18:21 26.05.2009

Yuschenko not planning to submit motion dismissing Yekhanurov as defense minister

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has said he is not planning to submit a motion on dismissing Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov.

He made this comment at a press conference in Korosten, Zhytomyr region, on Tuesday.

Asked whether the head of state would table in parliament a motion on dismissing the defense minister, he said: "No. I won't submit it, and I have a number of reasons for this."

Yuschenko said that there were also legal grounds for Yekhanurov's dismissal.

"The Prosecutor General's Office should study the financial violations found by the Control and Revision Office at the Defense Ministry," he said.

Yuschenko said that he had ordered prosecutors to investigate the situation, and described the attempt to dismiss Yekhanurov as a political attack.

"There's nothing but a political attack and a staff war going on here," he said.

Yuschenko said that Yekhanurov, at the post of defense minister, "devotedly works for the sake of the Ukrainian army," and "supports Ukrainian soldiers."

He described the minister as a man of principle who does not join in any intrigues.

"Thus, an attack on the defense minister, under the pretext of certain violations, is an illegal act," Yuschenko said.

He recalled that similar political attacks had been launched against the foreign minister, State Property Fund head, and the National Bank of Ukraine governor.

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