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Yanukovych To Run Again

Viktor Yanukovych (file photo) 6 December 2004 -- Ukraine's pro-Moscow Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych today vowed to run in a repeat presidential runoff poll.

Yanukovych's runoff victory against opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has been annulled by the Supreme Court.

Also today, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, and Russian Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov met in Kyiv for a third time in less than two weeks in an attempt to defuse the crisis.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Ankara during a visit to Turkey, said today that international mediators should not exercise pressure against Ukraine.

"Only the people themselves, in any country, and of course this fully applies to Ukraine, can decide their own destiny. One can play the role of a mediator, but one should not interfere or put pressure," Putin said.

Mediators And Monitors

Putin, who supported Yanukovych in the first two rounds, said Moscow will work with "any elected leader" in any former Soviet state.

In Sofia, foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had talks today on plans to rerun Ukraine's presidential election.

OSCE Chairman in Office Solomon Pasi renewed a call for its members to expand the 600-strong monitoring team that judged the 21 November ballot fraudulent. Later in the day, Canada announced it will send 500 election observers to Ukraine.

In Kyiv, Ukraine's parliament announced that it will meet in emergency session tomorrow to consider changes to the country's electoral laws before the vote.


[To see an archive of RFE/RL's full coverage and analysis since the Ukrainian crisis began, click here.]