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Ukraine official says ministry funds cut
Yahoo News ^ | Fri Jan 19. 2007 | Mara D. Bellaby

Posted on 01/20/2007 6:41:26 AM PST by A. Pole

Ukraine's foreign minister has accused the Cabinet of cutting off funds to his ministry, leaving it unable to pay its employees or contribute dues to international organizations.

The cutoff is the latest attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to oust Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, a presidential appointee.

The battle is part of the ongoing political struggle between pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko and the more Russian-leaning Yanukovych. The constitution leaves the precise division of powers unclear, prompting a fight for authority that is largely being won by Yanukovych.

Parliament last month dismissed Tarasyuk after Yanukovych said he could not work with him. The pro-Western Tarasyuk leads a political party that has declared itself in opposition to Yanukovych's government, and he openly advocates policies such as NATO membership, in contrast to the views of Yanukovych's party.

Tarasyuk fought his ouster and won, prompting Yushchenko to reappoint him. An appeals court this month overturned the lower court's ruling, and Tarasyuk is now challenging that decision.

In a statement Thursday, Tarasyuk accused Yanukovych's Cabinet of trying to block him by refusing to finance his ministry.

"For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, because of an illegal order from the Cabinet of Ministers to the ministry, no financing from the budget has come this year," Tarasyuk said.

The result, he said, is that Ukraine cannot pay thousands of Foreign Ministry employees, cannot send diplomats to participate in international talks and cannot pay dues it owes. The ministry launched an appeal to the Economics Court to force the government to provide financing, Tarasyuk said.

Yanukovych's office could not immediately be reached for comment. But parliament, dominated by Yanukovych's allies, said Friday it stands by its decision to fire Tarasyuk.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: budget; orange; ukraine

1 posted on 01/20/2007 6:41:27 AM PST by A. Pole
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