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Ukrainian foreign minister selected
President's candidate for post wins parliament vote while key ally joins cabinet.
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2007 15:09 GMT
Yuschenko, right, had selected Yatsenyuk as a compromise candidate for foreign minister [AFP]

Ukraine's president has won the backing of parliament for his choice of foreign minister, but an ally from the 2004 "Orange Revolution" is to serve in the cabinet that now opposes his leadership.

 

A total of 426 deputies voted in favour of Viktor's Yuschenko's candidate, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former economy minister, passing the req

Yushchenko had nominated Yatsenyuk as a compromise candidate after his initial nominee was rejected by parliament.

 

After Yatsenyuk was approved, the chamber endorsed Anatoly Kinakh, a prime minister in 2001-2002, as economy minister in the cabinet which now routinely challenges Yuschenko.

Kinakh backed Yushchenko in the 2004 mass protests that swept him to victory in the rerun of a rigged election against Viktor Yanukovich, now Ukraine's prime minister.

 

Initial candidate rejected

 

"Ukraine's foreign policy must be stable and predictable. No action by Ukraine should take any country by surprise"

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's new foreign minister

Parliament threw out Volodymyr Ohryzko, Yuschenko's initial nominee for the post of foreign minister, for the second time on Tuesday.

 

Opponents said Ohryzko had favoured integration with the West at the expense of ties with Russia.

 

Yatsenyuk was economy minister in the second government to take office after Yushchenko's election and later served as a presidential adviser.

 

"Ukraine's foreign policy must be stable and predictable. No action by Ukraine should take any country by surprise," Yatsenyuk told the chamber before the vote.

 

"In terms of priorities, foreign policy must focus on economics. The main, constant element is European integration."

 

Successor

 

Borys Tarasyuk, the previous foreign minister and a supporter of the president's policy to seek Nato and EU membership, resigned in January under pressure from parliament.

 

The row over Tarasyuk's successor had become the main reason for a continuing battle between Yushchenko and Yanukovich.

 

The president, whose powers who have been limited by constitutional changes, appointed Yanukovich last year after his allies failed to form a post-election government.

 

Yanukovich, who seeks closer ties with Moscow, has put his appointees in most of Ukraine's most senior political posts.

 

Allies of Yuschenko said Kinakh's decision to join Yanukovich's cabinet was "political treachery".

 

Kinakh ran for president in 2004 and backed Yushchenko in the protests that erupted after the rigged second round, initially won by Yanukovich.

Source:
Agencies
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