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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Resigns

Ukraine's reformist Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk has resigned.

Tarasyuk was the chief architect of President Viktor Yushchenko's policy of seeking closer ties with NATO and the European Union. He told reporters the president has accepted his resignation.

His announcement was broadcast on nationwide television after weeks of dispute between the president and supporters of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych since parliament voted to oust Tarasyuk in early December.

At the time, Mr. Yushchenko reappointed the foreign minister, but supporters of Mr. Yanukovych physically blocked him from attending Cabinet meetings.

Lawmakers later voted to strip the president of the right to name Ukraine's foreign and defense ministers, an issue that ended up in the courts.

Mr. Yushchenko won the presidency in 2004 in a second poll after a bitter contest with Mr. Yanukovych, who supports closer ties with Russia.

In a later compromise, the president appointed Mr. Yanukovych prime minister to break a political stalemate that had gripped Ukraine since elections in late March.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.