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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DELAYS DECISION ON SACKING TWO MINISTERS. The Verkhovna Rada on November 15 backed away from a motion to fire Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and postponed its decision on the issue by two weeks, Ukrainian media reported. Earlier the same day, Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko, who were nominated for their posts by President Viktor Yushchenko, delivered reports on their work to the Verkhovna Rada and responded to accusations of poor performance and negligence in office. Tarasyuk told journalists that only the Constitutional Court can rule whether parliament has the right to dismiss ministers nominated by the president. "The constitution, which was amended hastily [in December 2004], does not stipulate how these ministers [appointed by the president] can be dismissed. There is a legal collision here, whether the Verkhovna Rada can dismiss the two ministers [Tarasyuk and Hrytsenko] without a presidential request. I don't think it can, because there is a notion of analogy in law: if the dismissal procedure is not defined while the appointment procedure is, legal analogy must apply and the same procedure should be used," Tarasyuk asserted. JM

VISITING POLISH PREMIER VOWS TO EXTEND UKRAINIAN OIL PIPELINE TO POLAND. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski pledged in Kyiv on November 15 that Warsaw will work toward extending Ukraine's Odesa-Brody oil pipeline to Plock in Poland, thus making it possible for Caspian oil to reach Poland and Europe in detour of Russia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," November 8, 2006), Ukrainian media reported. Kaczynski said there is sufficient financial support to complete the project but did not elaborate. He also declined to give a precise completion date, saying only that the pipeline link "will be a top-priority bilateral project." Kaczynski met in Kyiv with President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko. JM