (Update)

12:22, 03 March 2009
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With 250 votes for...

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, with 250 votes, dismissed Volodymyr Ohryzko from the post of Foreign Minister of Ukraine.

In particular, Ohryzko’s dismissal was supported by 174 MPs from the Party of Regions faction, 49 – BYuT, 0 – OU-PSD, 27 – Communist faction, and 0 – Lytvyn’s Bloc.

He was criticised for his approach to a ruling last month by a UN court on a territorial dispute with Romania, and for his aggressive approach to Russia, BBC reported.

Mr Ohryzko, a career diplomat, was one of two ministers appointed by the prime minister`s ally-turned-rival, President Viktor Yushchenko.

According to BBC, correspondents say the decision to sack the minister is likely to be contested in court as, according to some MPs, only the president has the power to do so. Opposition MPs dispute the assertion.

Last month`s ruling by the International Court of Justice, which both parties agreed in advance would be binding, gave Romania about four-fifths of the area it had claimed from Ukraine in a long-running territorial dispute over a part of the Black Sea.

At stake were drilling rights in an area which Romania says may contain some 100bn cubic metres of gas and 10m tonnes of oil.

The ruling was welcomed as a victory for diplomacy by nearly all politicians and the media in Bucharest, but criticised by many in Kyiv.


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