Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk (file photo) (epa)
December 20, 2006 -- Allies of Ukraine's prime minister today barred Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk from attending a cabinet session.
This is the second time in two weeks that allies of the prime minister have prevented Tarasyuk, an ally of President Viktor Yushchenko, from a government meeting.
Tarasyuk was sacked by parliament earlier this month after Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych complained he was working in opposition to the cabinet.
However, the president ordered Tarasyuk to remain in his job, saying it is the prerogative of the president to sack the foreign minister since he was the one who nominates him.
A scuffle broke out today between lawmakers from Yanukovych's party and Tarasyuk's supporters when Tarasyuk tried to enter the cabinet session.
The dispute is seen as part of a broader struggle for influence between the pro-Western Yushchenko and the pro-Russian Yanukovych.
(UNIAN, Interfax-Ukraine, AP)