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Ukraine's Foreign Minister Resigns

Borys Tarasyuk (file photo) (epa) January 30, 2007 -- Ukraine's pro-Western Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk announced his resignation today.

Tarasyuk also told a press conference in Kyiv that President Viktor Yushchenko has accepted his resignation.

Tarasyuk was one of only two ministers constitutionally appointed to the government by the president.

MORE: Tarasyuk spoke to RFE/RL on January 15

An ally of the pro-Western Yushchenko, he had been locked in a political battle with pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Last month, Yanukovych won parliament's approval to dismiss Tarasyuk, but Yushchenko kept him in his post.

Tarasyuk had also been challenging his dismissal in court. He said today he decided to submit his resignation after a Kyiv district court postponed until later this month a hearing in the case.

He said he feared that further prolonging the controversy would "damage the interests of the state and of Ukraine's diplomatic service."

He said he hoped Yushchenko would soon choose a successor.

(UNIAN, Interfax-Ukraine, Reuters, AFP)

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