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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian Minister on Campaign Leave

KIEV -- Ukrainian Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk has gone on leave to campaign for next month's parliamentary election, the ministry's press service said Thursday.

Leading Internet news site Ukrainska Pravda reported earlier that Pynzenyk, leader of the centrist Pora bloc, had tendered his resignation in protest over a costly gas deal with Russia. It quoted government sources.

"Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk has taken an official leave until the end of election campaigning," the press service said in a statement. Ukraine will hold a parliamentary election on March 26.

The vote to a parliament with expanded powers is seen as a crucial public test for President Viktor Yushchenko's administration, which came to power during the Orange Revolution in 2004, and for Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party.

Pynzenyk, appointed as finance minister a year ago, was a key ally for Yushchenko during the mass street rallies.