Ukraine's Pro-Presidential Party Head Says PM 'Conspiring'

KIEV, Ukraine -- The head of a Ukrainian pro-presidential party said on Thursday he suspected the premier of conspiracy to set up a rival coalition after she called on the country's president to revive the democratic alliance.

Vyacheslav Kirilenko

The comment by Vyacheslav Kirilenko, who heads the People's Union Our Ukraine, a continuation of President Viktor Yushchenko's party, was made following Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's warning that her bloc reserved the right to hold talks with all parliamentary factions, including the opposition and communists, if the ruling coalition failed to resume its work later this week.

Tymoshenko said at a press conference on Wednesday, "I want to remind the president that we're serving the people, rather than our political ambitions," adding that it was the "last proposal" to Yushchenko.

"Tymoshenko's statements that she is ready to form a coalition with any parliamentary faction is proof of her intention to establish a coalition with Yanukovych [the leader of the Party of Regions] and the Communists," Kirilenko was quoted as saying.

He said that his pro-presidential party would not support Tymoshenko's "conspiracy" with the former premier Viktor Yanukovych.

"Yulia is not a member of Our Ukraine, so instead of instructing our party, she had better save the Ukrainian economy from the crisis, the scale of which Tymoshenko mostly to blame," Kirilenko said.

The premier and the Ukrainian president have been locked in a bitter power struggle which culminated in the collapse of the pro-Western ruling coalition in September, when Yushchenko dissolved parliament and threatened to call snap parliamentary elections.

The early elections were called off amid the global credit crunch, which has devastated Ukraine's economy forcing Kiev to turn to the IMF for an emergency $16.5 billion loan as prices for steel, the country's main export, plummeted and the national currency the hryvnia dropped to historic lows against the dollar.

Source: RIA Novosti