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Yushchenko Dismisses Gas Official

10 December 2005 -- President Viktor Yushchenko has dismissed Ukraine's top gas official from his government post.

The order, signed yesterday, removed Oleksiy Ivchenko from his position in the Fuel and Energy Ministry, which carried the formal title of first deputy fuel and energy minister and head of the national company Naftogaz. The order said the post was being eliminated.

It was not immediately clear whether Ivchenko would remain head of the state-owned gas company. No one from Yushchenko's office or from Naftogaz could be reached for comment.

Ivchenko was named to the post in March. He had a leading role in Ukraine's gas negotiations with Russia which have become increasingly difficult after Russia said it wanted to more than triple the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas supplies.


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