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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Names Yushchenko Ally as Foreign Minister

KIEV — Ukraine's parliament on Friday approved Petro Poroshenko, an ally of President Viktor Yushchenko and a senior central bank official, as foreign minister.

The ex-Soviet country has been without a foreign minister since March when the parliament sacked Volodymyr Ohryzko after a row with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The position of foreign minister is one of two cabinet posts proposed directly by the president.

Improvement of poor relations with Russia remains a foreign policy priority amid increasing tensions over natural gas supplies.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko are embroiled in a power struggle ahead of a Jan. 17 presidential election in which both are expected to run.