Ohryzko delayed till 20 March

13:26, 15 March 2007
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Ukraine still waiting for its new Foreign Minister

Ukraine`s parliament has postponed a decision on Volodymyr Ogryzko`s candidacy for the post of a foreign minister until March 20, according to RIA Novosti.

Thursday 245 MPs voted for the postponement with 226 votes required.

Parliamentary Speaker Oleksander Moroz said additional rounds of consultations would be held before the next vote.

Members of opposition factions, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine, voted against postponing the vote on Ogryzko`s candidacy.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko first introduced Ogryzko`s nomination to parliament on February 5, following the resignation of former foreign minister Boris Tarasyuk, a key presidential ally who actively promoted pro-Western policies during his time in office. Then 196 MPs voted for Ogryzko.

Yushchenko reintroduced the candidacy to the Verkhovna Rada on February 28.

 

Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian Prime Minister and leader of the Party of Regions, said Wednesday the parliamentary majority including his party, the Socialist and the Communist parties would support the presidential appointee.

In parallel, Deputy Speaker of Ukraine`s parliament Mykola Tomenko told a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council Thursday that it should put the question of Ukraine`s accession to NATO to a national referendum.

"As soon as we reach political consensus on the issue [accession to NATO], it should be approved by national consensus through a referendum that will clear the last hurdles in the discussion," he said.

The parliamentarian confirmed that Ukraine`s policy aimed at European and Euro-Atlantic integration remained unchanged and was fixed in legislation.

Tomenko said the Ukrainian Communist Party alone opposed NATO membership and said he was hopeful Ukraine would also join the World Trade Organization.

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