Ukrainian foreign minister selected

President's candidate for post wins parliament vote while key ally joins cabinet.

    Yuschenko, right, had selected Yatsenyuk as a compromise candidate for foreign minister [AFP]

    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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