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Ukrainian Parliament Sacks Foreign Minister

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko
KYIV (Reuters) -- Ukraine's parliament has dismissed Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko over his handling of policy, including a territorial dispute with Romania and Russia.

A total of 250 members in the 450-seat assembly voted to sack Ohryzko, one of two ministers appointed by President Viktor Yushchenko. The number is considerably more than the 226 needed for the measure to pass.

It was the second departure of a minister from the government team this year, after Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk resigned last month, citing differences with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Members accused Ohryzko of botching key issues, including his approach to a ruling last month by the International Court of Justice extending Romania's access to areas in the Black Sea believed to contain natuarl gas and oil around a disputed island, a ruling that was welcomed as a victory for Romanian diplomacy by nearly all politicians and the media in Bucharest.

Deputies also accused Ohryzko of behaving in an aggressive manner toward Moscow. His ministry summoned Russia's ambassador last month and threatened to expel him for "undiplomatic" comments.