Ukraine Defense Minister Kicked out by Lawmakers

By Michelle Lavner 3-25-13


Ukraine Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh was sacked by parliament over disagreements on his handling of the Crimea annexation.

Ukraine’s new government has struggled to find power since last month’s overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych. But Ukraine’s parliament voted Mykhailo Koval, the head of the Ukrainian border guard, as the new Defense Minister.

Thousands of Ukrainian troops have fled the Black Sea peninsula to go to the mainland.

But since Russia’s annexation of Crimea last week, new acting leaders in Ukraine still say Crimea is a part of Ukraine.

Russia insists the annexation is legitimate. Crimea was a part of Russia until 1954 and then it was given to Ukraine. The region is known for its ethnic Russian population and close ties to Russia.

President Obama spoke at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands on Tuesdaywarning that if Russia does not act responsibly, “there will be additional costs” hurting the global economy, as well as Russia.

In the biggest East-West confrontation since the Cold War, the President added that Russia is more isolated than ever since it annexed Crimea. On Monday, Russia was excluded from what was the G8.
In a G7 meeting, U.S and European officials say no one pressed for even stronger economic sanctions against Russia, although they agreed that Russian involvement in anything more would allow for more sanctions.

The economy in most of Europe has taken a toll since the sanctions began.