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Kyiv Court Says U.S.-Born Suprun Can No Longer Head Health Ministry

Updated

Ukraine's acting Health Minister Ulyana Suprun (file photo)

A court in Kyiv has ruled that U.S.-born acting Health Minister Ulyana Suprun can no longer head the ministry.

The Regional Administrative Court in Kyiv said that the decision was made on February 5 after taking into consideration a Ukrainian regulation that says a person can be an acting minister for only one month.

Suprun, who is officially the deputy health minister, has been serving as acting minister since August 1, 2016.

The court said that Suprun's role as acting health minister had been questioned by lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk, who represents the populist Radical Party in the parliament.

The court said it also took into consideration Mosiychuk's concerns regarding Suprun's citizenship.

"Suprun obtained Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 but continues to be also a foreign [U.S.] citizen, while the Ukrainian Law on Citizenship recognizes only one citizenship," the court said.

However, the court also said that Suprun can serve as deputy health minister.

The Health Ministry said in a Facebook statement that it was consulting lawyers on its next steps in response to the ruling.

President Petro Poroshenko was quoted by his press service as saying that Suprun had his "full support.”

"I appreciate what we have done together for medical reform, including the reform of rural medicine. Citizenship is the responsibility of the president," he added

British Ambassador to Ukraine Judith Gough wrote on Twitter that the court's decision may potentially have an impact on "Ukraine's vital healthcare reforms."

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