Viktor Baloha, President Victor Yushchenko`s top aide, said on Wednesday Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko’s accusations that the presidential secretariat and the Security Service of Ukraine were involved in his poisoning were mendacious and absurd, according to the President`s press-office. He described today’s press conference by Tsushko as a “set of rough conjectures, questionable arguments, morbid assumptions and vague hints.”

Baloha said the Socialist Party, foreseeing its inevitable fiasco on September 30, was using the minister’s supposed poisoning as its “last trump” and added that his press conference should be analyzed in the context of former speaker Oleksandr Moroz’s statement that his party would challenge election results in court. “The Socialists want to kill two birds with one stone: they want to recover their ratings and explain their inevitable debacle before the election,” he said and added that Tsushko was a “pawn in this political game.”

“I would like to state categorically that the presidential secretariat will not be a supernumerary in this play, which smells bad. In any case, Vasyl Tsushko must answer for his illegal actions and confirm the validity of his loud statements. I am confident that an impartial court and qualified investigators who will use results of professional and independent examinations will give honest answers to all the questions,” he said.