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Ukrainian Parliament Dismisses Foreign Minister 


Ukraine's parliament has dismissed Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, a key ally of embattled President Viktor Yushchenko.

A total of 250 lawmakers in the 450-seat assembly criticized Ohryzko's handling of foreign policy as they voted to fire the career diplomat and one of two ministers appointed by Mr. Yushchenko.

Members allied with the president's key rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accused Ohryzko of several diplomatic failures. These included last month's ruling by the International Court of Justice granting Romania most of the area it claimed in a border dispute with Ukraine. They also accused him of responsibility for the recent deterioration in relations with Russia.

Ohryzko's ministry last month threatened to expel Russian Ambassador Viktor Chernomydrin over an interview in which he said it was "impossible" to agree on "anything" with Ukrainian leaders.

Ambassador Chernomydrin also said that situation could change with different leadership.

His comments came just weeks after Russia and Ukraine settled a high-profile energy dispute over Russian natural gas supplies. Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in a price dispute January first. Russia later cut all deliveries through Ukrainian pipelines, causing shortages in several European countries.

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