Ukraine parliament confirms negotiator with Russia as Foreign minister

Ukraine`s parliament on Thursday confirmed as foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, the current ambassador to Germany who also represents Kiev in peace negotiations with Russia.

Kiev: Ukraine`s parliament on Thursday confirmed as foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin, the current ambassador to Germany who also represents Kiev in peace negotiations with Russia.

Klimkin, 46, replaces acting foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsya, who became embroiled in controversy at the weekend when he used a swearword to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin while trying to restrain protesters who attacked Moscow`s embassy compound in Kiev.

Nominated by new President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday, Klimkin was approved by a 329-0 vote.

Lawmakers on Thursday also backed the candidacy of Valeria Gontareva, 49, as Ukraine`s new central bank chief.

Gontareva has worked in international financial institutions in Ukraine for nearly two decades and held seniors positions in the Kiev branches of the Amsterdam-based ING Bank and France`s Societe General.

She will play a vital role in trying to turn around Ukraine`s teetering economy by implementing painful economic reforms prescribed under the terms of a $17-billion (12.5-billion-euro) IMF rescue loan.

Parliament also unanimously approved Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema as prosecutor general.

Yarema, 50, was responsible for coordinating the work of Ukraine`s defence forces and is viewed by analysts as one of the country`s most respected security chiefs.

He has vowed to regain control of Crimea, the strategic Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in March, and introduce discipline in Ukraine`s underfunded and poorly-trained army.

Klimkin was born in the city of Kursk, now part of Russia. He studied at the Department of Space Studies and Aerophysics at Moscow`s Institute of Physics and Technology, graduating in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed.

He joined Ukraine`s foreign ministry in 1993, serving both in Kiev and at the embassies in Germany and the United Kingdom.

In 2008 he became the foreign ministry`s point man on negotiations with the European Union, and from 2010 to 2012, he was deputy minister of foreign affairs.

In June 2012, he was appointed Ukrainian ambassador to Germany.

Analysts said his long experience at the ministry, including at a time when Poroshenko served as Ukraine`s top diplomat, likely propelled him to his current position.

Klimkin is currently Poroshenko`s representative in negotiations with Russia that were launched in Kiev on June 8 and are mediated by a top envoy from the Vienna-based Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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