Viktor Yanukovych (file photo) (epa)
August 4, 2006 -- The Ukrainian parliament is expected to vote today on Viktor Yanukovych's nomination to be the next prime minister.
Yanukovych and his rival, President Viktor Yushchenko, on August 3 signed a declaration of principles that they said will lay the foundation for a broad coalition government uniting the parties of the two men.
Yushchenko, who defeated Yanukovych in the 2004 presidential election, says the pact assures that Ukraine's pro-Western reformist course will continue even with Yanukovych, who supports strong ties to Russia, as prime minister.
The agreement has been denounced by Yushchenko's former Orange Revolution ally, Yuliya Tymoshenko, who called it "empty declarations."
The U.S. State Department said Washington is prepared to work with Yanukovych, describing him as having worked within Ukraine's democratic system to achieve his political comeback.