Ministry Denies Gromov Reports

A senior Foreign Ministry official on Tuesday denied reports that Moscow region Governor Boris Gromov would replace Viktor Chernomyrdin as Russia's ambassador to Ukraine.

Citing a source in the State Duma, RIA-Novosti reported Monday that Gromov has been tapped for the post. Sources within the Ukrainian parliament confirmed his nomination, Ekho Moskvy radio subsequently reported.

But Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin on Tuesday dismissed the "media brouhaha" as "blatantly offensive," Interfax reported.

Ivan Mikhailyuk, a spokesman for the Duma's Committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States, said his committee, which confirms ambassadorial appointments in member countries, had not yet received any notice concerning a change in Ukraine.