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Ukraine may change foreign policy course
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, Oct. 11 – President Viktor Yushchenko said Wednesday he may accept resignations of two key pro-NATO figures, Foreign Minister Boris Tarasiuk and Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, if talks on broad government coalition eventually collapse.

The comment indicates that Ukraine is very close to changing its aggressive pro-Western and pro-NATO policy towards a moderate course due to a heavy pressure from the pro-Russian Regions Party.

“My optimism… concerning the broad coalition has been wearing thin,” Yushchenko said.

Analysts said Yushchenko may replace Tarasiuk with Oleksandr Chaliy, a recently appointed deputy chief of staff at the presidential administration. Chaliy, a former deputy foreign minister, has been promoting Ukraine’s neutral foreign policy.

Chaliy is a close ally of Vitaliy Hayduk, who has been Tuesday appointed as the top security advisor to the president.

Our Ukraine, Yushchenko’s party, recently said that three-month coalition talks with the Regions Party had failed. It planned to recall its ministers from the government within days.

The talks failed after the Regions Party refused to follow the national unity pact it had signed with Our Ukraine in August. The pact called for a quick accession to NATO, the World Trade Organization and other initiatives.

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