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Ukraine's Three Main Liberal Parties Move Closer To Coalition --> From left to right: Roman Bezsmertny, campaign chief of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party, former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, and Socialist party leader Oleksander Moroz display a protocol agreement they signed today for a new governing coalition (epa) April 13, 2006 -- Ukraine's three main liberal parties today signed a protocol aimed at advancing the process of forming a governing coalition.

The document was signed by the top leaders of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party, former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko's bloc, and the Socialist Party.

Talking to reporters in Kyiv after the ceremony, they said any coalition agreement would be based on the principles contained in a memorandum drafted before the March 26 legislative election. The draft memorandum said the party that would garner the largest number
of votes would nominate its representative for prime minister.

Tymoshenko's bloc came second in the March 26 polls, ahead of Our Ukraine and the Socialist Party.

Coalition talks have been stumbling because of President Viktor Yushchenko's insistence that the future coalition implement his policies.

(Ukrayinska Pravda, Interfax-Ukrayina, Unian, AP)

Torn Between East And West

Yushchenko (center) with Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin (left), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (rear), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (AFP file photo)

IN WHOSE ORBIT? Just over a year ago, tens of thousands of Ukrainians led an extended public uprising that toppled the country's entrenched, pro-Russia regime. But the country remains deeply divided between the east, where ethnic Russians look toward Moscow, and the west, which yearns for deeper integration with Europe. Can Ukraine elect a legislature that represents this torn country? (more)

See also:

Moscow Silent In The Run-Up To Ukraine's Elections

Is Kyiv On Stable Path Toward Integration With World Economy?

Western Neighbors Keen To Help Transition To Democracy

Click on the image for background and archived articles about Ukraine's March 26 elections.

Click on the image to see RFE/RL's coverage of the Ukrainian elections in Ukrainian.