Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha is surprised at Finance Minister Mykola Azarov’s statement on the status of Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and believes it is not true, according to the President`s press-office.

      According to the Constitution, the President is entitled to nominate the foreign minister and so nobody can fire the minister without his consent.

      “So Borys Tarasyuk will be the full-fledged foreign minister until President Victor Yushchenko changes him mind,” he said.

      The chief of staff believes the government cannot implement its foreign policy with no foreign minister. Insisting on Mr. Tarasyuk’s illegitimacy, the government suggests that its work is illegitimate too, he opined.

      “Like any executive office, the government has to adhere to the Constitution and Ukraine’s laws. Today, there are no legal grounds to question the status of Minister Tarasyuk. Thus the discussion started by the government is unnecessary and empty,” he said.