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Georgian President Backs Yushchenko Over Parliament Vote

Presidents Yushchenko (L) and Saakashvili in Tbilisi, November 2005 (epa) 11 January 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today lent support to his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yushchenko, saying he did not believe that Yushchenko is confronted with a political crisis.

Saakashvili, who is on a visit to Kazakhstan's capital Astana, said the Ukrainian parliament's decision to dismiss Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov's cabinet over a controversial gas deal with Russia posed no threat to Yushchenko and his administration.

Both Yushchenko and Yekhanurov have challenged the no-confidence vote passed on 10 January, saying it is not constitutional.

Saakashvili has developed close ties with Yushchenko since Yushchenko assumed the Ukrainian presidency in 2005.

Last year, the Georgian president backed Yushchenko's decision to dismiss Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and replace her with Yekhanurov.

(Civil Georgia/Prime news/Imedi TV/Kavkas Press)

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