Ukraine Unstable: Yushchenko

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has warned that the sacking by the country’s parliament of his pro-Western government over a controversial gas deal with Russia would destabilise the country.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko

The unprecedented move came less than three month’s before a key Ukraine’s parliamentary election.

"This decision is incomprehensible and illegitimate," Mr Yushchenko told reporters in Kazakhstan, where he attended the inauguration of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"This decision means only one thing: the destabilisation of the situation" in the country, he said.

Mr Yushchenko spoke a day after the parliament passed a resolution of no confidence in Prime Minister Yury Yekhanurov's government amid criticism of a deal that the cabinet struck with Russia.

This nearly doubled the price of the gas that Ukraine buys to meet most of its annual energy needs.

The agreement ended a standoff that disrupted gas supplies and sent shudders through Europe, which receives nearly one fifth of its annual gas imports from Russia via Ukraine.

Election reasons

Most analysts and many politicians in Kiev said the gas deal was only an excuse for the opposition to wound the pro-Yushchenko forces ahead of a March 26 parliamentary poll, which will decide the future of the pro-Western course that the president has set for the former Soviet republic.

"Any deal would have made the government the object of attacks," said Olexander Dergachyov, the editor of a political magazine in Kiev.

Andriy Yermolayev, a political analyst, agreed: "The main reason for the sacking is the upcoming parliamentary election."

The sacked premier heads the election list of the pro-Yushchenko Our Ukraine bloc and the opposition is counting on it losing credibility in the eyes of the voters, analysts say. But bloc officials dismissed the possibility.

"I think that we will only win as a result... because we have demonstrated tolerance and professionalism," Roman Bezsmertnyi, a top leader of the bloc said in televised comments.

Our Ukraine currently trails the party of the victim of Mr Yushchenko's "Orange Revolution", former premier Viktor Yanukovich by 10 to 15 percentage points in opinion polls.

With parliament due to close for its three-week winter recess on Friday, most pundits and politicians expected Yekhanurov's government to continue in a caretaker capacity up until the March poll.

"Yekhanurov will continue to run the country until the elections," the
Segodnya newspaper wrote.

Tuesday's vote passed with 250 votes, well above the 226 needed in the 450-seat Upper Rada.

Unusual coalition

The resolution was supported by an unusual coalition that included the parties who opposed Mr Yushchenko during last year's "orange revolution" and the bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko, the fiery revolution heroine who split with the Ukrainian leader after he fired her government in early September.

Tuesday's vote to sack the government followed a deal that Mr Yekhanurov's cabinet struck with Russia on January 4 to end a bitter standoff over natural gas prices.

Under the accord, Ukraine agreed to buy natural gas from Russia and
Turkmenistan, which accounts for nearly 75 percent of its annual energy needs, at a price of 95 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

Previously it bought Russian gas under a barter system for 50 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, and Turkmen gas for between 44 and 60 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

The price reached under the accord was well below the 230 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters that Russia had been demanding.

But the complex accord, which still has yet to be officially released by either side, appears to set the price of 95 dollars only for the first six months of 2006, with the later price to be set by an as yet undetermined formula.

Source: World News Australia


Anonymous said…
If personal recognition and stature are what she desires would she place her personal desires ahead of what's best for the country"??? So far she seems to be unfortunately. Cannot she see she could have all that she desires with aligning and supporting positive progress not adding more fuel to the fires of disruption.