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Tymoshenko Says Ukrainian Crisis Is Over

"We will bring in new people," said Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
KYIV (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has pronounced Ukraine's political crisis over and vowed to bring in "new people" to a strengthened government team to tackle the effects of the world financial crisis in the country.

Tymoshenko was addressing ministers a day after the creation of a new governing coalition rooted in the 2004 pro-Western Orange Revolution. That announcement appeared to end months of wrangling pitting her against President Viktor Yushchenko.

"I am certain that the end of the political crisis gives us far greater hope that Ukraine will overcome all the challenges of the world financial crisis without turbulence," she said. "As of yesterday, we have beceome stronger in this battle."

The three groups in the expanded coalition, she said, had agreed to form an "anticrisis team" incorporating all factions in parliament "to take forward and adopt an government plan of action in conditions of crisis."

"The government is being consolidated with this anticrisis team. I believe that in the next few days we will strengthen the government. We will bring in new people," she said.

The crisis has caused significant job losses in the ex-Soviet state's key steel and chemical industries, battered its banks, and sent the hryvnya currency into a tailspin. Ukraine has secured a $16.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Economy Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn told reporters the government was expecting the economy to contract by 5 percent next year against previous forecasts of 6 growth and expected 2008 growth of 3.5 to 4 percent.

The new governing team amounts to a reinstatement of the pro-Western team that emerged from the 2004 mass "Orange" protests against election fraud.

The coalition is made up of groups led by the president and prime minister and made more stable by the further inclusion of a bloc led by the newly elected chairman of parliament.