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KIEV, October 14. /TASS/. The Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, has approved the appointment of Stepan Poltorak as the country’s new defense minister instead of Valeriy Heletey, dismissed on Sunday. The decision was made by a 245-majority vote.
President Petro Poroshenko nominated Poltorak, 49, for the post on Monday. Poltorak had been the commander of the National Guard since April 15.
Late last week the presidential press-service said that Poroshenko had accepted Defense Minister Heletey’s resignation. According to the statement, the president believes “time is ripe to replace the leadership of the Defense Ministry.”
Presidential adviser Yuriy Lutsenko said on the Inter TV channel that Poroshenko last week inspected a number of military units and defense industries and visited the zone of the military operation in the east of Ukraine, so his decision was the final point of that logical succession.
“The president believes that Heletey has accomplished his task. Now there should be a new minister expected to address different tasks. These tasks will be fundamentally different, so there will be a fundamentally new defense minister,” Lutsenko said.