Businessmen Trying to Put Yushchenko and Tymoshenko at Odds - Deputy PM

KIEV, Ukraine -- Mykola Tomenko, Ukraine's deputy prime minister for humanitarian affairs, has accused a group of businessmen and politicians of trying to put the country's President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko at loggerheads.

Commenting on several Tuesday media reports claiming that there is an obvious conflict between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, Tomenko said that "there are attempts by a group of businessmen and politicians to convince Yushchenko that such a conflict exists."

Speaking at an Internet conference organized by the Ukrayinskaya Pravda publication, the deputy prime minister said that Russian will not be Ukraine's second state language.

Tomenko also criticized shortcomings in the government's personnel policy, "particularly at the local level, and the absence of a unified clear decision-making procedure in the entire system of executive power institutions."

The deputy prime minister, however, supported steps the Cabinet has been taking on the market for oil products.

"My opinion is that the government's position is right, since surgical operations, rather than pills, are needed to cure this disease of monopolism," he said.

Commenting on his further political career, Tomenko said he would like to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections on the unified list of the Our Ukraine People's Union and Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc.

Source: Interfax