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19 Mar, 2007 08:01

Ukraine President holds meeting on Parliamentary crisis

Ukraine President holds meeting on Parliamentary crisis

Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yushchenko, meets with Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovich, the Head of Supreme Rada, Aleksandr Moroz, and the leaders of various parliamentary groups.

The meeting is closed to the press and not much information is available now. Viktor Yanukovich left the building as well as the leader of the Socialist party – Aleksandr Moroz. They didn’t make any statements for the press. Nevertheless, there are some signals that the meeting is coming to an end or it is over.

They discuss the parliamentary crisis which occurred when the opposition presented a list of 17 demands to the current government. There is the dismissal of Vasily Tsushko, the Interior Minister and Aleksandr Medvedko, the General Prosecutor, among the demands. They also concern making changes to the Constitution – in order to resolve the ongoing dispute between the president and the Prime Minister – and the foreign policy of Ukraine. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is not being appointed for a couple of months already and that damages the international image of Ukraine.

The President and the Prime Minister seem to have different opinions and different issues concerning foreign relations, e.g. on the deployment of anti-ballistic missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland. When those plans were announced, Viktor Yanukovich said that these systems might hurt Ukraine’s relations with the neighbouring countries, while the president disagreed. Yesterday the PM seemed to change his mind and said that perhaps Ukraine should take part in negotiations and discuss the role of Ukraine and neighbouring countries in the deployment of these systems. It seems that there are some internal games going on.

This meeting actually has no legal force, no binding agreement is supposed to be signed today. It is just a sit-down to consolidate the efforts in order to unite the country.

The opposition is preparing the march – which they call the Spring March or the March of Justice – to Kiev. It is expected to take place in May and the former Minister of Home Affairs is traveling around Ukraine and calling people to central squares.

The inquiries show that the people are tired of politics and they are against  early elections. 

The acting Foreign Minister Vladimir Ogryzko allegedly has a meeting with President Yushchenko today. He informed that on Wednesday he is going to Moscow to meet President Putin. No further comments were made.