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Ukraine's Opposition Says Ready For National Protests --> Party Of Regions deputies have been blocking parliament since June 29 (AFP) July 1, 2006 -- Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of Ukraine's Party of Regions, said today his party will organize nationwide protests if the new governing coalition fails to meet its demands for key parliamentary positions.

The pro-Russian Party of Regions won the most votes in Ukraine's March parliamentary elections, but failed to win a majority. The three parties behind the 2004 Orange Revolution last week agreed to form a coalition after months of negotiations.

Lawmakers from the Party of Regions blocked parliament this week, thwarting a planned vote on returning Yuliya Tymoshenko to the post of prime minister.

Coalition leaders have invited the Party of Regions for talks on July 3 to resolve the standoff. But they also said they would not bow to ultimatums.

(Interfax-Ukraine, AP)