Ukraine’s Transport Minister Mykola Rudkovsky may be dismissed soon, Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Oleksandr Chalyy told a news conference on Tuesday, according to the President`s press-office.

“The President insists that Transport and Communications Minister Rudkovsky has rudely intervened in the affairs of Ukraine’s diplomatic offices abroad and has incited Ukrainian diplomats to take steps conflicting with their instructions and Ukraine’s laws,” he said. “The President believes that the minister may thus be dismissed.”

Mr. Chalyy said Victor Yushchenko had sent a letter to the Prime Minister on December 28 with a request to investigate the case. He said Rudkovsky’s actions had sparked off last year’s December crisis in Ukraine’s relationship with Turkmenistan. 

“Rudkovsky’s actions jeopardized the integrity of Ukraine’s foreign course.” 

Mr. Chalyy said the President had written the letter to the government to “prevent members of the cabinet of ministers from intruding into what Ukrainian diplomats abroad do.”

He said the President appreciated how the government had reacted to the incident.

“On January 10, the Prime Minister broached the subject at a cabinet meeting and rebuked Rudkovsky publicly. He signed a request to start the investigation,” he said.

“The President demands that Ukraine’s officials adhere to the country’s Constitution, under which the Foreign Ministry is entitled to coordinate foreign policy.”

Mr. Chalyy also said there was no “political implications” in the President’s demands.

On December 28, Victor Yushchenko signed a decree to fire Ukraine’s Ambassador to Austria Volodymyr Yelchenko for breaking instructions when giving Ukrainian visas to Turkmenistan’s opposition leaders.