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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SACKS TWO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES. President Viktor Yushchenko has dismissed two judges of the Constitutional Court, Valeriy Pshenichnyy and Syuzanna Stanik, Ukrainian media reported on May 1. The dismissal decrees, dated April 30 and May 1, respectively, say laconically that Pshenichnyy and Stanik were released of their duties because of a "breach of oath." Pshenichnyy and Stanik were appointed to the 18-member Constitutional Court by former President Leonid Kuchma. Lawmakers from the ruling coalition of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party on May 1 appealed to the Constitutional Court to declare the decree on the dismissal of Pshenichnyy unconstitutional. Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych, Socialist Party leader Viktor Moroz, and Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said in a joint statement the same day that Yushchenko's dismissal of Stanik "is pushing Ukraine onto a path of anarchy and chaos." The three politicians added that Yushchenko "is trying to paralyze the work of the Constitutional Court, which is the only body capable of regulating the relations between power branches." They also called on the international community "to immediately intervene in Ukraine's situation and send its representatives, who could perform the role of intermediaries." JM

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS NO FOREIGN MEDIATORS NEEDED IN CURRENT CRISIS. Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in Washington on April 30 that Ukraine is able to resolve the ongoing political standoff between the president and parliament without foreign intermediaries, Interfax-Ukraine reported on May 1. "The current political tension in Ukraine may be eased and the leading political players will find an acceptable solution without engaging international mediators," Yatseniuk said in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Yatsenyuk reportedly stressed that the Ukrainian political elite has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to bridge seemingly irreconcilable differences and tackle the most difficult problems through a peaceful and democratic dialogue even in more challenging conditions. JM