Ukraine leader approves rival Yanukovych for PM | india | Hindustan Times
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Ukraine leader approves rival Yanukovych for PM

india Updated: Aug 03, 2006 09:44 IST
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Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said on Thursday he had approved the candidacy of his arch-rival Viktor Yanukovych for Prime Minister, ending a four-month political stand-off.

"I have decided to put forward the candidacy of Viktor Yanukovych for the post of prime minister," Yushchenko said on national television.

"We have a good chance to escape the political war and pass to political competition," Yushchenko said.

A pact agreed with Yanukovych's pro-Russian Regions party would be signed shortly and would ensure that the country stayed on its current pro-Western course, he said.

"Concerning the principles determining Ukraine's domestic and foreign policy, its continuity, we have made a full stop today. I am sure that there will be no more discussions," he said.

The announcement came after weeks of tortuous negotiations among the parties elected at March 26 parliamentary elections.

Yanukovych's Regions party won the most seats at the election, picking up support in the pro-Russian east of the country and opposing Yushchenko's plans for Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

But it failed to gain an overall majority.

As coalition talks got under way, Yushchenko sought to win guarantees that Yanukovych would not drop the pro-Western principles of the 2004 popular uprising known as the "orange revolution".

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