Ukraine parliament sacks anti-Russia Foreign Minister

ukraine mapKiev - Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday sacked Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko, a long-time Kremlin critic.

A total 250 MPs in the 450-seat house supported a motion to kick Ohyrzko out of the country's top diplomatic job.

Deputies from the pro-Russia Regions Ukraine party and the populist Block of Yulia Tymoshenko - traditional political opponents - joined to form the majority.

Ohryzko is a career diplomat holding the foreign minister post since late 2007.

Protesting Ukraine lorry drivers block key road in tax demo

Protesting Ukraine lorry drivers block key road in tax demo Kiev - Hundreds of Ukrainian lorry drivers protesting against newly-imposed taxes blocked a key motorway connection Odessa with Kiev on Monday, local media reported.

A make-shift barrier of old lorry tyres blocked four of the six lanes on the highway, Ukraine's largest inter-city thoroughfare, according to Korrespondent magazine.

Traffic was forced to a snail's pace as drivers made their way past in the single lane left open in each direction by the protestors.

IMF tells Ukraine to pass "non-inflationary" budget

IMF tells Ukraine to pass "non-inflationary" budgetKiev - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) tightened screws on Ukraine's government on Friday, saying the former Soviet republic could receive critically-needed emergency loans only if it adopted a "realistic budget."

"We are willing to agree to a change in the (planned) size of the (Ukrainian) deficit," said Max Alier, director of the IMF mission to Ukraine.

But Ukraine's divided government must develop a budget "not based on inflation-generating measures," he added.

IMF warns Ukraine on possible credit halt if loan terms not obeyed

IMF warns Ukraine on possible credit halt if loan terms not obeyed Kiev - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Ukraine to keep to previously-agreed loan terms or risk a loss of badly-needed credits, a senior government spokesman said Monday.

"The fund is insisting all the money loaned us go to our banking system," said Oleskander Shapak, a top economic advisor for President Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukraine President Yushchenko meets returning pirate hostages

Viktor YushchenkoKiev - Twenty seamen held hostage for three months by Somali pirates arrived in Ukraine on Friday to be met by President Viktor Yushchenko.

The 17 Ukrainian, 2 Russian, and single Latvian seaman landed at Kiev's Borispyl airport after an eight-hour flight from Keyna.

Their ship, the MS Faina, docked in the Kenyan port Mombasa on Thursday. Pirates operating from Somalia's Puntland coastline had held the Faina's hostage since September 25.

Yushchenko and crew relatives met the seamen as they disembarked onto the runway. Some of the Ukrainians were wearing US-military issue fatigues.

Ukraine could default if government policy unchanged

International Monetary Fund (IMF) LogoKiev - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday warned of a potential default and financial crash, if the country's government continues "irresponsible populist policies."

Yushchenko in an exclusive interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa blamed Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her cabinet for failing to respond to the impact of the international financial crisis, placing Ukraine's economy on a road to disaster.