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Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
November 15, 2006 -- Ukraine's parliament today postponed for two weeks a debate on the performance of the foreign and defense ministers.
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko appeared in parliament for questioning and there had been expectations that the session could end with a vote to dismiss them.
Both ministers are among the few remaining allies of President Viktor Yushchenko in the cabinet.
Relations between Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych have grown increasingly tense.
Yanukovych had demanded that Tarasyuk step down and prosecutors have launched an investigation into corruption at the Defense Ministry, which is headed by Hrytsenko.
Both Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko were nominated to the cabinet directly by Yushchenko and Tarasyuk said on November 15 that he did not believe parliament could sack them "without a presidential request."
"The constitution, which was amended hastily, does not stipulate how these ministers [appointed by the president] can be dismissed," he said.
Lawmakers had prepared a resolution declaring the work of both ministers "unsatisfactory" but the chamber did not put the resolution to the vote.
(UNIAN, Interfax, Reuters)