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Ukrainian President Appeals To Political Rivals To Put Ukraine First

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada (ITAR-TASS) 22 January 2006 -- President Viktor Yushchenko today called on political rivals to put their love of Ukraine ahead of political disagreements.

Yushchenko said at celebrations marking Unification Day that everything "should be looked at from the perspective of Ukraine's independence."

The call comes amid a continuing deadlock with lawmakers over their vote to dismiss his cabinet.

The political crisis began on 10 January when parliament voted to dismiss the government of Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov over a gas deal with Russia that many lawmakers say harms Ukraine's national interests. Yushchenko has asked parliament to rescind its vote.