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Last-Ditch Crisis Talks In Ukraine Fail

Viktor Yanukovych addresses supporters ahead of crisis talks with President Viktor Yushchenko (epa) August 2, 2006 -- The office of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko today said that talks aimed at ending a four-month political crisis have broken down without agreement.

Yushchenko's office made the statement after politicians from the country's five main political forces gathered for talks with the president.

Yushchenko now has to decide whether to nominate his arch-rival Viktor Yanukovych as prime minister or dissolve parliament.

Yushchenko is expected to announce his decision this evening in a national television address.

Political leaders in Ukraine have been trying to form a government since parliamentary elections in March.

A majority of members of parliament would support the nomination of Yanukovych, who heads the pro-Russian Party of Regions. But Yushchenko says he wants to ensure that any new government continues his pro-Western policies.

(AFP, AP, Interfax, Reuters, dpa)

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