Ukraine Calls For Help From Abroad As Political Deal Totters

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday called on the European Union and Russia to help salvage a fragile power-sharing deal with arch-rival President Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukraine PM is asking Big Brother Putin to help mediate political crisis

He also lashed out at Yushchenko for firing a constitutional court judge, saying the president had put at risk last week's crisis deal to end a month-long political stand-off.

"The order not only contradicts my agreement with the president... on ending the crisis and entering the legal arena, it demonstrates once again that the president is unilaterally ignoring the agreements we reached," Yanukovych said in a statement.

The pro-West president and the pro-Russia prime minister had reached a crisis deal last week to hold early parliamentary elections -- an agreement designed to end a political deadlock between the political foes, who first faced off during the 2004 Orange Revolution.

The prime minister "is calling on the European Union and Russia to act as mediators in resolving Ukraine's political crisis."

Russia's Foreign Ministry quickly responded by saying it was interested in a constitutional solution to the stand-off.

"If the Ukrainian side makes its initiative concrete, the Russian side is ready to consider it," Interfax quoted ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin as saying.

Yushchenko is currently in Barcelona undergoing a knee operation and is expected to return to Ukraine within several days.

Source: EU Business